Head explodes! Chest feels tight! Can’t sleep!

Do these feelings seem familiar? Often the reason behind these feelings is stress. Stress and hurry are familiar to many of us working class people. Stress can lead into exhaustion and eventually to a burn out.

When you are in a stressful stage first the negative feelings take over your body and later appear the physical problems. When you are not in control over your own life, there are countless things on your mind related to both work and free time. The constant feeling of being insufficient only adds to the anxiety.

You shouldn’t delay the beginning of the change. The best tool for overcoming stress is time management.

What can be done?

Many claim, that the main cause of their stress is hurry. And hurry indeed is the most common excuse.

You are in a rush when you need an ambulance or the firemen. Otherwise, you shouldn’t give too much room in your life for being in a hurry. For example, to some people, it’s more acceptable for being late when they say it’s because they are in a hurry. But way too often it’s only about poor time management, and that way, the problem lies in the bad habits of the person who is always running late. Hurry is also the most acceptable reason for being inefficient.

So, be prepared to give up on the sensation of being in a rush.

Anyone can take control over stress and hurry. Every person has the same 24 hours a day available to them, you just have to be prepared to make the necessary changes.

In this article we are going to look more deeply into people working in high ranking positions such as managerial and expert positions, because most of them can significantly influence their own time use. Through time management you can beat the causes of stress and add work efficiency.

The most common problems in time managing

For many, the biggest problem is normally being able to look into their own time management critically and accepting the realities. Some can only have a few hours of work to cover on weekly basis, and they can still feel like their life is very busy.

And some can have 30 hours of work for each day, but the days don’t have enough hours to cover them all – not when you should also be sleeping around 8 hours a day.

In many cases there are varying reasons for confusing schedules. Typically however, they are related to three specific areas. These areas are ambiguity of values, difficulty in prioritizing and commitment to schedules.

First of all, each time management should be based on some values.  

In a bigger picture you could speak about the most important values in life, and on a work related manner about the most important things related to your own work. For the tasks chosen to be worth completing, they need to be relevant to achieving your own goals.

 

Another common problem with time management is prioritizing.  For most, prioritizing is the most difficult part of time managing.  At its simplest it is about choosing the tasks according to their importance and urgency.  

It is easier to prioritize when you have clear values.

In other words: you value the task you put your time towards. It always helps in a situation where you are not sure what to do, to come back to your most important values.

The third problem is the difficulty of committing to schedules. Behind any successful time management plan, there is a weekly schedule planning, consistent following of the timetables and time tracking.
Ignoring them will lead you towards a path of anxiety, endless hurry and stress.

Take control over your time management in a simple manner

There are several tips for successful time managing. You can start looking into it either very philosophically, or very practically. Now we are looking more deeply into time management with a truly concrete manner, that will offer a fast and efficient solution to your problems with time management.

 

1. Let’s begin by making two lists.

 

The first list will be of recurring tasks and the other one of changing tasks.

Recurring tasks are tasks that you do every day, every week, every month, etc. For an example, for an CEO these tasks might include such as following up on strategy, working with the management team, planning marketing, economic monitoring, and a bunch of other development tasks.

On the list of changing tasks will go all the tasks you have ever thought about completing. You make a list out of everything you have been thinking about, what you have been sketching on post its, or on your notebooks, on the edges of your calendar and so on.

Some of the tasks can be the types that have already been marked in the calendar.

Managing Director’s changing tasks may include, for example, partner meetings, customer meetings, blog articles, purchase transactions, job interviews, and voice and training gigs

In addition to these you will also add to the same list things that you wish you had done, or what you should have been doing. For example ”call a person for a job interview” or ”buy a new couch”. 

 

2. Examine the lists and resource time for the tasks in hand

 

Are the tasks on the list relevant to your work and your life? Are there maybe tasks on the list, that don’t in fact belong to you?
Could some of the tasks be delegated to another person? Are there tasks on the changing task list, that could be transferred to the recurring task list? 

Should time be reserved repeatedly for some tasks? Would transferring one task from the changing task list to the recurring task list, add to the effectiveness of your work?

After this review, we will start resourcing time for each of the tasks. 

You start by marking next to each recurring task, how much time they need to put into them on a weekly, monthly or on a yearly basis.
For example, sales development 1 h per week, planning management team work 2 h per month, marketing development 2 h a week. 

Next, you mark next to each variable task, how long it takes to do it. Buy a new couch 3h, invite a person to a job interview 30 minutes, a holiday to Italy 7 days, etc.

After resourcing, you go over the lists one more time. You start by thinking, will the working hours be enough for all the tasks listed. Are there more weekly recurring tasks, than there is time available? Where can you pinch in a little? What could you give up?

 

3. Put the tasks on the calendar

 

Eventually the tasks are put on the calendar. First, mark the recurring tasks in the appropriate places in the calendar and the amount of time required for each task. 

After that, the tasks from the changing task list are added on the open spots on the calendar, priority in order.

Every task that requires more than 15 minutes are added on the calendar. If there are many tasks on the list that require less than 15 minutes, it is wise to book some time for them repeatedly on the calendar.

For example, one hour per week is reserved for things to be done from to-do -list, where small tasks are performed in order of priority. 

Don’t forget to reserve enough time for sleeping and resting too.

After all of this, you will be looking at a calendar holding the information of all the tasks relevant to your work, the time required for finishing them, and the times they are completed.

Now you don’t need to lose another nights sleep worrying about work needed to be done, because you know they will eventually come up on the calendar. Now all you need to do, is start following the tasks and schedules marked on the calendar. 

Commit yourself to follow the calendar determinedly, to reduce your stress and add to the effectiveness of your work. If one schedule fails, don’t let the tasks stay on your mind, but instead move them on to the next available openings on the calendar.

The calendar must also be kept up to date all the time, so that each task gets the time it requires.

What are the benefits of all of this?

Using these tips for time management, you will be able to start managing your own time, and won’t let the environment control you.
You will get a lot more done than before, with less time. You won’t be continuously running around putting off fires, but instead you’ll stay focused on the tasks most relevant to your work. 

You will start to enjoy your job more. Eventually, you can sigh out of relief coming back from a vacation knowing, that everything is under control and there are no undone tasks waiting at the office, because even vacation time was taken into consideration.

Stop making excuses of being in a hurry, and start managing your time effectively!