If you don’t do it, it doesn’t get done.
It makes managing your time feel like a catch-22 as a solopreneur.
This predicament quickly sets you up to work too many hours and eventually burn out.
This is why it’s brutally important you put preventive measures in place ASAP. You don’t have time to waste.
The best way to ensure you’ll have plenty of time to juggle all the right things without burnout is to implement boundaries.
It’s really that simple.
Boundaries are basically a filtering system to help you prioritize on the fly and achieve your goals, fast.
This week, take time to place boundaries in these critical areas:
1) Your schedule
If you don’t have a definitive schedule for yourself it’s definitely time to do that. Imagine how much more you’ll accomplish when you approach your work strategically.
A schedule allows your mind to compartmentalize, focusing full capacity on 1 thing at a time instead of an overwhelming hodge-podge of 20 things.
A clear schedule is also killer productive because it allows you to easily prioritize the best use of your time.
If someone asks if your available to meet on Thursday at 1pm, but Tuesdays and Wednesdays are your dedicated meeting days it makes it easy to decline. Instead you can suggest a day that you KNOW works well for you.
2) Start and end times
Knowing which days you focus on which tasks is an awesome start.
The next thing is deciding how much time to dedicate to each task and challenging yourself to stay within those allotted times.
I’m talking about meetings with your clients, writing content for your blog or website or marketing materials, answering emails and phone calls, social media, etc.
Imagine an Olympic athlete without a coach? They likely wouldn’t make it to the Olympics without that coach guiding them and holding them accountable.
For you, your schedule will guide you and start and end times will help hold you accountable. However, since you don’t have anyone to answer to, you need to use the tools available to keep you on track.
A simple alarm clock or timer works perfectly well.
By doing this, not only will you challenge yourself to really drill down and focus to make the most of your allotted time, but you’ll also be able to track how long different things take. You’ll become an even better master of your time and you’ll know what to expect when you start delegating things to someone else down the road.
3) Your content
Content boundaries are a matter of getting clear about what you do and don’t do.
Content boundaries include determining which types of tasks YOU should do and which ones you shouldn’t, the types of clients you work best with and which ones you don’t, which services you should offer and which ones you shouldn’t, and what format you should offer your services in and which formats you shouldn’t.
When you place a boundary on content you save tons of time.
Imagine only spending time on tasks that you’re good at and enjoy doing? Imagine working only with clients who get the best results and appreciate what you do? Imagine landing gigs centered around what you love most instead of a mish mash of opportunities?
I’m not going to say this will happen overnight, but I’ve experienced this as a snowball effect. If you put content boundaries in place you’ll begin spending more and more of your time on things you want and less and less time on things you don’t.
Once you have all 3 of these boundaries in place, working hand-in-hand, you’ll have plenty of time to juggle all the right things.
The toughest part about boundaries is having the backbone to stick with them.
When things outside of your boundaries (such as unideal prospects want to work with you or clients want to meet with you outside of your set meeting times) are presented to you, it can be hard to judge the best decision.
Creating “why mantras” will help you in this area.
Create a simple statement to remind you why you have this boundary in the 1st place – particularly useful for “yes” people or those of us who have a hard time saying “no”. Write it on a piece of paper or type it in a word doc – it’s meant for your eyes only. An affirmation if you will.
A “why mantra” might look something like this:
My Ultimate Beach Body Bootcamp is designed for 6 people. This allows me to give each participant my undivided attention during one-on-one sessions and to maximize results. The rest of my time is already dedicated to my other clients, my family, myself and my business.
Create a “why mantra” for any boundary you might have a hard time sticking to.
Now that you know what boundaries to put in place to manage your time well, what’s the 1st boundary you’re going to implement this week?