Poor time management is a frequent cause of stress. Inefficient time management can result in: embarrassment, anxiety, worry, feelings of inadequacy, anger, fear, depression, and even sadness. The bottom line is the only person who can change that for you, is you. You are the only person who can step up to the plate and take the necessary actions to ease the stress that time management causes for you.

The stress caused from poor time management is a reflection of what is going on inside you. If you want to make time management improvements start with your mind. Right now you’re giving yourself permission to have poor time management behaviors. More often than not, that permission comes in the form of inaction. When you allow yourself to miss deadlines, show up late for appointments, leave projects unfinished, and work in an environment of chaos; all of those things exist for you because you’ve given yourself permission to allow them to exist.

Planning is important for success in all areas of your life, and time management is no exception. Develop a plan for how you want to use your time. The best time management plan will include your plan for how you will spend your time in all areas of your life. This creates balance and allows you to live a fuller richer more enjoyable life. In order to make this as simple as possible, just start with a plan for tomorrow. At the end of the day tomorrow plan the next day and so on. When you build up your confidence in your ability to develop a plan and stick to it begin planning a week at a time, and then maybe planning the bigger things a month out or a quarter out or even a year out.

You can plan all you want and your life will never change unless you hold yourself accountable for taking action. You have to move your hands and feet to implement your time management plan. When you first look at a project it can seem so overwhelming that you don’t even know where to begin. Avoid project paralysis by breaking it down into pieces and then focusing on just working on one piece of the project at a time. You may be surprised how many pieces of a project you can complete in 15 minute increments.

As you begin to master your time management effectiveness take time to notice how much less stress you have. A good way to make sure you don’t overlook the impact your new behaviors is having is to work from one master “to do” list, and check things off each day as you complete them. I personally prefer to use one list for the whole week, and just keep checking things off and re-prioritizing as I go. This helps you to really realize the difference your efforts are making not only in your stress level, but in your productivity level too.

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