Time Management Information

Put Yourself First

Are you too busy to put yourself first? If a plane losesoxygen pressure for any reason, oxygen masks will drop downfrom a small overhead compartment. If the oxygen masks comedown in a plane and you have children, you are alwaysadvised to put yours on first before helping your children.

Why? Because you are in a better position to help yourchildren put their masks on if you are not struggling forair.

I have noticed that when I am calm and relaxed it is mucheasier to deal with anything that life throws at me, and tobecome calm I have often needed to put myself first, oftenby saying no.

When I am tired or stressed, I am rarely very effective.Time out is vital as it allows us to recharge our batteries.It is similar to running a car without regular service andmaintenance - it will inevitably break down one day, usuallyat the most inconvenient time. If you are tired or stressed,you won't have the patience or the energy to be able to givemuch to anyone else.

Taking care of ourselves and putting our priorities firstmay feel selfish to you. But if you are running on empty,what will you have left to give others? If you are burnedout, stressed and overloaded, what will be left of you toshare? You cannot give away what you don't have. When we putourselves first and do what we need to do to stay healthyand vibrant, we have more to give to other people and tasks.

Make a list of activities you can do daily that will giveyour mind and body a break and help to renew your energy. Ifyou need inspiration, magazines and newspapers have ideasalmost every week. You may have previously ignored them asyou thought you didn't have time, or you were so busylooking after everyone else.

Take a break

If you are doing something that is really frustrating youneed to take a break - step away from the situation. Themore stressed you are, the less likely you are to beeffective in solving a problem. In the past I have oftenbeen stuck on something, thinking that I will solve theproblem while I am sitting at my desk. I rarely do.

How long is it since you took a break at work?The value of stepping away from work is that you come backmore refreshed and see things in a different way. And with acalmer mind you will find it easier to focus, not on 101things you haven't done, but on one thing, which you canhandle. When you return, refocus by asking the question,What do I need to get done in the next hour?

Get walking

I read so many articles telling me how good exercise is formy health - I know that and so do you, I am sure. Exerciseis wonderfully distracting; it's actually very difficult tothink about your problems while exercising! Just 15 minutes is enough to unfreezeyour brain so you gain a different perspective.

Carolyn Matheson is a nationally recognized Coach,Speaker and Author of "Yes to Less Stress."

Carolyn is a Master Certified Coach, and works with executives and their teams across theworld. She has pioneered an innovative approach to coaching,combining many years of high performance coaching with aholistic approach to work/life balance and has coachedhundreds of leaders and their teams. Her experience as apresenter, both nationally and internationally, spans 20years, with clients currently in Europe, Australia, theMiddle and Far East, and the USA.

Her book, Yes to Less Stress is available online from http://www.areustressed.com

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