If the level of stress is still manageable, then, yes, time management techniques can help. However, when stress levels are acute, time management can, if not used properly, actually increase stress levels.
When I was in acute stress, I wanted a quick fix – I wanted relief from the intense pressure of stress NOW! Of course, that’s not really possible unless a person is knocked unconscious or takes a sedative, neither of which address the stress issue.
However, even in acute levels of stress, it is possible, if you are willing, to give yourself some liberation from the intensity of what you are feeling. If you are willing, then let’s start simply.
1. Get yourself a cup of tea or coffee, a pen, a big piece of paper, you date book . . . . and give yourself a break! That’s a good start since you likely don’t feel you can really take a break right now – that’s your first step into good, sound time management – taking care of yourself first!
2. On the piece of paper, make five columns along the width of the paper:
- Things on my To Do List
- Is it necessary for me to do
- I can delegate it to
- Date & Time to be completed
3. In the first column number and list every single thing you think you need to get done.
4. Now comes the analysis part in the next 4 columns:
- Is it necessary for me to do – sometimes we feel we need to do everything but actual fact we don’t. Be honest with yourself – do you really need to do it? Why?
- I can delegate it to – when we’re stressed out, we don’t think clearly. And we think it’s faster for us to do it all rather than get people to help. It’s not!! That’s a story our minds make up because for every single thing that comes off your list that someone else at work or at home can do, gives you that time back. It could be that you think the housework has to get done. It does – we have all have it to do. If you have an intense job and longer hours, then hire someone to do your housework for you. A person concentrating on cleaning can get a lot done in 3 hours that might take you a lot longer! Delegate chores to family members if you have a family and at work, delegate tasks to members of your team and your colleagues.
- Date and Time to be completed – your list now should be a lot shorter. Put and date and time on each one when each one needs to be completed.
- Schedule – in your day book, enter the items to which you have assigned a date and time.
Okay, can you feel the pressure coming off a bit? Likely especially if you have given yourself permission to delegate some of those tasks to other people – yes, other people can do things as well as we can or perhaps even better and we don’t have micro-manage them either! For someone under acute stress, this is one of the most difficult things to do!
Delegation means: clearly defining the end results we want the person to achieve, giving them the tools they need, providing them with a deadline date and time and letting them accomplish the task the way they want.
For the next couple of weeks, I will be covering more stress and time management issues so stay tuned!
A site you might interested in reading is:
One place to start reducing the stress,
is to know what you want – start with goals
a complimentary system at http://www.wizetime.com