Was there a time in your life that you got so stressed because you didn’t know which task to do first? Or you feel like the hours of the day aren’t enough to get things done, and you get anxious? It’s time to learn time and stress management.
We all live a life with stressors, and without finding the equilibrium to manage our time and stress, it’s a recipe for disaster for your emotional and mental well-being. Family responsibilities and work pressure are demanding as it is, and taking control over your life is always at your reach. Together, let’s figure out why time and stress management are essential for our emotional and mental health and how to manage our time properly.
What Is Time Management and Why Is It Important?
Time management is defined as planning, organizing, and dividing your time for specific activities. If you can manage your time properly, it enables you to work faster, smarter, not harder, and stress-free. Time management aims to “Work smart, not to be a busy idiot”, as they say.
It is important to learn time management techniques so that even the stress and pressures are too high, you can know how to be healthier, happier, and be more productive. The ultimate goal is work-life balance, stress relief under pressure, and overall mental well-being. There are no one-size-fits-all time management steps; what works for you might not work for others.
What Is the Connection Between Time and Stress Management?
You may have noticed that you get too stressed when your schedule doesn’t go as planned. Or you’re getting too overwhelmed because you’re overworking. When you face this situation every day and frustrations are eating you up, it causes stress and may affect your family life, relationships, and mental health.
The connection between time and stress management is learning how to manage your time properly to be more productive to avoid feeling stressed. If you know how to manage your time correctly, in the long run, tasks seem to be easier and stress-free.
Questions to Ponder About Time and Stress Management
Suppose you’re experiencing chronic stress because you’re unable to get things done. Then you might want to start asking yourself why you are stuck in this situation. Here are some questions to ponder so you can start making changes when it comes to your time and stress management.
- What causes my stress? How can I identify my stressors? Do I practice stress management techniques?
- Does my stress affect my relationship with my family? Ask a loved one if it’s starting to have negative impacts on your relationship.
- What are the signs that I’m overstressed? Is it because I can’t manage my time correctly?
- Why can’t I manage my time correctly? Is it because I don’t stick to my schedule or don’t know how to prioritize?
- What is more important to me? Achieving more work or finishing the more important activities first?
- How can I be more organized in the workplace, at home, or in school?
- Am I doing the proper techniques to put an order in my everyday life? Or do I need to make changes to how I go about my schedule?
- Do I focus on being busy, or do I focus on achieving results?
As you answer these questions in your mind, you will begin to realize if your time management hinders you in achieving your daily grind and how you can avoid getting stressed. If you want to make changes starting now, you’re swaying in the right direction. For that, good job!
How to Reduce Stress Levels With Time Management
If you’re looking for tips and pointers on reducing stress with time management, you came to the right place. You will realize that following a schedule causes less anxiety, forms healthy habits, and increase productivity in your everyday activities. Here are some tips you can follow for better time management.
Plan Your Schedule
Of course, it is a given that planning your schedule gives more organization in your life. Avoid procrastination by coming up with a to-do list for the day. You can try journaling every night and list down your activities for the next day. Plan out your week accordingly, like what you need to achieve on Monday, Tuesday, and so on. Place a whiteboard on your fridge, list this week’s task, or write it down on your desk calendar.
So you won’t forget a meeting, returning a phone call, or dinner with friends set a reminder on your phone calendar. Planning ahead of what needs to be done daily, weekly, or monthly will help give you a clear head on what to do next and not scramble over the things that need to get done. If you’re all over the place and not quite sure what to do next, it causes you to stress, right? If you forgot to do an important task and wait until the last minute, it’s making you anxious. All of these stressors can be avoided if you learn time management.
Another time and stress management technique are to follow the SMART method in setting your goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Using SMART with time management will help you become more focused on long-term and short-term goals and reduce stress. Here’s an example of SMART goal setting:
Set specific goals for the day, week, or month. For example, Monday is grocery shopping day. Set a specific time of the day to go to the supermarket. Make a list of the specific things that you need to buy. Your set goals must be clear, well-defined, and detailed. This way, you won’t stress out about what needs to be done.
There must be a specific criterion by which you can achieve the progress of your goal. For example, you’re preparing for your LSAT exam at the same time have full-time work. Set a criterion like dedicating at least 2 hours a day of studying on weekdays and 5 hours of exam review on weekends.
A task must be achievable and attainable. For example, you’re taking an exam, and you know that Calculus is your weak point. So ask yourself, can you ace this test by yourself? Maybe you can achieve this test by getting a tutor.
The goal must be realistic and is relevant to your purpose. Setting high standards and expectations for yourself that is not realistic can be a stressor; you don’t want that. Too many expectations lead to too many frustrations. Instead, set a realistic goal one step at a time. You know that for now, it’s impossible to pitch to five clients in one week. Instead, start with two clients a week, and move your way up as you adjust.
The goal you need to accomplish must have a timeline and a deadline. This enables you to prioritize the work to be done and avoid procrastination. For example, if you’re writing a book and do not set finish date, you’ll find yourself delaying it. It would cause you to stress out because there’s no sense of urgency.
Organize Your Space
Another time and stress management technique is to organize your space. How does this help? Study shows that an organized space can help you think more clearly. Plus, you won’t waste your time panicking, looking for whatever it is that you need. Have you experienced looking for a file for many hours? Have you lashed out at the people around you because you’re missing something on your office desk?
By keeping organized, you don’t have to waste your time looking for your things and stress out; instead, you can focus your energy on the more important tasks at hand. This makes you more productive every day.
Delegate Tasks and Ask for Help
At times, when the tasks at hand are starting to overwhelm you, it’s okay to say no or delegate the task. Know your limits in the workplace or at home. You can delegate tasks like doing the grocery shopping to your spouse. Or you can ask for help from friends to de-clutter your garage. If you’re overwhelmed with deadlines, why not ask for help from other people in your office?
You are a human, not a superhero (superheroes don’t even exist); your body can get tired. Why do it all yourself when you can ask help from other people? Why sacrifice your sleep when you can delegate the tasks? You don’t have to do it all, and you must avoid these types of stressors.
Other Stress Management Tips
- Take a Break: Remember to take a break every now and then. Do a leisure activity that will make you happy. Remember that we work to live, not to live to work. Do not let stress get the best of you.
- Take care of yourself: Even how busy you are, spend time with nature, exercise, eat healthily, take care of your body, try relaxation techniques, spend time with your family, and get enough sleep. What happens if you don’t take care of yourself? Stress will overwhelm your mind and body. Study shows that being overtired can cause your body to be sick.
What if My Stress Levels Gets Out of Control?
We all cope differently to stress. It is a trial and error method to figure out what’s best for you. But what if your stress levels get out of control and it’s starting to affect your performance at the office and your family relationships?
Probably now is the best time to talk to a therapist. The therapists at Kentucky Counseling Center can give you insights on different coping mechanisms, how to manage stress in a healthy way, and most importantly, help with mental health disease prevention. People who are under stress always are prone to mental health problems most especially depression.