How can I manage my time and reduce stress when I have so much to do?

Answers from Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

There are a few ways to manage your time. In today's world, everyone is busy, but it's possible to manage stress.

Here are a few concepts that may be helpful to understand as you strive to manage stress while juggling a busy schedule.

  • Parkinson's law. Work expands to fill the allotted time. For example, if you have two hours to make a cake, build a birdhouse or update some financial data, it will take you two hours to complete that task.

    So, set time limits to get something done. And you'll be more likely to finish that task in the amount of time you set aside.

  • Pareto principle. This is the 80/20 rule. For example, if you have set aside 100 minutes to work on a presentation, you'll likely have most of it completed in the first 20 minutes. You could spend more time improving the presentation, but the majority of the information will have been done in the first 20 minutes.
  • Avoid interruptions. If you need to focus and concentrate, avoid interruptions. If you're interrupted, it can disrupt your focus and take time to be able to concentrate again.

Consider putting time limits on your activities. During that time, avoid interruptions. Stop when the time runs out. It may help you conserve time and energy and reduce stress.


Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

Feb. 13, 2018 See more Expert Answers