How can one of man’s shining achievements evolve into one of his greatest sources of stress? Popping up around the dawn of modern civilization, time conquered humanity in about 6,000 years.
As humans, our stress response is triggered when we no longer feel in control. Unfortunately, time is a never-ending situation in which we almost always feel out of control.
Time management is control over the sequence of events in life. Good time management is shown to have a positive impact on mental health, attributed primarily to the enhanced feeling of control over time. Planning is the single sole way to gain control of your life and ultimately, your time. There are three effective methods of planning and time management:
- ABC123 Prioritized Planning requires the daily making of a highly prioritized to-do lists.
- Quadrant Planning focuses on activities with reference to importance and urgency. (“first things first”)
- LifeBalance promotes purposeful planning combined with going with the flow.
If these methods don’t work for you, Serendipity offers something of a compromise. It provides a way to have both the stability of working toward your goals and the freedom to enjoy the unexpected along the way. It’s an effective strategy, adopting the principle that life’s unexpected moments are actually meant to happen.
Procrastination exists to prevent us from mastering time management. I challenge you to think of a case where procrastination contributed to the solution, not the problem. There are six types of procrastination:
- Crisis makers
Most of us can relate to at least one of these categories. While we might go about procrastination in different ways, the outcome is consistently negative. A small, yet effective strategy for anyone wishing to improve their time management skills is to manage time zappers. A time zapper is ANY activity that takes away from what is more important. Eliminating time zappers from your daily routine can drastically improve your well-being.
Effective time management is achieved by greater control over the activities that take up our time, rather than attempting to manage time itself. Choose an effective time management method, master your procrastination type, and eliminate time zappers to develop a stress-free lifestyle.
If you’re interested in learning more about time management, or stress management in general, purchase Stress Management for Life: A Research-Based Experiential Approach, by Olpin and Hesson.
Olpin, Michael, and Margie Hesson. "Ch. 11." Stress Management for Life: A Research-based Experiential Approach. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2010. N. pag. Print.