"Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it." ~ M. Scott Peck

All of us should strive to reduce stress and improve productivity. Effective time management is a primary means to achieve this aim resulting in a less stressful life. The goal is to reduce your stress and reclaim your life.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by the number and complexity of projects you need to complete daily? Do you often feel there isn't enough time t pay proper attention to each assignment because other tasks keep landing on your desk, co-workers interrupt you with questions, or you can't seem to get organized?

The answer is effective time management. By managing your time more wisely, you can minimize stress and improve your quality of life.

But how do you get back on track when organizational skills don't come naturally? To get started, choose one of these strategies, some of which came from a Mayo Clinic article, try it for two to four weeks and see if it helps. If it does, consider adding another one. If not, try a different one.

Plan each day. Planning your day can helps you accomplish more and feel in control of your time. Write a to-do list with the most important tasks at the top. Keep a schedule of your daily activities.

Prioritize. Working hard isn't automatically working smart. Time-sucking unimportant tasks can eat up a lot of your day. Prioritizing tasks will ensure you avoid this trap.

Say no to nonessential tasks. Additional projects to you're your job or get ahead at times are essential but consider your goals and schedule before agreeing to take on additional work.

Delegate. If you can effectively give tasks to someone else then do so.

Do your work right the first time by taking the proper time to do it.

Break large, time-consuming tasks into smaller chunks.

Practice the 10-minute rule. Work on a "ugly don't want to do it" task for 10 minutes each day. Once you get started, you may find you can actually finish it.

Evaluate how you're spending your time. Keep a diary of everything you do for a week to determine how you're spending your time. Look for time that can be used more creatively. For example, could you take a bus or train to work and use the commute to catch up on reading? If so, you could free up some time to exercise or spend with family or friends.

Block out time on your calendar for big projects. Close the door and only do that task nothing else.

Get proper rest, have a healthy diet and exercise regularly. A healthy lifestyle will help improve your efficiency so that you can complete your work in less time.

Take a break when necessary whether it's a walk or a day off.

Meditate for 10 minutes before leaving for the day. You will be more grounded and ready for the day's activities.

Handy Tools:

Address Books

Palm Handheld Organizers

Wall Calendars

Personal Organizers

Schedule Management Software

Investigate which one or two work best for you.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1

Put your activities "in season" whenever possible.

©2009 THJ & Associates, LLC

Author's Bio: 

Theodore Henderson, DTM - Distinguished Toastmaster -- The founder of THJ & Associates is a business coach who transforms the business lives of individuals who want to use biblical principles and Christian faith as a guide of success for all of the key areas of their life; spiritual, social, personal, family, and business. He is passionate about speech and communication and the application of biblical principals to business and personal success.

Theodore is a Distinguished Toastmaster who leverages his dynamic corporate background to help clients identify and target their niche, discover how to make bold, dramatic shifts in their entrepreneurial life by building a bridge from where they are today to where they want to go.