Among the most stressful things facing people in this generation is being swamped with too much to do in too little time—and this coming from people who actually have so many time-saving equipment and convenience-laden products and services in their daily lives! But do you know that the pressure of not having enough time is among the most common problems faced by busy individuals these days? This is why proper time management is a must, especially if you want to reduce your stress levels.
Whether you are a busy homemaker or a full-time professional, these simple time management skills can help you make your life a bit more manageable, breathable, and therefore have a greater chance of kissing stress goodbye.
1. The first thing you need to learn is how to prioritize. To elaborate on this seemingly simple word, you need to learn the difference between urgent and not urgent, important and not important. When you make a habit of looking at a task and checking whether it’s urgent or not, important or not, you can easily set some tasks aside to do later while others can earn your undivided attention. This way you will be striking off the possibility of getting chased for a deadline that you have not devoted enough time to simply because you had spent your time on less important, less urgent things.
2. In line with prioritizing, you need to learn to say no. If a task demands your time, but you realize it is neither urgent nor important, you need to be firm with a decision: do you put it off, or can you cancel it altogether? Examples of these might be doing a favor for a friend that you really cannot afford to do anymore. If you are too embarrassed to say no, you will either have to do it and sacrifice a more important task, or risk disappointing your friend by not showing up at the time stated without having given him prior warning. As soon as you decide to turn down something, it would be best to get on to tell the other person so that he does not expect anything from you, and you can easily get it off your to-do list.
3. Being organized may not always be an inherent personality trait for you, but it may be developed. If you are not naturally organized, making use of lists and calendars may be helpful. For example, you can have a calendar on your desk where you list the appointments you have for the week. This not only makes sure you make it to each one in time, it actually saves you the time of scrolling through your phone to check the time and date of a particular appointment with a certain person.
4. Take time to rest. In the midst of your busy schedule, perhaps you might need to write down a quick nap as part of your day. If you can do this, at least you will see how it factors into your schedule and still have enough time to do everything else. Do not be afraid to take some rest, because when you are well-rested, you will definitely be more productive in the long run. Spreading yourself too thin thinking you can get everything done faster that way only means fooling yourself, because the more tired you get, the slower you can work.
5. Include important events in your schedule. Perhaps you are too busy to think about going out to dinner for your birthday or anniversary, but if your wife expects that of you, it would be best for all concerned that you already include it in your planner. That way you will not be surprised when the day rolls around and your wife calls you from your favorite restaurant, and you wind up pressed for time because you had expected to be able to bail out of it. Besides, spending a little time with loved ones can do wonders for your sanity and your overall productivity.
With these simple tips in mind, you will likely be able to make better use of your time, and thus eliminate stress in the long run.
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