Time and Stress Management and Organization Skills

Suggested Unit Resources

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Required Unit Resources

Chapter 3: Time and Stress Management and Organization Skills

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Baethge, A., Deci, N., Dettmers, J., & Rigotti, T. (2019). ‘Some days won’t end ever’: Working faster and longer as a boundary condition for challenge versus hindrance effects of time pressure. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 24(3), 322–332. Retrieved from https://libraryresources.columbiasouthern.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direc t=true&db=pdh&AN=2018-25177-001&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Unit Lesson


Wendy has a busy life. She has two young children, ages three and one, who attend a local daycare, and she has a demanding full-time job working with customers. Lately, Wendy has been feeling a lot of pressure at work. Her supervisor wants her to complete projects faster, but her clients have been difficult lately. Additionally, one of her children has been sick, and the daycare will ask her to pick up her child if he runs a fever, causing her to miss more work. The pressure Wendy feels is beginning to cause her stress and is affecting her life. Wendy has less patience with her clients than usual and just wants to

Wendy balancing her work and home lives

get tasks done, regardless of the quality. At home, Wendy finds herself yelling at her children and not caring for herself. Does this situation sound familiar to you? Have you ever experienced a large amount of stress at

BUS 2303, Professionalism in the Workplace


Anderson and Bolt (2016) define stress as the way in which we react to difficult situations. Stress affects workplace productivity and time management, and different people respond to stress in unique ways.

Additionally, self-care, such as diet and exercise, can play a large role in the way we handle stress and how much it impacts our lives (Anderson & Bolt, 2016).

The Work Environment

A lot of factors impact the work environment, including the physical space. You may notice if a workstation is messy and disorganized or if trash is left out in the open. However, many other factors impact the work environment, including the ways employees act, dress, and interact. The ways supervisors speak to subordinates can also influence the culture of an organization.

At times, the work environment can create employee stress. For example, if supervisors routinely take on more projects than they can handle or have poor self-care, they can model this behavior for their employees. On the other hand, if the organization’s leaders make teambuilding and collaboration a priority, employees may feel more open to sharing new ideas and insights.

Positive and Negative Stress

Negative Stress: Deadlines, conflict, injury

Positive Stress: Holidays, vacations, anniversaries

work that has affected your home life, or has your home-life tension seeped into your professional life? What can be done to handle the stress we face?

BUS 2303, Professionalism in the Workplace


and her children.

Lack of appropriate stress management, time management, and organizational skills can wreak havoc on workplace productivity. With positive stress comes negative stress. Positive stress can be exciting and motivating. Consider a project or assignment that you need to complete but that also interests you. You are excited to get started and want to complete the work because it is meaningful to you.

Negative stress, on the other hand, can interfere with one’s ability to think clearly and stay focused (Anderson & Bolt, 2016). In the above example, Wendy was experiencing negative stress. The pressure she was feeling at work was causing her to lash out on her clients

Emergency first responders, for example, likely experience both positive and negative stress on a regular basis. When responding to an emergency call, their positive stress response can give them the courage to help those in need while facing dangerous situations themselves.

Stress and Time

Time can be a huge stressor for many people. There is not always enough time in the day to accomplish all the tasks on our to-do lists. Consider your day; is every moment scheduled? Do you ever feel pressure due to time? When we feel a lot of stress due to time in the workplace, we may start to show some concerning behavior. For example, some people may become irritable with their colleagues or even clients, struggle with concentration, show signs of depression, and become forgetful (MacNamara, n.d.).

While there is nothing you can do to create more than 24 hours in a day, there are some strategies you can use to feel more balanced with the time you do have. First, do not fall for the myth that planning your time is wasting time (MacNamara, n.d.). Taking a few moments to plan will likely save you time in the long run. Also, start to recognize when you are becoming overwhelmed, and ask for help (MacNamara, n.d.).

Time Management

Wendy’s supervisor calls Wendy and her colleagues into a brief meeting about an upcoming project. The project is for a large and important client, and it will take top priority with an expedited timeline. Wendy and

Oftentimes, people in the workforce have to deal with projects with a short deadline. In most cases, there are several tasks within the one project. This is where time management comes into play. Time management is an important skill within itself, and is one that is necessary in order to be successful in the workplace (Anderson & Bolt, 2016).

