We all only have a finite amount of time in life.  And it stands to reason that we should use that time to our best advantage.

All too often however I coach people who are giving that time away to their own detriment.

I know, as a recovering people pleaser, that I used to do it far too much.

Setting boundaries with others isn’t about being a meanie but rather it’s about having self-respect for your time and energy.

Conversely, there’s nothing wrong to giving your time to causes and people that align with your values and goals.

It’s the other time vampires that we all need to be aware of:

  • The person we feel we have to continually do things for that is perfectly capable of doing so, or at least learning to.
  • The colleague who is always asking for your help, even though that’s not your job.
  • The client who just has that “one more quick question” – even though you’ve only billed them a set number of hours that they’ve used already.

Setting boundaries with other people is a great way to protect the time you have here on earth and to help them grow themselves.

So here are a few questions to help you spot where you need to set boundaries, put them in place, and stick to them.

Spotting Where You Need Better Boundaries

Seeing where you are not getting enough time for your priorities and often helping others to your detriment is the first step in reclaiming your time and energy.

  • Where do I feel stretched and annoyed at others?
  • Where am I constantly having to help others?
  • Where am I feeling resentment to others for all I have to do?
  • Where am I preventing this person from learning and growing by doing everything for them?

Setting Boundaries

Once you know where you need to set boundaries you need to communicate your boundaries effectively so that everyone knows where they stand.

  • Are you ready and willing to accept that your 100% worthy of your own time?
  • Do you know in your own mind exactly how much leeway in terms of your time you will allow anyone to use?
  • Have you communicated this boundary to all concerned, detailing when you will be willing to become involved – or not?
  • Are you willing to stick to these boundaries even if they make you unpopular?

Sticking To Your Guns

If you don’t know how you want to use your time, then there’s every possibility that someone else will set your priorities for you based on theirs.

Answer these questions for yourself and you should be able to stick to your boundaries more easily.

  • Am I aware of what my priority is for the forthcoming day/week/month/year? (You get to decide how far in advance this is.)
  • Have I given myself protected time to get these things done? (You can include leisure time in this too). I use a weekly planner to do this and an accountability partner to help me stick to my plan.
  • Am I willing to put my priorities first and say “no” to others trying to take my time away from these?

Of course, these suggestions aren’t exhaustive and often the reasons for lacking the confidence and assertiveness to set boundaries and say no can run deep and need some further work with me as coach.

I hope you see that, by taking these steps and answering these questions for yourself you can begin to take control and optimise your time for you.


Where have you got some time vampires that you need to deal with?  Have you been successful in putting in place your own boundaries?

Need to get a bit of clarity on how to get to your goal faster or breakdown some barriers you have to getting there?

Please book a free Breakthrough Clarity session with me HERE.

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