Friends of mine like Denise Duffield Thomas constantly inspires me with how she has embraced her driven personality with her efficient side, and how she’s built a 7-figure business that she doesn’t have to work 80 hours a week to maintain (If haven’t read it, her book Get Rich, Lucky Bitch – an excellent read I highly recommend you go read right now!) She and I are the same archetypes, although her archetypes are in a different order than mine are.
Every entrepreneur is a little different, a combination of different character traits. I use a framework called the Sacred Money Archetypes® to help me manage my business, relationships, and even how I create my online programs and interact on social media. In this article, you’ll see me use words like archetype, Ruler, Romantic, and Maverick. Those are the three archetypes (like personality types) that I have most strongly, so it’s how I relate to money, business, people, and time management.
If you want to know your archetype, you can find out in the box below. It’s by no means strictly necessary for the rest of the article, but if you’re curious what type you are, then the quiz will give you some insight. 🙂
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4 Boundaries you can put in place easily today to protect your time
My inner Ruler, one of my top three archetypes, hates boundaries… especially with my business. When I am unbalanced, I really feel the need to constantly be productive, and always doing something. There’s always a new goal to work for, and my inner Ruler says, “YES. If we don’t work, we die!” But, on the flip side of that, my inner Romantic is all about enjoying the best things in life, which can be hard when I’m working all the time.
So, trust me when I say I totally understand the struggle to out boundaries in place with my business, and it’s hard not to fall into becoming a workaholic simply out of habit, and following my top archetype’s natural inclinations. But by putting boundaries in place, I’ve allowed myself to create more profits for less work, and I’ve been able to start enjoying the things I love again – like reading, hanging out with my kids (guilt-free!) and going out on date nights with my husband.
Really, work boundaries aren’t about working less, it’s about being intentional about how I spend my time, and making sure how I am spending my time reflects what I say my priorities are. Sometimes I do have weeks where I work more hours, but I don’t do 80 hour work weeks anymore, simply because I know that I don’t work at my best when I am overworked, and I always want to give my best self to whatever I am doing, whether it’s working or just reading a book to my kids.
Have office hours for other people
Creating office hours where you are available for others is absolutely essential for any business model you use, whether you’re doing one on one client work, teaching courses, or just interacting on social media… interacting with your Tribe (whatever that looks like for you!) can easily eat away all of your time all too easily.
- Set time limits on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter
- Only check email at certain designated times – or if you do check email throughout the day, only respond to clients during set times
If you’ve been working with clients and you haven’t had any boundaries with them before, this may be really scary, but it really doesn’t have to be a big deal. If they’re a laid-back client, they may not even need to know about it. If they are a client who expects you to be available 24/7, then simply let them know that you’re changing how you work so you can be the most effective during work time.
By establishing when you are available, a client who pays you hourly need you during other times, you can charge them accordingly. When I worked as a virtual assistant, my hourly rate was $25 an hour, but if you wanted me on the weekends it was $50 an hour. I was actually usually working during the weekends by choice, but I liked to have the option to have more down time… so if someone needed me to work and I wanted to take the quick job, I was going to be compensated for the loss of my could-have-been free time and family time.
Turning off push notifications for apps on your phone
Turning off push notifications for apps has been one of the best things I’ve done to reclaim control of my day. I turned off the notification counters on my apps as well, so I don’t know how many emails I have waiting for me if I’m not involved in checking email at that moment.
The other thing I did, which was more extreme but also really effective, was I actually took it a step further and took all my apps off my phone screens and have them in one folder. I have to intentionally search for it and make a choice to open it. No more getting distracted by Facebook notifications or emails, because everything is in it’s place. I actually got the idea from this article, it’s a really interesting idea that will work well if you’re like me and end up spending too much time on your phone.
Creating, and maintaining office hours for you
I don’t have true “office hours” in the sense that I only work during certain hours… because I work from home while homeschooling two kids, and managing a home. So that doesn’t work for me. But, what does work for me is consistently setting aside a set amount of time each day where I don’t work – where I am focused on other areas of importance to me.
Usually this means in the mornings I am working on school with the kids, planning my day, journaling as they learn independently, and handling meal prep for the day. Then in the afternoon is my work time, during nap time/ quiet time (depending on what kid) and depending on what I’m working on, I’ll also use time after the kids go to bed to catch up on projects or whatever I couldn’t finish during the day.
Creating office hours doesn’t have to mean only working during a specific time and only that time. It’s not about being super rigid! It’s more about giving yourself adequate time to get your stuff done, but also making time for the other areas of your life where you can put your time and attention. The “hustle lifestyle” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and really it isn’t sustainable… which brings me to the next boundary that will paradoxically help your business.
Creating “white space”
This is something I’ve really struggled with consistently in my business – but every time I build time where I have nothing planned, or nothing I have committed to, it gives me a huge amount of freedom to do whatever I want. This feeling is very freeing, which is an odd dichotomy for the Ruler part of my personality who loves the feeling of being productive and getting all the things done.
Creating white space for me looks like:
- Creating time where I can work on whatever I want – with no agenda
- Setting aside time to work on creative non-work projects
- Carving out time where I can focus on non-essential tasks that I want to do, but aren’t as strictly necessary as others
Those are the biggest things, but ultimately I know it’s really personal, so do what works for you!
These boundaries are really huge, and if you can implement them, you will be able to thrive more because you’ll be able to enjoy the best parts of your business, without burning yourself out or creating a situation where you are constantly frustrated with yourself, your clients, or your business.
I would love to show you more about how you can use your personality to personalize how to handle your money, your business and your relationships so you can make the most of your strengths in ever one of those areas! Start by taking the quiz below and I’ll help you out!