Is Time Stressing You Out?

Have you ever felt completely stressed and overwhelmed because you have so much to do? You know those days where your head is a jumble of confusion with so many thoughts flying around that you just don’t know where to start?!

Haven’t we all. Western society places so much emphasis on ‘getting things done’ and the incredible pace of technology has only increased our every day demands. We are expected to achieve more in less time! Tools like email and mobile phones create a never-ending stream of communication that requires an immediate response. Time has become a valued commodity that often results in feelings of stress and anxiety. How many times have you heard yourself saying (in a frazzled voice) ‘I just don’t have time!’ or ‘I’m running out of time!’ or ‘I don’t know how I’m going to get everything done!’?

You’ll be pleased to hear that there are some simple strategies that you can use to lower your stress levels and overcome this ‘war on time!’

Part of the solution lies in prioritizing. The simple fact of the matter is that often – we cannot do everything that we would like to, as quickly as we would like to. So, we have to choose which things are most important to us. Personal values are a great way to do this and I’ve talked about these in a previous post. Values define what is important to us – and therefore allow us to identify how we should be spending our time in order to feel happy and balanced. If you don’t have time (excuse the pun) to identify your values I’d recommend getting into the habit of asking yourself this: “what is the value of what I’m doing right now?’. The term ‘value’ refers to ‘what you get out of it’ and also ‘what you would lose if you didn’t do it’. So you can frequently ask these Qs to identify how important the things you’re stressing over, actually are in the grand scheme of your life. You’d be surprised by how much importance we give to things that are actually unimportant to us.

Focus is another key strategy. Many of us waste an enormous amount of time with distractions. If you think about it – when someone interrupts you mid-task it‘s not only the time that the interruption takes up but also the time it takes you to re-focus and get your head back into your task that is lost! So – it’s a lose: lose scenario. By better managing your ability to ‘focus’ you can maximize your time & results and minimize your stress levels!

Simple Life Strategy: 5 Tips For Managing Time

  1. Practice Prioritising. Each morning write a ‘To Do’ list and then prioritise each item based on how important it is to you, your family, your friends, your boss.
  2. If you identify any items that aren’t that important at all – strike them off the list and don’t waste your time with them! (It’s OK to say no to unimportant things)
  3. Be realistic with what you can achieve – and methodically work through your list in order of priority
  4. ALWAYS do your most important task first! Especially if it is the one you dread the most! Don’t fall into the trap of procrastinating as you may not get around to completing what’s important and this will leave you feeling stressed at the end of the day
  5. FOCUS. Make a mental effort to ‘focus’ on every task. I usually say to myself ‘right now I’m going to focus’ before every task I do. Turn off email, turn your phone on silent (they can wait until you’ve finished your task!) and ask those around you not to disturb you

If you would like to learn time management strategies specifically for your situation then contact me about a bespoke coaching program.

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Image Source: Danieleckler; Piccsy

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