Boundaries are a life-changing, business-changing system. And not enough people set their boundaries OR stick to them when they’re pushed. Let’s talk about how to set boundaries and how to enforce them in EVERY circumstance.
Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries
Want to listen to the podcast version of this post? I’ve got you covered!
These tips can apply to any aspect of life.
For the purpose of this post, I’m going to use business as an example a lot. But the thing about boundaries is that you should set and enforce them in EVERY aspect of your life! Don’t think these tips stop at business, because they don’t.
What do I mean by boundaries?
Boundaries are parameters in which you operate, or parameters that you don’t operate outside of.
In business and in life, it’s hard to set boundaries and stick to them. As humans, we naturally want to get along with others and not ruffle anyone’s feathers. And having these limits means saying no sometimes.
Boundaries will allow you to get more done
Boundaries will make sure that you get more done every single day by allowing you to make choices about setting up your work. YOU have power over the structure of your days.
I take all of my calls on Tuesdays – and that is a STRICT boundary for me. Because I know all of my calls are on that one day per week, I can book out the rest of my week in a way that makes sure I get things done.
Setting boundaries eliminates decision-fatigue
And, they’ll make sure you don’t have as much decision fatigue because you know you’re operating within a set of predetermined rules. Those rules help make decisions for you.
Decision fatigue is REAL. It takes up a ton of brain power to make decisions day-in and day-out. I’m not a naturally fast decision-maker, and I’ve had to really train my decisive muscles to make sure my business moves forward. And when you’re making a million decisions a day, having boundaries will either make some of those decisions for you OR will guide your decision-making so it isn’t as strenuous.
Without them, anything goes – and that’s never a good thing.
You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.
If you don’t set and enforce boundaries, then literally anything goes in your life or business. And that’s a dangerous place to be. No rules for yourself very quickly leads to feeling burned out, stressed, and frustrated.
A lack of boundaries will lead to a TON of decision fatigue. You’ll be saying yes and no to the wrong things and not getting much done.
What do boundaries look like?
First – I want you to know that you have EVERY BIT of permission to set boundaries HOWEVER you need to set them. And you have ALL the permission not to feel bad about setting them with anybody, anytime.
You should not feel bad for protecting your own space, mental health, time, and abilities.
I only take calls on Tuesdays, like I mentioned before. If someone invites me on their podcast and they don’t have any times available on a Tuesday, then I likely will not do their podcast. That sounds harsh, but it’s so important for me to enforce that boundary for my own sake.
That’s my boundary, and I have to respect it. And I respect others boundaries, too! If they don’t have Tuesday call times available and that’s a boundary for them, then I don’t want to cross it. It just means this isn’t a good fit.
I don’t feel bad for having those boundaries, and you shouldn’t either!
If you’re saying no to something, then that means you’re leaving availability open to say “YES” to something that aligns better with you and your goals.
I understand that some people have a harder time saying no than others. And if that’s you, then it’s a muscle that you’re going to have to work that much harder to set and enforce your rules.
Your boundaries should be in place in a way so that you know exactly what you’re saying no to and what you’re saying yes to.
Examples of what boundaries could look like in your business and life
Let me start by saying that you should set your boundaries based on what YOU need and make them work for you.
- Setting aside a certain day/times for calls during your week
- Saying NO to things like coaching your kids soccer teams, teaching Sunday school, driving other kids to practice, etc.
- Refusing to give out your phone number in your business (I HATE getting random phone calls, so I protect my number like it’s the most important thing in the whole entire world)
- Set your work days and hours and tell people you aren’t accessible when you’re off
- Saying no to working with friends
- No discounts on your products
The point of setting boundaries is to prioritize what’s important to you. If coaching your kid’s soccer team is important to you, then do it! But if you hate doing something and you end up saying yes to it because you lack a boundary, you’ll feel resentment. Avoid that annoyance by setting your rules beforehand and sticking to your guns when it counts.
A few closing thoughts…
I want to add a special note to people with client-based businesses. You have GOT to vet the people that you bring on as clients. I promise that for every person you turn away, you’ll get another one. You should NOT take on clients who don’t respect your limits!
As you grow your business, you’ll learn which boundaries you need to create and which you don’t. You might say yes to more things when you’re getting started than you will when you’re a few years down the road.
Set those personal and business boundaries that work best for YOU. You won’t regret it!
Don't let anybody make you feel bad for setting those boundaries. You are awesome and you deserve to protect your time and run your life and business in the way that you want to do it.