One thing that I pride myself on is helping others. But do you know what that is really bad for? Boundaries. If this resonates with you, then join me to learn how to set better boundaries with your team and clients, especially around the holidays. We’ll uncover four things to help you set better boundaries, plus something extra festive at the end of the episode.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] One thing that I pride myself on is helping others. But do you know what that is really bad for? Boundaries. So today’s episode is all about how to set better boundaries, and particularly it is December it’s the silly season, so about how to set better boundaries around the holidays with your team and your clients.

[00:00:22] I have wondered why it’s called the silly season. And I thought, why not make it my own definition? And to do that, I thought I’ll add a joke at the end of today’s podcast episode. So once you tune in to the four ways you can set boundaries with your team and your clients at the very end, I will have a Christmas special joke for you and you can rate it on how terrible it is.

[00:00:46] So let’s get into it. The four things you can do to set better boundaries is to firstly, create your ideal, then plan for it, third communicate expectations and forth don’t let guilt drive your decisions.

[00:01:00] Let’s get into number one to create your ideal. When we come to setting boundaries, one of the things that people get stuck on is they don’t actually know what their ideal looks like. And so it’s so easy to get pulled that are shaped by other people’s requests for you, because you don’t know what your true north is.

[00:01:17] For this first part for your boundaries, think about what is an ideal break for you? Is it going to the beach? Is it time with family? Is it reading two new books, maybe cooking? Is it doing a project that you haven’t been working on or perhaps it’s doing no work at all? Decide what you want and then work out how you’re going to do it.

[00:01:37] Most of us just fall into the holidays because let’s be honest. We’re tired. But then we feel unfulfilled of not doing the things that we wanted to do on the break.

[00:01:46] Once you’ve done this, then move on to number two. The number two thing to help with setting better boundaries is to plan for it. Delegating is one way that can help you find more time in your calendar to do whatever it is that you want, whether it’s work or play and still feel in control, especially at a potentially stressful time of the year, like the holidays.

[00:02:07] If you’re on my weekly email list, you will know that some of the things that I have already done to plan for this. Such things like planning my client work, making sure that my marketing is mapped out and plugged in, that the podcast is prerecorded. I am a recording five episodes today, so they will be all batched and ready to go and allows me to have a break. I’ve also decided who’s bringing what for Christmas lunch and it’s already been delegated. All these things help me make sure that I am having the holiday that I want and the break that I want.

[00:02:40] Number three, communicate expectations. If you do not set expectations, people create their own. And it’s unlikely that you will like these expectations. So there are three different areas you need to communicate your expectations, it’s to your clients, to your team and to yourself. So firstly clients: be clear with your clients about your availability over the break. If you say nothing, they’ll expect it to be the same.

[00:03:08] Put on your email footer now what time you intend to take off over the break and then set up an auto responder for your out of office. Use this autoresponder for your out of office to do a bit of marketing as well, share some wins for the year or link to some of your services. You can also have a link to your calendar to book a call, just make sure that you’ve blocked out your holidays from your availability, and they will see that your next available call is whatever date you’ve decided to return from holidays.

[00:03:35] The second area to communicate expectations is your team, what do you expect from them? If you usually have a 24 or 48 hour response rule, is this still in place? Do you expect them to scan emails on break or is it a complete tools down?

[00:03:50] And the third part of communicating expectations is communicating them to yourself. Do you want to check email once a day, all the time, or not at all? Decide prior to your break, what you want, otherwise you’ll fall into being reactive.

[00:04:04] The fourth and final point for setting boundaries with your team and your clients is to not let guilt drive your decisions. Ask yourself, who am I doing this for? Is it important or meaningful? If it had to wait till January, what’s the impact? The number of times, I squeeze things into muster before Christmas only to find that come February, still, nothing is actioned. And this happens more times than I care to think about.

[00:04:33] We are often our biggest enemies. Guilt is something that we create for ourselves, on ourselves. One of the rule of thumbs that I like to use is will it matter in five minutes? Will it matter in five days, five months or five years? And that will give you an indication of how important it is.

[00:04:53] So don’t let guilt drive your decisions. Typically, this guilt is self-imposed guilt.

[00:05:00] A quick wrap-up before I get to my promised Christmas joke. So setting better boundaries for your team and your clients, there’s four different areas. The first thing it create the ideal, what is it that you actually want for your break? The second thing, create a plan for it. Third thing, communicate these expectations to your clients, to your team and to yourself. And forth, don’t let guilt drive your decisions.

[00:05:26] Okay. If you’ve stuck to the end, just to hear my terrible joke. You are in for a treat. Here we go.

[00:05:33] A group of of chess enthusiasts had checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. ” But why?” they asked as they moved off. “Because” the manager said “I can’t stand chestnuts boasting in an open foyer”.

[00:05:55] There you go as promised one terrible Christmas joke. I hope you’ve enjoyed four ways to set better boundaries these Christmas holidays. And if not, I hope you enjoyed that terrible joke and tune in next week for five mindset shifts to carry you through to 2023. I guarantee they’re not too heavy, and they’re simple ones that you can implement straight away. Catch you next week.

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