Time & Stress Management

Why you should always eat that FROG…or any other frog that pops up?

Are you eating the frog?

Reflecting on Brian Tracey’s timeless “Eat That Frog” book, as simple as the question the book poses is, it actually works to highlight the importance of discipline when it comes to managing your time, it makes you think about the impact it can have on your overall quality of life and how this simple concept can help you to “enjoy what you enjoy doing” more and not only as a way to combat procrastination.

If you are not familiar with the book which is highly recommended or know the key question that the book asks, imagine the following scenario:

Imagine that you have three plates in front of you. One has a piece of meat on it; one has a piece of chicken; and the last one has a frog. You have to eat all three.

Which one will you start with?

Will you choose to start with the meat or chicken or will you start with the frog?

If you start with the meat or chicken: If you start with the meat or chicken, will you really enjoy them?

key point:

You will probably not enjoy either the meat or the chicken if you start eating them first because of knowing what you will have to eat next. Your mind will be wandering off to the frog. This is one of the key points the bestselling time management book by Brian Tracey Eat that Frog. If you keep putting off and procrastinating a task or a job because it's too difficult, boring, or you don't feel like it, you will not be able to enjoy any of the other things you like doing. So, stop procrastinating and just start!

 

For more time management check out our instant download time management complete training material package.

Time & Stress Management

Time & Stress Management

 

Managing your time
Effective managers are those who have managed to get to grips with two main issues:Organising themselves and Organising others.The two subjects are interlocked because unless you are organised you cannot delegate.read to find out more.

 

Why you should always eat that FROG…or any other frog that pops up?
Reflecting on Brian Tracey’s timeless “Eat That Frog” book, as simple as the question the book poses is it actually works to highlight the importance of discipline when it comes managing your time.

 

Effective Delegation
To delegate effectively you have to follow a proper delegation process, read this article to find the proper steps of effective delegation.

 

Setting priorities
One of the problems with managing time is knowing how to plan each day and, as the day progresses, deciding what to do next. What you have to choose is what activity should take priority and get done now.

 

Effective meetings management
How important is it to manage meetings efficiently? Some estimates of time spent in business meetings range from 40 to 60 percent. Nearly half of most managers' work hours are spent in meetings!

 

Dealing with common time wasters
One of the first steps in taking control of your time is to find out where you lose time. Read this article to find out more about the most common time wasters and how to deal with them.

 

Quick stress reduction steps
Steps to take to that can quickly help reduce stress when faced with a stressful situation.

 

6 Stress Busters
Six quick stress busting techniques.

 

Steps to reduce stress for your staff
There is a range of actions you can take as managers which could be of use in reducing stress for your staff. Read this article to find out more.

 

12 Ways to kill procrastination
Twelve techniques that can help you deal with procrastination.

 

Dealing with Interruptions
It’s not easy to deal with many of the common “interruptions” that occur every day in the workplace.  First of all, it’s important to distinguish between an interruption and an event which is directly linked to the main purpose of our job.

 

Tips on planning your diary
However much we plan our time, nobody can foresee every crisis that can occur on the spur of the moment, or those well-timed interruptions from key customers or the boss who has just found an urgent task that must be completed now.

 

How to plan your day ?
Tips and best practice on how to plan your day.

 

Efficiency Vs Effectiveness
Time is a limited and valuable resource, that we all experience and measure. It is measured in years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds. The exciting thing about time is that, regardless of our circumstances in life, we all have the same amount!  It’s what we do with it that really counts. To manage our time, then, implies that we need to take control of this most valuable personal resource - through efficiency and effectiveness. read this article to find out more.

 

Urgent Vs Important
Even the best time management schemes and life plans can come to grief if you don’t have the habit of discriminating between the urgent and the important.

 

Making the best use of your time
If you reflect on how well you use your time you may have noticed that the quality of your attention or concentration varies at different times during the day. You may notice that you tend to be more mentally alert or more creative at certain times of the day.

Urgent vs Important

Even the best time management schemes and life plans can come to grief if you don’t have the habit of discriminating between the urgent and the important.

 

• Surprisingly few tasks and both urgent and important.

• Urgent tasks assume importance simply because they seem to demand immediate action (e.g. A colleague comes into your office and says he must have certain work typed by the end of the morning; if he is good at selling himself, you tend to oblige, and put more important but less urgent tasks on the back burner).

• Since most people confront ‘urgent’ problems nearly all the time – a telephone call, someone walking into the office with a query, long term goals are consistently put aside for the sake of the ‘urgent’.

