Finding Time with Assertive Time Boundaries

Boundary 2Finding time using time boundaries is a skill that will help you make time for the things that matter most to you.

Setting time boundaries is something that you get better and better at the more you practice and become comfortable with it.  One helpful distinction, as you move forward with this, is being clear about the difference between assertive and aggressive boundary-setting.

I wrote an article about this not so long ago.  It’s titled Time Management Tips – Use 3 Essential Guidelines to Set Assertive, Not Aggressive Boundaries.

Recognizing the difference between assertiveness and aggressiveness will be helpful to you in many areas of your life!

Aggressiveness is heavy-handed. It carries the connotation of blame, coercion, or self-righteousness. You may imply, directly or indirectly, that you’re setting a boundary because someone else has done something wrong. The boundary may then be framed as a punishment. For example, “I can’t have you bothering me again when I’m in the middle of this, so now you will just have to wait until 4 PM.”

When you set your boundaries assertively, the frame and the feel are entirely different:

Assertiveness, on the other hand, focuses on facts, sailing above controversy. Furthermore, assertive discussions invite cooperation and free exchange of information. Power struggles are kept to a minimum. Here are 3 essential distinctions between assertiveness and aggressiveness:

  1. Assertive boundaries frame your need.
  2. Assertive boundaries state what you will do differently.
  3. Assertive boundaries address situations, not personalities.

I invite you to read the article for a full description of these powerful and empowering differences!

As well, keep your eyes peeled for Tweets and e-mails about a FREE teleclass that I’ll be doing with Melissa McCreery on Wednesday, October 21.  It’s part of the celebration of National Too Much on Her Plate Week, which starts on October 19.

On the 21st at 7PM (ET), Melissa will be interviewing me about:

  • How to REALLY value your time and your boundaries;
  • How to find time;
  • Do-able tips for protecting your time and setting boundaries that work; and
  • How to protect your time from the requests and demands of others.

Are you working on setting assertive time boundaries? Please drop me a line – I’d love to hear your thoughts about this!

What if you could find another hour every day? You can! You are invited to sign up and download The New Finding Time Boundary Template. It’s FREE, and when you sign up you will also receive (if you don’t already) my FREE, weekly Finding Time Tips and my FREE, monthly Award-Winning Finding Time E-zine!

Let’s explore time together …


  1. Thanks for this blog post!

    I like how relating assertively affirms who I am. Whereas relating aggressively reflects only fear, neediness or anger.

  2. Hi Alison – I’m so glad that you liked the post – and appreciate your affirmative response!

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