Time and Stress Management
Finding that Extra Hour

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We have learned from time and stress management that when we try to do too much in too little time, we get stressed.  If only we could have one more hour in the day.  Here’s the secret—we can. 

Time and stress management.  There are ways to solve the dilemma. But we have to be diligent and develop strategies so that time is effectively spent.  A lot of stress in our lives can be eliminated if we simply plan ahead and guard against time wasters.

Try these time-saving tips and watch as you magically find more time in your schedule.

At Home

Ask the kids to pitch in.

Kids can tidy their rooms and plan for the next day before turning in for the night.  By deciding what clothes they will be wearing and assembling everything they will need for the next day’s activities, the morning time consuming decision-making can be avoided.  Moms also can plan for work the night before, choosing clothes and making a packed lunch.  Mornings can be stressful enough just getting everyone out the door on time without having to look for misplaced or forgotten items.

Become more efficient in the kitchen.

Plan your meals a week at a time.  If you can create a week’s worth of menus, you also can pare down grocery shopping to once a week.  You will find that your weekly menu planning allows you to buy foods more efficiently—a meat can serve for more than one meal, for example—but you may be able to make larger quantities of some foods that you can serve over more than one meal.  Weekly menu planning is a strategy that you can improve as you practice. 

Schedule tasks for specific days.

Create a house management schedule that designates specific chores be handled on specific days.  You may schedule doing the laundry for one day, cleaning the house for another, and grocery shopping for another.  By doing tasks on a specific day, the family becomes accustomed to the routine and can help ready the clothes and the house which allows for smoother completion of the household chores.

At Work

Find your time wasters.

Before you know it, it is 3pm in the afternoon and you feel like you have nothing to show for it!  Here is a way to find out where all that precious time went.  Take three days and record how you spent your time through out the workday.  Include trips to the water cooler and the times you were interrupted by colleagues.  How many times did you stop a task to check your email?  

Also, you might notice that you are most productive at certain times of the day.  Use those hours (when your energy and concentration levels are high) to tackle you most challenging assignments.  Then take on ways to limit the distractions of your time and stress management will not be as much of a concern.

Check your email less.

Turn off the computer notification that alerts you to new emails arriving in your inbox.  Check your email no more than three times a day so that you are not constantly interrupting your work.  Check your mail when you arrive to handle urgent needs.  Check at midday. Check at the latter part of your workday to handle necessary issues before the close of business day.  Limiting the distractions saves time and allows you to be more productive.

Rethink the commute.

Are you driving to work?  Consider public transportation or ride sharing.   By using the commute you can prepare for your work day, catch up on your reading, or  review of the day’s accomplishments.  Using shared transportation is a great way to decompress from work and be ready to share in family time when you arrive home.  Watch how you spend you precious time and stress management can remain calm.

Taking the Urgency Out of Time Management

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