Stress Management: Managing Your Time
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Time management is a way to find the time for all the things you want and need to do. It helps you decide which things are urgent and which can wait. Learning how to manage your time, activities, and commitments can be hard. But doing so can make your life easier, less stressful, and more meaningful.
Time management means taking control of your activities, duties, and commitments. When you manage your time, you decide which tasks and activities are most important to you based on your values. For example, you may place a high value on family life, but you may not be able to spend as much time with your family as you want. Knowing what's important to you helps you decide how best to spend your time. Managing your time helps you reduce stress.
There are three parts to time management:
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Time management means taking control of tasks and activities.
Putting things off until the last minute is one of the tips for prioritizing tasks.
It's stressful to feel like you have too much to do and not enough time to do it. Spending a lot of time on things that aren't important to you also leads to stress. Time management can help you feel more in control of how you spend your time. When you feel in control, you reduce stress.
Prioritizing tasks and activities may help you find the time to exercise, read a book, take a class, or do other things that you really want to do. Controlling procrastination can help you get things done, such as a big project at work. When you manage your commitments, you commit to the things that are most important to you, and you let go of the things that are less important. All of these things can reduce stress.
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Prioritizing tasks, controlling procrastination, and managing commitments can reduce stress.
You can start managing your time by prioritizing tasks, controlling procrastination, and managing your commitments.
Make a list of all your tasks and activities for the day or week. Then rate these tasks by how important or urgent they are.
After you have your list and have rated the items, think about how you are spending your time. If you take care of important tasks in a timely way, you won't have as many urgent tasks to worry about. For example, if you pay your bills when you get them, you won't have to juggle your finances and hurry to pay bills the day they are due.
Think about how you can redirect your time to activities that are important and meaningful to you. Are you spending a lot of time on things that aren't important or urgent? Maybe there are things that you don't need to do at all.
The more stressful or unpleasant a task, the more likely you are to put it off. This only increases your stress. You may want to try these tips for controlling procrastination:
If you find a tip that works for you, stay with it. Over time you'll gain confidence that you can beat the procrastination habit.
You may still slip up sometimes and find yourself putting things off. That's okay. Don't blame yourself. Confidence and positive thinking can help you get back on track.
Manage your commitments
Both too many and too few commitments can lead to stress.
Letting go of a commitment doesn't mean giving up. It means learning what's important to you, recognizing that you have limits, and deciding how you want to spend your time. Here are some tips for letting go:
Making commitments can be just as hard as letting them go. People who are under stress tend to have too many commitments instead of too few. But sometimes stress comes from a lack of commitment. If you need more commitment in your life, think about what is most important to you. When you are ready to commit:
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If I spend more time taking care of important tasks, I won't be as stressed worrying about things that have to be done right away.
One way to approach a big project is to break it up into smaller tasks.
Good time management means waiting to start a task until you have the time to do it perfectly.
Now that you have some ideas for how to manage your time, you can try to prioritize tasks, control procrastination, and manage commitments at work and at home. If you often find yourself struggling with procrastination, there are outside resources that can help. College students can find services on campus, and some employers offer Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) that can help you learn to better manage your time.
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