In today’s episode, Tara gives an important reminder about the importance of setting your own boundaries, both work and personal especially during holidays and other busy times of the year.
Hey everybody, welcome to today's episode of the course building secrets podcast. I am so happy to talk to you today, Hey, I am recording from my beautiful son porch, which now it looks like a winter porch. But today, what I wanted to talk about is boundaries. Now, I've talked about this in a past episode, but you know, it's something that always comes up and it particularly comes up right around this time of the year, right? Everybody's trying to get everything done for the holidays, for the end of the year, meet all of your goals that you've set, meet all of the goals that everybody has set. And and so what hat tends to happen now is that moment of, oh, my gosh, I'm not going to get it all done, and how in the heck am I going to go and enjoy the holidays? My team member and I always are joking about how we have to hurry up and get all stressed out in order to take a vacation or to take some time off? And how kind of crazy that is, right? So today I want to talk about boundaries. Because here's the thing. This is what I've realized in my 20 plus years of running an agency owning a business, and working with lots and lots of different clients all over is that you have to be the one to set your boundaries, you have to be the one to say yes. Or sometimes say no. And there's a way to say no in a way that still is a win win for everyone. So I want to talk a little bit about that today. Because I think that so often, it's sort of a do or die situation, right? You feel like you always have to be available, you always have to be working, you always have to be on call. And if you're not, you're not actually helping your clients. And one of the things that I would argue is that you're not actually helping your clients, if you are not taking a break, if you're not refilling your bucket and setting appropriate boundaries, because what happens is that you start to get resentful, you start to get stressed out. And, and so then you can't show up as your best self anyway, right. And so there are times when you need to take that break and set those boundaries. Now, I will say that, you know, you don't want to leave somebody in a bad situation, or in a lurch. And so one of the things that we practice is proactive project management. And what that means is that we communicate ahead of time, we anticipate ahead of time, so we look at a project and say it's going to be 12 weeks or something like that, then we look across all of those 12 weeks, and we anticipate any hurdles, any obstacles, any time off any big things that are gonna happen during that time, and then we come up with a plan for those ahead of time. So what happens is, so say, for example, you want to shut down your business for two weeks over the holidays and be able to just relax, not do client facing work, and, and just really take that that needed break, because you've been working really hard all year. If you've set that expectation from the beginning with your customers, with your clients, with your employees, with yourself and with your family, then all you're doing is driving towards that that outcome, right? All you're doing is saying Yep, here we are, we're still on track, here's where, you know, we know that we're going to take those two weeks off. So either we need to front load what we're doing, or we need to add two weeks at the end of the project. And you know, the reality is, is like everything is going to be okay. Right if you don't do something for two weeks. Now, of course, there's always exceptions to this. But in general, if you're if you take two weeks off, and you know it's planned for, then most of the time, the things that need to get done are things that can get done later, right, or can get done ahead of time. But if you plan for it, if you communicate, and if you're very clear, then people tend to respect your boundaries. Now that's communicating your boundaries, that's telling people when you're available and when you're not available. But But the bottom line is, is that you have to take personal responsibility for your boundaries and stick to them. Because if you if you think about it, and like it, a lot of times people are just aren't thinking, right. They're not thinking, Oh, well, you know, this is is you know, encroaching on somebody's personal time or whatever, right? They're just not thinking because it's about their agenda and what they're they're trying to do. And if you say yes, every time they ask for something, then it goes against what you've planned or how you've laid out expectations, then it becomes your fault for not actually following through on the expectations or the rules that you've set, right. And so then people get confused and they don't know what the boundaries are because what you've said and what you're doing are two different things. And so when you set the boundaries, you have to say okay, yep, this is it.Speaker:
This is happening, right. And so one of the things that we were talking about the other day is, sometimes we work off hours, right? So on a weekend or at night or something else, like, maybe we have something going on during the day, we kind of dial in, at night or on a weekend day, if you know, we need to get something done. But that doesn't mean we're client facing at that time, right just means like, we're, you know, we're checking in, we're doing whatever we need to do, maybe we have some quiet time when we want to work on on something.Speaker:
But if you send a communication to your clients, at that time, that's an off hour, that's different than the boundary that you've set, then what you've done is you've opened it up to say, Oh, they're working, hang on, I'm just gonna send them a quick message, or I'm gonna just send them a quick thing. And, and again, then you, you get upset because you're, they're not following your rules, your boundaries, but they're confused, because you're working and they're just, you know, why don't why don't we just quick check in. And, and so that's why it's super important, even if you're working. And so one of the things we do is schedule, when emails are going out, right. So if you're working off hours, schedule your emails for the next day, during business hours. And so you can send it and schedule it. So it's done, it's off your plate, but the person isn't going to see it until business hours the next day,Speaker:
those little tips or hacks for how to you know, set your boundaries and be consistent. So your clients understand and follow how you want to work because most of the time, people you know, aren't trying toSpeaker:
you know, take up all your time and do those different things. They just don't know any better because in some cases when they've been working with someone else, it's been a little bit different. And and they don't, they just don't know, right? So you're responsible for setting the boundaries, you're responsible for keeping the boundaries or adjusting the boundaries if you want to,