Explain why you feel that it is important to be aware of the connection between time management and stress.
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I believe that stress is basically caused by the individual and not by other people or outside influences. I have never suffered from excessive stress except when I have faced deadlines due to my own poor time management. It has taught me to get a start on important work early and not procrastinate. This seems to work for me--except in the case of the occasional surprise financial crisis.
However, at times I find myself spending more time organizing than what the actual task will demand of my time. I agree that organization is important, but at times I need to stop being obsessive about getting organized and get started already!!!
Seriously, a certain amount of stress is healthy. It tends to focus attention and to motivate our efforts toward accomplishment of whatever needs to be done. Of course, when deadline time comes closer and the stress level climbs if the work isn't getting done, that is an indication that some time management procedures need to be developed and implemented. The goal is to use the stress as an impetus and a motivation, not a form of self-punishment.
It is important to be aware because it is very easy to fall into a very bad cycle of taking time for granted and becoming too overconfident with doing things in a speedy manner. The problem is that, when we become overconfident with doing things in a speedy manner, we overlook a lot of details that could have been treated with more care, or dealt with more effectively if only we had used an extra 5 seconds of analytical thinking to get our thoughts straight.
In the army there is a funny thought that I will repeat here (a bit cleaned up from its original version) which is POOR PLANNING PRECLUDES *PRETTY POOR PERFORMANCE (the *pretty is the part I changed). I agree with this thought 100%. If you do not plan ahead with a good margin for trial and error, you may not end up at the top of your game.
I think one of the pitfalls of stress is self-diagnosing it incorrectly. Whether it is due to poor time management, improper diet, or even lack of sleep, not knowing exactly what is the root cause of the stress will only cause it to continue.
When it comes to time management as the root cause of stress, additionally, it is important to understand the connection because more often than not, others (besides the stressed individual) are highly affected by the person's stress and lack of management skills. Someone who has problems with time management and then is stressed out by that, often is meeting deadlines which others rely on. When stress is prevalent enough to influence the entire work environment, several people could be negatively affected.
Self-awareness is the name of the game. If we are unable to manage ourselves and the often limited time we have to do a bewilderingly high number of jobs, then often our personal stress levels can escalate to a disturbingly high level. Having a plan of how to manage our time and going through a system of prioritising those many jobs gives us confidence that we can handle it and helps to control our stress levels.
I found that I ended up spending more time on the tasks I managed poorly (communicating regularly with my staff) than I would have had I faced the challenge and been realistic in the time the job needed. I found that the more I left this task poorly organised, the more stress I faced as a result. Taking stock and reflecting on how to manage this issue finally took the stress out of the situation. What i learned: face it, deal with it, move on!
We live very busy lives that are full of distractions. We are surrounded by many "better" or "more fun" things to do, when we really just need to get down to the task at hand. An irony of the situation is that we are stressed because we haven't managed our time, and to relieve our stress we do the things that cause us to have more problems with time management which then increase our stress! For example, you are are very stressed about about an upcoming work deadline, so you play video games for a few minutes to relieve your stress, but that time spent relieving your stress is only making the work deadline more stressful.
If you know that you are an easily distractable person, you need to make better choices about HOW you work -- place, people around you, etc. that will optimize your attention to the task at hand. The best stress relief is a sense of accomplishment, so breaking a large task into smaller, achievable goals is a great way to start.
It is important to be aware of this connection because poor time management can often lead to stress. This stress can have negative effects on our physical and mental health and on our relationships with other people.
For example, let's say that you waste a lot of your time playing games on your computer when you have papers whose due dates are coming up. That is poor time management. When the due dates get very close, you will be under a lot of stress because you will have run out of time in which to complete the papers. At that point, you will surely not feel very good emotionally and you may even make yourself sick if you have to work too hard for too long to make up for your poor time management.
In this way, it is important to realized that poor time management can lead to stress.
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