How to implement healthy boundaries in your work

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Last week, I shared my personal journey with healthy work boundaries, including some non-negotiables in my own business (read that here). This week, I'm getting super practical on how to implement healthy boundaries in your work, for a work-life balance that sustains you. 

Start as you mean to go on. 

Starting with a new client?
Creating a new business partnership?
Or just starting out as a sole trader?

Be open and honest with your boundaries at every step of the way, from the get-go. Make them part of your contract, tell clients during your consultation, plaster it on your website.

It’s so much easier to be honest with your boundaries from the beginning, rather than have to backtrack later when you may have got yourself into some sticky situations. 

Structure your business/work model around your boundaries 

Want to be off every day at 3 to get the kids? That looks like not booking meetings in after 2, or getting an extra few hours work done on a Saturday morning whilst they’re being entertained by relatives, or scheduling your workday around priority tasks so what needs to be done is done.

Want to afford to have X amount of time off this year, or save X amount for something? You need to structure your price model to account for the necessary income - which means not undercharging, and saying no to clients who barter you on price. 

When you’re clear on your must-have work boundaries, you can be super intentional with every single decision you make in your business and work-life to facilitate that. 

Even if you’re not a business owner, this allows you the freedom to say no to any work opportunities that arise that aren’t willing to facilitate a healthy work-life balance for you. Many industries are wising up to the fact that more time doesn’t always equal more productivity (thank God), so stay strong and find the company that fits with you.

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People 100% respect a polite no versus a flakey maybe.


Learn the polite “no”

This is by far the best thing you can do for yourself. Learn to gracefully, respectfully and thoughtfully say “thank you but no thank you” to an ask that doesn’t fit with you.

Whether it’s old friends inviting you to fork out your entire pay-check for their Spanish wedding, or a new client wanting to work with you outside of your normal work hours. If it’s gonna mean you bending over backwards and crossing your boundary to get there (working more, spending more/saving less, missing out on something that’s a priority) don’t be afraid to say thank you, but no thank you. 

People 100% respect a polite no versus a flakey maybe. Don’t be that person who selects ‘Maybe’ on a Facebook invite and gives an “oops, sorry” the day before. Not cool. 

And if it comes to a decision you’re weighing up - I like to think…if it’s not a f*ck yes, it’s a hell no. Follow your gut reaction!

Turn it off

Does this sound familiar?

“Ooh I’ll just get to this email”
“Aw but I really need to reply to that girl’s DM”
“Just 5 minutes catching up on what’s going on” 

Then you look up, and 45 minutes have flown by. 

You’re still feeling wired from the day, you’ve missed or skipped something you wanted to do, and anyone around you is probably pretty pissed off and bored, if they’ve not already left to do something better with their time than hang out with you and your phone! 

If you can relate…just put it away. Sometimes I’ll leave my phone in the other room, or fling it to the end of the bed or the couch. It’s out of sight, out of mind, and I won’t be tempted to grab it and scroll. Even better - get it on airplane mode. Chances are, 99% of it can wait ’til the morning, so be here now and enjoy your down time. 

How do you be strict about implementing healthy work boundaries? I’d love to hear your tips too! 

Current favourite business and personal growth reads

Current favourite business and personal growth reads

I'm a huge fan of a self-development read. I cannot help myself. And I know you guys can relate! So in this week's video, I'm sharing 3 of my current favourite reads - from business to branding, to self-love. 

Grab your copies here!

Mel Wells "Hungry for More"
Gary Vaynerchuk "Crushing It"
Fiona Humberstone "Branding Brilliance"

Have you read any of the books mentioned?

I'd LOVE you to share your favourite reads with me in a comment here or on social media - @kat_horrocks on Twitter and Instagram.

My healthy work boundaries, and why they're so important if you're self-employed (even if you're not!)

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My healthy work boundaries, and why they're so important if you're self-employed (even if you're not!)

Speaking to Fiona Humberstone on the podcast recently (listen here) it struck me how much I admire her work boundaries. With Fiona and a few other guests, I’ve really noticed how assertive they are with their non-negotiables.

We all have ideas of the work-life balance we want, and we deserve. But how many of us are getting practical with what that looks like, in our work, business and life? 

Are you bending over backwards for other people, only to arrive home exhausted every day, wishing things were different? 

Maybe you’re taking on too many clients, and feeling overstretched, overworked or even underpaid? 

Today I invite you to get really intentional with the work boundaries you want to set in place, and how that’s going to look on paper. 

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Give yourself permission to create space in your life


Some of my personal work boundaries:

♡ I spend at least the first hour of my work day offline - no emails, no social media. I read, I meditate or I go to the gym.