Time management requires a variety of skills that will assist you in managing your time well. Some of the most significant time management skills include the following items listed below.

Organization: In order for your time management to be successful, you must be organized. Many use their calendars to organize events, such as important meetings or their children’s school functions. Electronic calendars can be equally useful, and you can arrange reminders to be sent to your phone.

Prioritization: Especially when you are feeling overwhelmed, prioritization can be necessary. There are numerous ways to prioritize what you need to accomplish. For example, some people may decide to accomplish the simplest tasks first and then move onto those more challenging. Another way is to accomplish tasks in order of importance. In Wendy’s situation, for example, she may want to start her day by completing the project tasks then spend the remaining time on her other assignments.

Time management skills

(Adapted from Anderson & Bolt, 2016}

Goal-setting: In time management, you can clearly understand and prioritize to accomplish your goals. The tasks that will help you accomplish your goals should take priority over those that do not.

Communication: Having strong communication skills will help you make your plans and goals clear to people you work with. Thinking back to Wendy, she may need to discuss ways to manage her daily tasks with her supervisor and keep her supervisor updated on the priority project. Wendy may decide to email her supervisor every week or even request a reoccurring meeting.

Planning: Like organization, planning is an essential skill in time management. Being well organized in planning out your day will help you stick to your schedule. For example, if Wendy knows she has an important meeting about her work on Tuesday, she knows not to schedule anything else on that day. Effective planning and scheduling can go a long way in stress reduction.

Delegation: It is imperative to practice setting limits to manage your time well and ultimately accomplish your goals. It is also an important practice to delegate tasks to ultimately achieve your goals. Many times, others are more than happy to assist you, if you are comfortable asking. To improve her time management, Wendy may want to ask for a couple of her daily tasks to be reassigned, or she may ask her husband to pick up the children from daycare so she can catch up with work.

her colleagues immediately feel the stress and pressure to complete the project quickly with top quality. Within this larger project are several additional tasks to be completed. Wendy’s main concern when leaving the meeting is how she will complete this new project and still accomplish her daily tasks.

when you do not care for yourself.


Lately, Wendy has not cared for herself. Usually, Wendy goes to the gym three times per week and eats salads for lunch, but her stress has consumed her life.

Wendy stopped going to the gym and has been eating poorly.

Additionally, she has not spent much time with her husband or children. After some reflection, Wendy realizes that this contributes to her stress, and she makes a plan to get herself back on track.

Self-care is any activity or task aimed at personal wellness such as getting enough sleep at night or eating regular meals. While large events such as vacations can be self-care, wellness should happen on a daily basis as a way to reduce negative stress.

Anderson and Bolt (2016), recommend four steps to reducing stress.

Four steps to reducing Stress

(Adapted from Anderson & Bolt, 2016}


Stress and time management are important in the workplace. If you can manage your stress, you will be more effective in managing your time effectively. Remember the discussion of Wendy; she experienced a lot of pressure at work, and she stopped caring for her own needs. Wendy was focused on her job and children, but her lack of self-case only added to her stress and irritability. Learning to manage self-care and balance time is easier said than done for many individuals, but it is possible. Through using the time management skills discussed in this unit, you can find effective strategies for balancing and prioritizing your tasks.


Anderson, L. E., & Bolt, S. B. (2016). Professionalism: Skills for workplace success (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

MacNamara, C. (n.d.). How to manage your stress and time even better. Retrieved from http://managementhelp.org/personalproductivity/time-stress-management.htm

Stress management: When performing good time management, you should also be alert to your mental health. If you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed, you may want to consider your self-care strategies. When life becomes busy, self-care and stress management can seem unimportant; however, stress can increase

The below video discusses ways goal setting can help with time management.

Dartmouth College (Producer). (2005). Goal setting and time management (Segment 2 of 6) [Video file].

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The transcript for this video can be found by clicking the “Tran