Time Management & Job Stress
Time management is something we all deal with as our lives get more hectic. In this lesson, we will address time management and the stress it can put on an individual in the workplace.
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Time Is the Enemy
One way or another, at our jobs, we all have some degree of stress. The challenge for many of us is trying to understand the source of that stress. While certain aspects of our jobs could have stressful parts associated with them, one of the major contributors to job stress is time management. You see, many of us try to get more done in a day than is physically possible.
However, in some cases, not accomplishing everything we want to is a matter of inefficient time management. It is generally understood that time management is the manner in which we plan and execute the tasks of our day. These can be specific job activities, life activities or anything combined to make our lives more effective and more efficient; in the end, make us more productive. So, let us take a look at some of the aspects of time management in the workplace.
Impact of Stress
The impact of time management and stress as they relate to the job you do are well documented. Stress can cause anxiety, fatigue, physical ailments, emotional issues and, in some cases, even behavioral changes. In the past, you may have noticed that you aren’t sleeping well, that you’re unable to eat or that you’re drinking more and more caffeine just to get through a day.
The effects that stress has on the body are different for each person, but it’s important to be able to identify the effect stress has on you. This will enable you to realize you are stressed and hopefully come up with a means of stopping or dealing with the issue. Some of the effects stress can have on a person are:
Physical : Stress can cause physical issues with your body, such as headaches, muscle tension, fatigue, change in eating habits and even loss of sleep.
Mood : Your mood can be impacted by stress as well. People will start to have moods that are driven by anxiety. They might become less motivated to do work, get angry quickly or be short tempered and possibly fall into sadness or depression.
Behavior : Individuals might start to not eat as much, yell at or become irritated with individuals more quickly and even turn to alcohol or drugs to deal with the issue.
These symptoms, or really, these signs, are indications that you’re getting stressed. Of course, this can be caused by many things in our daily lives; however, in this case, we are looking at stress due to the fact that you cannot manage your time and get everything done at work. The trick is to recognize the signs and come up with solutions that make you more effective in your time management.
Dealing With Time
There are many things an individual can do to help manage their time better at the office. Before we look into the impact of stress on the individual at the job, first let us take a look at some of the things we can do to help us with our time management.
Setting Priorities and Goals
It’s amazing how many people do not start their day by planning their day. Setting priorities and goals means to look at the tasks that we need to get done in a given day and to give each task a priority and understand what the goals are that we’re trying to accomplish. You see, part of the problem is not all the work that needs to get done, but understanding what you can get done in a day. If you take the time to set priorities and understand the time allotted to each task, you will have a much better grasp of time management.
Do Not Procrastinate
Okay, I know we all do this in one form or another, but something that really kills time management and productivity is procrastination , or putting off something now to do at a later time. The thought process behind this is that we do not have the time to ‘do that work’ now, so we simply put it off for a later time.
To give you a visual of what procrastination does, let’s say that you have a shovel of dirt. Every time that you procrastinate and delay a task that you have to do, it is like taking a shovel full of dirt and throwing it on top of your desk. The more you procrastinate, the more piles of dirt hit your desk and the higher and higher the amount becomes. If you procrastinate enough, sooner or later you will not be able to see your desk.
Many of us have always believed that ‘if you want to get a job done right, you have to do it yourself.’ In many cases, that might be true, but you have to realize how much you - as one person - can get done in a day and what you cannot get done. When you have too much to do in a day, it is only smart to delegate some of your tasks to someone else.
Of course, I am making the assumption that you’re a manager, and you have someone to delegate that work to. If you do, it enables you to get more work done in a day. You also won’t waste time on small tasks that can easily be done correctly by someone else. Just a little bit ago, we talked about setting priorities. Well, if one of the tasks you have is something that you can give to someone else to do, you have helped yourself prioritize your tasks.
Please understand that all of us deal with time management issues. If you take the time to look around you, you’ll see that society as a whole has adapted to time management issues. We have drive-through fast food windows, text messaging, voice mail, e-mail, DVRs for our televisions (what better way to skip over time-consuming commercials) and any other means possible to shave a few minutes off our busy schedules.
We try our hardest to make sure that the time that we have in a day is utilized to its fullest. Regardless of that, we must be able to deal with time management issues and the stress that come along with them. To do this, remember to set goals and priorities , do not procrastinate , and delegate your work where you can. Inclusive of this, make sure you know the warning signs of stress, so you can address the issues as it comes.
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