How many times do you schedule yourself chock-full and then wonder why you do not have time to watch a movie or get coffee with a friend? Or heaven forbid you take a bubble bath or read a book!
As entrepreneurs and often times, solo boss ladies (and gents), it can be difficult to know our limits and learn how to set boundaries. We have all heard ways to set boundaries with our clients with office hours and setting expectations, but how often do you think about maintaining and setting boundaries with yourself?
For me, even if I tell people that I am closed or unavailable on certain days, more likely than not, you could find me working anyway to avoid overwhelm later. Friends, that is not good either. We all need time to rest and recharge to be our best selves for our families and our fabulous clients. This notion of balance has always been challenging for me, as I know it is for many of you. I am not sure that it is possible to have actual even balance, but prioritizing things is certainly achievable.
Here are a few ways that I have been setting boundaries and making a better (read: NOT perfect) work/ life situation my reality.
1. Set aside one hour each week to review and prep for the week ahead. I always review the upcoming week and set myself tasks, even tiny ones, to schedule throughout the week. We will always have an ever growing to-do list, but scheduling out the prioritized ‘must dos’ for the week helps me focus and stay on track. If there is time left on a slower week or I’m super productive, I fill in with the other things.
2. Plan around at least one day entirely off. This one is hard for me, but so necessary! Many weeks, this is Sunday for me. Family time, me time to read, paint, do something creative and unrelated to the hustle; catching up around the house and prep our personal lives for the week ahead are all things that fall on my day off. Lovelies, you NEED to do this. I promise, it makes you your best self for everyone around you and you will enter the new week feeling great and ready to tackle everything! (disclaimer: I still struggle with this at times, but see a big difference when I don’t)
3. Leave yourself a few hours for catch up in the schedule. By leaving one of my evenings lighter, it allows me to fill that time in with anything that I need to catch up on. If there is no catch up, then I work ahead! That is the best.
4. Look at your full month and schedule around busy weeks. In the throes of wedding season, this I more difficult, but so important. AJP and I sit down to look at the monthly calendar a week before each new month starts. This allows us to plan time together, any weekend fun and to be on the same page. Communication and planning ahead are life savers. If there is a week with a wedding or that is heavy with meetings, I will plan ahead the week prior to have my blog posts scheduled out, any office work done and only need to focus on the topics of that week’s events. The amount of stress that saves me is amazing.
In a few weeks, I’ll be sharing a few posts for how I stay organized, which will delve into a few of the above more. However your down time and caring for yourself looks, don’t let yourself slack. Hold yourself accountable, just like you do your clients and office hours. I would love to hear how you are striving for balance and any tips you have to share.