Stress is almost unavoidable. Whether it’s a work overload, worrying about paying your rent on time, booking doctors’ appointments or maintaining social obligations, stress is something that we all feel in our day to day lives. And while it might feel overwhelming, there are a number of different things you can do to reduce the overall amount of stress you feel each day. This process starts with time management. Since much of our stress comes from the fast-paced and hectic schedules prescribed to us from modern living, having an understanding of time and how to parcel it out effectively can help tasks seem more manageable and make us more productive in the process.
What is stress?
It’s fundamental to understand what stress is before we can work on how to get over it. Stress is our body’s way of responding to a demand – an external or internal stimuli. Our body reacts to a certain situation by releasing chemicals such as adrenalin into the blood to prepare for a specific outcome – either to stand and fight or flee from the situation. Stress is not necessarily a bad thing. Our ancestors used stress as a mechanism to survive, and it has been passed down biologically for generations. As such, we still feel the physical sensation of stress except we lack many of the dangers which stress would have aided us with thousands of years ago – such as being mauled by a wild animal. We therefore still feel the same physical response for survival. The difference is that our everyday stressors are generally more emotional than physical (such as being late or getting in trouble at work), but the stress response we feel is still calibrated to the dangers faced in the past. This results in our feelings of anxiety or worry which would otherwise have been purged naturally through fight or flight.
Now that we have a handle on what stress is, we’ll look at the ways in which time management can ease stress.
Time management can enhance our sense of control
Understanding how to effectively use and portion time can enhance our sense of control. This is important as often we feel as though life is rushing by at an extraordinary pace. It’s crucial to take a few days to document how your time is spent – this will give you a sense of how you currently spend your time and the steps you can take to manage it more efficiently. Owning a watch is an important step in this regard. While a cellphone or your computer can also tell the time, they’re also likely sources of distraction and can, in fact, lead you to even poorer time management. Investing in a quality timepiece like a Patek Philippe – easily obtainable from websites like Chrono24 ensures that you observe time and how it is spent with a device crafted uniquely for this purpose. Calendars and diaries are also a useful aid for tracking how you prioritize tasks.
It can help decide what is most important and meaningful
By managing your time correctly you will also come to realize what is important and what can take the back burner. This ties in directly with the sense of control that comes with allowing yourself to manipulate the time you spend on daily tasks. You’ll start to realize what tasks are urgent and that should be tackled immediately to lessen direct stress in your life – such as paying your electric bill to avoid having your electricity turned off – and what tasks are important, meaningful but not as crucial – such as spending time with family and friends.
It will allow you to control procrastination
Lengthy, unpleasant tasks often force us to procrastinate and put them off until later, which may increase stress as deadlines approach. By planning your tasks in advance you can break them up into more manageable chunks, which will make them seem less overwhelming. You can also create short- term deadlines and factor in breaks, both of which will motivate you to finish the task more quickly. Each deadline achieved will also give you a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, which in turn creates motivation to fully realize the task at hand.
It will allow you to create better sleep habits
A lack of sleep is one of the fastest ways to compromise your immune system, resulting in the onset of sickness, inflammation and stress . There are a number of links between insomnia and stress – it’s a vicious cycle in which stress can induce insomnia which then induces more stress. By managing your time, your schedule will allow you to fit in an adequate amount of sleep every night, ensuring that when the next day rolls around, you’ll feel awake, refreshed and of sound temperament.
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