Reduce Stress – Improve Your Time Management

Reduce Stress – Improve Your Time Management

by Dr Emma Gray - 23rd March, 2015

One of the main sources of stress and anxiety is poor time management.

Here are 7 basic skills to improve your productivity:

1. Get started
Obvious maybe, but a common problem is finding the motivation to get started. Research has shown that one of the main differences between good students and average students is their ability to get down to work quickly. So bite the bullet and get down to the task in hand.

If this is proving easier said than done, work out what the obstacles are, are they practical (not having the right equipment) or psychological (anxiety about failure), remove these and move on.

2. Make it part of your routine
As human beings we like routine, it creates a reassuring framework around our day into which we can slot necessary tasks and maximise the chances that they will be completed. So allocate tasks a time slot and then let the routine carry you through any motivational issues.

3. Do not say YES, when you want to say NO
It is difficult sometimes to resist the demands of others, especially if we are lacking in confidence and self-esteem, feel anxious, depressed or sometimes if we have lost sight of what is important to us. So keep in mind that every yes, is a no to something else, when you agree to something try and consider from what other activity you will take away time.

4. Distant Elephants
From far away even elephants looks small; do not commit yourself to unimportant activities no matter how far ahead they are.

5. Break it down
Large tasks can be incredibly anxiety provoking, so break then down into manageable portions, this will not only feel less overwhelming but the completion of each portion allows you a sense of satisfaction and achievement.

6. Beware of Perfectionism
The need to do things perfectly often results in nothing being done at all, perfectionism is a close companion of procrastination. So think about what will be good enough and be strict with yourself, if the pass mark is 50%, aim for 51%, you will achieve so much more.

7. Make a plan
Write a list of everything that needs to be done, allocate a time slot in your routine and then get on with it. Allowing tasks to sit unassigned in your mind creates unnecessary worry and stress, a few minutes spent making a plan will save hours wasted on anxiety.

For more tips on reducing stress, time management and anxiety management contact the Clinical Psychologist and Counselling Psychologists at The British CBT & Counselling Service.


Dr Emma Gray

Dr Emma Gray

I am often the first person with whom my patients share significant and intimate thoughts and memories; I never take that privileged position for granted nor the opportunity to help someone to feel better about themselves and discover a more fulfilling life. One of my colleague once described me as natural psychologist; I guess she was alluding to the fact that I feel at ease being a therapist, I can empathise with people’s distress and discomfort but don’t feel overwhelmed by it, I can understand their problem and know how to help, it has always just felt like what I should be doing.


Read more about my approach to counselling here...


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