Time Management Tips – 5 Essential Steps to Reduce Stress During Time Crunches

Time management tips really help you manage yourself when you are stressed, rushed, and caught in a time crunch. Those are, after all, the times when it’s hardest to make your best time choices.

Here are 5 Stress-Reduction Steps to Take the Crunch Out of Your Time

  1. Work Within Your Limits.

    It sounds easy. It is not so easy. Take a deep breath. Recognize the reality that you don’t have time to get everything done that you might have hoped to. Straightforward as it sounds, it requires truly relinquishing options you might value highly! In Scott Peck’s classic, The Road Less Traveled, he lists “balancing” as one of the four essential disciplines to solve all life’s problems. At the heart of balancing is letting go. You assume more positive control by reducing demands on yourself to a workable level. Having simplified your demands, you can succeed!

  2. Prioritize Decisively.

    Quickly make or revise your to do list (on paper) with “must do” items at the top and things that you can let go of at the bottom. This assures that you don’t miss a key task. In fact, recent studies show that your brain is simply not engineered to store lists. Translating your plans into written, easily implemented “next action” steps is a priceless stress reduction tactic.

  3. Assertively Ask for Assistance.

    It’s OK to ask for help, and it’s important to be calm and clear when requesting it. Being firm and friendly, not frenzied, keeps the stress level at a minimum for everyone (yourself included). If help can’t be obtained, return to step one and reduce your list further.

  4. Give Thanks.

    Fourth, once everything is done that can be done in the time span available, be sure to thank everyone who pitched in – and if it was just you, be sure to thank yourself and validate the effort that carried you through! Expressing appreciation provides an opportunity for gratitude to restore balance and perspective, and it helps consolidate good will.

  5. Review and Revise.

    This step, often overlooked, pays rich dividends. When you have a moment to catch up with yourself, review what happened that left you in a situation with too much to do in too little time. Ask yourself these 3 questions:

    • Was procrastination involved?
    • Were there unexpected changes in your day that threw a wrench in the works?
    • What can you do to avoid a situation like this in the future?

Time management skills can’t address every eventuality, and there will be times when you have to squeeze too much activity into too little time. However, doing what you can to forestall stressful crises, minimize their impact, and learn from them is a great gift to yourself.

Now, what is your next move towards stress-free effectiveness?

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