Time management is a buzz term in the work world. Using your time wisely leads to increased productivity, which not only makes your boss happy but can give you a great sense of accomplishment. However, effective time management is not only helpful for your career, but it is also essential for your mental health and well-being.
In fact, studies show that time management can improve your mental health, especially if you have a habit of procrastinating or are rarely organized. Read on to learn about the connection between time management and mental health.
The Connection Between Time Management And Mental Health
People without time management strategies not only struggle with productivity but also with the negative effects of their mental health that result from that loss of productivity. Not managing your time well means that your work takes up more time than it should and weighs on your mind longer. If this becomes a long-term issue, it can result in a mental health condition or illness.
Time management strategies help lighten the workload by eliminating distractions, preventing procrastination, and prioritizing tasks. This helps people get their work done in a more timely manner, meaning it no longer weighs on their minds.
Therefore the use of good time management strategies can improve your mental health by preventing issues from developing. Let’s delve into the issues caused by feeling overwhelmed and not implementing time management strategies.
Stress is common for those who have an enormous workload. It is often the first condition employees experience before their mental health worsens. Therefore, it is critical to develop time management strategies at this stage.
A little stress here and there is not usually an issue. However, stress becomes a problem for mental health when it becomes chronic. Chronic stress can create frequent negative thoughts and emotions that develop into more serious mental health issues later on.
If you are stressed out every week by your workload, it may be due to the lack of a good time management strategy. Since these strategies often lighten the workload and quicken your pace, they quickly alleviate the stress. Furthermore, creating good habits and strategies now also prevents stress from becoming chronic or worsening your mental health.
Chronic stress can also lead to fatigue and burnout, which is common in employees, especially if they feel overwhelmed and overworked. Those who do not have time management strategies in place will experience burnout more often and more quickly than those who do.
Therefore, time management may reduce burnout, especially in cases where the employee is overwhelmed due to procrastination, disorganization, and not prioritizing tasks properly. Effective time management will result in more time for rest and relaxation, which are key components to combating burnout.
People are bound to feel anxiety if they can’t manage their time or productivity well. Without proper time management strategies, they will take much longer to complete their workload, which can lead to excessive worrying over deadlines or unhappy bosses.
Anxiety may develop from chronic stress, leading the employee to feel more distress when handed a pile of assignments. The feelings of anxiousness may heighten as deadlines approach and may be so severe that they hinder the employee’s progress. Even when the deadlines have passed and the initial workload is completed, an employee with anxiety may continue to worry about the next workload or deadline, creating a chronic issue that can hurt every aspect of their workday.
Implementing time management strategies has been shown to decrease symptoms of anxiety. By managing both time and the workload more efficiently, employees not only finish their work on time (and therefore avoid added anxiety) but also have more time to rest, which is critical for improving mental health.
Furthermore, with time management strategies in place, employees have less to worry about as they already have a plan for how they will tackle their workload. Decreased worry leads to reduce anxiety, which means employees remain empowered and motivated as they get through their workday.
In addition to the stress and anxiety, struggling to get through a huge workload can lead to negative thoughts and emotions. If these are internalized and chronic, it may lead to depression. This is especially common for employees who are burned out, overwhelmed, and dissatisfied with their work.
As mentioned before, time management lightens the load and leaves more room for rest and relaxation. Rest is crucial for those living with depression, as the negative thoughts and emotions are often heavily influenced by stressful situations and being overworked.
Those who live with anxiety, depression, or stress often experience low-quality sleep or develop sleep disorders. Therefore if someone is experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in this list, they are probably experiencing issues with their sleeping schedule as well.
Time management not only helps the above moods and symptoms, but certain strategies can ensure that the person carves out enough time for more quality sleep. Sleep and mental health have a two-way relationship. Healing mental health results in better sleep, but higher quality sleep also improves mental health. Time management helps both sides of the equation.
Time Management Strategies
Now that you understand the importance of time management for your mental health and well-being, you’re probably wondering what you can do to start managing your time better. There are many great time management strategies that millions of people use. However, here are some of the most common methods that are tried and true:
- Track your time
- Use the Pomodoro Technique
- Create SMART goals (specificity, measurable, achievable, relevance, time-consciousness)
- Use the Eisenhower/Covey Time Management Matrix to set priorities
- Eliminate distractions and time wasters
Time management is not just for increasing productivity and getting all your work done. It is also essential for your mental health. When you procrastinate or don’t organize your workload and responsibilities, your mental health falters. Those who don’t manage time well often experience stress, depression, anxiety, burnout, and low-quality sleep.
Luckily, many methods and strategies are available to help you with your time management skills. For more information about time management, including more strategies to manage your time better, head over to BetterHelp.