Tag Archive | "time management"

Can Scheduling Your Life Actually Reduce Stress Levels?

Can Scheduling Your Life Actually Reduce Stress Levels?

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time management

Freedom from stress may be as easy to achieve as simply managing your schedule effectively. A strategically designed schedule can allow you to accomplish more in less time, freeing yourself up to have more fun in your life, without the burden of unfinished tasks weighing you down. The greatest tool for designing your schedule is prioritization. Getting the important stuff accomplished first does more to boost the self-esteem than almost anything else.

How to Identify Your Priorities:

Efficient time management can be achieved simply by having a strong focus on your goals. Knowing what you want out of life is paramount for determining which actions will ever even make your priority list in the first place. So do a little soul-searching, and set goals that correspond with your deepest desires.

After you have established your priorities based on your own life’s plan and purpose, you need to take a look at how you typically spend your time. Determine how you’re currently allocating your time. Write down your daily activities in a journal. This will help you to gain clarity and give you a bit of an outsider’s perspective so that you can begin to identify your own personal habits.

Place each of your activities into different categories. For example, you can have categories labeled “work,” “education,” “health,” “fun,” “family,” and “sleep.” Then, each time you engage in an activity, journal it and attach one of these labels to it. After a few days have passed, take a close look at your journal and start identifying areas of your life that could use more attention, as well as those areas which could use less. This will set the process of effective schedule management in motion.

Creating More Time for the Important Stuff

Now that you’re aware of how you would like to be spending your time, and how much time you have available for each type of activity during the day, you can start inserting your highest priorities into the appropriate time slots. One important question to ask yourself is “At what time of day should I perform my top priorities so that I can maximize my effectiveness in accomplishing them?” For example, would you want to schedule your study time to take place right before bed, when you can barely keep your eyes open? Of course not. You will lack the ability to concentrate on and retain the subject matter.

7 Ways to Maximize the Efficiency of Your Time Management

1. Break larger tasks down into bite-size chunks that you can handle with ease. Don’t psychologically overwhelm yourself by trying to take on a massive project.

2. Eliminate unproductive habits. We all have little things we engage in for no good reason. It’s just habitual. Now is the time to notice these things and nip them in the bud for the sake of greater success and personal fulfillment.

3. Seek out opportunities to optimize your time. Could you be doing something differently? Could you delegate or outsource? Can you automate? Can you consolidate?

4. Know your own schedule. Know yourself. During which times of the day do you feel the strongest, most energized, and happiest? These are the times during which to schedule your top priorities.

5. Remember, often times saying “no” to someone else is saying “yes” to yourself, and vice-versa. Make sure you’re saying “no” to the right people!

6. Never allow yourself to be manipulated by those who may try to guilt-trip or bully you into conforming to their agenda rather than your own.

7. Always focus on your priorities. “The first thing is to keep the first thing the first thing.

Posted in Time Management

Staying On Track – 10 Ways to Maximize Your Time Management

Staying On Track – 10 Ways to Maximize Your Time Management

time management

Time management is practically synonymous with self-discipline. If you are unable to avoid all the little distractions that invariably pop up throughout the day, your time management will flop, and your effectiveness will suffer. A big distraction that can keep us unfocused on the task at hand is our own stress. Learning and implementing techniques proven to reduce stress is a great way to start regaining control. It is so easy for us to become stressed out over meeting deadlines.

Sometimes we feel like we’re being pulled in so many directions that all we want to do is… well, nothing. But we’ve still got to get it done, right? Yet when we try to “power through” it, we end up cutting corners and making costly errors. We often focus on trying to complete so many tasks at once that none of them get done. The truth is, this type of manic behavior can be corrected with just the slightest amount of prioritization.

With our tasks laid out in order of importance, we begin to gain a clearer perspective of which actions need to be taken, and in which order. A lack of priorities leads to chaos. We know we’re supposed to be staying busy, so we just work on the first thing that comes to mind. Then we remember something else that needs our attention even more, so we stop the first thing and start the new thing and then something else pulls at us, and needs to be done immediately, and then something else, and then, and then, and…. aaaaghhh!

