One of the best ways to manage your workload and energetic capacity is in the form of boundary setting. There are both internal and external boundaries, and an important part of green marketing is setting sustainable boundaries in your business so that you’re not wearing yourself out and sapping your energy.
Before we get into how to set sustainable business boundaries, it’s worth noting what can drain your energy and make it harder to set boundaries and perform your job to the best of your ability.
Multitasking and interruptions might make you feel empowered, but actually what happens is that when you’re multitasking you’re switching back and forth repeatedly between tasks. All this refocusing and switching uses up the energy in our brains, and according to Science Alert, this makes us feel tired and less capable of tackling our to-do lists.
Instead, be more intentional about how you approach work by focusing on one task at a time, and only one task!
Holding onto certain emotions like anger, resentment, worry, and anxiousness all drain our energy over time and can impact our day-to-day life. These emotions also take a toll on our work quality and our ability to focus. Ever gone through a breakup or a bereavement and not been able to focus on absolutely anything? This can have an impact for a long time, too.
The solution? Find an emotional outlet, whether that’s journaling, a hobby, or talking it out with a trusted friend or family member.
Setting client, customer, colleague, and community boundaries
Whether you manage a community, are in regular contact with colleagues, or only communicate with clients, the boundaries for all are similar. Some ways you can set boundaries for these groups of people are:
H3 Limit the number of meetings you have per day and per week, especially if you have control over your schedule
You might assume that people will be put off if you’re not available all the time, but in my experience, that hasn’t been the case. Most people will be happy to respect your boundaries! Limiting your schedule also ensures you give enough time after the meeting to absorb what you spoke about.
Clearly communicate your office hours and communication methods
You can list these in your email signature and client welcome packets, as well as on your website. If you’d rather keep communication strictly over email and video call rather than via the phone, make sure to let people know this.
You also want to respect your client or colleague’s boundaries and try not to send an email to them outside of both of your working hours. What this does is open the channel of communication to happen at any time, and show that you’re not upholding your own boundaries!
How to set strong social media boundaries
Research shows that it’s not only the amount of content available to us on social media (although that certainly has an effect) that tires our brain. What it comes down to is a combination of the amount of content and cognitive overload – and the continuous number of decisions we make on whether to share the content or engage with it.
Turn off your notifications
We all know that our notifications do nothing but distract and tempt us to pick up our phones. The best way to begin to set our sustainable boundaries is by turning off notifications when we have work to do, or even going and putting our phones in an entirely different room.
You could even go so far as to get a little lock box and literally lock your phone away while you’re focusing on something else!
Block out time on your calendar to check your socials
It’s still important to do this because social media is a very positive tool that we can use to collaborate with others and communicate with people on a wider scale. It’s got great potential for being able to build lasting relationships – some of the GMA team actually met on social media!
But when that time blocked on your calendar is up, make sure you close your apps down and move on. Otherwise, before you know it, half an hour would have gone and you’ll be sucked into the scroll.
Use the platforms that light you up
Don’t feel like you have to use all the available platforms if they don’t feel enjoyable to you. Setting sustainable boundaries in your business includes deciding which social platforms to put your energy into, and which ones make you excited to educate your audience.
Boundaries with technology overall
While this is tied to social media boundaries, it’s important to touch on the blue light emitted by most electronic devices. According to researchers at Brigham (Check link) the biggest thief of sleep quality is blue light, as it interrupts our natural circadian rhythms and makes it harder for us to fall asleep.
So in the interest of boosting your energy, try to step away from technology at night, whether it’s watching TV, being on your iPad, or reading on your Kindle, and pick up a book instead.
To protect your energy, set Do Not Disturb on your phone to come on automatically at certain times so that you’re not bombarded with notifications. Another idea is to buy a cheap alarm clock and charge your phone in another room overnight. This way, when you wake up you won’t be tempted to check your phone straight away.
To give your brain and mind time to shut down, limit screen time for about two hours before you go to sleep — give your brain enough time to disconnect from that blue light.
Learn about setting sustainable boundaries in the Green Marketing Academy
A large part of the Academy teachings are based upon the fact that we need to have sustainable boundaries, businesses, and energy as well as working towards a more sustainable planet and Green marketing overall.
We’d love for you to join us in the Academy – and we can’t wait to share more with you about how to have a sustainable business, in both senses of the word.
Join our mailing list to be the first to know when the live cohort is open for enrollment, and to get more free tips and knowledge.
We hope to see you inside!