Time Management Is Stress Management

time mangement

Many things in life occur in pairs: for example, peanut butter and jelly, sun and sand, shirts and slacks, and wind and rain.  When it comes to our wellness, two things that go together are time management and stress management.  Managing our time helps us manage our stress because we can feel more organized and experience less anxiety about having sufficient time for the things we need or want to do.

While managing time to manage stress is important at every stage of one’s adult life, it’s especially critical during school.  That’s the message Dr. Allison Perrin gives to new medical students at TTUHSC.  She also provides useful tips for managing their time.

One excellent tip is to think of our time usage in terms of “invariables” and “variables.”  Invariables are those things in our schedule that we cannot move or change.  They include lectures, labs, exams, mandatory meetings, and travel time to school or work.  Academic success, and later on, professional success, depends on ensuring that we dedicate time for such things.  Variables, on the other hand, are the uses of our time that can vary, depending on if we have time for them, or how much time we can devote to them.  They include things like leisure activities, recreation, social events, and just hanging out with friends.  Such activities are important, but they can easily steal time away from the necessary invariable uses of our time.   

 Difficulties arise when people consider “variable” what should be viewed as “invariable”.  Our well-being requires adequate sleep, physical exercise, healthy eating, good personal hygiene, and meaningful spiritual practices.  Of course, we have limited time in a day or week, so it’s essential to be very intentional about how we use our time.  

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