Do you feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? Tasks you thought would take an hour somehow take a full day or more. This can quickly spike your stress and make future tasks even harder to manage. What’s the solution? Check out these time management tips to find out.
Plan Your Day in Blocks
When planning out the day, try not to plan every minute or every hour. Instead, turn the day’s schedule into a set of blocks. Then assign tasks to each block.
For instance, let’s say you break the day into four sections. Your schedule may look like this:
- Morning (6AM-10AM): Get children ready for school, start laundry, eat breakfast, go to work, respond to emails, plan upcoming work party
- Lunch (10AM-1PM): Eat, drop off dry cleaning, clean desk
- Afternoon (1PM-5PM): Conference call, order/pickup supplies for work party, plan for tomorrow’s employee meeting
- Evening (5PM-9PM): Pick up dry cleaning, eat dinner, transfer and fold laundry, meal prep for tomorrow, spend time with family
The events within the blocks don’t have to happen in a certain order. You may start your laundry at the very beginning of the morning, or you may turn on the washer right before you leave for work. Thinking in blocks gives you some flexibility while still maintaining a general schedule.
Block Yourself from Known Distractions
If you know you get distracted by certain things, block yourself from them. Bock all social media sites on your work computer. That way you can only access them from your phone or at home. If your phone is a distraction, turn it on silent and put it out of reach. If the TV is a distraction, turn it off. Do whatever it takes to keep your mind focused.
Schedule Chunks of Distraction-Free Productivity
If you plan for power productivity times, you can get a lot done in a short span. For 15 minutes straight, focus all your energy on one task. No distractions and no other tasks. Just that one matter for 15 whole minutes. Set a timer to keep you on track. When the timer goes off, you can rest your brain for a moment. If you break your day up into these power sessions, you can reduce stress and significantly boost productivity.
Tackle One Task at a Time
Don’t get overwhelmed with everything you have to do. Instead, focus on whatever you are doing in a given moment. You may have 20 emails to respond to. Only focus on one at a time. You’ll get through all of them eventually. Stressing won’t make that process any faster. Trust that the little steps you’re taking will ultimately lead to big strides.
Talk to Someone About Your Stress
Even with all these time management solutions, you’re bound to face stress in your life. It helps to vent to someone about the stress, just to get it out of your head. If you have a therapist, be open about the stress in your life. It could be something seemingly small, like cleaning a room in your house or taking the dishes out of the dishwasher. Every stressor matters and every stress trigger has a solution. Being open with your therapist will lead you to that solution.
To schedule an appointment for stress management therapy, contact Oakland Psychological Clinic.