Are you a procrastinator? Are you always in a rush but feel like you are not accomplishing anything? Do you feel overwhelmed with demands from family, friends, co-workers, etc.?
Are you stressed by all you have to do? Does this stress interfere with your ability to get things done?
A practical way to deal with this type of stress is to work on your time management skills. Here are some steps to begin effective time management:
Prioritize: Set priorities - decide what is most important to focus on. Don’t waste time on things that can be done another time.
Schedule: Schedule your time in a realistic way. People often misjudge how long it takes to accomplish a task. Give yourself adequate time to complete the chore at hand.
Decide: Improve your decision making skills. Evaluate a situation, make a decision, and stick to it. Then move on! Don’t waste time thinking and re-thinking a decision.
Delegate: Instead of trying to do everything yourself, assess what tasks can be given to someone else. Once you do this, let it go. Do not believe that you have to do everything yourself, or that you are the only person who can do it. Delegate by communicating your expectations clearly.
Focus: Concentrate on completing a single task rather than try to multitask. People like to think they can accomplish more than one thing at a time, but it doesn’t always work that way. Often, it is better to focus on one task and feel a sense of accomplishment when it is done.
Accomplish: Set deadlines to help you accomplish tasks. Do not put things off “for another day”. Procrastination is a major problem which can lead to a waste of time and energy. Remind yourself how good a sense of accomplishment feels, what the benefits are, and how a weight is lifted off your shoulders.
Brake: Take some breaks. This may sound counterproductive, but too much stress can take a toll on you. It can affect you both physically and emotionally, and result in a loss of productivity.
Give yourself time for self-care and exercise.
Before you begin a time management program, take a look at how you actually spend your time. Try keeping a journal or a log to clarify the situation. What has to be done immediately and what can wait? Do you need to spend more or less time on certain tasks?
See what works for you: Effective time management is a skill that takes time to develop. Try a couple of the techniques for a while to see which ones you can incorporate into your day. Keep the ones that work well for you and then try some of the others. The goal is to become more productive while reducing the amount of stress in your life.