Stress is a growing problem in our society. A reported 43% of all adults in Canada suffer adverse health effects due to stress, 75-90% of all visits to family doctors are for stress related complaints, each day 1 Million people are absent from work due to stress and 25 billion workdays are lost annually are due to stress related factors.
One of the underlying factors that create stress in our lives is the feeling that we just don’t have enough time in the day to get everything done. We find ourselves scrambling between our jobs, our responsibilities at home and around the house, our commitment to friends and family, preparing meals, exercise and trying to find some time to have some fun in the mist of it all. This creates a lot of stress on a daily basis, and if we’re not managing our time effectively we eventually ‘burn’ ourselves out trying to get everything done, or we will put some important aspects of our life on the ‘back burner’ such as regular exercise.
Time, or lack thereof is one the #1 complaint I get in my office! It’s a big source of stress in our lives, and it’s also an excuse or rationalization used for why we aren’t able to make better choices in our lifestyle such as regular exercise and healthy eating.
One of the best ways to reduce our stress and to get more out of our day is to manage our time better!
Is it possible to get everything done in our 24hrs day?
Top 5 Ways to get more out of your day!
#1 Set Priorities!
Decide what is most important to you! There maybe several aspects of your life that you feel are really important – your work, your family, your social life, exercise and so on. Remember it’s important to have a healthy balance of work and pleasure. The priorities may change week to week. Decide what your top priority is and put most of your energy towards that. If possible address your priorities early in the day so they’re out of the way, this will help you start the day with a sense of accomplishment and reduce the weight on your shoulder for the reminder of the day.
#2 Organize Your Day
Plan ahead and anticipate what your day will look like! Make a list of the tasks that you would like to get done in a day. It has been proven that if we write things down and schedule them into our day we are much more likely to get them done! Better yet, make that list in the order that it needs to get done – be as specific as possible. Use your “NET” time wisely. “NET” time is pockets of time throughout the day that is often wasted, such as repeatedly pressing the snooze button in the morning instead of using the time wisely such as firing off some emails that need to get out or putting in 15-20 mins. on the treadmill or walking around the block to get your daily exercise in. Find pockets in your day that you usually waste, and schedule tasks into those pockets. Find efficient ways to run your errands, such as internet banking instead of having to make a trip to the bank to pay your bills or using your breaks at work to run errands or squeeze in some daily exercise. Now, no matter how well we plan ahead, we are bound to encounter surprises. So things won’t always turn out as planned. Keep a flexible attitude and be prepared to juggle your schedule for the surprises that keeps life exciting!
#3 Delegate What You Can
It’s important to recognize when you can delegate some of the workload. Whether at work or at home, share the responsibility! Communicate to those around you on when and what you need help with! When we are able to delegate tasks we leave opportunity for more time in the day to get to other things that are important to us done. Sharing responsibilities is an important way to build a healthy work environment and home. Much more gets done when everyone pitches in and it also helps to build a sense of unity.
#4 Don’t Over Schedule
Be reasonable about what you can get done in a day! This will help to reduce the pressure of time, and you’ll feel really great about yourself when you complete all the tasks you set out to complete in a day. Make sure you have a balance in your schedule! It does you no good working like a dog and leaving little time for enjoyment or rest or vise versa. Assign time for your job, family, and fun each day! If you are giving extra attention to work one week, make sure to balance that out the following week and do something enjoyable for yourself.
#5 Let Go of Perfectionism
As mentioned earlier, your day will not always go perfectly as planned and you need to keep a flexible attitude so you can deal with unexpected changes in your day. Some tasks may need a lot of detail other tasks could do without. Pick and choose what you want to spend more time on, and what can be done swiftly.
If you are feeling the pressure of time take a moment and see which of the 5 steps is most unlike the way you approach you day and start with that step to get more out of your day and reduce the stress of time!