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BE: Time Management for Stress Reduction


Elevated stress levels can lead to decreased function of neuroendocrine, immune, metabolic, and cardiovascular system functioning. Stress reduction techniques like meditation, exercise, controlled breathing, and leisure activities, are some of the most common tools used to reduce stress. However, there is another practice that can drastically improve stress levels - time management.

1. Choose Wisely.

You choose the actions and reactions of your day. Choose activities and tasks that support your mission and the vision you have for your relationships, career, health, and leisure.

2. Plan to BE your best.

Take care of you first. Your health, body, mind, and spirit should be your number one priority. Schedule your daily “you” time and don't allow interruption. Self-care, family time, exercise, and meals should be daily priorities.

3. Make a daily plan and stick to it.

Start with the top three things that need to get done and how much time they will take. From there, create time for all other activities and be generous with time, assuming that things can come up in the day.

4. Prioritize truly IMPORTANT activities.

Understand important versus urgent. Planning, self-care, relationships, paying bills, tasks at work, learning, research, leisure, and relaxation fall into the “important” category. It’s easy to get sidetracked throughout the day with things that may come across as urgent, but don’t necessarily need to be done right away. Avoid moving anything off your schedule from the "important" category for something seemingly urgent. And remember, what is urgent for another person does not necessarily need to be urgent for you.

5. Focus on things you can impact TODAY.

If you can't complete a task today because another person or variable is involved, LET IT GO and work on it at the first available date. As challenges arise, instead of succumbing to frustration, seek alternate solutions.

6. Become a master of good time boundaries.

Interruptions are inevitable throughout the day, but you can limit your time spent on them. Don't reply to emails that can wait. Be okay with saying "no.” Lastly, create a visual "do not disturb" sign when you are busy working.

7. Schedule a set amount of "junk" time.

Allocate time each day for browsing the web, socializing via text, or email and filing emails. Set a timer and stick to an allocated time for these activities to keep you on track.

Time management takes daily practice, but the more you stick to the principles outlined above, the more they will become your routine. With these principles, you will have time every day to take care of the things that matter most to you.