Boundaries are one of the best things you can institute in your life. Without boundaries around our work we’ll need to start making so many more decisions and we have a limited pool of will-power to use on our decisions.
By having boundaries in your life you no longer have to fret about that 2nd speaking opportunity in a week. If your boundary is only to speak once a week, you turn down the 2nd opportunity.
Some of my boundaries
A few weeks ago I talked about one of my boundaries around being out in the evening for work and how I enforced it in the midst of being told I was a terrible person.
But that’s not the only boundary I have in my work.
Two of my other time based boundaries give me breathing space to do good work. I only take calls with new prospects on Tuesday’s. This includes any podcasts that I’m on, I book them on Tuesday. I only do coaching calls on Friday’s.
With these two boundaries in place I can give 3 days of the week total focus towards writing code or writing words. I’m not searching out an hour here and an hour there so that I can have even just a bit of focus. I have 3 entire days of focus built right in to the week.
Constraints breed effectiveness
Many business owners balk at boundaries like I just listed because they ‘might miss an opportunity’. What if your a prospect won’t speak with you on a Tuesday? They may decide they don’t want to work with you.
Since I only take calls on Tuesday, that means any check in calls during the project also need to happen on a Tuesday and thus that prospect doesn’t fit with my ideal client because they don’t fit with my ideal week.
Secondly, these constraints force you to weigh your options. With only one opportunity a week to go out for business I have to choose which events will bring the most value to my business. I don’t have room for wasted time.
This comes across in my use of a Visa Debit from a separate bank as well. I have to transfer the money to that other account. This means I have to be very aware of my finances and when my bills are due. I never look up after a month and wonder where all this debt came from on a credit card.
I regularly have to evaluate the things I’m spending money on to see if they are valuable to me. If they’re not they get canceled.
They’re not set in stone
It’s important to remember that these boundaries are not set in stone. Last year I was trying to get on more podcasts and during that push I did calls on other days. I still did my best to limit the interruptions so I had most of the day free for focused work, but I did take calls on days other than Tuesdays.
For speaking, if Tony Robbins called and needed me to come speak at one of his events, I’d go. Even if I had a different speaking gig already lined up, I’d go help Tony out.
The problem is that the default for most people is to break their boundaries. They’ll always take one more night out if something possibly good comes up.
That shouldn’t be your default.
Your default should be to stick to your boundaries. To tell that prospect that wants to break up the most productive time of your day that you don’t take calls at that time, you work.
By sticking to your boundaries you can build that business you’ve always wanted.
photo by: nanagyei