Time and Stress: Inconspicuous Assets

By Samuel Thurman

As honor students, not only are we confronted with a surfeit of tasks to complete from day to day, but we are expected to do so with impeccable performance .  Though we do our best to make it look easy, it’s safe to bet that that it wouldn’t take much more than an arm twisting for most of us to admit that this simply isn’t the case.  We have all wrestled with stress and endeavored to budget our time sagaciously, but just how do we master these tasks?  There are many tips available to those interested in turning the tables on time/stress, but perhaps the first step to take is to stop thinking of them as our enemies.  As stress is an inherent aptitude and time our creation, why not make them work for us instead?

In order to turn time and stress from annoyances into assets, it is imperative to learn to effectively balance one’s life.  Here are some tips that can help:



Planning your day before it begins will help you accomplish more and gain a sense of control.

Try utilizing an organizer/planner to prioritize important tasks and avoid scheduling conflicts.



Saying no isn’t necessarily selfish.  When a coworker or friend asks you for a favor that will possibly prevent you from focusing on your priorities, there is nothing selfish about politely declining.



Rather than rushing every task in order to get them all done, focus on each task and get it right the first time.



Platitude though it may be, it is far too easy to let things like nutrition, exercise, and sleep, which are essential to operating at both mental and physical peaks, slip through the cracks.

Stay on top of it by monitoring what and when you eat, staying physically active, and maintaining a regular 8 hour sleeping pattern.



It’s ok to take breaks!  If your mind is not in the task or you simply need to relax for a bit, take a 10-20 min break to stand up, stretch, walk around, grab a snack, etc.  Ensure that you move away from working area to regain focus and prevent boredom and stress



This cannot be stressed enough.  It’s no secret that 8 hours is ideal for physical and mental health and proficiency, yet there are far too many of us that assume we can get more done if we sleep less.

Maria Thomas notes in the Journal of Sleep Research (2000), that even short term sleep deprivation produces global brain activity reduction (Thomas et al 2000).  That being said, the next time you feel overwhelmed by stress, lack of time, or both, you may want to consider resting those blood shot, book weary eyes of yours and get some shut eye.


Make time for family, friends, and hobbies, but above all, find joy in EVERYTHING you do.