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Take Control of Your Time by Setting Boundaries

So, hands up – who is bad with time? Or more specifically, who is bad at fitting everything in, pleasing everyone … Me, me and me!

I don’t know about you but time, lack of it and managing it can cause a lot of stress. Stress you don’t need in your life, right?

But, why – what’s causing it?

Maybe people at work or within your family and friends are taking advantage of you by requesting or demanding precious time – it’s time to set boundaries for yourself.

Think about it for a moment, last week, as example – who was demanding your time?

Found the culprits? Well, that’s only part of the picture.

Part of the problem with letting people steal your time from you could be you. If you allow people to interrupt you at work, let friends call when you’re trying to interact with your family or if a person in a relationship disrespects you by taking advantage of your good nature, you may need to rethink the boundaries you already have in place and create boundaries which would help you regain your time.

Simply – it’s OK to say NO!

Most people who don’t set restrictions on their time become frustrated and feel abused and angry. They may be afraid of hurting someone’s feelings and don’t trust themselves to set and enforce time boundaries.

Sound familiar?

Are you finding your time being stolen time and again by people in your life? Think about how each instance comes about where your time is stolen by someone else.

There may be a coworker who interrupts you when you’ve got a full work load and can’t spare the time to hear about the travails with her boyfriend or husband. After you set the boundary of not letting anything interrupt you until your work is finished, you should respond clearly and firmly that you are very busy and you’ll call to set another time to talk.

When you’re in a relationship or married to a spouse who does far less than his fair share of work around the house or with the kids, the issue should be immediately addressed and you should be clear about needing more time to yourself rather than doing the work of two people.

Families may abuse your time by expecting you to come to all dinners and events – even if the time may be inconvenient to you. Politely and firmly turn down the invitations, but always appreciate them asking you.

Your self-esteem can take a huge spiral downward if you continue to let people take advantage of your time. Many people have a very difficult time saying “No,” for fear they won’t feel appreciated and useful.

The truth is that people will respect you more and you’ll feel much more useful when you take control of your time and put some personal boundaries in place that will improve your health, self-confidence and happiness.

I’m running a series of blogs on personal boundaries so look out for tips and useful how-to’s for setting clear and firm boundaries. Yet again my favourite quote springs to mind.

“Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

— Bernard Baruch

Be firm with the time-bandits, share your experiences here too.

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