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Establishing Boundaries for Time Wasters

In Tuesday’s blog, “Ditch the Time Wasters” we talked about the activities that eat away at your precious time, making it less likely that you’ll have room in your day for healthy meals and exercise.

The second big time waster is harder to identify and root out. There are people who intrude on your personal time without regard to the appropriateness of their claim on you. Think of them as belligerent children banging on the bathroom door, demanding your attention (despite the fact that you’re, um, indisposed). In their minds, their problem should be your problem and you need to jump in and solve it.


Hmmm, in my house that exact scenario has played out more times than I care to admit. We’ve all experienced this kind of demanding person who just will not respect our boundaries.

Here’s where you’ve got to dig deep and know in your own mind that this is not okay and you will not cave to their unreasonable demands or unsolicited opinions anymore. Think this is hard to do? You’re right! Here’s why:

  1. You may be a perennial people pleaser, like me. You want people to have a good opinion of you. You want them to be happy. Nothing inherently wrong with that.
  2. The belligerent child banging on the door (figuratively this time) might be your spouse or significant other. S/he may be making unreasonable demands and addressing this will require some high-level negotiating. 
  3. You may get push-back from family, friends, co-workers and others who feel threatened by changes you’re making and attempt to guilt, coerce or sabotage you into maintaining the status quo. In truth, they are trying to manipulate you because they are afraid. Be positive and encouraging as you show them that they are still important to you, but that you must make changes in your routines. It is a waste of your time and mental energy to get bogged down by the negativity of naysayers.

Managing people who waste your time is all about establishing boundaries.

Having the confidence to establish proper boundaries comes from knowing that you’re on the right path and that you have every right to claim a healthy life for yourself. You’re creating a protective barrier around yourself and your time so that you can pursue those healthy activities that are on your personal agenda.

At first it may feel selfish and indulgent to you to focus so much attention on your own priorities. It’s not. Prioritizing healthy eating and exercise is how you show respect for your health.

Ultimately you can become a fierce agent for change in your own life and in the lives of others.

But you must be willing to plan for it, to advocate for it, and maybe even to fight for it. It will not happen by accident.

Sometimes losing weight means rocking the boat. That’s what makes it so hard. But it gets easier, it really does. And you’re so damn worth it it’s not even funny.

Let’s go get it!

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