I took a poll on Twitter recently, in which I asked, “What’s the biggest concern in your life right now?” I was interested to see that with five hours left to go, I’d gotten 10 votes (which is hardly representative of the population at large, but even so) that showed a dead heat between time management, managing stress, and chronic health problems.
As one who suffers from chronic health problems, my general advice about managing stress and time is as follows:
- Plan your day ahead of time
The night before, take your calendar and simply pencil in what you’ll be doing and when. You may have to deviate from the schedule, but at least you’ll have a roadmap of sorts and a time limit on each activity.
- Do the hardest things first
By getting the tough things out of the way, you avoid putting them off and not getting them done. This also frees your mind from the worry of needing to do something inevitable, so you can concentrate on what you really like to do.
- Don’t compare your beginning with someone else’s middle
I read this on another blog and have never forgotten it. Everyone starts somewhere. It doesn’t matter where you are compared to others. What matters is that you have a goal and you take steps to achieve it.
- Take time to recharge
As one who has ongoing health issues, I’ve learned firsthand the importance of simply stepping away from the computer and taking time for myself. I tried to take a nap during the day, when I can. Naps have been shown to increase productivity. I’m pretty sure they also help reduce stress.
- Learn to say no
Ask yourself, is the reason you’re feeling stressed and less productive because you’ve agreed to take on too much? Even the healthiest of us can’t do everything. Choose to do the things that will get you closer to your goal and learn to say no to the rest.
On that note, I’d like to continue my survey. This one is only two questions and takes no time at all.
Just click the link below, please.
When I began writing as more than a hobby, I was in college as a journalism student. Everything I wrote I composed on a typewriter. It was a cheap piece of shit an inexpensive model, but it got the job done.
Then, somewhere in the mid- to late-80s, I bought a word processing computer. It was a Wang. (Yes, really!) It was like magic. No more need for Wite-Out or re-typing documents.
Somewhere along the line, in the early 90s (I guess), the Internet came along, with all its attendant resources and distractions. But I only used email until the late 90s, when I hopped online and began using social media.
How many of you find yourself saying, “I want to do [fill in the blank], but I just don’t have any time”? These days, we’re so distracted and our attention spans so diminished by the onslaught of information we get on the Internet and otherwise, it can feel like an almost impossible task to manage your time. I’d like to propose five simple time management strategies that can help you bring your workload under control.