Aug. 8, 2022

Setting Expectations and Boundaries with an Autoresponder

Do you want to learn how to set boundaries and expectations with clients without feeling guilty? In this episode, I'm sharing a solution of using an auto responder.

"When we start to see results, we're like, oh, wait a second, what else can I do?"

In this episode, I'm ready to share one hack that you can start using immediately to help you with boundaries and setting the expectations. Now, you may be thinking to yourself, what is she talking about? Well, it's something that everyone should have access to with their current email. I'm talking about auto responder and sharing a tool I use for more focus called Boomerang.

In this episode, you will learn the following:
1. How an autoresponder can help you with boundaries and setting expectations
2. How I use Boomerang for Gmail to pause your inbox and better focus on what you're doing

Click here to access my resources mentioned in this episode.

Chapter Summaries:
[00:00:02] - Boomerang is an auto-responder for Gmail that Kristina uses to help her with setting boundaries and managing expectations. Boomerang is an email app that stops the inbox and allows you to focus on what you're doing. You can setup an autoresponder for all emails while your inbox is paused.

[00:11:30] - Kristina shares another productivity tip of using do not disturb on your phone. This eliminates constant interruptions including calls and notifications. It's been a help to cut down on the number of times she picks up her phone.

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Thank you for tuning in to Wed Pro Business Solutions. I'm your host, Kristina Stubblefield. In today's episode, I'm ready to share one hack that you can start using immediately to help you with boundaries and setting the expectations. Now, you may be thinking to yourself, wait, what is she talking about? Well, it's something that everyone should have access to with their current email.

I'm talking about auto responder. Wait, it could be that easy? Absolutely. It has been a game changer for me. I can go on and on about.

I'm far from perfect. And it's taken me a long time to implement things that for myself and my team, that I've helped people with for a long time in their own businesses. And I use a tool called Boomerang for Gmail. The tool I think is just called Boomerang, actually. But I added to it and it has really helped me with setting boundaries and really letting the expectations or helping manage those expectations.

You see, for me, I used to constantly be in my email. If I wasn't on my computer, my phone was dinging all the time with email notifications. So about a year ago, I took the bold step after listening to a few people talk about it and turned off mobile notifications. What? Yes, I did.

And oh my goodness, that was nice. And then I really started to think about how quickly I responded to emails. I'd be in the middle of something with two or three screens going on, because normally being with technology, digital marketing, online visibility, yes, I usually have three screens in front of me. I'm not ashamed to admit it, it really does help me. But on one screen constantly would be email.

And I don't know how much attention you pay to when your phone dings, whether it be a text message or an email, I find it's very distracting for me. And when I had my email on my other screen, I just saw something move. That's another email. And here's the deal. I realized I treated it more like a critical support ticket system than an email.

So it's taken me a while to get here, but what I've started doing with new clients I have an info sheet, I call it, I think that's what it's called. And it talks about here's who's on my team. These are people that you may talk to as well as me. You may see me all the time, but I'm very fortunate to have a great team. And here's the best way to communicate.

First, email. If there's something that you need or something you need to schedule that you cannot use our online scheduler for whatever you need to communicate with us. Email is the best way if it's urgent, if something is urgent, because we do another side of our business, we do done for you services which include websites as well as content creation. There can be things that are of an urgent nature and I make it clearer than I used to that please pick up the phone, use our office number, because again, I do a lot of meetings that could be two or 3 hours. They're project meetings or I do speaking engagements or go and teach and my phone's on silent.

I have a wonderful team that knows also about your project. Instead of waiting, leaving me a voicemail, sending me a text message, or sending me an email that sits when there is something that is urgent, please pick up the phone and I give instructions on calling. Our office number pressing zero because it rings three people's phones. More than likely someone is going to answer. If not, someone is going to get back to you quickly.

So again, I said, it's taken me a while to get here. So that communication sheet is really important in setting the expectations and the process to follow with any form of communication, regardless of what kind of client you are or what kind of project we are doing for the client. Now let me add in that I tell clients now up front, 24 to 48 hours on an email response, Monday through Friday.

I'm chuckling because it's something that I still find myself working at. I love what I do, I love helping people, and I have to use these tools for boundaries for myself. And I'm not ashamed to admit it. I'm not going to sit here and be like, oh, I'm so perfect and this is exactly how you should do it. Hell no.

I'm still a work in progress and I ain't ashamed to admit it, but by sharing my experience and where I have gotten to and where I'm going, I hope that that can help you. So auto responder. Oh my goodness. So Boomerang, they actually even have a free version of Boomerang has something where you can actually pause your inbox and my goodness, where do I even start with that? Because you're not getting distracted.

