Running a small business is no easy task. It's messy and thrilling, and terrifying all at the same time. But no matter what, it's definitely a journey worth taking. As a mom of two littles, I know the daily struggles, and I'm here to walk this journey with you. If you're ready to feel empowered, encouraged and on fire for the things you truly love, then you're in the right place. I'm Rebecca Rice, a pizza loving hot chocolate drinking family photographer and educator. And this is the business Journey podcast.
Hello, friends, welcome back to another episode of the business Journey podcast. I'm your host, Rebecca rice. And I'm excited to jump into today's topic. It's kind of a continuation of our last episode, which if you haven't listened to that, it's a great one talking about how to take time off in your business. But this week, I want to talk through how I set boundaries between work in life. And it's one of those things that I've worked really hard over this year. And here in a couple of weeks, I'm going to talk through like what my year has looked like and that whole transformation, but it's something that I really, really value and other people in my circle are now starting to notice those boundaries, and they are loving it. And they're like, please help me how do I do that. So I wanted to have an episode where I talk through what these boundaries look like and how you can incorporate them into your life and your business. So before we dive into that, I wanted to let you know about a free class that I have for you guys. That you know, obviously right now we are in the middle of December, which if you didn't listen to my last episode, my whole team takes the whole month of December off. And so as you're listening to this, I have obviously pre recorded it and I am sitting at home and enjoying my time with my family. And the way that I do that is with work life balance. But so in case you haven't heard, I have a free class just for you guys that I wanted to tell you about. Now we're in the middle of December. And at this point, you probably have a pretty good idea of how your fall season went. When you look back and you think about it, how did it go? Was it great? Was it awful? Was it awkward and uncomfortable. Because when it comes to posing, that plays a huge part in how our sessions feel for us and for our clients. And my goal is for you guys to feel confident in your photo sessions, and not anxious or uncomfortable or whatever. And a big piece of that is posing. So in my posing class, it's completely free. I talk through the keys that you need to effective family posing, and how to say goodbye to awkward and stiff clients forever. So you want to watch that pose in class, you can find it it's links below in the description. But also, if you want to just like type in the URL, it's Rebecca rice So you can check that out. Now, let's get into all the good things here setting boundaries between work and life. This is something that has been huge for me this year, specifically, I think, just with my family in 20. Let's see, we're in 2022. Now, so a year ago, in 2021, that was our first full year where me and my husband were both, you know, home working for ourselves and trying to balance what it looked like for our family with healthy work life balance. And so in 2021, it was a lot of just discovering things, mostly that we didn't like, when you know, you work for yourself, and you're not away in an office and you come home, there's no like clear separation, it's really easy to fall into the pattern of just working all the time, especially when you love what you're doing. And so by the end of last year, we really like my husband and I sat down we're like, No, we don't like the way that this year necessarily went. It was fine. It wasn't anything dramatic. But there were just things that we noticed that were like we want to change that for next year. And a big piece of that was me, I I love working. And I didn't have any clear, like boundaries for cutting work off. And so I part of it I started implementing in 2021. But really at the start of this year 2022 was where my big shift happened. And I'm going to get into this more here in a couple weeks where I talk through my look at my year. But when it comes to setting work life boundaries, the first thing you're going to want to do is decide what you want your life to look like. And so for me at the beginning of this year, I said you know what priority number one, above all is that my family comes first and I want to be the best version of myself.
