Time management is one of the most crucial factors in any field. There are different categories of people when it comes to time and stress management. There are people who thrive in a stressful and a time limited environment, while there are those who do well in a stress-free environment.
This difference in people and their level of productivity has made it harder for scholars to determine the best way to manage time and avoid stress. A number of suggestions have been put forward to help in managing time and stress.
Managing time and stress is very important for maximum productivity in any given circumstance. This research paper will look into the different ways that people waste time, how people become stressed due to wastage of time, and how this problem can be solved to ensure maximum productivity.
The first part of the body of this research paper will discuss the various ways people waste time. This will be followed by ways one can avoid time wastage and how time wastage affects productivity.
How people waste time and ways of avoiding stress
One of the most common ways people waste time, become stressed, and reduce their levels of productivity is through unnecessary entertainment. In a work environment, people use social media and play games on their phones or computers, among other things all the time. All these lead to misuse of time.
According to Linden (2005), such misuse of time and opportunity shows that the people involved have either overworked themselves that they do not have time to relax, or they are generally lazy. Linden (2005) continues to say that the likelihood that such people are extremely lazy in the workplace is very minimal, thus the most reasonable argument is that they are overworked.
From this argument, one can deduce that the time that is used on social media, the Internet, and playing games must be significant enough to be noticeable. This means that there is work that is being neglected. In this case, the person becomes stressed and might forget about the work due to the entertainment they are having. This causes stress later when they have limited time to deliver the work that they were supposed to do.
It is pertinent to point that different individuals have different ways of managing time and coping with stress. There are several ways that one can avoid stress and misuse of time. The first strategy is that companies should have specific times for entertainment for their employees. This can reduce the curiosity of employees about what is happening. It also makes the employees feel rejuvenated.
Another way to manage misuse of time is to restrict access to social media sites using the company’s Internet. The second suggestion is quite extreme. Nevertheless, all these ways can help the employees increase their productivity by learning the importance of doing things at the right time, thereby managing time and stress effectively. Procrastination is the second most significant reason why people waste time and become stressed.
Procrastinating is arguably the most common factor that leads to time wastage and stressful environments. Procrastination is the forwarding of events that have to be done at a specific time to another time in the future.
Morgenstern (2004) argues that when people procrastinate, they do so thinking that they will have plenty of time to do the task later. This is the main reason that is given by the people who believe that they are more productive when they are stressed. According to Morgenstern (2004), there is no such thing as being productive when under stress.
He argues that people have to deliver because this is what makes them productive. The livelihoods of employees depend on being satisfied in the workplace. Therefore, people tend to work faster to finish the job when there is time constraint.
This, however, does not make them produce high quality products and services. Morgenstern (2004) argues that if one can produce X products in an hour, then they can produce more than X products in two hours if they do not waste time. He suggests several strategies people can avoid procrastination.
The first way to avoid procrastination is by doing what one likes. Morgenstern (2004) argues that if one likes the job that they are doing, then they will not have to suspend it for a later time. In the same breath, people should also understand the objectives of what they are doing. This can make it easier to finish the work quickly, while producing high quality products and services at the same time.
A personal example can also be cited in this case. I always promise to review my work a week before school term papers are submitted. However, I wait until the last day to review them. This has led to submission of papers that have a lot of grammatical errors and other minor mistakes in the past. Closely related to procrastination is disorderliness.
Disorderliness is not just about being untidy and dirty in one’s living conditions, but it is also important in time and stress management because a person who has no form or sense of order will tend to do things in their time. If one was to compare disorderliness to the other two discussed reasons, then one would notice that many employees who are disorderly end up losing their jobs.
According to Jha (2008), disorderly people are also immature, thus working with them can be a little difficult. Many companies and schools have tried to help such people by having a time schedule. However, some of the people do not follow the time schedule. Such people do not only waste time, but they also reduce the level of productivity of the company or the school.
One of the suggested ways of dealing with disorderliness is having a personal time schedule. This is a schedule that the individual in question makes to ensure that they keep deadlines. However, this only solves one part of the problem. Another way how disorderly people waste time is by doing unsatisfactory work. This means that someone else has to check their work to ensure that it is of high quality.
This does not only waste time, but it also wastes other resources used to cross-check the work for quality purposes. Many scholars have argued that there is no way of dealing with a disorderly person without wasting more time.
However, it has been proven that strict disciplinary action can turn a disorderly person into an orderly, time conscious, and a very productive person. Overworking oneself has also been cited as one of the ways that people end up wasting time.
Rettig (2013) argues that many people believe that the more they work, the more productive they become. However, he claims that people need to work and relax equally to avoid overworking. Many large companies today tap into the productivity levels of their employees by making them work less hours. This has proven to not only rejuvenate the employees, but also make them appreciate their work.
This has, in turn, led to maximum productivity. According to Rettig (2013), companies like Google have a lot of success, yet they have removed all traditional rules of a company. Their employees are not as restricted as those employees who work in traditionally run companies. Such companies have found a way of making the work that the employees do to be fun such that the employees are always interested in learning and doing more.
This, in turn, increases productivity, even though the employees work fewer hours than usual. Scholars also argue that there are companies that may not have the luxury of making their jobs as creative and interesting as companies like Google. Rettig (2013) suggests that for such companies, they can find other ways of reducing the workload of their employees on a daily basis.
They can do this by creating more free time in the time schedule. This can help the employees relax, thereby becoming more focused when they are working. It has also been proven that creating more free time for the employees can also ensure that they reduce the level of stress that accumulates due to strict deadlines. This, in turn, increases productivity.
Other ways of reducing stress
Apart from the suggested solutions, other solutions that could work on reducing the level of stress and managing time at the same time include delegating work, prioritizing, and planning. Delegating tasks is necessary in ensuring that no one person is overworked. This is most probably one of the reasons why many successful companies use teams to do projects.
When people work in teams, they divide the task among themselves. This means that every person has a specific task to concentrate on and give high quality. It also saves time and reduces stress. Prioritizing and planning go hand in hand in the sense that the people involved in a project should plan and prioritize their tasks in a way that they deal with the most important tasks first.
This increases productivity because the team does the most important tasks first. The team can then apply other strategies, for example taking a break after every finished task to reenergize (Lucchetti, 2010). This can help them focus on the next task. These are just some of the suggestions given to help with time and stress management to maximize productivity.
The issue of time and stress management is very important in determining and increasing productivity levels. It is evident that time wastage and stress affect the productivity levels of individuals and companies. The various ways that people misuse time are the same ways that cause stress.
As discussed, some of the ways people end up wasting time include engaging in unnecessary entertainment, procrastination, and overworking. Some of the solutions that have been given to address these problems include proper delegation of work, creating time schedules, and having enough breaks between tasks. A lot more can still be done to ensure that people do not waste time.
Jha, P. K. (2008). Time management: the art of stress-free productivity. New Delhi, India: Global India Publications
Linden, W. (2005). Stress management: from basic science to better practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE
Lucchetti, S. (2010). The principle of relevance. Hong Kong, Japan: RT Publishing.
Morgenstern, J. (2004). Time management from the inside out: the foolproof system for taking control of your schedule—and your life (2nd Ed.). New York, NY: Owl Books.
Rettig, H. (2013, May 5). If you have a tendency to over-give. Retrieved from www.hillaryrettig.com/what-to-do-if/what-to-do-if-you-have-a-tendency-to-overgive