Do you ever worry that setting firm boundaries in your business might affect your relationships with clients and coworkers? Award-winning realtor Ann Blair and I discussed her experiences with balancing the two in a recent podcast. (Listen to the podcast here.)

As a very busy realtor, Ann manages her time and tasks well but realized that, because she wants to provide superior service to clients, she struggles to let some things go. She knows she tends to take things personally when people challenge her boundaries but has learned that if she gives in, it is often at her own expense. Think of your own “non-negotiables” –  creating and implementing strategies ahead of time will help you work through the challenges more easily.

Ann has a process to help her prioritize tasks and activities and preserve her boundaries around how her time is spent.

  • She values her family time and prioritizes that above all, scheduling those activities first in her calendar.
  • She adds her volunteer and work activities and tasks to her calendar every day. (Along with her busy real estate office, Ann is president of her hometown Burton Village Auxiliary, helping to plan and manage local events.)
  • She is clear about her boundaries between client time and personal time, making sure clients understand the hours she is available to them.

Ann loves to help people and wants to be of service, but she also loves to “have a life.” A client’s or co-worker’s desire for immediate answers does not override your non-working time – their priority doesn’t need to be yours! When you define “urgent” and “emergency” and have plans in place for how to handle these requests, you’re further honoring your boundaries. (Here’s an article with some suggestions on how to do that.)

Can you relate to Ann’s story?

Do you have a concrete plan to set and enforce your boundaries when it comes to work/life balance? This is a process that needs regular tweaks to remain effective.

And you don’t need to figure it all out yourself – let’s talk!