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Time management: Tips to reduce stress and improve productivity

Anxiety and Stress - Anxiety Disorders: Time management: Tips to reduce stress and improve productivity By Mayo Clinic Staff Aug 25, 2006 Effective time management is ...

 

  1. #1

    Time management: Tips to reduce stress and improve productivity

    Time management: Tips to reduce stress and improve productivity
    By Mayo Clinic Staff
    Aug 25, 2006

    Effective time management is a primary means to a less stressful life. These practices can help you reduce your stress and reclaim your personal life.
    Do you find yourself overwhelmed by the number of projects you have at work or the depth of these projects? Do you feel the day flies by without your devoting the necessary attention to each assignment because other tasks keep landing on your desk, or because you can't get it all organized?

    You probably know that effective time management will help you get more done each day. It has important health benefits, too. By managing your time more wisely, you can minimize stress and improve your quality of life.

    But how do you get back on track when organizational skills don't come naturally? To get started, choose one of these tips, try it for two to four weeks and see if it helps. If it does, consider adding another one. If not, try a different one.

    • Plan each day. Planning your day can help you feel more in control of you life. Write a to-do list, putting the most important tasks at the top. Keep a schedule of your daily activities to minimize conflicts and last-minute rushes.
    • Prioritize your tasks. Like many people, you may be spending the majority of your time on a small percentage of your tasks. Prioritizing will ensure you spend your time and energy on those that are truly important to you.
    • Say no to nonessential tasks. Consider your goals and schedule before agreeing to take on additional work.
    • Delegate. Take a look at your to-do list and consider what you can eliminate or pass on to someone else.
    • Take the time you need to do a quality job. Doing work right the first time may take more time upfront, but errors usually result in time spent making corrections, which takes more time overall.
    • Break large, time-consuming tasks into smaller tasks. Work on them a few minutes at a time until you get them all done.
    • Practice the 10-minute rule. Work on a dreaded task for 10 minutes each day. Once you get started, you may find you can finish it.
    • Evaluate how you're spending your time. Keep a diary of everything you do for three days to determine how you're spending your time. Look for time that can be used more wisely. For example, could you take a bus or train to work and use the commute to catch up on reading? If so, you could free up some time to exercise or spend with family or friends.
    • Get plenty of sleep and exercise. Improved focus and concentration will help improve your efficiency so that you can complete your work in less time.
    • Take a time management course. If your employer offers continuing education, take a time management class. If your workplace doesn't have one, find out if a local community college, university or community education program does.
    • Take a break when needed. Too much stress can derail your attempts at getting organized. When you need a break, take one. Take a walk. Do some quick stretches at your workstation. Take a day of vacation.

    Ask for help
    If you're too frazzled to think about trying any of these tips, it's time to ask for help. Does your life feel totally out of control? If so, contact your employee assistance program (EAP) at your workplace for assistance, or discuss your situation with your doctor.

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  3. #2

    Re: Time management: Tips to reduce stress and improve productivity

    I really dont know how people manage to work and have a social life and familly, I dont work and have enough problems just trying to fit everything in each day, looking after my flat and doing shopping, reading, watching dvds, filling in forms and writing letters, coming on here, taking care of my birds, cooking/cleaning , there always seems something to do, and I try to plan but things dont always work, the thought of fitting in a job just freaks me out, there wouldnt be enough time, when I have gone to work Ive got ill everytime because its all been too much and Ive ended up not going to bed or getting very little sleep so I could fit it all in.

  4. #3
    Join Date
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    Re: Time management: Tips to reduce stress and improve productivity

    I have had similar problems, but, on the positive side, there is a new level of efficiency with portable entertainment devices, e.g. MP3 players and portable DVD players. One can watch DVDs while eating lunch at work and listen to audio programs while doing the dishes at home.

    When I was working 40+ hours a week, the house was usually a mess (which was fine with me) and I would get a lot of take out rather than shop and cook. Though I would forget to pay some bills, automatic bill paying is a godsend.

    Anyway, a lot of people who "work" 40 hours a week only do about 32 hours of work, with much of the remaining time surfing the net, talking to co-workers, etc.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  5. Re: Time management: Tips to reduce stress and improve productivity

    i find that working full time and trying to take care of a family and run the household is impossible. i tried, and tried for too long, with very serious consequences. prioritize, that's the key, and forget about the rest. there is only so much a person can do in the course of a day.
    ~ our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising each time we fall - confucius
    ~ it is the journey, not the destination, that matters
    ~ keep hanging on, the sun will come shining through for you again

  6. #5
    Join Date
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    Location
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    Re: Time management: Tips to reduce stress and improve productivity

    I also like the idea of shorter work cycles as a way to manage one's energy.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. #6

    Re: Time management: Tips to reduce stress and improve productivity

    I guess I am the opposite because the more work and tasks that I can cram into my day the better I like it, but then again this is probably because I use it as more of an escape to not have to think or focus on myself and what I am feeling or thinking. I guess this would explain why I have two jobs

  8. Re: Time management: Tips to reduce stress and improve productivity

    daniel, thank you so much for that link, very interesting and lots to consider there. i find that my energy levels hugely affect how my day goes and what i can accomplish. great ideas at that site on how to possibly manage the different types of energy.
    ~ our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising each time we fall - confucius
    ~ it is the journey, not the destination, that matters
    ~ keep hanging on, the sun will come shining through for you again

  9. #8

    Re: Time management: Tips to reduce stress and improve productivity

    thanks daniel that is a interesting and helpful site

  10. Re: Time management: Tips to reduce stress and improve productivity

    I strongly recommend reading:
    1. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
    2. First Things First.

    Both are written by Stephen Covey who provides a comprehensive theory for time management, personal development, and life management in general.

  11. #10

    Smile

    I think this tip will help you. Auto-loop

    This a loop based on auto suggestion. You know all thinking is based on auto suggestion.
    " Past is gone- I live in HERE and NOW. my life is HERE AND NOW.
    Future is gone-I live in HERE and NOW. my life is HERE AND NOW.
    I enjoy of HERE and NOW.

    ...and unconscious a passing thought must be " The moment of NOW is only real. In reality there is no such things like past / memories / or future/ self created images-mental pictures. All my life is only in now.
    I wish you all the best.

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