If you feel like you have been working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, chances are that you have been. Your computer is not supposed to be a place that you sit and work from the time that you wake until the time that you sleep. Even if you worked a job that called you in, there still were hours that you worked in between. If you worked in a corporate office it might have been 9-5. No matter what, there should have been some form of limits when you worked. When you got home, if you took your work home with you, you weren’t setting boundaries and allowing some time for yourself.
When you have your own business it can be easy to feel like you are perpetually working. There must be a time when you shut down and close your doors just like a brick and mortar store. Here are some setting business boundaries tips to make sure that you are open 9-5 not 24-7:
1. Set hours of operation: Just because you work from home doesn’t mean that you have to be available all the time. Set hours that you start, take lunches, breaks, dinner and end of day. In that time include time for you to set up your to-do list for the next day, clean up your desk and set yourself up for success. If you aren’t done when say that you are going to be done you need to ask yourself two things:
1.) Do I have too much to do?
2.) Did I really work during all these hours and if I didn’t how much time did I waste?
2. Get off the Email: It is really tempting when you hear that familiar ding to go and check your email. At that point you are tempted to answer or handle the issue. Don’t! You need to set boundaries or your clients are going to expect you to answer all the time. Same with if you receive phone calls. If you are getting calls when you are not supposed to, don’t answer it. A business can’t answer the phone when there is no one working and are closed so neither should you.
3. Take a load off: If your to-do list is so large or things are taking you too long to do, it’s time to outsource. You may not need to hire someone full time, but even if you hire someone for certain tasks imagine the time you will save! In that time that someone is doing the things that you struggle with or don’t make you productive, you can be working on things that make your business money. Go networking, write your E-book, get done all of those projects that keep getting put on the back burner til you have more time. It’s worth it to your business and your sanity to not work constantly.
Do you have set hours for your business? What is the key to your success in staying open and closed when you should be? I’m all ears!
Heather Santo is proudly a Certified Virtual Assistant with over 15 years of customer service experience via face-to face, telephone and internet. She also spent time in corporate America as a Human Resources Manager performing generalist duties and specializing in recruiting.
She now enjoys using her talents to serve her clients and help them to operate their businesses efficiently.
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