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Find Time Using 5 Assertiveness Training Techniques to Set Effective Boundaries

by Paula Eder

Benjamin Franklin first proclaimed that "Time is money".

And Jim Rohn, born during the Great Depression and famous as a rags-to-riches entrepreneur, asserted that that "Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time."

In other words, you have just as much of life's most precious commodity as Bill Gates!

Without assertiveness, though, you often sacrifice your valuable time to others' demands. Take charge of your time and your life right now by using these 5 assertiveness training tips for setting effective boundaries.

Assertiveness Keeps Your Time Wealth in Your Hands

Assertiveness skills are an absolutely essential and often overlooked tool. You can develop clear priorities and create a great to-do list, but if you're not assertive, others can and will override your time choices. It's no different from the kid set upon by the bully for his lunch money: you must safeguard your time wealth without needlessly antagonizing those who place demands upon you.

Establishing and maintaining your boundaries prevents others from begging, borrowing, and bullying you to give away your time. It may feel impossible now, but with practice and determination, you will make it second nature.

These 5 Tips Help You Establish Assertive Boundaries to Protect Your Time:

Assertiveness Training Tip #1: You, and only you, make the choices. No matter how strong the personalities of those around you, they simply cannot take time that you don't give. When you truly take this in, you acquire much more power. You never need to judge yourself, though, for any of the times when you did not establish and maintain a boundary. If you didn't possess the skills and overview to set boundaries without serious repercussions earlier, it's simply a matter of learning those assertiveness skills now.

Assertiveness Training Tip #2: Set the stage to assert your boundaries. Make a point of discussing things in words that are easy for others to hear, and do so at a time when they are most likely to be receptive. Maintain a pleasant and relaxed attitude. Remind yourself of your right and your responsibility to prioritize how you use your time.

Assertiveness Training Tip #3: Provide a context. People are much more likely to support you when they understand that your goal is not to punish or manipulate them, but to reach goals you deeply value.

Assertiveness Training Tip #4: Forget fruitlessly attempting to control others' responses. Making assertive time choices calmly and compassionately and accepting others' right to their feelings is the key to staying in charge of your time.

Assertiveness Training Tip #5: Maintain your boundaries. The more important the boundary, the more patiently you need to maintain it. Expect to be actively reinforcing your new boundaries for some time to come. Each success builds on the ones before. Don't be concerned by the occasional slip-up. The overall track record is ultimately what matters the most.The longer you safeguard them, the less people will test your resolve.

You'll soon enjoy one of life's great discoveries: protecting your time actually feels like finding time.

What is your next step to develop successful time strategies?

Paula Eder may be contacted at

Paula Eder, Ph.D., The Time Finder, has coached clients for 35+ years to become more effective by aligning values with time choices. For free weekly time tips & an award-winning monthly Ezine, visit And for even more time thoughts and techniques, visit our blog at


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