Question: How does time management help reduce stress, and what are some tips to manage time better?
Answer: Again most of us experience stress when we feel as though we have a perceived lack of control over the events in our lives. And time management -- being careful about how we use our time, how we portion our time -- can enhance our sense of control. As far as tips are concerned, I think any time management process has to begin with a realistic appraisal of how it is that we're using our time.
Typically it's a reasonable thing to monitor how we use time for a few days or a week to try to get a sense about whether or not we really have a problem with time management, or whether we're really spending too much time on too many tasks that aren't really terribly relevant to our job or our school performance.
Once we engage in that process, then I think we want to try to set priorities, make lists of things that are essential in the performance of our tasks, and try to differentiate them from those things that really probably don't need to be done. Many people in my experience complain about the interruptions and interference of e-mail in their day now, and so one of the suggestions that we've made is that they set aside two or three particular times of the day for reading e-mail, but not respond to it immediately as it comes in because it tends to be disruptive.
And finallym I think that one of the most important things you can schedule in your day is 10 minutes to do nothing but to be planfull about the rest of your day or the coming day. The other thing that setting aside that time does is that it reinforces the idea to us that the relationship between performance on the one hand and feeling busy on the other is not necessarily as tight a relationship as we might think.