The Connection of Stress, Focus & Time Management

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Stress is felt by individuals of all ages. When asked about stress in their lives, 9 year olds and up all admitted that the number of activities they had and deadlines to meet all brought not just stressful feelings, but created an inability to focus on one thing at a time. As we investigate that even further though, not focusing was really exasperated by a lack of time management.

whatplanThe lack of time management and organizational skills is really the result of not prioritizing the important things that need to be done. When discussing this with students they have much to do on any given day; homework, practice an instrument, practice martial arts, eat dinner, cleaning their room, chores, playing with friends, etc… Which one should be done first and in what order?

One of the most effective way I have seen for prioritizing is to make your list on any given day of the activities needed to be accomplished and then choose either the one that takes the most time or the one that is hardest for us to do and doing that item first. Once that difficult one is complete everything else seems a lot easier.

Planning also comes into the equation.  So many times we may have a project, school or work, and we know it is coming but we procrastinate on getting started until there is no time left and then the stress levels go up and focus goes down. Learning to plan ahead, either with doing a little everyday or setting aside a time to plan, to work on and to complete the project – with some leeway – will reduce the stress and allow us to get other items done that are on our must do list.  I often use the Ultimate Black Belt Test as an example of doing a little everyday to create a much larger result. Part of the test was 52,0000 push ups and sit ups. If you miss a week you are 1,000 behind.  Do just 150 per day and you complete ahead of schedule.

Planning, prioritizing and getting started is great for relieving stress and improving focus.