The boundary of time comprises of both a respect for honoring our own time wants and needs, and also requires us to be in tune with, and be mindful of, our client’s time, restrictions, and boundaries.
For private yoga teachers, the use and guidelines of time can manifest in a myriad of ways. We spend time with clients via teaching sessions, getting-to-know-you meetings and conversations, and through following up. We also spend time providing for our clients in non-teaching or live interacts through e-mail and social media, scheduling clients, and all of the in-person relational boundaries that are in play.
For the last few non-teaching time components, we make the rules and boundaries with our clients. We show our clients how they can interact with us and use our time. As a result, it’s important to have some regulation around responding to e-mails, how often and how in depth you provide support and interaction to your clients, and how you use social media.
Having rules around your time doesn’t have to feel rigid. In fact, educating our clients on how they can be best supported by us (and in effect, "use" our time) is a great example of boundaries and makes for an excellent conversation.
Educating our clients on how to be supported by us and honoring their own time as well as ours can look like:
- Sending over a client packet that includes tips on how they can get the most out of working with you, and include a line about when and how you traditionally support clients.
- Having clear, self-imposed boundaries on when you work.This might be Monday through Thursday, 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. – if you keep really traditional office hours and you take off Friday, Saturday and Sunday of each week for your own personal time.
- Being strategic about when you respond in an effort to honor your communicated time boundaries. This includes not responding during times you’ve outlined as "off."
- Having clearly thought out boundaries around time we spend supporting our clients and providing information and support to potential clients.
- Using technology to support your boundaries. An example of this may be something like putting up an automatic response e-mail reminder that says, “I do my best to answer e-mails within two business days.” I do my best to step away from e-mail during nights and weekends, which sets a really clear boundary for when you’re going to be addressing people’s concerns.
- Having accountability in the form of friends, family, and tools that remind you, lock you out (try Time Out for breaks, Stay Focused, which limits your time on social sites, and Freedom or Self-Control to block websites), or further promote your boundaries and intentions behind them.
- Refining your boundaries with time and letting them evolve when necessary.
How do you respect your time boundary? How do you ask your private clients to honor theirs, and your, time boundaries? Have you implemented any of the suggested tips? Which ones are winners?