Boundaries are necessary to attain greater freedom and success in your life and business. Whether it’s a request from a friend, family member, or potential client, you have the right to decide what best serves your time and energy, and it really is okay to say “no” sometimes.

Here are three ways you can start setting boundaries today:

1. Identify your personal and professional priorities.

Setting meaningful boundaries starts with identifying what’s important to you. One strategy for figuring this out is to list everything you do in a day, organized into two categories (“Personal” and “Professional”), and rank those activities honestly from most valuable to least valuable.

For example, you might rank quality time with loved ones and creating new marketing materials higher on your list than folding the laundry and completing administrative tasks like data entry.

Once you’ve clearly identified what matters most to you, it will be easier to recognize the things that aren’t serving you and the less important things that you’d like to do if you have extra time.

2. Schedule time to focus on meaningful activities.

Without clear boundaries, it’s easy for distractions like phone calls, text messages, emails, and social media to negatively impact our concentration. This might not always seem like an issue in the short term, but when looking back at the moments you’ve been interrupted in the past month or even week, you might realize that a lot of your time is being lost to things that don’t matter.

A solution to this issue is to create time blocks in your schedule dedicated solely to the activities you want to focus on. Whether that involves a walk around your neighborhood or creating the next valuable offer for your audience, it’s important that you eliminate any potential distractions.

Some recommendations include working in a private space where no one will interrupt you, temporarily turning off the volume on your phone, and publicly sharing your schedule so that everyone is aware of your availability. You can use a combination of these methods or any other method that aligns with your own needs — what’s important is finding what works best for you!

3. Give yourself permission to reevaluate your needs.

The boundaries you set now may not work for you in the next several months or years. Change is necessary to grow as a human and business owner, and once you start evolving, you might find some of the activities you’ve been focusing on to be less valuable. Rather than dismiss how you feel and do the same activities, consider adjusting your priorities to fulfill your current needs.

Although this process will vary based on your needs, you may encounter one of these scenarios:

  • The activity is no longer valuable, and you eliminate it entirely.
  • The activity is less of a priority and is now optional on your list.
  • The activity needs to be reassigned to a team member or outsourced.

By eliminating, reprioritizing, or reassigning activities in your personal life and business, you’ll be in a better position to stay focused on what really matters and move closer toward your goals.

As a quick recap, here’s how you can start setting boundaries in your life and business:

  1. Clarify the most valuable activities you focus on during the week.
  2. Set up time blocks for uninterrupted personal and professional time.
  3. Review your priorities and realign them with your needs when necessary.

Interested in learning more about setting boundaries and becoming a better business owner? Sign up for the interest list for our Business School Bootcamp program for mental health professionals and join our free online community, where you can connect with other likeminded clinicians.