Boundaries or Business…Can they exist together?
I recently realized how much of a slave I had become to my email and my phone. I hated that I felt controlled to check my email immediately upon waking up and at every other waking minute of the day. My wife would constantly get on me about being on the “screens” (computer, smart phone, and tablet) at the dinner table and not paying attention to my two toddlers. Being a slave to technology was not on my top 10 life goals.
Have you ever felt this way?
I decided something had to give.
No one on their death bed ever wished they worked more hours, but rather that they lived life to the fullest and enjoyed the relationships more along the way.
I decided, under the wise counsel of a friend, that setting boundaries was the only way.
Boundary #1: I removed my work email from my smart phone. My friend stated that he had no email on his smart phone for the past 4 years and didn’t miss it at all. I found that I have been more aware and present in the moment without my email at my fingertips beckoning call. I still check my email a lot, but only when it is time and appropriate. Not at the dinner table. Gone are the days of checking your email at 10PM just to find a problem happened with one of your real estate transactions and now you don’t sleep well that night and start the next day a mess. Gone are the days of checking emails at every red light. Now I can be more present and give my mind to rest and enjoy life even for a brief few minutes when driving to the office. Try it out. You won’t regret it!
Boundary #2: I don’t take appointments after 4pm. This gives me enough time to finish the 4pm appointment and be home by 6:30 for dinner with my family. I have to be a good father and husband first before I am a good mortgage loan officer. If I can’t do the first two then the third is pointless. I thought I had to work all the time and take appointments all the time or no one would work with me. Not true. People respect your schedule. Just like I fit into my mechanic’s, dentists, Staples, attorney’s, restaurant’s, contractor’s, and bank’s schedules for my personal transactions what makes applying for a mortgage any different? I still make time for weekend emergencies etc., but the exception is not the norm.
Boundary #3: Returning phone calls during designated times, unless it is an emergency. This way I am not letting the phone dictate my day. Run your day and don’t let your day run you. I set designated times throughout the day to stop with email and only return phone calls. I find I am less frazzled on the phone and get more work done overall because I am not constantly being distracted.
I encourage you to take back your life. Your business should serve your life and not you serve your business.