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Managing Your Stress by Managing Your Time

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					Managing Your Stress by Managing Your Time

       Are you one of those people who wishes you had a 30-hour day? Do you long for
having enough time to homeschool your children, cook gourmet meals, tend a garden,
care for a large, five-bedroom house, play the piano, and sit by the fire reading a good
book? The fact of the matter is many Americans today are operating under a time
crunch. We simply don’t have enough hours in the day to accomplish all that we want to.

      The situation creates an enormous amount of stress. We may feel as if we are
constantly operating under a deadline. We may feel fatigued and frustrated, and we may
wonder if we are missing out on much of life because we spend so much time “doing”
and not enough time “thinking.” We’re stressed at work, stressed at home, and stressed at
our son’s soccer match.

     The irony is, the more we do, the more behind we seem to get. We are constantly
on the run, yet we may feel as if we are accomplishing very little. As a result, our
pessimism grows. We may become short-tempered, especially with those we love. We
may feel as if we are constantly running on empty.

      The good news is there is hope, even in the midst of what might seem a hopeless
situation. We can get control of our lives and control of our time. It may take a little bit
of effort and time, but it will be well worth it in the long run. The first step we need to
take is prioritization.

      Many people feel as if they lack time to do the important things in life simply
because they do not take the time to prioritize. Write down a list of your goals for the
week, for the year, and for the next five years. When you do your initial brainstorming,
you can list the goals in any order you like. Then go through the goals and rank them in
order of importance. After that task is completed, figure out just how much time you
would need to accomplish each goal. You may find that just five minutes here or there
can make all the difference in the world in achieving the items on your priority list.

      Next, learn to multi-task effectively. That time you spend waiting in the line at the
drive-thru window could be spent balancing your checkbook. Or the time you spend
paused at the cash register could be used to read a book or a magazine. In general, you
should not think of lines as time-wasters. Rather, consider them opportunities to
accomplish some small, yet important, tasks.

        In order to be effective as a worker, spouse, and parent, you’ll need some alone
time. Get an appointment book and actually schedule a block of time just for yourself.
Your alone time could be spent praying, re-evaluating your priorities, charting your
progress, or just fixing yourself a nice dessert. Just be sure that you have some alone
time each day. Otherwise, you’ll be shortchanging yourself, and you’ll feel more stressed
as a result.
       Don’t be afraid to say no. You cannot be a cub scout leader, girl scout leader,
fundraising chair, and prima ballerina all at one time. You’ll need to pick and choose
your assignments, both your professional assignments and your personal ones. If you
simplify your life, you might be surprised at how much time you’ll gain—and how much
better you will feel. Sometimes, it takes some backbone to say no. You might
disappoint someone. But, in the end, you’ll be much better off, knowing that you have
not overcommitted yourself.

       You should consider your time to be as precious as the President’s. There are a
number of duties which make demands on your time, those you love and those you don’t
care for. By employing some innovative scheduling techniques, you can set aside the
time for those things that are truly important to you. You’ll be less stressed, more
relaxed, and better able to cope with the challenges you encounter on a daily basis. As
you become less stressed out, you might find that your children, spouse, and friends
follow your lead. And your world will become more harmonious as a result.