Three Quick Tips to Reduce Time Stress

Have you ever had so much on your plate that you don’t know where to start? Doesn’t feel good, does it? How do we wade through the never-ending emails, piles on our desks, conflicting priorities and urgencies, without feeling stress rising higher and higher? If we are not careful, we will spend our lives doing the bidding of others, without accomplishing OUR dreams and goals. We must defend our time with Military Diligence! Here are three quick tips to help you accomplish more and feel less stress:

1. STRATEGIZE – In order to make real progress on your IMPORTANT (rather than URGENT) goals, take 30 minutes on Sunday night to plan your week. Develop a strategy, step-by-step, to accomplish these important tasks. This is what Jim Fannin calls, “Going to Higher Ground.” This quiet time without the noise of beeping emails and ringing telephones gives you the perspective and foresight to ensure you take the necessary steps to make your dreams come true.

2. DEFEND – the real test begins on Monday morning– sticking to that plan throughout the week, regardless of the overwhelming number of distractions that will undoubtedly befall you. Time wasters abound, urgencies will arise, but if you don’t defend blocks of your time to accomplish your strategy, another week will go by without you moving closer to your goals. Repeat after me, “MY NEEDS ARE AS IMPORTANT AS THEIR NEEDS!” Make it your mantra, BELIEVE IT, AND ACT ACCORDINGLY. Treat time as the precious commodity it is – don’t let mundane tasks expand to fill the available time. My favourite new quote is, “The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullsh*t story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it” (kushandwisdom.tumblr).

There are thousands of time management systems out there – find one that works for you and use it. I am a visual person, and I like structure, so what works well for me is colour-blocking my calendar and defending those time segments vigorously. You may run screaming from that much structure – just do what works for you.

3. THE BEST DEFENCE IS A GOOD OFFENCE –Everyone knows that good employees do what they are told, right? Wrong!  VALUED employees manage their time wisely, ask for additional assistance when required to meet deadlines (hear me, superwoman?), AND they are accomplished in their own right. They don’t try to prove they can do it all themselves, while sacrificing their own goals and health (oh wait, that was me! Yeah, I learned this the hard way.)

I know what it’s like to have a massive workload at the office, large family at home, and my own priorities a distant memory. But life is not a dress rehearsal – this is it, folks. Are you living it for you or others? We all have to make a living, but make the time to accomplish what is truly important in your life, or it will be over and you will wonder, how did that happen?

Let’s open this discussion – what are your challenges this week in accomplishing your goals in a busy schedule?


  1. Love the references here. Plan your week – don’t fail to plan! And halleluiah to the idea that: my needs are as important as others needs. I am barraged each day by people’s needs, bombarded through email and so forth. Creating those boundaries are essential and I appreciate that reminder! It’s the only way I’ll truly get things done. Thanks Catherine.

    • cscheers says:

      Thanks, Debbi! Let’s raise the drawbridge, fill the moat, and make progress on OUR goals today! Thanks for taking the time to engage!

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