Time Management: Help for Stress Reduction!
So very often, we can find ourselves overwhelmed with projects to accomplish, tasks to complete, relationships to maintain. How can we prioritize and meet ours (and other peoples' – like supervisors') goals and needs, and not stress so much over doing so?! Are there some steps we can take to use time more effectively, and reduce such needless time pressures? YES!
For starters, we have to be realistic about other people in our lives, and their expectations and demands. Sometimes, we have to just say no to requests for help, or even spending time with them, if we are just too short on time. Maybe it's as simple as checking your schedule/planner first, before saying “yes” to a request. Remember, you can't keep everyone happy all of the time. You need to sometimes tell them “no.”
Along that line of thought, we need to figure out priorities in our lives; then we can schedule accordingly. Quite often, we'll find we have time only for the highest priorities; the rest may have to wait. Or, we may need to find someone else to help us with them.
One thing I've found helpful is to schedule what I need to do the following day, with time slots assigned to them. Then, follow that as well as I can, limiting interruptions as much as I can. This helps me see in advance what's reasonable and what's not to accomplish, and what will have to wait until another day.
What other pointers are there? From web magazine entrepreneur.com, some ideas are to spend time each morning determining your schedule, use a “Do Not Disturb” sign as appropriate, have set times to return phone calls and to respond to emails, and remember that around 20% of your efforts give you 80% of the results you’re trying for. Therefore, don't rush around trying to do it all.[i] It's very beneficial to review your day, each evening, to try to figure out what went right, and where you might have gone off track.
Let us know how your time management/stress reduction efforts are coming along! Making better use of our time each day really pays off over time.
[i]Matthews, Joe, Don Debolt and Deb Percival. (2016). How to Manage Time With 10 Tips That Work. Entrepreneur Media, Inc. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/219553