Understanding Stress Related to Time Management

Amber Tresca
Wristwatch

Stress is a part of everyday life, and can come from both positive events as well as from troublesome ones. It's important to manage stress effectively before it decreases your quality of life. Many stressful situations can be a result of a lack of time management skills. Putting some time management techniques into place has been shown to decrease stress and anxiety.

Poor Time Management Causes Stress

In today's world, many people are overwhelmed by the demands of work, family, and social schedules. Gone are the days of the 40-hour workweek -- some people now work through their evenings, their weekends, and even their vacations. Conversely, other people work irregular hours (either because of shift work or an erratic work schedule), or fewer hours than they would like. Both of these situations can create stress for workers. Even children and teens are not exempt; they too have hectic schedules and the mounting pressure to succeed at extra-curricular activities.

Procrastination and Health Problems

Feeling as though you have too much to do and not enough time to do it in can create a significant amount of stress. Procrastinating, or wasting time on activities that aren't a priority, can also result in increased stress, especially when these actions have consequences such as a missed deadline. The stress caused by a lack of time management can also lead to poor performance at work or school. Too much stress can lead to several health problems, creating a vicious circle of being too frazzled to be productive and effective in daily life.

One skill that can help with these pressures and problems of modern life is time management. Time management is an important part of a comprehensive stress management plan, but it's not something that many people find they can easily master. Yet, according to the Mayo Clinic, anxiety and stress can be lessened with a good time management strategy in place.

Evidence to Support Time Management

In a study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, it was shown that students who felt they used their time wisely had higher satisfaction with their work and their lives. Students also reported less tension when they felt they had better control over their time. The authors concluded that providing students help with time management is appropriate and that the "dynamics of time management are more complex than previously believed."

Another study published in Work & Stress: An International Journal of Work, Health & Organisations found adults who were holding a job and attending night classes in business administration had a similar result. Questionnaires given to this group showed that using time management tactics lowered their anxiety levels.

The Journal of Educational Psychology published another study focused on the time-management skills of college students, and how it affected their grades. Researchers gave questionnaires to 90 college students, took note of their SAT scores, and followed their GPAs for four years. The results showed that using two time management techniques was a better predictor of future GPA than the SAT scores were. The authors concluded that "time-management practices may influence college achievement."

Lower Your Stress

From these examples, it's clear that putting time management skills to use can lower stress and anxiety, as well as increase work and academic performance. What's key is identifying the areas of your life where you can use some help in managing your time and finding a strategy that will work for you. Because time management can have so many positive benefits, it's worth investing the energy to develop some techniques that will lower your stress level.

Understanding Stress Related to Time Management