Finding Time by Setting and Communicating Boundaries Clearly

Busy, busy, busy!Finding time to ensure that you meet the many different kinds of demands that come your way each day can be very challenging and can test your time management skills, as you well know.

If good time boundaries are key to your success, then you need to know that communicating those boundaries clearly and proactively can spell the difference between cooperation and rebellion!

Setting Boundaries is Just One Step

Aim to communicate before, not after, the fact!If there are times when you are busy and do not want to be disturbed, I would encourage you to communicate a time boundary to your family or colleagues before-the-fact. To make it easy for those around you, come up with a visual signal that will tell them, “I’m busy right now … please don’t disturb.”

Concrete signals are great!Many people find that it works very well to put a scarf around the doorknob. This is a good signal because both children and adults can immediately recognize it. Be sure to be clear (especially with children) that when you remove the scarf, it’s OK to come in and reconnect.

Using concrete techniques and effective communication ahead of time enables you to establish and maintain compatible work or personal time boundaries.

Expand your time boundary baseline …With this in mind, what additional, important boundaries can you add to your list of existing boundaries?

Do you want to enlarge on your boundary baseline?

What was missing from your list? What stands out for you now?

Let’s explore time together …

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  1. sylvia1313tx says

    Will you please give several examples of a essential
    time boundary list? Then maybe give an example of how far to expand them & how?

  2. Hi Sylvia, and thanks for your question!

    In response, I’d say, first, that time boundaries are going to vary from person-to-person and from circumstance-to-circumstance. As far as essentials go, each individual will come up with her or his own list, after assessing life demands, goals, and core values!

    I emphasize the core values piece because it’s easy to get “lost” in the hundreds of competing demands that we all experience in our daily lives. Your values provide you with a rudder and a way to prioritize those demands.

    The other thing that can get lost in the shuffle is time for yourself. As far as time boundaries go, time for yourself is an essential, and also an area where I would encourage expansion. It is also the one time boundary that is most easily eroded for most of us. I encourage you to keep in mind how important it is for you to replenish yourself. Lacking that, it becomes exponentially more difficult to maintain your other time boundaries – AND more difficult to use your time productively!

    I hope you find this response helpful – and loved hearing from you!


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