As professionals, we’re all bound to experience feelings of stress at some point in our careers. There are some people who are susceptible to experiencing stress more than others, particularly those in highly demanding careers and job roles. However, 55% of employees report feeling stressed on a daily basis, regardless of their job industry or role.
When it comes to stress in professionals, the leading contributor is not managing their time effectively. 46% of employees surveyed reported that stress is caused by an overwhelming workload. Sometimes, it can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete all of your tasks, which can heighten your stress levels.
The solution: Improving how you manage your time.
Time management is the way forward when it comes to finding the time to do all of the things you want and need to do. It allows you to prioritise your urgent tasks and set aside those ones that can wait, whilst also taking away from work to enjoy the things you love. Learning time management skills takes practice, but in doing so, can make your life easier and less stressful – which is why many professionals, myself included, believe time management and stress management go hand in hand.
By taking a look at your current working schedule, you can identify areas of improvement that will help change the way you manage your time and stress levels.
There are a range of time management strategies that can help set you along the right path. Here are some of my favourite strategies that you can easily implement into your everyday lives:
- Prioritise tasks
If you’re organising your tasks for the day, week or month, categorise them into urgent, important and not important. This way, you can determine how much time you’re going to dedicate to each task. By taking care of your ‘important’ tasks in a timely way, you’ll end up with less urgent tasks to worry about.
- Plan each day
I like to write daily ‘to-do’ lists to help me gain better control of the hours in my day and accomplish more! Creating a short, simple and realistic list that only includes activities that you can accomplish in a day is an effective way to get your tasks completed without feeling overwhelmed.
- Control procrastination
With increased workload and stress, can often come increased procrastination. The more unappealing a task on your ‘to-do’ list is, the more likely you are to put it off for as long as possible. To help get your procrastination under control, try:
- Creating short-term deadlines
- Remember that not everything needs to be perfect, it just needs to be your best
- Be conscious of your distractions
- Split your workload into more manageable chunks
There will be tasks you’re faced with that will be too complicated and large to complete in one go. For the more challenging, time-consuming tasks you should break them up into more manageable parts that you complete over the course of a few working sessions to avoid getting stressed out.
- Set time limits to complete tasks
Once you’ve planned out what tasks you’re tackling and when, you should set some boundaries to help you stick to your schedule. Defining a relevant and realistic time duration for each activity on your to-do list can help fuel you with the motivation to complete it.
From here, you should take a look at your current working schedule and implement strategies that will help you manage your time and stress levels in the best possible way.