Time management: Tips to reduce stress and improve productivity

Posted on April 19, 2011

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Mayo Clinic Staff

[...] You probably know that effective time management will help you get more done each day. It has important health benefits, too. By managing your time more wisely, you can minimize stress and improve your quality of life.

But how do you get back on track when organizational skills don’t come naturally? To get started, choose one of these strategies, try it for two to four weeks and see if it helps. If it does, consider adding another one. If not, try a different one.

  • Plan each day. Planning your day can help you accomplish more and feel more in control of your life. Write a to-do list, putting the most important tasks at the top. Keep a schedule of your daily activities to minimize conflicts and last-minute rushes.
  • Prioritize your tasks. Time-consuming but relatively unimportant tasks can consume a lot of your day. Prioritizing tasks will ensure that you spend your time and energy on those that are truly important to you.
  • Say no to nonessential tasks. Consider your goals and schedule before agreeing to take on additional work.
  • Delegate. Take a look at your to-do list and consider what you can pass on to someone else.
  • Take the time you need to do a quality job. Doing work right the first time may take more time upfront, but errors usually result in time spent making corrections, which takes more time overall.
  • Break large, time-consuming tasks into smaller tasks. Work on them a few minutes at a time until you get them all done.
  • Practice the 10-minute rule. Work on a dreaded task for 10 minutes each day. Once you get started, you may find you can finish it. [Please click here to read the remainder of this article.]
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