Poor time management is one of the top causes for stress, right up there with money and relationship issues. To make matters worse, stress often makes it harder to properly manage your time. People with a lot of stress tend to be more easily distracted, have more to do in less time, and already have so much on their mind that changing habits can be very difficult. It's a vicious circle.
Poor Time Management = Stress
Stress = Poor Time Management
Does this sound familiar?
People with poor time management skills often go through the day wondering where their time is going and then worry about finding time to get things done. They are normally overbooked and with little time for themselves or their family. There is always one more thing to get done. They unknowingly procrastinate to the point there is no way to get things done in time. Many of these people have trouble prioritizing their tasks or are easily distracted, easily getting wrapped up in activities like checking facebook, watching their stats on a site, or checking their email. Others have trouble telling people “No” or are easily overwhelmed by large projects.
Ready to ditch the stress? Here are a few tips for managing your time better and help you get rid of your excess stress.
1. Make a list of what needs to get done the next day each day before bed. Doing this at night is better than in the morning because you start your day already having a list of what you need to do.
2. Always prioritize your tasks. Get the most important tasks done first so you can relax and work your way through the rest of your list.
3. Schedule your tasks. Figure out about how long they will take and decide what time you will do them. Be sure to plan in some breaks and room for any unexpected tasks!
4. Learn to say “No” if you don't have time to do something. If you are having trouble finishing what is already on your plate, don't add more! I know it's hard to say no to someone but what you are really doing is saying YES to yourself and your family.
5. Delegate if you can. Sometimes that is the best way to get everything done. Have a pile of work to do but also have a pile of laundry a mile high? Perhaps it's time to teach someone else how to do the laundry... or cook a meal... or clean the bathroom.
6. Don't forget breaks! Try and plan to get up and walk around for about 10 minutes every hour. Sitting in one place isn't good for your body or your mind and the breaks will help keep you from getting distracted easily. Drink a glass of water. Do some sit ups. Stretch. Go throw in that load of laundry. Walk to the corner. MOVE!
7. Break your big projects into small, manageable chunks so you don't get overwhelmed. Turn that big project into a list and work through it.
Once you are getting the hang of things you can also start looking into time management systems like the Pomodoro technique, based around using timers to make sure you take breaks and help keep your mind on track. I love my timer! By setting my timer for tasks, I'm amazed at what I can accomplish. I did have to get a timer that continues to go off until I manually turn it off and I have to set it across the room. I started ignoring the timer that beeped once.
Have any time management tips you want to add? Hop on over to the facebook page and leave them on my wall. I'd love to hear what works for you!
Ok kids, don't forget to sign up for the branding and beyond newsletter. Awesome-Sauce... straight to your inbox every week!