Reduce Stress with Better Time Management
We all get overwhelmed some times. The question is whether it really is sometimes, or is it more like all the time? If you regularly feel stressed about how much you have to do and how little time you have to do it in. It’s time to make a change.
Not only is this stressful it is actually harmful to you and to those you love. Stress is a silent but dangerous condition that plagues many Americans in our society. According to the Mayo Clinic “over time, high levels of stress lead to serious health problems.” These health issues range from headaches to sleep problems and a poor libido or sex drive as well as many others.
In addition to health issues stress is believed to have a negative affect on mood and behavior, exaggerating problems like eating disorders and chemical dependency.
I must say that I am not a medical professional, counselor or therapist; however it stands to reason that lowering stress related to your personal and professional workload may be one of the keys to managing stress in your life.
I can say with confidence that knowing what my schedule is and what my workload is on a daily basis keeps me feeling healthy and ready to accomplish more. I have coached many managers and front line professionals to develop and maintain a productivity process that allows for a predictable work result. In most cases as we begin most people tell me they don’t have time to plan their day. Many people feel that they have to hit the ground running and that planning is an interruption to their work.
Do you feel this way? Are you feeling stressed even thinking about all that you have to do? If so, this is evidence that you are suffering from stress at some level. So, I want to encourage you to trust me that if you invest 15 minutes at the beginning of your day and 15 minutes at the end, you will begin to take control of what you do, how you do it, and when it gets done.
You might be asking how I know that its stress that causes your reaction of sweaty palms, worry, dread and general anxiety. The reason I know this is that this is the age old “Flight or Fight” response to fear or anxiety. According to Neil F. Neimark M.D. “this response actually corresponds to an area of our brain called the hypothalamus, which when stimulated, initiates a sequence of nerve cell firing and chemical release that prepares our body for running or fighting. Chemicals like adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol are released into our bloodstream” to enable you to exert your self above normal levels for short periods of time. The problem is that when physical exertion does not equal the mental and psychological cause, these chemicals become harmful to the body.
Let me share an outline with you to improve your time management and productivity process. Like any change it takes work. Don’t worry this work is simple and you can do it. The process of time management starts with three components to review in the morning and then again in the evening. Keep track of these three basic elements in a note book of some kind. A day planner works great, or if you prefer an electronic device works well too. What ever you chose, it must be something you take with you everywhere.
Time Management Tools to Reduce Stress:
1. Values and Goals – List what is important to you. List all of the things you want to do. Make a list of goals that you would like to accomplish.
- Keep this with you where ever you go
- Review this list briefly every day
2. The Calendar – Begin by listing everywhere you need to be on your calendar. Take your calendar with you where ever you go.
- Don’t commit to be some where until you look at your calendar
- Don’t rely on your memory. Record all appointments and events in your calendar
- Only use one calendar. Coordinate the events of others with your schedule
- Review your calendar in the morning and again in the evening
3. Daily Task List – This is your list of personal and professional responsibilities. Include everything you must do daily.
- Prioritize your task list by using the A,B,C method
- A items are the most important
- B items can wait if you can’t get to them today
- C items have the lowest priority but still need to get done
- Add items from your list of goals to your daily task list
- Start out with one goal and then add more later
- Review your daily task list every morning and every evening before bed
There it is, the basic road map to better time management. You deserve 30 minutes every day to make sure you know what you need to do, how you are going to do it and when it will get done. There are advanced methods to time management but if you commit to starting here and when you stick to the process, I know that your stress levels will improve.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Can you relate to this article? Do you have advice for others? Get involved and leave a comment.