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  • Writer's pictureAngela Belcher

Time Management




Mastering Time Management for Stress and Self-Care Balance

The most important coping skill for achieving a balance between stress and self-care is time management. Time management is defined as a process of prioritizing, scheduling, and executing responsibilities to personal satisfaction (Seaward, 2021). This can be summed up by deciding what, choosing when, and then following through. Steven Covey emphasizes, “the key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities” (2022). Scheduling your priorities first—such as work, family, and self-care—allows you to see where you have open blocks of time for other activities. The ego would have us complete the fun or exciting tasks first, saving the boring, more important stuff for last. Instead, we should prioritize urgent tasks and then reward ourselves with the more enjoyable ones.


The Challenge of Modern Technology

In this modern era, where so much of our lives are governed by electronic devices, we must make diligent efforts to minimize their effects and reclaim our time. These devices were designed to make our lives easier, and they have in many ways. However, they have also made our lives busier, happier, and more productive—or have they? Stephanie Bernaba (2016) claims “technology keeps us from actually living.” She describes how people are willing to lose relationships over social media, risk their lives creating a post, ignore their own surroundings, and generally become a lazy society due to the rapid advances in technology that allow us to “never have to move to get our business done.” This is a frightening concept to the holistic movement, which emphasizes the need for exercise to counteract stress. Technology appears to be a speed bump to this endeavor.


Maximizing Our Finite Resource

Time is our most finite resource; we have only twenty-four hours in a day. No matter what we do, we cannot insert more time into our lives, nor can we regain lost time. However, we can learn to manage the time we have more effectively. In the process, we will be able to get more done and maintain a healthy balance between stress and self-care.


Practical Tips for Effective Time Management


  1. Set Healthy Boundaries: Clearly define your personal and professional boundaries to prevent overcommitment and burnout.

  2. Don’t Multitask: Focus on one task at a time to improve efficiency and reduce stress.

  3. Tech Serves You—Not Vice Versa: Use technology as a tool to aid productivity, not as a constant distraction.

  4. Sleep Well: Prioritize getting enough sleep to ensure you have the energy and clarity to manage your time effectively.

  5. Be Assertive: Communicate your needs and limits to others to protect your time and well-being.

  6. Schedule Personal Time: Make sure to include time for self-care and relaxation in your schedule.

  7. Cultivate Networking Skills: Build a supportive network that can provide assistance and resources when needed.

  8. Watch Less TV: Limit television time to free up more time for productive activities.

  9. Identify Time-Robbers: Recognize and eliminate activities that waste your time.

  10. Use To-Do Lists: Keep track of tasks and prioritize them to stay organized and focused.

  11. Reduce Clutter: Maintain a tidy environment to minimize distractions and enhance productivity.


Conclusion

Effective time management is crucial for balancing stress and self-care. By setting priorities, minimizing distractions, and using practical tips to manage your time, you can enhance your productivity and well-being. Remember, time is a finite resource—managing it wisely is key to achieving a balanced and fulfilling life.

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