In addition to knowing what our priorities are, it is equally important that we have a system set in place in order to effectively manage distractions. Having a clear strategy of deflecting potential interruptions can ultimately lead to exponentially greater overall productivity. If you were to add up all the minutes you spent engaging in pointless conversations, answering unimportant telephone calls, surfing the net, and engaging in a whole host of other non-productive tasks during business hours, it would absolutely floor you.

Another productivity killer is over-planning. Some people spend so much time planning their next move that they’ve got no time left to actually make the move. This is a form of “glorified procrastination,” meaning that it feels like you‘re being productive because you’re thinking about work, but you’re not actually DOING any work.

Just say no.

It can be incredibly difficult for us to deny another person’s requests. Generally speaking, this is simply out of fear. We’re afraid of letting people down, upsetting them, and being looked at as “the bad guy.” But the truth is, we need to be 10x more concerned with how we are treating ourselves. When you say “yes” to them, you’re really saying “no” to yourself. It’s important to understand this, and to act accordingly.

Organization can truly be your best friend. Work just feels better when everything is nice and tidy. Keeping your workspace clean and clear makes you feel more professional. Additionally, all of your supplies and resources are more quickly and easily accessible, contributing to your overall efficiency. Clutter = wasted time.

Keep your deadlines realistic. Never over-promise and under-deliver. It is so much better, both professionally and psychologically, for you to be honest from the beginning. Know your capabilities, and don’t be overly optimistic. Remember, the time to produce results will always come, so don’t let your mouth write checks that your… how does that go again?

Schedule your communications. It is easy to get caught up in answering phone calls and checking e-mails far more often than we should, and then staying on the phone or responding to our e-mails a lot longer than we should. To remedy this, incorporate these activities into your time management routine. Reserve a half hour (and ONLY a half hour) out of your work day for communications. Schedule it for a specific time and stick to it.

It is important that we finish our most important tasks before moving on to less important ones. I know this sounds simplistic, but it’s really true. Starting an important project, and then putting it on hold in favor of a little escapism can be professional suicide. Work isn’t always fun. That’s life. We’ve got to do it anyway.

To help keep yourself on track, invest in a good activity planner. A good planner can help you keep your priorities straight, and will also reveal some of your bad habits to you. This can have a profound positive effect on your productivity.

Overall, it is a good idea to focus on project completion in favor of project quantity. One thing at a time, from start to finish, is the best policy. Finishing one project before starting another can actually help to boost your confidence going into the new project. It is always better to move onto your next endeavor with a smile on your face, feeling good about yourself.

Posted in Time Management

Managing Your Schedule to Reduce Stress

Managing Your Schedule to Reduce Stress

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It’s tough to manage a busy schedule in today’s hectic world, but it is essential if you want to reduce stress from your life. You need the skills to plan your day efficiently to accomplish all your goals each day. Making a list of tasks and determining which are top priority is an important factor in time management.

Determining goals and priorities
Time management is difficult for a lot of people. Only you can control how you spend your time and whether or not you will achieve your goals. You need to know what you want out of life in order to achieve it.

You have to be able to manage priorities. You determine what is the most important goals to achieve. It helps to keep a journal to determine what you do with your time and how long certain tasks take. Keep a record of your schedule, including all activities such as, work, study, exercise, sleep and relaxing. Having this record will allow you to evaluate the way you spend your time and make better use of your time.

Matching time with priorities
Once you’ve made your list of the time you spend on tasks in your journal, make sure the time you spend on tasks matches your priorities. You also need to make sure that you are spending enough time on a task to ensure quality. An example of ensuring that the time you spend on tasks would be time spend on studying. Are you waiting until the end of the day when you are tired to study? Are you just fitting it in wherever you can. Make sure to schedule high priority tasks at optimum times to do them and spend the time on them required to achieve the best results.

Manage your time more efficiently

  • If you have a huge task, it is often easier to break it down into smaller tasks and tackle each one until they are done. This will reduce the stress of tackling a huge task.
  • If you are doing tasks that are routine, but aren’t really necessary, eliminate them if at all possible.
  • Determine if a task can be done more efficiently, thereby saving time.
  • Know the times that you are more productive and alert. Some people are morning people and some are night people. Take advantage of the time you are at your most productive and efficient.
  • Are you the kind of person who feels compelled to say yes every time someone asks for a favor? If so, learn to say no when you don’t really have the time or it will keep you from achieving your goals.

Posted in Featured Articles, Time Management

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