6 Myths About Stress And Time Management

There are numerous myths regarding stress and time management. In this article we will discuss 6 myths related to this topic and what to do about work-related stress and the role of time management.

6 Myths about stress

  1. All stress is bad.

There is good stress and there is bad stress. Sometimes stress can help you focus and complete your goals. Good stress can be found in excitement and thrills. The goal is to recognize signs of bad stress and deal with them.

  1. Planning takes more time than it ‘creates’.

This one is also not true, planning your time will cost you time, for sure. But eventually you will reap the rewards of a good planning.

  1. Caffeine, sugar and alcohol will help you get more done.

Also not true. Use caffeine and sugar sparingly. Research has shown that the body has to restore itself after a caffeine boost or sugar rush. Also, alcohol won’t help you get more done in less time.

  1. A time management problem means there is not enough time to do what needs to be done.

Definitely not, a time management problem usually means you are not using your time very well or to its fullest advantage. Most of the times a time management problem can be fixed by better prioritization.

  1. When you are busy you are using your time well.

You can be very busy, while not doing anything important. Don’t focus on what is urgent, instead, focus on what is important.

  1. I don’t feel stressed, so I am fine.

Many people don’t even feel how stressed they actually are. Most of the time your body will tell you when it is way too late. Don’t miss the early warning signs, like headaches and twitches.

Causes for stress in the workplace

There are some main causes for workplace stress.

  • Not knowing what you want (poor planning).
  • The feeling that there’s too much to do. You can even have this feeling when there’s hardly anything to do.
  • Not enjoying your job.
  • Conflicting demands on the job.
  • Insufficient resources to do your job.
  • Not feeling appreciated.

Stress and Time Management

Time management can help you reduce workplace stress. First you will need to identify what causes the stress. Is it something time management can ‘fix’? Or are you not enjoying your job, feeling unappreciated or are there conflicting demands?

It is wise to look at the root cause of your stress, as the needed solution depends on the cause. There are some causes that can’t be fixed with time management, resulting in more frustration and stress.

However, if your stress is caused by a source that you can tackle by improving your time management skills, this is where you should start. There are a lot of things that can help you reduce stress. And time management techniques can be a big help.

  • Let go of the illusion that doing more will make you happier. Is it quantity of time that you want, or quality?
  • Start by planning your time, this will give you the benefit of feeling in control.
  • Focus on results, not on being busy.
  • Ask your boss for feedback. Does he or she think you are doing okay? Asking your boss can help verify wrong impressions.
  • Delegate more often. Try and delegate the things that you are not good at, to a particular someone who is good at those things.
  • Drink less coffee and reduce your sugar intake. Drinking lots of coffee can make you feel rushed and stressed.
  • Keep track of the number of hours that you work in a week. Tell this number to your friends, family or boss. You can keep track of your time by keeping a log, in which you write down your activities per 15 minutes.
  • Read your email at the same times each day.
  • Prioritize your tasks and make a to-do list for each day. You can either make a to-do list in the morning or at the end of the afternoon of the previous day (recommended). Mark items either “A” or “B”. Do the “A” items right away, in the morning. And do the “B” items in the afternoon. Turn off your cell phone and any email notifications during the time you are working on “A” type items.
  • Do a weekly review, including what you have accomplished this week and what you plan to do next week.

The goal of time management should not be to find more time. Please note that managing your time takes practice. Ask yourself – throughout the day – “Is this what I want or need to be doing right now?”. If the answer is “yes”, then keep doing it. Also, ask yourself for every task “Do I need to do this now?” and “Do I need to do this at all?”. This can keep your to-do list manageable. Besides, you would be surprised how many urgent tasks are not important at all.

The goal of time management should not be to find more time. The goal is setting the right priorities. Priorities that have a long-lasting and beneficial effect on your life. Set reasonable amounts of time to spent on these priorities and stick to the plan.

Do you want to improve your time management skills? Download the free time management eBook.


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