For some, the constant pressure to be the best business owner, entrepreneur, wife, mother, employee, etc takes over every minute of the day. Time can be a huge stressor – many feel they simply don’t have enough of it because they don't save spare moments or they allow others to take over their time.
We all have responsibilities, however, many working parents usually have one thing in common, they desperately want to find more time for themselves. One of the most important methods to cultivate quality 'me time' is to log time, to find lost time and to figure out where you are spending too much time. This, in turn, is one of the best ways to stop feeling stressed out all the time.
Effective time management tips
We all have the same amount of hours in a day, but few of us implement positive changes that affect the way we approach our time. Time waits for no one, so spending it efficiently can transform our lives. Being anxious and disorganized is a waste of time, however, being smart with our time frees up our brain and means we can make better-informed decisions.
It’s always important to remember that the best gift you can give your children is to be happy and full of positive energy. The best gift you can give your partner is to be present when communicating and spend time together. The best gift you can give your body is to be mindful about what you eat and how you take care of it The best gift you can give your clients is to be grounded and informed. The best gift you can give your team or your boss is to be calm, purposeful and focused. You can’t offer any of these gifts to anyone if you are constantly stressed and always short of time.
It’s essential we let go of the constant 'need to be needed' which stems from low self-esteem. We must practice supreme self-love and care – where we do not have to over explain, defend or debate our position. Our needs are always valid. It is important to schedule our priorities from a new perspective and when we are immersed in a crazy schedule, it’s easy to lose track of where and how time is being spent.
Procrastination is also destructive, as in order to perform a procrastinated task we have to squeeze current tasks or leave other tasks unattended – and so begins the cycle of having not enough time and stressors being activated. If we don’t do anything about managing our time, the outcome could be emotionally and mentally exhausting. This is not due to our skills or knowledge, but down to poor time management.
What to do when you're stressed
1. Organise your day
To stop feeling stressed, try to carve out little bits of time just for you to plan ahead. Take the last fifteen minutes at night or the first fifteen minutes each morning to schedule your day. Take five top priorities and do not start on a new priority until you have completed the five top ones. If any are uncompleted, roll them over to the next day. Keep five at a time. Sure, there will always be unplanned demands on your time, but having clarity around your priorities will help you decide what’s important. Managing priorities is the best way to deal with multiple tasks. Always tackle the most challenging task first.
2. Set boundaries
Learn to say, 'no'. If someone requests something of you and you simply do not have the time to help them out or see the favour through, learn how to politely say 'no' so you can free up time for what is most important. Setting boundaries will help you gain control, raise your self-esteem and help you feel less stressed every day. Remember, if you don’t take care of you, how you can take care of your family, your business, your health and wellbeing, and your career? Setting boundaries takes practice, once you get comfortable with setting them, you will find your life becomes much more manageable and your stress levels will be profoundly reduced.
3. Let go of being perfect
So many people suffer from the perfectionism bug. It creates an 'all or nothing' mindset – complete it all or do not bother doing it at all. This is a complete trap. You will end up spending way too much time focusing on endless unimportant tasks. If you struggle around perfectionism it will always be your weakest link when it comes to taking action as you will end up getting overwhelmed by spending an excruciating amount of time just to get simple things done.
4. Give up being a martyr
Don't attempt to do so much – many people feel that they have to accomplish everything ASAP and don't allow themselves enough time to get things done properly. This leads to frustration, resentment, and shame and not feeling good about ourselves. If you consider yourself a hero, you may struggle to ask for help and that it’s easier to get things done yourself rather than relying on anyone else. You may like to control of everything and everyone and play the martyr so you receive praise at how amazing you are or perhaps derive attention from whining about how busy you are. Maybe you can handle everything yourself, but does that leave you time for yourself? If not is it because you don’t feel worthy of having down-time? Do you feel stressed? Identify the areas you need assistance in and ask for help. There's no shame in that.
5. Rest up
Even though this may seem contradictory, rest is a super important time management skill to reduce stress, replenish and re-energize. Motivation requires a calm person who focuses on one thing at a time. Slow down by choosing to have some rest time. Slowing down reduces stress and results in actually getting more done and also restores more passion and joy in your life. Stress leads to emotional eating, body tension, headaches, neck aches, backaches and much more – so check out what’s draining you, people you hang out with, habits you have. Let go of guilt and shame about having ‘down time’ and stop trying to prove your value. What do you have to lose?
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