As an indie you are completely in control of your own schedule...at least that's how you envisioned your life when you jumped into the independent-working world. But how many times have you been frustrated because a client emails you with something timely after hours or calls you while you’re in the middle of deep work time? This can lead to strained relationships with clients and make you potentially want to fire the client.
This article from Jodie Cook at Forbes breaks down the importance of boundaries when it comes to your work life. As Cook explains, boundaries are the key to preventing these problems, “those that win are those that set the best boundaries.”
Those that win are those that set the best boundaries.
Cook uses a basic example of boundaries to illustrate how we often already use boundaries in our lives.
"If someone texts me at 3am, I won’t wake up. Why? Because my phone will be off. It’s a boundary. I understand that I own a buzzing device with the power to disturb my sleep, but I’ve decided that whatever my friends have to say at 3am is not as important as resting. Similarly, if I text someone at 3am, I’ll assume that they will read it whenever they wake up because they have set their own boundaries."
Boundaries don't have to be so complicated, but they are vital. For freelancers, this can mean establishing the boundaries for communication and expectations in the contract at the beginning of your working relationship. Or, it could mean having a conversation with your client about ways that you can do your best work. You rely on a good client relationship for your business success, but you can’t be available 24/7.
Read Cook’s piece here to learn more about how to be “the right kind of available.”