Time and Stress Management is a broad phrase. Let's start with some time management techniques. First ask yourself this: Do you feel like you are suffering a painful case of information overload at times? Is this overload directly related to the computer or to non-electronic sources?
Don't dump the Internet yet! Try these organizational techniques:
Make folders and sub-folders in your email Inbox.
- Keep emails that have important information you may refer to later.
- DELETE emails that you are certain will be of no value to you.
- Title and sort these folders in a way that is realistic to your typical thought process. I have a folder called "Dailies" for emails that have information I review on a regular basis.
- If you are a social networking guru or you belong to email groups, designate a folder for this. When the email notifications come into your Inbox, you can immediately move them to this sub-folder. Keep them bold or marked "unread" and go back to them later when you want to focus on them. These notification emails can be your worst enemy for time management.
- This technique is a life saver for Forwards! I almost never read a forwarded email right away. I put them in my sub-folder titled "Fwds" and I read them when I feel like it and usually that's when I'm too tired to be doing anything more productive.
- Leave all emails that require an action in your Inbox until you've done that action. The action might be moving them to their appropriate sub-folder, it might be to reply to them, print them or research something pertaining to them.
I have not started using RSS Feeds yet but I plan to soon. I keep my bookmarked web pages very organized by again, using folders and sub-folders for everything I don't look at on a daily basis.
Caution: Try not to get so organized that you are over-organized and can't find anything! Remember to use your personal logic and thought process when you title your sub-folders! For example, I have two sub-folders for recipes. This might not sound logical but I've found that I'm either looking for one of my mom's recipes specifically, or I'm looking for "any' recipe. I have a recipe sub-folder under the folder titled "Mamma" (which is a sub-folder of "Family"...which is a sub-folder of "Social"). My other "recipe" sub-folder comes from Parents Magazine as is located under a folder titled "Personal Business". Now this would drive some people (like my husband) absolutely insane, but it works for me.
Well now you have some helpful tips to keep your electronic folders manageable. It's not the most serious advice Learning Life has to offer, but it is an ingredient to Time Management which happens to be a huge factor in Stress Management. We'll talk more about information overload coming from non-electronic sources soon! (Hint: you don't have to answer your phone or your door.)
Bye for now curious cats.