Time Management Tips To Reduce Stress

2nd July 2019

IF YOU NEVER SEEM TO HAVE ENOUGH TIME, BETTER TIME MANAGEMENT CAN HELP YOU REGAIN CONTROL OF YOUR DAYS.

Whether it’s in your job or your lifestyle as a whole, learning how to manage your time effectively will help you feel more relaxed, focused and in control.

“The aim of good time management is to achieve the lifestyle balance you want,” says Emma Donaldson-Feilder, a chartered occupational psychologist.

Here are Emma’s top tips for better time management:

WORK OUT YOUR GOALS

“Work out who you want to be, your priorities in life, and what you want to achieve in your career or personal life,” says Emma. “That is then the guiding principle for how you spend your time and how you manage it.”

Once you have worked out the big picture, you can then work out some short-term and medium-term goals. “Knowing your goals will help you plan better and focus on the things that will help you achieve those goals,” says Emma.

MAKE A LIST

To-do lists are a good way to stay organised. “Try it and see what works best for you,” says Emma.

She prefers to keep a single to-do list, to avoid losing track of multiple lists. “Keeping a list will help you work out your priorities and timings. It can help you put off the non-urgent tasks.”

Make sure you keep your list somewhere accessible. If you always have your phone, for example, keep it on your phone.

FOCUS ON RESULTS

Good time management at work means doing high-quality work, not high quantity. Emma advises concentrating not on how busy you are, but on results.

“Spending more time on something doesn’t necessarily achieve more,” she says. “Staying an extra hour at work at the end of the day may not be the most effective way to manage your time.”

HAVE A LUNCH BREAK

Lots of people work through their lunch break, but Emma says that can be counter-productive. “As a general rule, taking at least 30 minutes away from your desk will help you to be more effective in the afternoon,” she says.

“Go for a walk outdoors or, better still, do some exercise,” says Emma. “You’ll come back to your desk re-energised, with a new set of eyes and renewed focus.”

Planning your day with a midday break will also help you to break up your work into more manageable chunks.

PRIORITISE IMPORTANT TASKS

Tasks can be grouped into four categories:

  • urgent and important
  • not urgent but important
  • urgent but not important
  • neither urgent nor important

People with good time management concentrate on “not urgent but important” activities. That way they lower the chances of activities ever becoming “urgent and important”.

“The aim is to learn how to become better at reducing the number of urgent and important tasks. Having to deal with too many urgent tasks can be stressful,” says Emma.

PRACTISE THE ‘FOUR DS’

One study found that one in three office workers suffers from email stress. Making a decision the first time you open an email is crucial for good time management.

Emma advises practising the “four Ds”:

  • Delete : you can probably delete half the emails you get immediately.
  • Do : if the email is urgent or can be completed quickly.
  • Delegate : if the email can be better dealt with by someone else.
  • Defer : set aside time later to spend on emails that require longer action.

For more information, take a look at the NHS website.

More Insights

World Health Day – Five tips to improve your whole-person health

World Health Day – Five tips to improve your whole-person health

To celebrate World Health Day, here are five simple but effective ways to improve your whole-personal health, focusing on mental, physical, social, and financial wellbeing (or the four pillars, as we like to call them!)    Get up, get active Regardless of age, there’s strong scientific evidence to show that physical activity is the “magic […]

7th April 2021

Read More
World Sleep Day – Tips to help you drift off

World Sleep Day – Tips to help you drift off

The World Sleep Society (WSS) celebrates World sleep day on Friday, March 19, 2021. The slogan for the 14th annual World Sleep Day is ‘Regular Sleep, Healthy Future.’ But with our hectic lifestyles, it can be hard to switch off, resulting in insomnia for many. So, what are some of the strategies to help? Here […]

9th March 2021

Read More
How to avoid working from home burnout

How to avoid working from home burnout

Many of us have been working exclusively from home for almost a year now. Juggling the demands of work and childcare – not to mention the stress of living through a pandemic – is weighing on us all. Just last September, a Gallup poll found that fully remote workers now experience more burnout than on-site […]

1st March 2021

Read More