Stress

Have you have ever found yourself overwhelmed by the number of projects that you need to get done in any given day? Or do you feel that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done? If you answered yes to either question, then you already know how important time management can be. Not only will it help you prioritize and be able to effectively manage your day so that you can get more done, it will also help you reduce the feeling of stress you feel when you notice projects piling up around you.

Tip #1 – Plan Your Day. The first step to productive stress relief and time management is to plan each day. When you plan your day it can help you get more done and allow you to feel more in control of your life. The best way is write out a “to do” list and put all of the most important tasks that need to get done at the top. That way you can cross them off when you’re finished and feel accomplished. Keeping a schedule of all your daily activities will also help you to feel less rushed.

Tip #2 – Prioritize. Tasks that are time-consuming and relatively unimportant can seem to take up a big chunk of your day, so try to get into the habit of prioritizing your tasks. Learning to prioritize is a good time management technique that will ensure you spend more time on tasks that are really important. Tackling those big, important tasks can be a real stress reducer. Also, make sure you do the job right the first time. Take the necessary time to complete the task properly that way you don’t need to go back and do it again. If you’ve allotted time for it and put it on your list, then you will not feel rushed in completing it.

Tip #3 – 10 Minute Rule. If you have a task that you’re dreading but it needs to get done, then practice the 10 minute rule. Work on it for 10 minutes, take a short break and then return to it for another 10 minutes. Even though you know you have only given yourself 10 minutes to work on the task at hand, once you start you may find that you stick with it until it’s finished.

In summary, time management means evaluating how you spend your time and delegating tasks to others who are able to get the job done for you. Once you get yourself into the habit of doing little things, you will find yourself feeling less stressed during your busy day.

Rick enjoys writing articles on a wide variety of topics and interests. Come visit his latest website over at living room furniture sectionals, which helps people find the best sectional living room furniture and information they need to make a wise decision about home furnishings.

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I want to introduce you to one of the very simplest yet most effective stress management techniques for tough times that I discovered some years ago, but first I want to tell you a story.

There is a story about a king who sought wisdom. He searched all over his kingdom for wisdom and did not find it. Eventually he heard of a man living in a remote part of the kingdom who had a reputation for great wisdom.

The king sent for this man and had him brought to court, whereupon the king offered the man a great reward if he would share the secret to his wisdom.

The man agreed and departed from the king’s presence.

He returned several weeks later and presented the king with a small box.

The king looked a little surprised and very disappointed as he opened the box and removed a ring. “Is this it?” he shouted at the wise man.

“Place the ring on your finger and read the inscription out loud,” replied the wise man.

The king read the inscription: “This too will pass”.

The wise man counselled the king: “Wear that ring at all times and look at it frequently, and regardless of whether you are experiencing good fortune or adversity remind yourself that this too will pass…”

The king was satisfied that he had at last found true wisdom and he duly rewarded the man with great wealth.

How I discovered the “This too will pass” rule

Approximately 12 years ago I was in a senior management position working on a large multi-million dollar IT programme in London. The various projects involved major change in the client organisation’s service delivery processes.

It was an extremely pressured role which was made far more difficult because of the adversarial relationship between my employers who were the prime contractor and our client’s IT department who were our direct interface on behalf of our client’s business users.

As these situations so often are, this was a highly political environment where emails were used by the client’s IT people and their subcontractors to make mischief and generally stir things up.

A typical strategy was for the client’s project manager or one of this team to fire off a critical – but inaccurate and misleading – email and to copy-in senior management and directors in the client organisation and with the prime contractor – and thus ensuring a continuous escalation of highly politicised issues.

This would happen several times a week.

My role in all this was to act as buffer and filter for my boss who was the programme director – to field these offensive emails – resolve the underlying issues and/or recommend a solution and to neutralise the politics.

You may find all this is a bit hard to believe unless you have worked on a large messy IT project (the large ones nearly always are messy!) – but I assure you it is true when I tell you that it was not uncommon for it to take me the best part of a day to deal with one of these emails.

Often my colleague – the programme manager and myself were unfairly and inaccurately personally criticised in these emails. It was wearing, draining and deeply unpleasant (and yes I only stuck it for the money – a lot of money at the time).

But here’s the thing, even though I did not know anything about mindfulness I did rapidly discover the truth of the “This too will pass” story.

I very soon realised that these angry and defensive states arose automatically but if I just sat with them and observed them, without engaging with them for about 24 hours, they passed.

I was then able to exercise clarity and to manage the tricky politics on behalf of my boss and to best effect.

This became known on our side of the programme as the “This too will pass” rule and my first lesson in the power of the practise of mindfulness.

Change your mind: to Change Your Life.

Stephen Warrilow, runs an informational site Zen Tools for tough times suggesting and providing practical resources that can show you how to change your life and also to help you survive imposed change and tough times.

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