Are you feeling stressed out by your schedule?
Would you like to feel more relaxed, calm, and in control of your calendar?
Learning how to manage your time can be a useful aid when it comes to reducing the amount of stress in your life.
It all comes down to setting clear and distinct boundaries for yourself.
This way, you don’t have to feel constantly worried, stressed, and overwhelmed, day-in, and day-out.
In this post, I offer four thoughtful ways time management can help reduce stress in your life.
It’s well worth taking a look at what a little bit of thoughtful scheduling can do for you and your wellbeing, every now and then!
You don’t have to worry about completing a project in a timely manner.
When you create a timeline or work plan for your projects and assignments, your work becomes a pleasant stroll, instead of a mad dash to the finish line. You minimize, if not completely eliminate, the need for all-nighters or otherwise harried work.
Just imagine…how would you feel if you could work on a project at a steady pace, each and every day? You could take your time getting things done, and checking items off your to-do list.
Now, compare that scenario with one of staying up late, bleary-eyed, stressed-out, frustrated, and tired. That’s quite a big difference, now isn’t it?
To make sure you complete a project in a timely manner, begin work on new projects as soon as you receive them, preferably that same day.
Take things slowly: do a little basic research, write a timeline, or schedule project deadlines into your calendar
You won’t be surprised by items in your schedule.
Double-booked and overbooked schedules can cause lots of headaches. There’s the dreaded realization of having a conflicting schedule, the lengthy process of correcting accidental bookings, not to mention having to apologize to several different people, all of which can compound into a great big ball of stress and anxiety.
Wouldn’t it be great to know exactly what’s in your calendar today, tomorrow, or this week, without being caught unawares? After all, you’ve put so much time and energy into scheduling items into your calendar, it would seem silly not to take regular glances at your calendar.
To prevent being surprised by items in your schedule, review your calendar on a regular basis, such as at beginning or end of every day. Be sure to review today’s entry, as well as tomorrow’s.
You should also get in the habit of looking at your schedule for the rest of the week, so you know what to expect. This will also give you the time you need to reschedule appointments, rebook meetings, and adjust project timelines.
You won’t stress out about how you should spend your time.
From the weather, to traffic, to politics, to the economy, there’s so much one can be stressed out about on any given day. How you spend your time shouldn’t be one of them!
When you’ve constructed a detailed schedule for yourself, all you have to do is follow it. There’s literally no guessing as to what you should be doing at any point in time.
Look at it this way: it’s kind of like when you take a long trip by car. Sure, you could get into the driver’s seat and sit there wondering about which route you should take at every turn, but it makes much more sense to plug-in your destination into your GPS device or cellphone, or use a map to plan your route in advance. This way, you bypass all the decision-making, and can turn your focus on driving to your destination.
To prevent being overwhelmed about how you should spend your time, consider which tasks and projects are 100 % urgent and important in your life at this very moment. Once you’ve identified these items, you can schedule the time to work on them into your calendar.
No more wondering about what you should work on, and when! Any other items that come along that aren’t directly related to your priority tasks should be placed on the back burner or scheduled for a later date.
You don’t have to worry about getting enough rest.
When you manage your time properly, you have time to complete your work, run errands, socialize with loved ones, and take care of your health and well-being. Again, it’s all about setting, and respecting, boundaries.
Taking care of your personal health should be a non-negotiable task in your day. And getting enough sleep should be a top priority in your schedule, just like eating food, drinking water, and breathing are on any given day!
Remember, you’re not a robot. You’re human.
To prevent worrying about getting enough rest, schedule personal time directly into your schedule so you can decompress and relax.
Create an evening routine that will help you wind down comfortably at the end of every day. This may include such tasks as flossing and brushing your teeth, locking up your home, changing into your pajamas, reading, meditating, relaxing, and finally, sleeping.
How about you? How do you feel when you take the time to properly manage your time? What key steps do you take to keep stress out of your schedule? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!
A version of this post appeared on the blog in 2015.