Time Management for Reducing Stress

A very complaint by most people is having too many things to do but with too little time to do them in. Most of us wish, at one time or another, that there were more than our allotted 24 hours in each day. Not having enough time to do the things you want, time for your family, or what your boss wants you to do, is one of the most common contributing factors to persistent or chronic stress.

Many people also spend the little free time they do have fretting over the things still left undone, thereby missing out on pleasurable relaxation and further keeping themselves in a chronically stressed state. If you feel like you are constantly running in a hamster wheel, a great first step to master is effective time management.

To effectively overcome the adverse effects of stress, you need to learn proven techniques that have improved the lives of others. Here are some time management basics to help you better control your life and subsequently reduce your stress.

Know Your Priorities

Many people do not know when to say no, or are unable to do so, and find themselves being overscheduled as they keep on adding tasks to their to-do list. In turn, they end up working even on weekends and after hours and becoming more and more resentful.

They know that some of the things they do are no longer a reflection of their priorities and values, while they also struggle to cope with those things that really matter to them.

When you start listing your priorities, don't only list your work-related tasks. Make sure to include those activities that you need to do with your family and friends. Aim to achieve a work-life balance that reflects what you want.

Get Enough Rest and Sleep

One of the most common problems of people who lack time management skills is sleep deprivation. Excessive workloads and over-commitments have led the importance of sleep to be devalued and unappreciated. Adequate quality sleep every night is essential for even average focus and concentration, to maintain efficiency and productivity.

It is well-known that the body restores and repairs itself during sleep. Recent research also indicates that those who do not get full night sleeps of 8 hours minimum have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease later in their life.

Map Your Activities

Many people fall into a time management trap because they do not have a clear list of things that they do on a daily basis. They often find themselves wondering where their time goes. When you do not take the time to sit down and map out your daily activities you will have a greater tendency to overestimate or underestimate the time you need to set aside for each task or activity.

Consequently, you become overcommitted, with very little or no time to spend with your loved ones and end up feeling inadequate and resentful.

Be Smart at Work

Being busy does not automatically equate to being productive. Spending too much time on something does not guarantee that you will be able to achieve more. Whatever it is that you are working on you should always balance quality and quantity. Focus on the results, not only on being busy.
Look for ways to perform tasks more efficiently and never assume that the way it has always been done is the best way. Even small improvements add up and over a day can be the difference between being stressed or not.

Work with Your Goals in Mind

When it comes to time management, it is important to ensure that your daily tasks are moving you in the same direction as your goals in life. Think about what you want to be in life and what you plan to achieve in your career and personal life. All these things should serve as your guiding principle on how you are going to spend each hour of your day.

With your goals in mind, it will become easier for you to manage your time, plan for your activities and work on your short-term and long-term goals. A major component of personal happiness is knowing and feeling that your daily activities are in tune with your long-term goals.

Conversely, if your short-term goals are not moving you towards your long-term goals, your subconscious mind will recognize this discordance and sabotage your best efforts. All this will of course, add to your feeling less in control and more stressed.

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