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Saying no – 5 ways to set boundaries and protect your time

Photo by Alexander Mils on

With the pandemic and all that’s been going on in our world, I think it is easier than ever before to get completely distracted and move away from being present in our own lives – to have that balance of honoring our priorities while still making space for being connected and contributing to the world as a whole.

In those moments, it can be important to ground ourselves and get back to center again by carving out clear windows of time for being present for what is meaningful and important in our lives.

If you’ve been finding it easier to get caught up in a stressful mindset, think about stepping back to figure out what is most important to you right now, and setting boundaries around your time so you can focus back in on exactly that.

We can be so much more frazzled at the end of the day because we didn’t take that time to pause and make the decision to clearly say no to things that take time away from what is most important to us.

If you’ve been wanting to focus back in on your priorities, consider these 5 strategies for setting boundaries to protect your priorities and your time:

  1. Use a timer or a reminders on a calendar app to give yourself clear constraints for how long you’ll spend on a specific distraction like social media or watching the news or episodes of a show. We all know how easy it is to get caught up in binge-watching so having a plan to start out with always helps.
  2. Distinguish between busy work and priority driven work. If you notice that you’re spending too much time at the beginning of your day just getting busy work done, then switch it around. Decide to work on high priority tasks at the beginning of the day and save busy work for when you’re more tired toward the end of the day.
  3. Schedule time with loved ones that cannot be interrupted. Quite frequently, time with people in our lives is set aside in favor of completing other tasks. While that can be unavoidable some times, putting time on the schedule and treating that time like an important appointment, provides the ability to create a boundary around windows of time that are equally as important as other tasks.
  4. Take refreshing and energizing breaks when you’re tired. This can just be that 10 minute break when you step away and listen to some music or it can be a complete break from that particular thing for the day. Know when you need to step away and just do it rather than trying to push yourself beyond what works for you.
  5. Schedule in joy and fun into your every day and stick to that schedule. Setting boundaries around your time doesn’t need to be about creating a challenging, stress-filled schedule – it can be about creating exactly the kind of day you want with time for what is important for you as well as time for what you enjoy.

It can be life changing and empowering to clearly communicate boundaries and stay strong in your resolve to protect your wellbeing by protecting your time. It does take a little bit of practice to say yes to what is truly important to you and no to distraction, however it can truly be worth that extra bit of effort.

Do you feel time getting away from you more now than pre-pandemic?


6 thoughts on “Saying no – 5 ways to set boundaries and protect your time

  1. This is a fantastic list of suggestions that I try to hold myself to. I do find myself slipping up sometimes, especially with wasting time on busy work instead of doing the most important things. I find that if I keep a simple checklist that includes these valuable aspects I’m more likely to make the time for them. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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