Tips to More Effective Time Management

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Tips to More Effective Time Management

When daily tasks build up and you feel overwhelmed, it's difficult to know where to begin. To make things more complicated, you may find yourself easily distracted and unable to focus on completing one task at a time. However, there are many easy and helpful tips that will help you reorganize, prioritize, and start being productive.

For better time management:

Create a list of priorities on a daily, weekly, and/or monthly basis.

Be sure your list is organized so that the most important and time pressing items will be completed first. For example, before you decide to do a task, think to yourself, “What should I be doing right now?” Let that thought be your guide as you look for which task to do next.

If you're having trouble getting started, pick an easy task and when you're done check it off your list. After one or two of these, you will begin to feel the accomplishment that comes along with completing a task and will have the motivation to approach the more difficult items.

Arrange your work day so that you can keep interruptions to a minimum. Try to turn on your voicemail at certain times to avoid getting off task.

Schedule a specific time to check and reply to emails to avoid interruptions every couple minutes.

Set deadlines and create a daily/hourly workflow schedule that assures your task will be completed before that deadline.

Be realistic about your daily energy patterns. Complete important tasks when your energy is at its peak, and then save more routine tasks for when your energy is lower.

Things to stay away from:

Don't be too much of a perfectionist as you move through tasks. Focus on getting the task done, rather than always getting it done perfectly.

Don't take everything on yourself; delegate duties to appropriate coworkers or people in your life, when possible.

Don't get off track. Learn to say “no” instead of sacrifice valuable time.

Don't spend too much time on minor decisions. Save knit–picking for bigger things.

Don't burn yourself out. Take breaks and go for a quick walk, talk to a friend, eat a nice lunch, etc. Giving your brain a rest and rejuvenating your body will make you more productive in the long run.

Try out the tips and see which ones help you most. Do you recognize any that have helped before? Mix and match or add your own; either way, it's time to knock those items off your list so you can increase your productivity and let go of unneeded stress.

Written by Life Advantages – Author Delvina Miremadi © 2012

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a depression that occurs during a particular season of the year. Most people with SAD are depressed during the fall and winter, when the days are shortest. Their depression disappears in the spring and summer. A less common type begins in late spring or early summer. Changes in the amount of daylight may be the cause of SAD.

Although many people say they get the ”blues” in the winter, a person with SAD has much more difficulty coping during this season. Like other forms of depression, SAD interferes with daily life. Overcast days can make a person with SAD feel worse. People with SAD have mild to moderate depression.

SAD can affect anyone, although women are approximately 1.5 times more likely to develop SAD than are men. Those most affected are people in their late teens, 20s and 30s, with the majority women in their 30s. Older adults are less likely to develop it. It is more common in northern latitudes and extreme southern latitudes. The depression is frequently moderate to major. SAD sufferers frequently have other family members with mental illness, such as depression or alcohol abuse.

The symptoms of SAD can be confused with symptoms of other illnesses, including hypothyroidism and viral infections such as mononucleosis.

People with a mild case of SAD can ease symptoms by increasing they time they are exposed to daylight during the day. Spending time outdoors each day and getting regular outdoor exercise are two effective methods to combat SAD. For more severe cases, doctors may prescribe light therapy and possibly antidepressants. Light therapy involves exposure to very bright, full–spectrum fluorescent light for a certain amount of time each morning.

What to Do

During the fall and winter, try to spend time outside each day. Get regular exercise, outdoors, if possible. Rearrange your furniture at home and your workspace and open the blinds or curtains to take advantage of as much sunlight in fall and winter as possible. Call your EAP if you have signs or symptoms of SAD significant enough to interfere with daily life. Your EAP can refer you to a mental health professional trained to treat patients with SAD.

Healthy Holiday Recipe: Glazed Root Vegetables

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup pearl onions, cut into 1–inch pieces
1/2 cup baby carrots, cut into 1–inch pieces
1/2 cup small turnips, cut into 1–inch pieces
1/2 cup new potatoes, cut into 1–inch pieces
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon olive oil

In a saucepan, add the water, onions, carrots, turnips and potatoes. Simmer uncovered over medium heat until vegetables are tender and the water is almost absorbed, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar and olive oil. Turn up the heat and continue to cook, shaking the pan until the vegetables are glazed and slightly golden. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information
Serving size: 1/2 cup
Calories: 100
Total fat: 1 g
Saturated fat: trace
Monounsaturated fat: 0.5 g
Sodium: 50 mg
Total carbohydrate: 20 g
Dietary fiber: 1 g
Protein: 2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg

How to Use Your EAP

When help is needed call 1–800–433–2320 . The intake staff will ask for your name, employer and a brief description of your presenting concern. If an emergency exists you will be given immediate assistance. If your situation is not an emergency, you will be offered telephone assistance and/or in–person sessions to complete an assessment and make a referral for treatment if needed.

Meetings with your counselor are completely confidential. Your employer will not know you have used the EAP. No one will be provided any information about you without your written consent. Exceptions would occur only in the event of you being considered dangerous to yourself or someone else.

At the first appointment you should be prepared to give the counselor some background information to assist in formulating an action plan. Many people find it helpful to prepare a list of things they wish to discuss at each session.