How Time Management Helps To Reduce Stress
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How Time Management Helps To Reduce Stress

December 26, 2019


Today, we’re going to talk about how time
management can in fact reduce stress. As well as some of my top tips from the
research based on how your brain works for how you can reduce stress and use
your time wisely. Firstly, time is by far your most
valuable resources. I know especially when I’m talking to some of my students
or younger audience members. They’ll often say to me, you know, “It’s really
what I’m limited in is money.” Or “I’m limited in some other resource.” When in
actual fact, what you realize over time through your career is that time is an
unknowable resource you will never get back. Money, you can earn that back. Energy
you can have that again tomorrow. However, time is something you never get back. Now,
here’s what’s interesting: When you have time, you don’t feel like you are like
it’s a resource that really matters. However, think about how you treat your
money. You probably have a way of investing it, a way of budgeting it, a way
of thinking about how much it there is based on it being a limited resource.
However, probably not doing that as well or as much with time. And so, today what
I’d like to talk about is how it is that you can budget your time and really use
time to your advantage. Using some brain-based tips that have been proven
through the research to help you make sure that you’re using your time wisely.
So, the number one tip that I have for you in terms of managing your time is
this: Don’t start your day with email. I know it’s so hard and most of us do. You
roll out of bed and it’s the first thing that you’re tempted to check is all of
your notifications and all of your inboxes. See what you can do about
delaying that gratification about not checking your emails first. The reason
that I say this is what we notice is that the minute that you check emails
first, you’re actually allowing your inbox to rule your day, your time and
your energy. And so, it will be very hard to say to anyone or anything in that
inbox that you aren’t going to deal with it that you won’t attend to it. There’s
another reason. When what you do is you attend to your inbox first and all the
other people who are asking questions or need something, you’re aversively
messaging to yourself but your time and your energy aren’t more important and
that your priorities aren’t more important than other
people’s priorities. So, first piece of advice: Do not check email first in your
day. Okay, the next piece of advice that’s really
worked well for high-performing people in terms of their time management is to
check emails at certain or set times of day but not continually. That is to say
that you might lay out times in your day that you will go and check your emails
or your inboxes but you won’t be constantly monitoring the inbox or the
notifications that are coming through. The reason that this also helps with
your time management is because you aren’t just allowing absolutely anything
to interrupt you. What we want is for you to have unrequited time where you can
use that time to be productive and to work on the things that are of highest
priority for you. If you allow your inbox to interrupt you at any moment, you won’t
be prioritizing your priorities first. Another tip to make sure that your time
management is proper and that you are actually getting your time back is
not to let other people set your priorities for you. A little bit like not
allowing your inbox to constantly bombard you or interrupt you, allowing
other people to come and interrupt you and ask for things or to tell you what
to do to some extent is unavoidable in especially in a corporate or office
environment. However, if what you can do is set boundaries such that you’re not
just letting anybody and everybody tell you what to do, this will allow that you
do get time back. And so, definitely what you want to do is set boundaries both
physically and figuratively so that other people can’t set your priorities,
can’t set your energy and don’t create your priorities for you. This is
especially hard to remember when you’re young. But one of the things that you
should consider when someone asks you to do something, don’t think first about the
energy or about the money. Think first about the time that that’s going to take.
It’s in fact the last thing that comes most naturally to consider is how long
is this task going to take me. However, if what you’re doing, when someone asks you
something, think first about the time and then about the energy and money. This
will really help with reclaiming time and putting time back into
your day. Another tip to make sure that you are managing your time for you and
you have time back is to say no to things. This isn’t always possible. I
realize that. And especially in a corporate or office environment. Sometimes
it can be really hard to tell your boss “No.” However, there are very many times and
I think when you start to practice doing this, you’ll get better at it. And that’s
that if someone comes and asks you for something or asks you to do something or
tries to give you work or delegate to you, there are times when you can
plausibly and reasonably set the boundary to say no. And so one of my
favorite pieces of advice from the psychological research is when you get
an ask, sometimes just say no. Overall, you know things like not checking your email
constantly not checking your email first. Not letting just anyone interrupt you
and ask things from you is really about this tip. And that’s to
prioritize your own to-do list. What you need to get done what you want to get
done is important. And you should be messaging both to yourself and to other
people that it is your first priority. It’s especially easy to forget when
you’re early in your career or when you’re particularly young in your office
or in your work environment but this is what I want you to do, is think about how
you can prioritize your work; you our to-do list first. If you think of it that
way, you do reclaim not just opportunity but time on your side. The next piece of
advice I actually learned when I was doing my MBA and it was this: In the MBA,
while it’s not a very challenging degree, the challenge comes in the fact that
there are volumes of work. Time management becomes a really critical
skill that you need to learn in order to get through that degree. And one of the
ways that I learned to do that corroborated by the research is that you
need to set time limits for yourself with everything. It turns out and the
research shows that if you give yourself three hours to do a task,
it’ll take 3 hours but if you say to yourself, “You know what? I’m going to see
how much I can get done in the next half an hour, 30 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes.”
What’s amazing is that very many people will find a lot of what they needed to
get done, if not all of what they needed to get done on a particular task
actually happens in that length of time. So, that piece of advice is to set time
limits for everything on your to-do list. Make sure that you are budgeting time
just like you are budgeting energy, money and other resources. My final and one of
my favorite pieces of advice for time management and effective time management
is to plan tomorrow tonight. What I mean by that is think of your full day, the
schedule, your task list, what you want to get done how you will budget your time.
Think of how to do that tonight. And what’s amazing is that during sleep,
while you’re actually sleeping; your subconscious brain goes to work on it
already. And so, by the time you wake up, you will actually have a much better and
clearer view of how your day will proceed, what the logical order of things
are, how long things should take, how much energy things are going to require. And
you’ll be psychologically prepared for your day. Your brain actually works
throughout your your dream states and throughout your sleep time to prepare
you for what’s to come. And so, if you put your day together tonight, you will
actually have a much more productive day tomorrow. You will be better in terms of
your budgeting of time and you will get much more done in a much happier way.
Thank you for watching today. I very much respect and appreciate your time.
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  1. I’ve been scheduling a time each day to check notifications and emails. It’s been super helpful in keeping me focused on my agenda in the mornings!

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