For them, you know, as well as for myself. And so, because my family comes first, there were some boundaries that I needed to put in place so that I didn't get sucked into it just working all the time. So when I sat down and looked at everything, I wanted to see what is realistic, you know, a realistic time for me to work on my business, but also a great, realistic time where I felt good to step away from the business and be with my family. And so my ideal time is to work about 15 hours a week, that allows me to spend time in my business, but also spend plenty of time with my family and my kids. And to take a nap every day. Like that is a priority for me. Fun fact, I literally take a nap every single day, there's a highlight in my Instagram stories, or on my Instagram profile about taking a nap, go watch the highlight. It's amazing. But I know that I'm the best version of myself when I'm rested. And when I take a nap. And so for me, my ideal was like 15 hours a week. And another thing that was huge for us was not talking about work over dinner or things like that, like whenever my work time stopped, conversation about work also stopped. And that was a priority for me. So the first thing that I put into place for my boundaries was to set true office hours. And when my office hours were up, the laptop gets closed. And so of course there is some like wiggle room for this. This is not like a hard and fast thing. But I try my best to stick within these true office hours. So for me, I work on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from eight to about noon or one, I know that my best time of day when I'm the sharpest. When I'm just I'm all there is in the morning, I'm a true morning person, I usually get up about 630 Every morning, just like naturally my body wakes me up at that time. And some of you're like oh my gosh, I could never know. But that's my ideal. And so I know that after lunch, I need to take a nap. And I'm basically like a non productive person. And so I knew myself enough to know that if I put my work hours in the afternoon, I would not be productive, I would not get stuff done. So my work days are eight to noon or one depending on the day. And it's Tuesday, Wednesdays Thursdays. The reason that it's those three days is because those are the days that my kids are at their school, we do like a hybrid homeschool. So it's kind of like a co op, but not really. But we homeschool the other two days. And so the three days that they're at school are the three days that I'm working so that when they're home, I am fully present with them. Now for your work hours. And like I said, I try really hard to close the laptop when my work hours are done and be done. Occasionally, there's times that I have to work at other times just to you know, get stuff done. And so that's why I give myself 15 hours a week because there might be an hour or two just like outside of my true work hours, where in the evening, I have to finish up a project for my team or whatever. It doesn't happen often. But I you know, it does happen sometimes. And so the big thing about work hours is you want to set expectations for what your work hours are. And so for me, my team knows that if they have a question during those work hours, and it's not urgent, they'll get an answer when I'm back. So my team uses slack for our communication. We also use Voxer, which is like walkie talkies, kinda it's like voice messaging back and forth.
So we like it. Sometimes it's just easier to like verbally process something instead of typing it over Slack. So we use both, but they know that I'm not checking those outside of my work hours. If it's urgent, they can text me they all have my phone number. They don't text me often, like very, very rarely do I get a text for my team members. For the most part we slack or Vox. The exception is cat, my integrator she has access to me really whenever because she's managing my team. And she's the one dealing with like emergencies. So if something comes up that has to be taken care of, she'll handle it. But if it has to have me involved, she knows that she has access to me, even if it's not during my work time. And my husband knows that too. So it's not a big deal. But it doesn't happen often because she's great and knows how to just handle stuff. And so my team knows the expectations for what my work hours are and they know how to get a hold of me if they absolutely have to outside of those work hours. But for the most part, there's not a need, it's fine and it goes great. So for you when you're setting work hours, think about what you know season of life, you're in what works for your family and set your hours accordingly. For some people, your work hours may be chopped up. It might be one hour during naptime and then from eight to 11pm at night after the kids go to bed. That's fine. If that's the season that you're currently in, be in that season, I wouldn't
encourage you to try to have some sort of consistency in your work hours whenever possible. I know some of my friends you know, are stay at home moms. And so they work while the kids are playing or whatever, that's fine, but set a time for when that is. So that you know when that time ends, you close the laptop, and you can be fully present, set office hours, and stick to them as much as possible, because that is a huge piece in work life boundaries. Another like little bonus thing, something that I did with this is I started keeping my laptop in my office, because I knew if it were readily available to me just like out in the living room, it's really easy, while my husband and I are watching a Netflix show to just grab my laptop and work on a couple things. And so because I know myself and I just know my weaknesses, I needed to get my laptop out of sight. So when I close it, I leave it in my office and go and do other things. If I need a computer, I'll you know, grab my iPad