In previous articles on time management and stress, we've looked at the cost of poor time management and the stress that results from this - check out the article on Time Management Stress if you missed it.In another time management and stress article, we also looked at how we could stay healthy and well while still being busy. If you haven't read it, you might want to check out Stress and Wellness.
As I was thinking about time management and the positive effects that using these tips and tools have on my life, I started thinking about how sometimes, no matter how good I am at proactively managing my time, sometimes it still gets ontop of me!
Sometimes, my poor time management leads to a very stressful situation, which when you are right in the midst of it can feel overwhelming and uncontrollable. And then what happens? Well, there's always a response - something has to give - whether it's a meltdown, a flash of anger, a grumpy Mum moment or whatever, it's generally quick and not exactly how I would prefer to react.
Because I hate being grumpy Mum I did some research to look at better ways to respond reactively to these stressful situations. Lucky for you, I've already tried these methods and I can vouch for the fact that they do help!
Here are five ways you can respond IN THE MOMENT to time management and stress.
Or rather - take a deep breath! Although breathing is automatic, in the heat of the moment, when we are feeling the most stressed, we often forget to take a deep breath and instead lash out.
Taking deep breaths are calming and soothing. Plus, if you breathe in first before you respond, you might just stop yourself from saying something (or yelling something) that you regret later.
Okay, so things have turned to chaos since you didn't manage your time properly or didn't get yourself organized. Instead of screaming and throwing a tantrum like the kids do, choose instead to remain calm.
I know that saying this is far easier than actually doing it BUT I know from experience, it just takes practice. When you feel that anger and impatience and stress levels start to rise, practice pushing it back down and remaining calm.
If you do it enough, your normal response to poor time management and stress will be calmness with just a touch of irritation, not anger and tears.
Okay, so your day has turned to custard because you couldn't quite combine getting the kids to soccer practice, homework due tomorrow, dinner, bath and bed. Rather than beat yourself up about your poor time management, instead focus on being grateful for the small things. If you try this, you just might avert some very bad Self Talkand instead start looking at the brighter side of things.
My daughter is 2 years old so I find this is fast becoming one of my favourite techniques! When she's lying on the pavement throwing a tantrum because I'm trying to get her into the car so we can go to yet another after school activity I just picture ourselves in another year or two.
I know (from experience with my other children) that when she's 3 or 4 years old, she won't be this bad. So instead of reacting like her and getting angry to this stressful situation, I just think of the future when life will be far easier.
Then I pick her up still kicking and screaming and put her into the car seat. The difference now is that I'm much calmer as I do this - after I've put myself into a happier place!
Or put another way - don't make mountains out of molehills! Sometimes even the best laid plans go awry and I find that we are running late for an activity I can feel myself starting to get stressed out. Sometimes, the amount of stress I feel is out of proportion to the activity we are actually running late for. So, now I've realised this, I've started to ask myself whether it's worth getting grumpy about? Really, what's the worst that could happen?
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Go up to Importance Of Time ManagementOne of the best ways I've found to reduce my stress levels is to work for myself from home!
What do I do? Well, I run internet businesses (this website and some others). I absolutely love it but then I'm doing what I love! Working on a website means that you need to be able to manage your time very well and you'll need to be focused on building a quality business - check out my little article on the Importance Of Time if you want to know more.
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