Time Management and Stress

It is well known that time management and stress are closely related. When we find that we don’t have control over time and are constantly trying to get things done on time, we feel stressed out. It is also well known that excessive stress affects health. A lot of heart related health issues are the result of stressful life.

Try to identify how you handle time management. What situations make you more stressful? Is it missing deadlines? Is it the amount of work with not enough time? Is it lack of time for relaxation? Or is all of the above?

We all need time to “unwind”. When we plan our days, we need to make sure there is some time for ourselves. This will make sure that you don’t feel frustrated and tired. Also, don’t forget to get enough sleep.

Always properly estimate efforts and give yourself some buffer. Realize that almost always we tend to plan for the best case scenario. This is a recipe for failure. Things don’t always go as planned and you don’t want to get stressed out because you can’t meet your goals.

Remember not to over commit. Only take on things that you have time for. The only way to do this successfully is by prioritizing. Think return on investment for your work. If something does not add value, don’t do it. That way you won’t have too many things to do. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day!

Sometimes obsession with perfection can keep us from finishing one task and moving on to the next. Here too, we need to think in terms of the return on investment. Most of the time it is impossible to be 100% perfect, and most of the time it is not even needed.

Combine tasks whenever you can (shopping trips for example). You will save tons of time, and money. Try to make use of time that will otherwise be wasted (like waiting) by reading a book, listening to books on tape etc. Being mindful about time helps you manage it well.

Here we are using the relationship between time management and stress to our advantage. By carefully managing the time and tasks, we can reduce the stress in our lives. It takes some effort initially, but the results are well worth it.

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