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Among the many reasons for stress, TIME is the least highlighted. You often hear about work, relationships, environment, sudden changes in your life, and self-nflicted stress as main causes of stress. But do you know that how you manage your time will also affect your stress levels?
Studies show that lack of time management ads up to stress. Tasks seem to be all over the place, they don’t get accomplished right away, and it adds up to more tasks the next day. According to Harry Mills Ph. D, et. el, time management is one of the effective ways to deal with stress because it adds up to the efficiency of completing tasks and maximizing one’s time.
Create a To-Do List
Creating a list of tasks that you need to accomplish can help you not only to manage and save time. It is easier to see what you need to accomplish and keep track of your progress when you refer to a list. You can also note down how long it took you to complete each task for future reference.
In creating a to-do list, write down all the thing that are occupying your mind especially those that you need to accomplish right away. Once you have all of them written down, trim down that list. Scratch out those that does not need your immediate attention or action and set them aside for tomorrow. Keep doing this “elimination” process until you have trimmed down your to-do’s into a manageable number.
Priority VS. Urgency
If creating a to-do list doesn’t work, then you might want to try creating a priority-versus-urgency list. Knowing the difference between both is one of the best ways to deal with stress and manage your time. As you go along your list, ask yourself this question: Is it important? Is it urgent? If it is important and urgent, then do it right away. Take action so that you won’t be able to set it aside. If it is important but not urgent, plan on doing it tomorrow or some other time. You can set it aside for today and reconsider it for the next few days. The important thing is you can accomplish it before the deadline. If it is not important but it is urgent, ask someone else to do it. For example, you’re doing your important-urgent task while the phone is ringing. It is urgent because it calls out for your attention to answer it – it may be an emergency or it may just be telemarketing. You can always ask someone to get it for you. If it’s an emergency, then answer to it; if not, you can always decline to talk to the person on the other line. If it’s not important it’s not urgent, forget about even acting on it. It will just be a total waste of time.
Allocate Time for What Matter
We often put work on top of our priority just because our work keeps the food on the table, but we forget what really matters – family and friends. Many stories have been told about breadwinners doing a great job at work with all the overtimes spent and promotions but lacks time with his wife/husband, children, or parents. A horror, but it would happen to anyone if we put too much time on work. Allocate your time. You have 24 hours in a day – 8 hours on sleep and 8 hours on work. So what do we do with the remaining 8? Sure we spend time to eat, travel to and from work. But also make time to meet friends, study or play with your children, take your wife to a date, or visit your parents. Don’t dedicate more than you work hours require of you. Leave work on time. The things you can’t finish at work for today can still be done tomorrow. But a lost time with your loved ones might not be retrieved anymore.
Take a break
One of the most effective ways to deal with stress is simply to take a break. When it’s your day off work, stay home and enjoy a backyard barbecue party with your family. You can even catch up with more rest, exercise, or some me-time. Go to vacations. Relieve your stress by giving yourself time. Others see it as a total waste and would rather be productive with your work, but the payback of breaks and vacations is just a good way to deal with stress, be less stressed and more energized for the next working day.
Time and Stress
They say time is gold and it truly is. View it as something more precious than productivity. Managing time can deal with stress and less stress would even result in being more productive the next time. If you’re not used to creating lists and schedules, now is the time to do it and you’ll get the hang of it in the long run.
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