Time Management

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Part of managing yourself and your time requires a frank evaluation of your current pattern of behaviors. Ask yourself this question, "How can I do better with the time I've got?" Rather than complain about your situation, take a good look at your own time wasting habits.

What is the best time of day for you? Take advantage of the time of day when you are at your best and do the difficult projects that require focus and creativity during those peak performance times.

How do you procrastinate? It's very easy to lose track of time when you're chatting with co-workers in the kitchen or with your friends on the phone. You may not even be aware of how you procrastinate so ask a friend or co-worker how they see you wasting time.

Do you prioritize your tasks? If you are someone who dashes from "fire" to "fire" you may feel frustrated and overwhelmed at the end of the day. It's important to differentiate between the tasks that only appear to be urgent and important and those that tasks that move you toward your most important goals.

Are you organized? Is your workspace neat and tidy? Do you have a certain spot for everything? If you replied, "yes" to both questions, then you probably don't waste time looking for the stapler, or that important file.

Do you plan ahead? Using a schedule book and making a "to-do list" is definitely helpful. Being able to see what is coming allows for you to plan for each upcoming event in a calm and timely way. It's also helpful to incorporate an extra cushion of time for each scheduled event.

Do you expect perfection? We have a great deal of choice and power about our own lifestyles. Sometimes it's necessary to let go of unrealistic expectations and accept less than perfection.

Are you trying to do too much? If you are someone who is organized and efficient and still find yourself overwhelmed, then you may simply have too many tasks and responsibilities.

Being able to assertively communicate "no" to those around you is necessary from time to time, for your own mental and physical well-being.

If you would like to discuss your own stress level with an EAP counselor, call Employee Resource Systems, Inc. at (800) 292-2780 for a free evaluation.