My friend and I were recently lamenting about our busy schedules and the craziness of life. She turned to me and said something very profound: “We create our own stress.”
How true. We do create our own stress through the choices we make every day. In essence, it comes down to time management and a willingness to build in time for oneself. This realization has been empowering for me and I hope it will be for you as well. Below are a few tips from the University of Georgia Extension to help you manage your time and stop creating stress:
- Know How You Spend Your Time – where is your time being spent? Family, work, recreation? Is that where you would like your time to be spent?
- Set Priorities – ask yourself is a task is important, urgent, or maybe both. Decide what items need to take priority over others.
- Use a Planning Tool – a calendar or agenda, whether paper or electronic, can be an excellent tool to get organized and help visualize commitments. Make sure to block off days for catch-up!
- Get Organized – the clutter in our lives can take up a lot of time. This clutter can be physical, mental, or emotional clutter. Regardless, organizing our lives takes times but reduces stress.
- Delegate: Get Help from Others – decide what others can do and select appropriate people to help.
- Manage External Time Wasters – while technology has many wonderful uses and benefits, at times 24/7 accessibility can waste time and add stress to our day. Turn off the technology and take time to enjoy life that is going on around you.
- Avoid Multi-tasking– or task switching as it is sometimes called. Research has demonstrated that while we think we are being more productive while multitasking, we are actually less effective than if we had focused on each task individually.