• Many important tasks only get done when they become urgent as well.

 

How to recognize priorities?

The solution is to develop a sixth sense for assessing whether tasks are important or urgent: you need to be capable of judging their status instantly, so that outside requests can be rejected or undertaken on the spot.

 

A useful technique in planning is an “Urgent / Important Matrix”, as shown below.

 

 urgentvsimportant

 

Looking at the above example Urgent / Important Matrix which your own matrix should not be very different from, ask yourself and answer honestly in which quadrant do you currently spend most your time in?

 

Quadrant # 1 : If you spend most of your time in this quadrant, it means you are fire fighting all the time and need better planning

 

Quadrant # 3 : If you spend most of your time in this quadrant, it means you are letting others control your time and you need to be more assertive and take more control of your time.

 

Quadrant # 4 : This quadrant is a complete waste of time.

 

To make the best use of your time you should be spending most of your time in Quadrant # 2

 

For more on managing time, check out our instant download Time Management customizable training package.

Steps to reduce stress for your staff

There is a range of actions you can take as managers which could be of use in reducing stress for your staff:-

• Provide/Increase opportunities for staff to control their work; establish their own priorities.

• Plan all changes together or to whatever extent possible.

• Keep in constant touch, define limits of work tasks and give support in accomplishing tasks.

• Treat a collective goal as a target – not a staff competition to establish who is best or worst.

• Provide an atmosphere where there are opportunities to talk things over whenever needed.

• Recognise that anger is part of everyone’s personality and reduce your own. By dealing constructively with rising aggression you can improve your communication and problem solving skills.

• Encourage staff not to be consumed by their career objectives.

• Give honest performance appraisals and help staff to make self-assessments so that they do not move to posts to which they are unsuited.

• Reduce organisational uncertainty; protect staff from worry about events over which they have no control.

• Ensuring working conditions are healthy and reasonably pleasant.

 

As someone who is managed you can help contribute to your own well-being by:-

• Avoid having a too rigid schedule. When possible, vary it and eliminate most of the self-imposed deadlines.

• Trying to develop a positive attitude. Force yourself to see every event in its most positive light.

• Listing those events which cause you stress and identify what is about each event that is causing stress. Map out a strategy for consciously attempting to lessen the stress each time the events occur.

• Getting on with the task to get it over with rather than worrying yourself sick about it.

 

Healthy coping at work involves:-

• Really knowing yourself, understanding and accepting your own strengths and weaknesses. Knowing those personality factors that cannot be changed and those skills, professional and social, on which to capitalise.

• Having interests outside work which are regularly pursued, so that you can get a variety of satisfaction from life.

• Reacting in different ways to stressful events –

o You don’t always develop a headache when angry with your boss or become depressed when faced with an apparently minor threat.
o Not always hyperactive or frozen by incapacity under stressful conditions.
o Bouncing back quickly from stress reactions.

• Acknowledging that others have different values, different ways of doing things; accepting this as a fact of life without attempting to build others over in his/her image.

• Being active and productive at work without sacrificing your outside work activity.

 

For more on managing time and stress, check out our instant download Time Management customizable training package.

Making the best use of your time

If you reflect on how well you use your time you may have noticed that the quality of your attention or concentration varies at different times during the day. You may notice that you tend to be more mentally alert or more creative at certain times of the day. Most people’s “mental peak” time is around mid morning.  Others find they are at their best around mid afternoon. Everyone’s different. The important thing is recognising when you’re at your best, and using that time as productively as you can.

 

Make the best use of your “mental peak” times of the day by doing the tasks which require your concentration – you’re A’s & B’s.

 

Paperwork is often the biggest timewaster for many people. Minimise the time you waste by regularly keeping a check on how effectively you deal with your paperwork:

 

Answer these questions honestly! Yes No
Do you clear your desk of all papers except those relating to the particular job in hand?    
Is your workspace organized so the things you need are at hand?    
Do you try to handle each piece of paper and email only once ?    
Do you sort paperwork and emails into categories in priority order?    
Have you eliminated unnecessary paperwork and simplified the remainder where possible?    
Have you learned to pick out quickly the key points or critical issues in letters and reports?    
Are you good at deciding what must be read through carefully and what can be skimmed?    
Have you developed a succinct and clear way of writing, so that  you do not generate unnecessary paper for others?    
Have you developed techniques to manage interruptions, set time limits, remain standing, have a clock in your office and use them appropriately?    

 

 

For more on managing time, check out our instant download Time Management customizable training package.

 

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