and do stuff on my iPad, if I absolutely need a computer for something, then I'll go you know, in the office use my laptop, but I really try to keep it in there as much as possible. And that has helped me to to be able to separate like work and just everyday life. Now another thing that I do to really help set boundaries between work and life, it has to do with my phone. So I don't know, if you're an Android user, Apple user, I'm sure Android has something of the equivalent. I'm an Apple user. And iPhones have something called focus modes. So basically, what that is, is you can create as many focus modes as you want. And you get to customize it to what times of day that they run, I think you can even have it by location, if you want to, I don't know I have mine set up by time, you decide what notifications come through during those focus modes. So you know, most of you're probably familiar with Do Not Disturb that was like the original focus mode in iPhones, where it just doesn't let any notifications through. Now they're customizable. And so I have a focus mode for personal and a focus mode for work. And the difference between those is basically I get to decide what notifications that I see. So I'm already a person that doesn't like a lot of notifications. So I don't have notifications for Facebook, on my phone. If I want to check in, I'll open up the Facebook app and get in there. But I don't want to be constantly notified when people like my post or comment on something. The same with Instagram, I don't have Instagram notifications on my phone at all. And those are easy to turn off in your settings under your notifications, I just by default turn all notifications off on my phone that with the exception of a few. So I'm going to talk about the work mode first. So in my work focus mode, only work notifications come through. And these are things like Slack, and Voxer and Trello, and things like that, that require my attention that I need to be aware of when somebody sends me something. So I have those turned on in my work mode. Another thing that's cool is you can decide how you want to handle your texting and your phone calls during each focus mode. So on my work mode, I have my texting on Do Not Disturb. And you can decide whether people see that or not. So I'm in work mode I put on there, you know that people can see that my phone's on Do Not Disturb. So if you know my sister or my mom are wanting to text me something, that's fine, they can text it, but I won't be notified and they know that I won't be notified. And if it's an emergency, there's a thing that you can press that says notify anyway, when they send a message. So I will get notified. But it doesn't happen often. So on my work mode, texts don't come through. And also phone calls do not come through with the exception of my husband and my kids school. Again, in case of emergency. But they are the only ones that phone calls come through anybody else are getting sent straight to voicemail by default, because it's in work mode. And then on the opposite end of the spectrum, I have a personal mode. And in personal mode, all of my work notifications are turned off. So I am not receiving notifications from Voxer or slack or Trello. Now they do show up in my notification center. So you know in your iPhone, when you're like on your home screen, you can swipe down and see like your notification center. So, you know, once or twice a day, I'll check in there to see if there's anything urgent from cat or whatever. But for the most part, there's not but whenever my phone is on personal mode, I'm not having any of those work notifications show up on the front screen of my phone when it's locked. Because I don't want my phone dinging or going off and lighting up just for every little thing. It's not necessary so none of those notifications come through. I also want a quieter like day to day so I have
have it set where phone calls don't come through in that period unless they're from people on my favorites list. So that's, you know, obviously, friends, family, people that are super close to me that I know call, often, their phone calls will go through and everybody else just gets sent to voicemail. And I know if it's important, they'll leave a voicemail. It's amazing how many people don't leave voicemails, because it's not that important. Or they can text me. So that's one thing. And then another thing that I love with personal mode is you can actually choose pages of apps to be hidden. So I put all of my work apps on one page. And in personal mode, that page is hidden, so I only see my personal apps. Now, can I still access slack? Yes, I can just type it in the search bar. And there it is. But I have to think about it a little harder, instead of, you know, just scrolling one page over and there's all my work icons, and it's easy to grab, it's better for me to have them out of sight. And so on personal mode, they're hidden. And I don't even have to think about it. So focus mode is I'm a big fan of it. And it just happens automatically, you can set it like on a schedule. So during my work hours, my work mode automatically comes on. And then when my work hours are over, it automatically switches to personal mode. And a bonus, they also have asleep mode where basically the only thing I have that it's available to come through is my alarm. And so it mutes all other notifications, with the exception of emergencies. If somebody calls twice, within like three minutes, it does let them through. And so in the event that something happened in the middle of the night, and you know, somebody in my family called me more than once quickly, it'll let their phone call through. So you don't have to worry about that. But I love my sleep mode, because only my alarm comes through and my phone won't light up for anything else. So if you've never set up focus modes, I highly suggest it especially if