Here's what I was notorious for, okay? I'm sending an email to a client, okay, it's a few paragraphs long, it's got instructions, I've got to do attachments. Five or six emails have come in in the meantime. So as soon as I hit send, instead of continuing on the project that I was working on or currently working on, there's five, six, seven emails. I need to do something with them.

So pausing the inbox with Boomerang, it just really helps eliminate those interruptions. What it comes down to is it allows you to better focus on what you're doing. Now, don't think that the emails are going to get sent back to someone or something like that. No, they get an automatic response that you get to set up yourself. It can say what you want it to.

And that to me is it has been a great tool for me personally to utilize, but also to help me on my journey to better implementing what I help everyone else to do. Now, maybe you don't want to use a software or you don't use Gmail. Well, you're in luck. Almost all emails, email software or email servers have some kind of auto responder. Some of them are called different things.

But an autoresponder, you could think of them as some of them could be vacation mode. And here's the deal.

For example, someone that I know that have had detailed conversation about boundaries has an amazing auto responder. And being in the event industry, she has an autoresponder that goes on her emails. And as a matter of fact, in her signature of every email, it says, clearly, we do not respond to emails Friday through Monday. We are at events, and I believe it says Monday we are off with our families. You know, right then and there not to expect an email before Tuesday, and that person doesn't have to worry about, oh, what if there's email sitting in my inbox?

Or oh, it's midnight after an event and I better go in and check my emails. I know professionals that do that. They're very dedicated to their businesses. And I'm not knocking what people do. It's tough to change, I'm here to admit it.

But when I noticed how much more focused I was on the task in front of me, on the project in front of me, I saved time.

That is the power of being able to use something as simple as auto responder, an autoresponder, as well as setting the boundaries, setting your own boundaries and managing clients expectations. The best part about it, this is something free, something that's already built in to what you have.

It's just a matter of implementing it. That's a big word for me because, man, it can sound nice. You do all of this work and then you don't follow through and implement. And that's why I want to share with you, because I saw firsthand how much more productive I was instead of something taking me much longer, it just really helped me streamline my focus with few interruptions. So on that same note, I will also share with you this.

I do something a lot when I'm working on projects. Now I silence my phone. I put it in. Do not disturb. Now I'm an Android user.

And with Android the do not disturb. You can let favorites, for example, come through. You can also allow a call to come through from the same number that calls twice in a 15 minutes period. I know, because that's the settings I have it on, and because I was afraid, what if my family needed me? What if something was going on and it was an emergency?

So that's how I use it. Do Not Disturb, my favorites, which are my family, can come through and a call from the same number in a 15 minutes period. I do not allow text notifications or any other app notification to come through. And I'm here to tell you, it cuts down the number of times I pick up my phone. Now I also as a PC user, I use Phone Companion on Windows.

So I use Focus Mode on my Windows computer that you can turn off. Notifications won't pop up in the bottom right of your screen is what that Focus Mode is. So if you implement just one thing of starting to use your autoresponder and maybe it's over the weekend because that's when you're at events, I bet you find yourself using it more throughout the week, more on a regular basis. Again, I use Boomerang. I'm just in the free version of Boomerang.

I don't even have the paid version. And the inbox pause works really good for me. What it does is it still allows your emails to come in, but it doesn't give you a notification and it doesn't show them in the list of your emails. It puts them in a separate folder. So if you get really desperate and you're like, oh my gosh, what's going on?

I can't wait, you can go to that folder and check it out. So you don't have to worry about emails not coming in or you're not receiving them. This is one way, easy way to implement something immediately in your business after you figure out how it works best for you and your business and you can get immediate results. And that, to me, classifies as a hack. That's how I look at it.

And I'm smiling from ear to ear because to share something that I put off for so long, so long, and to realize just how distracted that I was getting. Now, I've been using Boomerang for a couple of years now, and I find myself using more and more of it. And I think the more comfortable you get with it and the more results you start to see, because guess what? When we start to see results, we're like, oh, wait a second, what else can I use of this? So I just wanted to share that one really important tip.

You know, I'm all about systems and processes and the smallest thing can make a big difference. So thank you so much for tuning into this episode. If you're not already part of the free Facebook group, make sure you join there's links with this video or in the Show Notes or go to my website, Also, if you want to know more about the tool that I use, you can go to my website and you can get a link in the resource page of my website. Until next time, everyone.

Take care.