As an entrepreneur it’s up to you to determine the ground rules. You get to set your boundaries, your schedule, and your work area. You get to choose what you will accept and what you will not. One of the areas where establishing ground rules is critical is setting your business hours.
Just because you’re self-employed doesn’t mean clients get 24/7 service. You still need time off. You know, for things like socializing with your friends and family, eating dinner, sleeping. You are doing those things, right?
Your clients will follow whatever pattern you establish. If you respond to messages at 11pm, they’ll message you and expect an answer at 11pm. If you only respond during business hours, they’ll still message but they won’t expect an immediate response.
Sometimes we think the only way to provide quality service and reach our sales goals is to be on call 24/7. Well, what quality of service can you provide after working for 16 hours straight? What quality of service can you provide after working 16-hour days for 3 weeks? What about after 3 months? What about after 3 years?
As an entrepreneur you can arrange your schedule and business hours any way that suits the way you work. If you want a nap in the middle of the day, block it off on your calendar, tell people you’re “already booked” at that time and take a nap every day. Try to find the optimal times for working with your clients and be available at those times. At other times you can rest or do internal work. If you do like those 16-hour days, make sure to balance them with plenty of 0-hour days.
Being self-employed doesn’t mean you have to work all day every day. Even if you love what you do and want to work much of the time, you still need breaks. Your attitude and the quality of your work will both suffer if you never eat, rest, or play.
Not sure how to figure out your business hours? Flip the script. Figure out your off hours. Block them off on your calendar. Then the rest can be work hours. Contact me if you're stuck and I'll help.
Enjoy the journey.