Setting Strong Time Boundaries: The Foundation for Success

strong time boundaries
Setting strong time boundaries helps.

Setting strong time boundaries is a skill you need to use every day if you want to be successful.


Well, finding time when you need it often boils down to a matter of saying “No” to one thing in order to say “Yes” to another.

And the clearer you are able to be about that, the more likely you are to follow through on your intentions.

These choices don’t necessarily involve other people. 

Maybe you are contemplating an internal time boundary. That might be one where you let go of an old pastime so you can create space in your life for a new interest or project.  Or maybe it’s an external boundary and you find that you are dreading saying that “No” to others when their needs or demands pull you off track.

Either way, here’s a tip that I find very helpful:

Setting strong time boundaries = Setting specific time boundaries.

Being as specific as possible about your boundary always helps because it provides a frame for the change that you are initiating.  Change is often a challenge. And it’s easier to navigate new territory when the parameters are clearly defined.

For example, let’s say you are working on creating your Inner Sanctuary.  This is a change for you. And maybe it’s an equally big change for the people in your circle. So, knowing exactly when your quiet time starts and when you’ll be available again helps define the size and shape of the change for everyone affected.

Clarity helps.

Indeed, a clear time boundary relieves anxiety about the unknown for others, and maybe for you, too. In addition, knowing that you have set aside uninterrupted time helps you feel more relaxed and focused.

So when you’re planning to take time for yourself (or for anything that requires a time boundary), spell out the time frame you have in mind.

Setting strong time boundaries communicates several important messages.  And, again, these are messages that may be as important for you to hear and assimilate as for others in your life.

What do your time boundaries say?

  • They show that you’ve given this step plenty of thought.
  • You indicate clearly that you intend to follow through.
  • Communicating each boundary demonstrates that you know when your time choices affect others.
  • Clear boundaries enable you to follow through in a way that’s easy to see. When you follow through consistently, you are showing respect, strengthening trust, and nurturing goodwill.

Finally, it pays to do some homework before setting a time boundary. If you’re embarking on a new enterprise, see how realistically you can estimate the time involved.

The “Times Two Rule” helps.

So, if you’re starting a project, figure out how much time you’ll need to plan, get supplies, solve problems, and complete the work. When estimating the time, be generous with yourself, and remember the Times Two Rule.

It’s so much more satisfying to finish ahead of schedule than it is to run late and risk inconveniencing others.

So, how will you start setting strong time boundaries for yourself? Try taking something small and very specific, today to begin.

And here’s more help for you.

To become your most powerful and flexible self, sign up for our complimentary gift, the Finding Time Success Kit. The Success Kit includes “The Finding Time Boundary Template: 9 Simple, Sequential Steps to Find More Time and Recharge Your Energy!” This time template will help you move beyond overwhelm, disappointment, and frustration. Using a workbook format, with room to record your answers, you will discover that 24 hours really are enough. Click this link to get started.

Let’s explore time together…

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