STRESS & TIME MANAGEMENT: Stress is either the source or the catalyst for many emotional and physical disorders, all of which can lead to absenteeism on the job. It is a major factor in the whopping $125 billion America spends on health care for employees - a figure that will rise 15 percent this year. According to the American Medical Association, it is estimated that 93 to 96 percent of all psychological and physiological diseases and disorders are stress related. The situation is complicated further by the fact that not all stress is harmful. Complete elimination of stress eliminates the drive to succeed. The ideal situation is to maintain the creative stress - realistic deadlines, the chance for advancement and recognition, the sense of challenge - and eliminate the stress born out of frustration; the undue stress that saps energy.
The workers most affected by stress in the workplace are in middle management. Several psychological studies bear this out. Men and women engaged in climbing the corporate ladder, or responsible for the performance of a section or department, are in an inherently stressful situation. They often have tremendous responsibility, sometimes without the control that would make it manageable. There always seems to be someone else who makes the final decision, and who sets the challenges. Upper management executives who have come up through middle management are often the next most stressed population. Long-time habit or distrust of the ability of others can make it difficult to delegate responsibility for tasks that they are no longer directly responsible for. This will usually result in a manifestation of the famous Peter Principle, or in an energy-sapping attempt to do it all, a path to burnout.
WHO TO BLAME FOR STRESS BURNOUT? Many people misplace the blame, and call time the enemy. That is like a peace activist saying that plutonium is the enemy, not the uses to which it is put. Time is simply the resource we always seem to be "using up" too soon. Since this resource is both endless and insufficient, it's clear that the answer to some of that pressure is time management - learning how to use the time you have available to better effect.
EFFICIENCY: Time management is not simply being "efficient" .Efficiency alone can actually subvert a person's effectiveness. A full training in time management should actually change the way you perform on the job, and enrich the time you spend off of it. When time and stress management skills are employed, the results speak for as well as pay for themselves. Ironically, the major objection we run into when we suggest a training to our clients is that they'll send their subordinates, but they don't have enough time in their schedule to attend it themselves!
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CEO, A.E. Schwartz & Associates, Boston, MA., a comprehensive organization which offers over 40 skills based management training programs. Mr. Schwartz conducts over 150 programs annually for clients in industry, research, technology, government, Fortune 100/500 companies, and nonprofit organizations worldwide. He is often found at conferences as a key note presenter and/or facilitator. His style is fast-paced, participatory, practical, and humorous. He has authored over 65 books and products, and taught/lectured at over a dozen colleges and universities throughout the United States.