How To Keep Time From Stressing You

STRESSIf only I had more time?. How often do you say this to yourself in the course of one day? I?d wager more than once. And how often do you put off something important (working out, shopping for fresh veggies, visiting a friend) because you feel strapped for time?

What you?re experiencing here, of course, is a scarcity of time. Partly, this is a simple fact of life ? there are only 24 hours in the day. But part of it is also in your head: The more you stay in a time-scarce mindset, the harder it is to get out of it even when you have more time.

When you?re stuck in a scarcity mindset, it might seem like revamping your life from top to bottom is the only way to become free. I love a good makeover, but the truth is, these three simple schedule changes can help you feel more relaxed about time ? and get more done.

1. Block off time as simply ?unavailable.?

Part of what makes you overwhelmed is that you never feel you have time to iron out all the little administrative and household tasks that are easy to dismiss ? until there?s a crisis. Stay ahead of the game and on schedule by making sure you have time blocked off to tend to the gears and springs of your life.

Pencil in a period of time in your calendar just to think about long-term and long-neglected things. If people asked to schedule an appointment then, tell them that you have a meeting. No need to explain that it?s with yourself.

2. Invest in something non-urgent.

On the recently ended television show Parks and Recreation, two characters, Tom and Donna, have an annual, guilt-free, utterly indulgent spa and shopping tradition they call ?Treat Yo’Self.? While a full-on mani-pedi-facial-massage might not be in your budget, Tom and Donna are onto something good.

Don?t underestimate what a little R&R can do: You may think that treating yourself is a luxury, but it isn?t. Taking time to play with your kid, enjoy a nice cup of espresso, read a magazine, or get your nails done all send a message to your mind that all is well. It can ease off scarcity mode. You free up cognitive bandwidth to manage and improve with your packed life by giving yourself these little gifts of time.

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