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Last month I was assigned my first job about project management.

But I realized that honestly, I have a problem with time management. I feel always stressed and anxious. More time thinking about things that I should do, than doing it.

This mixture of anxiety and stress is basically killing me psychologically.

So I guess I need some advice (article, blog, book, etc) to start fixing myself about time management, I think this should reduce a lot my anxiety and stress.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Check out some threads at productivity.stackexchange.com. How to prevent from being overwhelmed: productivity.stackexchange.com/questions/916/… . I would also check out the tag on that site regarding time management –  chrisjlee Aug 19 '11 at 15:04

4 Answers 4

If you look for a book I would start with Getting Things Done. You can also check author's website as there are some resources there as well.

However, in terms of being productive I find a couple of simple rules very useful. Focus on a single thing at any moment, which means you don't lose time on context switching and actually start doing, and finishing, tasks. To get yourself into the flow you can start with tasks which are easier to complete and then move to bigger ones. BTW: I sometimes work that way and call it "do it now day."

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In addition to the book, there is a great podcast: gtd-vsg.blogspot.de The group is open for everybody, meets every 2 weeks per telephone conference, and discusses everything about GTD and beyond. I have found the podcasts to be very inspiring, because it is made by ordinary people, who all struggle but also succeed. –  Huibert Gill Mar 23 '12 at 7:32

I've found a personal Kanban board very useful. Kanban allows you to limit your work in progress. I use LeanKitKanban, and restrict myself to 3 things on the go at any time, with 6 things (about a week's work) in a backlog. Ongoing concerns take up one of my "in progress" slots. I also have a "waiting" column which I limit to 4, which means that if I want to wait for someone else I have to chase up an existing problem to free the space.

This really helps me to finish one thing before I start another, and to say "No" if I'm already booked up or have too many ongoing concerns.

LeanKitKanban has icons and different colours, so I can also visualise deadlines, things which have slow feedback loops but will come back to bite me later, small tasks vs. big projects, tasks which need to be expedited, repeating tasks, etc.

+1 for Pawel's suggestion of "Getting Things Done", which amongst other helpful suggestions says that if it takes 5 minutes, just do it (and don't put it on the Kanban board).

These two posts can be helpful in terms of pointing resources on personal Kanban:

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+1 for personal Kanban –  Pawel Brodzinski Aug 19 '11 at 18:00

Expect to be a little stressed. You are doing something new and unfamiliar, and you are out of your comfort zone. As you get experience you will become more comfortable.

There are lots of books on Time Management. Some may work for you and other will not. Stop by your local library and browse their offerings. While you are there, review their offerings on Project Management. Don't be afraid to ask the librarian for assistance, they may be able to suggest other useful resources.

Getting Things Done is quite popular, but it can be overwhelming. However, the techniques may help you track and organize what you need to do. Try to use it for incoming stuff, and gradually add in your backlog. The two minute rule may help in deciding whether to do it now or later. There is a podcast study group on GTD that you may find helpful, it is available for iPhone or iPad.

Try to limit the major things you plan to do on a give day to a very short list. Gather smaller task of similar types as a group.

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Not exactly on Time Management, but on stress that you are facing. Try to work less. I know that it may sound a little bit odd, but thinking and / or working more and more will make you less efficient.

Go for a walk, go swimming, go to a gym, have a beer. Go to bed earlier instead of working late. Physical activity will relax your brain after a hard day and you will see that the following day you will work more efficiently.

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