♡ Time blocking social media and emails in 2-hour chunks on either side of the day. So I’m not living in my inbox and letting it stifle my creativity and other important work projects. 

♡ At least one day in my week that’s meetings/interviews/coaching calls free, so I know I have one full desk day to get into an undisturbed workflow. 

♡ At least one week in the month where I’m at home for the majority of the week. This one is really difficult but having seen the difference when we were house-sitting last month, my productivity at home for a few days back to back was insane. 

♡ Unless we have a WeBlogNorth workshop or seminar, Sundays are OFF. Nothing work-related unless it’s forward planning that I genuinely want to do. No emails, and trying to stay off social media for most of the day.

There is trial and error involved with this kind of stuff. I’ve learnt how and why these boundaries work for me and my business, mostly by doing the complete opposite and feeling the burnout as a result. 

Think of boundaries as a tool to free up headspace in your schedule.

Not only are you saying,
“No work on Sunday”
“Don’t book work whilst the kids are off”
“No checking emails after 6 pm”

You’re giving yourself permission to create space in your life that fuels you.

When I think about a Sunday spent with Adam, relaxing, getting a solid workout in, getting my cleaning done, eating some good food - it makes me feel good. It makes me feel happy, excited and balanced. If you know there’s a boundary you can set in your work/life that’s gonna make you feel that too, make the decision to say no to the other stuff and yes to yourself. 

I’m going to share some practical tips to implement boundaries in your work and life next week. Stay tuned! 

Celebrating a Huge Achievement with a Visit to Mr Cooper's House & Garden, Manchester

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I’ve never been great at celebrating myself.

Goal Setting, organisation, planning ahead. It all comes very naturally to me! But when I actually achieve the things I set out to, I’m quick to move onto the next best thing.

This month I’ve been shortlisted for a Blogosphere Award. Yep, little ol’ me, sharing my tips on motivation, starting a business and the stories of the incredible women I get to speak to! 

So when Mr Cooper's got in touch to ask if I’d like to enjoy an evening with them - I thought it was the perfect opportunity to actually celebrate something I’ve done. And what a perfect venue for a celebration. 

For a start, their gin selection is top notch. If you know me, you know a gin and tonic is my favourite way to relax! So trying my first ever Brockmans (yum!) whilst we browsed the menu was lovely. 

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Spying someone else’s sourdough from across the restaurant, we had to order one ourselves to start. Mini loaves baked fresh in the kitchen every morning, they were so good! Alongside their chicken wings with harissa and chickpea purée, it was the best light bite to start. 

For main, we both went for the spatchcock chicken - mine with the skin on fries, Adam’s with the mash. Boring to some, but we know what we love, and this wasn’t your average chicken and potatoes.

Since eating meat again, I’m learning more and more that quality trumps quantity any day. The quality of the meat was beautiful, and of course, perfectly cooked. 

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But we can’t skip over this part without talking about the mash...

I’m not being dramatic - this is the best mash we’ve ever tasted.

Like velvet on the spoon, perfectly seasoned and tasted as if it had just a bit too much butter mixed in, in the best way possible. We could have eaten a vat of it! 

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For dessert, I highly recommend the Mr Cooper’s Caramel Tart with mascarpone ice cream (not pictured, oops!). I always judge a restaurant from its dessert selection, and this did not disappoint. Don’t worry - if you’re a chocaholic, the Dark Chocolate Delice (pictured) was perfect too. 

I know I don’t discuss food a lot on the blog, but considering I’m a massive foodie and was really in the mood to celebrate, it was such a lovely evening and big thanks to Mr Cooper’s for inviting us! 

Have you visited Mr Cooper's? It's such a unique and lovely venue for a special occasion. 

Getting Sh*t Done - How To Juggle Work and Life Without Going Insane

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Juggling it all, knowing what to prioritise and being my own boss


Getting Sh*t Done - How To Juggle Work and Life Without Going Insane

Wow, I've had a lot on my plate in the past 6 months. Not complaining at all - in fact I'm so incredibly grateful - but I'm busier than ever in work and life.

Juggling it all, knowing what to prioritise and being my own boss (and therefore being in charge of whatever happens!) has been a huge learning curve. 

Today I wanted to share some tips on:

- How I simply stay sane through it all
- How I get it all done
- How I prioritise my work tasks
- How I stop myself from procrastinating, getting distracted or simply imploding with stress. 

Do you struggle with time management? Once you've watched the video, I'd love you to leave me a comment with your top productivity tips too!

Love & Good Vibes,
Kat x
 

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