Ever spend a night lying awake in bed, eyes closed, trying to get you brain so stop racing, then you look over at the clock. 4:35am. An exhausted moan lets past you lips as you clamp you eyelids shut and turn away from that ugly, treacherous, unending hour of the morning. Hopefully turning away from it will make it not exist. Then your brain acts up even faster. You start thinking about how busy your day is tomorrow and this lack of sleep is going to make you a shambling skeleton. Just trying to think makes you head hurt, and trying to focus on the day makes the back of your eyes ache. Even starting with a freshly brewed cup of coffee from Dunkin Donuts will not prepare you for the eight long hours you have ahead of you. Yeah. We’ve all been there. We love how committed you are and we want you to be as active and successful as you can be, but we don’t want you suffering an early heart attack. Stay productive, but keep your stress levels down. Here are the best techniques to do so:
Learn to Reschedule
It’s true that crossing out that cancelled meeting you were dreading off of your daily calendar can be quite relieving, it is far more beneficial towards you and all of the working professionals connected to the meeting that it is rescheduled. This meeting was important enough that your poor, tired hand pulled open your top desk drawer, reached into, picked up a pen, closed your desk drawer, released the ink tip from its indefinite hibernation, and then stretched out your overused dominant wrist to write it down on your calendar. All of this effort that you had put upon yourself has to have a payoff, right? Rescheduling instead of forgetting about if it’s cancelled gives you enough flexibility in your schedule to relieve stress, but more importantly shows that you will not let important things just drop out of your job.
Strategy is Key
Your strategy should be refined by your calendar. Yes, your calendar. Get the biggest calendar you want if you’d like. If you do not have a calendar, get one. The more tactical strategy you can execute is by starting to fill your calendar by writing in your most important tasks first. After that you then fill in your secondary tasks which can fall wherever they best fit. Pretty easy, right? What this does is gives you priority of your work. By writing in each appointment or meeting, or report due without priority, you are giving every single task intent to overbear you.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
While overbooking your schedule, it may look nice to show how overcommitted you are to your job, but exhaustion will catch up to you sooner rather than later. Leave short periods to take a breath, gather yourself, and get your thoughts in order. Look over your speech, presentation, work, or topics of discussion one more time. When more prepared for situations, you are less likely to get overly stress from the lack of readiness, and less will be accomplished because of it.
As a philosopher once said, “Relax, don’t do it. When you want to, go to it.” Okay , that was actually Frankie Goes to Hollywood, but it is a message we can apply to here. How are you supposed to get all of your work done when the words on your report are getting hazy, the phone keeps ringing, and ringing, and ringing, and the room is spinning? You may need to step out of the building for a minute or ten just to alleviate the pressure you feel starting to bear down on you. Then when you come back, you can go back to your work clear headed.
For more information on how to have exceptional time management, you can read the full Entrepreneur article here.