Time/Stress Management

Here are some tips that can help with time/stress management

How to assess?

Is the task part of your core role? Is it urgent to you? Client work sometimes requests different prioritisation Determine the dependencies & the pain of delaying


  • Picking up dry cleaning
  • Writing a press release for client announcing recent merger
  • Write blog to go out in 2 weeks
  • Return call Combo re PC problem

Tackling big tasks & variation

  • Break larger tasks down into smaller tasks that can be completed in less than 15 mins
  • Block out time, early in the day to complete chunks of the task > not all at once
  • Tackle the specific task, rather than focusing on the project as a whole
  • Don’t work longer than 2 hours on a task.
  • Vary between longer & shorter task
  • Urgent & important vs. Not urgent & not important (5mins task)

Eat your frog

  • Start with the harder, more painful tasks first.

How to say ‘no’?

  • Say no, followed by an honest explanation for why you can’t do it
  • “I can’t help you, because I’m working on another urgent project”
  • Say no, then give an alternative
  • “I can’t do it right now, but I can help you out on Thursday. How does that sound?”
  • Say no, and be empathetic
  • “I understand that you need this presentation, but I’m unable to help you right away”
  • Say yes, give your reason for not doing it, and offer an alternative
  • “Yes, I would love to help review this proposal, however, I don’t have time until tomorrow. Genesis, on the other hand, has some capacity”.
  • Broken record
  • Persistent > prioritise together. If this is urgent, let’s review my priorities together, and decide together where this sits

Handling interruptions

  • Set a block of time for reading email (e.g. 1 hour in the morning, 1 hour at the end of the day)
  • Alert the team that you’re unavailable for a block of time (Sign on your desk)
  • avoid interruptions at your desk by saying you’re busy or stand up and leave
  • Allow yourself to be distracted (5 mins p/hour)

Stress management techniques

  • Assess your tasks > urgent and important?
  • Break down in smaller chunks
  • Ask for help / clarification
  • Talk it through with someone
  • Take a break
  • Start with the outcome, work backwards
  • Don’t aim for perfection