you're the kind of person that gets easily pulled into things for work, just by seeing notifications, just turn them off, get them hidden so that they're not front and center. And that really really helped me stay in work time when I needed to be in work time. And in my personal life when work time was over. Now the last tip that I have for setting boundaries between work and life, this one's going to be a hard one for some people. It is being okay with saying no. Okay, being okay with saying no. And it's one of those things that like I literally just had a conversation with a friend of mine, I asked her if she's available to to do something for me. And she said no. And I was so proud of her. I was like good for you for saying no, because she's one of those people that just like over commits and says yes, all the time. And so when she said no, I was like cheering her on. So it doesn't offend me because I see the value in saying no. And so if you're going to have true solid work life boundaries, saying no has to be part of the equation. And that can look like a few things. Like for me one of the boundaries that I have, obviously, I have my certain days that I'm in the office, but also I only take calls on certain days. So like Thursdays, I don't take zoom calls, if somebody's wanting to collaborate, or I have a call with a podcast interview or a student call or anything like that. mastermind calls. None of them happen on Thursdays because Thursday is the day that I need to be free from anything to just focus solely on getting things done. And calls can be time consuming. And so Tuesdays and Wednesdays are call days mostly Tuesdays, if I can handle or if I can manage to get them all on Tuesdays, that'd be ideal. But occasionally I have one or two slip on slip through on a Wednesday. But that was a thing for me is I say no to Thursdays. And that can be hard because let's say there's somebody that wants me on their podcasts, but they only do podcast interviews on Thursdays. For me it's a non negotiable and so it's just not going to be a good fit. As much as I would love to say yes to something like that. I'm gonna have to say no, because it doesn't work. And I let people know that unapologetically. And if they really want me on their podcast, they'll interview me on a different day. And so, but I stick to that for you. Maybe it could be setting limits for when you shoot. That's another thing that I was really big on. I've been big on this for a few years. Like for me, I only want especially in the fall season when it's really busy. I only wanted to ever shoot one day per weekend. So I was either going to shoot Saturday or Sunday, not both days, because I wanted to reserve one of those days for family time. And so that means saying no to potential bookings when you're just booked. Could I you know if I have bookings on Saturday already, somebody inquires for that Sunday. I have to say no, could I take them on that Sunday? Yes, but I have already decided that is a boundary that I have set that I
will not shoot that day. And so they can either book on a day that I do have available, or they're going to have to pass. And that can be really hard. But to me, that was worth it. Because by taking that booking on a day that I had already set a boundary not to, it's causing me or it's costing me time away from my family, it's costing me to sacrifice the work life balance that I worked so hard to put in place. And to me, it's just not worth it. Same for like, our team doesn't shoot in December, that can be really hard. Because we could get an amazing inquiry for the second week in December, it's so close to the beginning of the month, that it can be easy to be like, Oh, I could just, you know, I could just throw it in there. But it's a boundary that we set, we do not shoot in December. And so whatever it looks like for you be okay with saying no. And just know that it's going to mean, you're going to probably have to pass up some opportunities. But ask yourself, what will it cost you by taking on that opportunity? And is it worth the cost? Most of the time for me? It's not. And so I've gotten really comfortable saying no. And I have to say the more you do it, the stronger you'll be. It's kind of like a muscle when I flex my no muscle it now, you know, after a year of practicing a lot saying no, it's getting gotten so much easier. So be okay with saying no. And that will make a huge difference in your work life balance. So I hope this was helpful. If you guys have any questions about work life balance, or like what I do in certain situations, or whatever, I would love to answer feel free to find me on Instagram at Rebecca rice photography, and we can DM chat about it. Because this is something I'm really passionate about. If you can't tell I, you know, take it really seriously. And I my life is better because of it. And I know that you can feel that way too. For me, I have felt just so much freedom, for being able to set those boundaries. And I'm a better version of myself because I have them in place. And I want that freedom for you to take a look. Now's the perfect time to be able to decide what boundaries to put in place what your life could look like or what you want it to look like and start making steps to do it. You don't have to implement any boundaries all at one time. Start with one and go from there and start to add on another once you know you're comfortable with that one. So little by little the progress does add up. And it will be worth it, I promise. So with that we'll go ahead and close out for today. Be sure to tune in in a couple of weeks where I'm going to do a deep dive looking into 2022 as a whole what the year looked like what our wins were our challenges. Just all the things it's going to be a really good one. So I hope to be with you there. And we'll see you next time. Bye guys.

90. How I Set Boundaries Between Work & Life