“Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.”- Will Rogers, Jr.

Time management tools are ways to get more things done in less time.  Lists, goals, and calendars are just tools to keep us focused. The trouble is conventional time management tools have been handed more power than just to keep you organized.  Somewhere along the line these time-proven methods have been given the power judge how we measure up as human beings.

Lists turn into a bottomless pit of work. Goals pressure you to accomplish more than you ever did before. Lines on your calendar are just to fill up with more things to do. Somehow, after the end of the day you feel like you’ve just come up short.  Instead of feeling an inner sense of peace, you feel more stressed.

“The Hurrier I Go the Behinder I Get”-Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Stress can cause you to speed up. Adrenaline and other chemicals cause you to burn rubber when there is so much to do. When you speed up, more mistakes can be made. My grandfather gave me sage advice when I was 16 years old. “Lisa, you need to slow down. Take your time and you won’t have to do it twice,” he said. My Pap spoke the truth to me.  Hurrying creates a void where the universe revolves around you.  The focus of attention is the get the task done so you are not stressed anymore. People become much less important than what you are stressed about.

And you, as well as others you care about suffer at the hand of stress.

I saw an electronic board over the highway today that said “Distraction Makes Dangerous Driving.”  Technology has taken us to an age where we feel the need for immediate communication. It used to be that we had to pull over to a phone booth to make a call. But being productive and satisfying the urgent need to get something done trumps all. Remember that multi-tasking was created for computers, not humans.

Are you a time juggler?

We have been given the same 24 hours every day to live our lives. It’s what you do with those hours that make the difference.

As you run through the day, check how many times you say the following:

“There’s just not enough time in the day.”

“I’m so ____________ (fill in the blank with lazy, worthless or some other demeaning name) for not getting this done.”

“I didn’t get enough done today.”

“I’m a failure.” Or some other phrase that means you fell short as a human being.

It has become far too easy to be managed by time instead of taking charge of choices in life. It’s all in how you look at time. Learning to say no, scheduling the things that matter most make all the difference in taking charge of your time. Watch for time leaks. You might be surprised at the difference of where you think you are spending time and how you’re spending your hours. Instead of being a slave to your calendar, take back your life and put time towards the most valued people, places and activities in your day. You might find you have less stress and more time for what you love most.

For over 25 years in the health care profession, Lisa Birnesser has studied stress relief techniques and have helped hundreds of people reduce stress in their lives. Lisa specializes in stress management coaching by helping people do what matters most every day.


59 thoughts on “Time Juggling: How Time Management Can Make You More Stressed”

  1. I so agree!!! I used to always get to the end of the day and mumble to myself, "I didn't get x, y and Z done!" But when I turned it around and said to myself, "Wow, I got a, b, c, d, e… done!" it made a world of difference. Then I would reschedule (hummm) x, y and z. At any rate, it's important to commend ourselves for all that we do accomplish in a day to help with relieving the stress of our busy lives. Thanks for this helpful reminder, Lisa!

    1. Lisa Birnesser

      Having that level of awareness and being kind to yourself goes a long way. Thanks so much or connecting with me!

  2. Excellent post Lisa ;).  I used to be so proud of myself for being a multi-tasker!  Time management and finding a place of ease with the daily obligations is so important… Thanks!

  3. I am getting better and better at scheduling my time and being at peace with it; I think that might even be the most important part. Once you set your schedule, be at peacw with; don't start juggling around again, but applaud yourself for what you have accomplished..

    1. Lisa Birnesser

      Great way to look at time management,Olga. It’s a matter of fine tuning once you have your system set up. Thanks!

  4. I am guilty! I am doing better with managing my time though and I even know when to say when most of the time 🙂

    1. Lisa Birnesser

      It’s tough when there are so many projects and ideas coming at you. Thanks or dropping by!

  5. Time Management would make me feel stressed so I don't spend a whole lot of my time sitting down and creating lists…

    but if there's a goal I want to attain and don't necessarily know how to get there then that is when I'll take the time to sit down and write it out.  It helps =)

    A huge component of time management is being aware of your time, and what you need to get there, and if sitting down and writing those lists don't work for you, you don' thave to do it

    1. Lisa Birnesser

      Exactly. It’s all in how you look at time and perceive the tools. Thanks, Jamie!

  6. "I didn't get enough done today" is totally me. It doesn't matter how much I do get done, and I keep a list going so I know how much I did accomplish, I always think I should be able to do more.

