MANAGING YOUR TIME AND YOUR STRESS: HOW TO PRIORITIZE

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MANAGING YOUR TIME AND YOUR STRESS: HOW TO PRIORITIZE

by | May 14, 2023

“It’s surprising how much free time and productivity you gain when you lose the busyness in your mind.”-Brittany Burgunder

My husband, Mark, is a busy real estate attorney who constantly struggles with the stress created by often seemingly futile attempts to manage time. He’s not alone. Most of us have at least some, and more likely, a lot of stress around time management. Mark often reflects on a time, back in the day, when his father, also a real estate attorney, drove to the site of a real estate transaction, pulled out his typewriter and typed up one or two documents. The parties signed those documents, exchanged a check and the buyers moved into their new home. These days the time and documentation needed to complete these same transactions has increased many, many times over. And of course with this added time has come added stress.

Download my free daily planner template designed to help you manage your time and your stress here. It incorporates many of the strategies which I outline in this article and is the planner that I use allowing me to schedule all of my healthy habits into each day.

Managing time has become increasingly difficult in our world for many reasons. Here are just a few:

Technology

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Technology has made it easier to stay connected and work remotely, but it has also created a constant stream of distractions that can derail productivity and time management. Social media, email, and instant messaging can all be major time stealers if not managed properly.

Overcommitment

Most of us find ourselves overcommitted a vast majority of the time. Because of so many responsibilities, it becomes difficult to prioritize and manage time effectively. This can easily lead to stress and burnout.

Lack of focus

With responsibilities as well as technology constantly competing for our attention, it’s easy to get distracted and lose focus on what really matters. This can make it difficult to manage our time effectively and get important tasks done.

Multitasking

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Multitasking has become a way of life for many of us, but it can actually be counterproductive and make it harder to manage time effectively. When we try to do too many things at once, we end up spreading ourselves too thin and not doing any of those things well.

It’s important to recognize these challenges and develop strategies to overcome them in order to manage time effectively and reduce stress. We can learn to prioritize tasks while staying focused on what really matters.

First Things First…

The first step to effective time management is to prioritize your tasks. Make a list of all the tasks that you need to complete, and then sort them in order of importance. This will help you to focus on the most important tasks first and ensure that you don’t waste time on less important ones.

This is a skill that I’ve been practicing for some time now. The problem with having a list without categorizing it in order of importance is that human nature is to put the most important task last. It may be because it’s the most difficult, but often it’s because in our minds we think, “I’ll just get these other things on the list out of the way so that I can give my full focus to the most important task.” This practice backfires most of the time.

Set Goals…

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Setting goals is another effective way to manage your time and reduce stress. Identify what you want to achieve, and then break it down into smaller, manageable tasks. This will help you to stay focused on what you need to do and to avoid getting sidetracked by other tasks.

Create A Schedule…

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Creating a schedule is an important part of effective time management. Practice time blocking which is blocking out specific times of the day for different tasks or try the Pomodoro technique explained in this Forbes article. Stick to your schedule as much as possible. This will help you to stay organized, avoid procrastination, and ensure that you have enough time to complete all your tasks.

Take Breaks…

Taking breaks is an essential part of managing your stress. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a few minutes to step away from your work and clear your mind. Take some deep breaths, meditate for a few minutes, call a friend or go for a walk. These are all great ideas for breaks from a busy schedule. They will help you to recharge your batteries and return to your work with renewed energy and focus resulting in greater productivity in the long run.

Practice Mindfulness…

Mindfulness is another effective technique for managing your stress. By focusing on the present moment and accepting your thoughts and feelings without judgment, you can reduce your stress levels and improve your overall well-being. If you’re new to mindfulness, try one of the free guided mindfulness meditation practices offered on YouTube or on apps such as Insight Timer, Calm or Headspace.

Get Enough Sleep…

baby sleeping
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Getting enough sleep is critical for managing your stress and staying focused. Try to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Don’t kid yourself, most people need this much sleep. It helps you feel refreshed and energized allowing you to tackle your tasks with a clear head. Once again, this will result in greater productivity overall.

Use Time-Saving Tools…

There are many tools and apps available that can help you manage your time more effectively. For example, productivity apps can help you stay organized and focused, while time-tracking apps can help you monitor how much time you spend on different tasks. Some productivity apps to consider are Todoist, Clickup, Calendly and Google Docs and for time-tracking apps, Clockify, Toggl Track and Tracking Time are several options.

Eliminate Distractions…

Distractions can be a major source of stress and can make it difficult to stay focused on your work. Try to eliminate or minimize distractions as much as possible. Turn off your phone or email notifications during work hours. If you start tracking your time, you’ll be amazed how much this simple step will increase your productivity.

Take Care Of Your Physical Health…

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Your physical health can have a big impact on your ability to manage stress and stay focused. Make sure to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and take care of any physical health issues that may be affecting your ability to concentrate.

Set Boundaries…

Learn to say “no”. Saying “yes” to every request or opportunity can quickly lead to overwhelm and stress. Learn to say “no” to things that are not a priority or that you simply don’t have time for.

Managing your time and your stress is essential to achieving success in today’s fast-paced world but even more than that, it is key to good health and mental and physical well-being . By practicing the techniques that I’ve outlined here, you can reduce your stress levels and stay focused on what really matters. So start implementing these tips today, and take control of your time and your stress!

Download my free daily planner template designed to help you manage your time and your stress here. It incorporates many of the strategies which I outline in this article and is the planner that I use allowing me to schedule all of my healthy habits into each day.

Here’s an inspirational post from Daily Om on overwhelm. Are you overwhelmed as you read this? Check it out here.

And Check Out These Posts From Chasing Beans For More Inspiration….

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