    1. Lisa Birnesser

      It’s such a common thought t have. To do lists have that effect on folks. I decided no matter what it will still be there. Thanks, Lena!

  7. Great post, Lisa!  I especially loved your point that when we are stressed, people become less important than the thing we are stressed about.  As a parent and business owner, that is the constant juggle.  That's when Valor and Idaho Balsam Fir come in very handy 🙂

    1. Lisa Birnesser

      Oh, absolutely! I LOVE to use Valor to help keep me strong and calm! Thanks, Melanie

  8. So important!  I have trouble figuring out the difference between where I think I spend my time and where i actually spend my time.  And I never feel like I accomplished everything I wanted to do.

    1. Lisa Birnesser

      When the difference is foggy it can get really frustrating and contribute to burnout.The sense of satisfaction never happens.

  9. Great article Lisa! As you point out we all have the same 24 hours but its what we do with them that matters. When I moved from the city to the countryside the biggest shock for me was how everything and everyone seemed to move so slowly. I couldn't understand how anything got done. Then I realised that this was largely due to a different set of priorities and accepting that not everything needs to be done immediately and some things can wait 🙂

  10. Great Post – of course you could be talking specifically about me (ggg).  I do find that it helps my emotional energy to reward myself for what I HAVE created instead of beating myself up for what I have left unfinished.  Thanks!

  11. Oh man, this was written for me!  I am a compulsive time-filler-upper!  I think I'm addicted to being busy because even on vacation I rush around cleaning things up and looking for more to do.  It's like I forget how to shut down!   This summer I am taking more time off than I have in years and – even with the guilt I feel – I am going to start PRACTICING doing less!

    1. Lisa Birnesser

      Yay! Good for you for slowing down, Liz! The first part is being aware that you are filling up your time. Thanks!

    1. Lisa Birnesser

      You are so right, Maria. Nutrition is a big part in dealing with stress. Thanks!

  12. Lisa, fantastic post! The older I get, the more I realize that it is better to focus on what task at a time rather than multi tasking. Your grandfather gave you very wise advice!

  13. I am busier than ever, but I have learned to not sweat the small stuff.
    I run marathons, run a business, have two large dogs and oh yes, five kids under the age of 15.  

    So what gives?  
    Not my sanity:  I run.  
    Not my business: I block time.
    Not my kids:  I am available 24/7
    My house?  yes!  That's where I compromise and enlist help!

    I haven't got a clean home always, but a happy one it is 🙂

  14. So true. Over the past couple of years I have come to realize that time really doesn't need managing. I have become much more a fan of managing my priorities. I still have days where I feel like I am not doing enough, but starting to have more days where I recognize that I am doing the things that are more important.  When I remember to focus on the priorities and not trying to do everything, I am so much less stressed.

    1. Lisa Birnesser

      Managing priorities is the key to feeling less stressed for sure. Thanks, Marie!

  15. Lisa, you're right on here. We have become a 24/7 society.  How did we ever live before cell phones, iPads, the Internet, email, texting?  Much more peacefully, IMHO. 🙂  Unfortunately, this seems to be an issue that's not going away anytime soon. And, as reforming Type A personality, I always plan for more than I can actually accomplish.

    1. Lisa Birnesser

      And that’s not so uncommon, Donna. For me it really takes keeping what I value most in the forefront of my mind. The other end of it is working until the cows come home.

    2. Lisa Birnesser

      I agree that technology is here to stay. It seems like yesterday we were pulling over to a phone booth to make a call! Thanks, Donna!

  16. Love this post "Instead of being a slave to your calendar, take back your life". During my training, whenever someone tells me they don't have time to do social media, I take them back to basics and ask them to track their lives for a week and identify time wasters. Invariably, people are able to "find" time to tweet!

    1. Lisa Birnesser

      It’s true! sometimes it just leads back to not knowing how or just being afraid of doing the task.

    2. Lisa Birnesser

      Perfect, Sherry! It’s so common to think there isn’t enough time for something

  17. Thanks Lisa, I definitely needed to hear this.  I think I've said all of those things you mention to myself, some of them every day!  And you are right, letting time manage you is so counterproductive.  I am still searching for ways to leave some of those lines on my calendar blank . . .

    1. Lisa Birnesser

      I think lots of people say those things to themselves and not realize the damage it can cause. Just bringing it into your awareness is a big step. Thanks, Jennifer!

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