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On a daily basis, many are inundated with tasks. The list of things to do never seems to be completed. Over time, this continual stress can lead to feeling burnt out. One fairly simple way to make things a little less stressful is finding efficiencies in your daily tasks. Initially, this entails more planning, but in the long run, it will definitely pay off.

There may be ways for you to examine your schedule and tasks to find ways of doing things smarter. As the old clich' goes, 'it's better to work smarter than harder - .

Here are some basic tips that will help you become more efficient and thereby reducing your workload and stress levels.

Plan, Plan, Plan! Each week, spend time planning out your week. First create a list of all that needs to get done during the week. Once you have the list, look for groups of things that can be done at the same time or location. For example if you have identified that this week you have to: drop of clothes at the dry cleaners, go to the post office, pick up groceries for the week, go to the dentist on Monday afternoon and pick up a birthday present for a friend.
Normally, the above would be done on 4 or 5 separate trips. Now the dentist is right next to a large grocery store which has a post office in it. So Monday, you plan to go to the dentist, grocery store and post office. The dry cleaners is just up the road from a department store, so you can drop your clothes off and then go to the store to pick up a present. From 5 trips, you are now down to 2 trips saving significant travel time.

Bulk is better. Sometimes a task can be done on a larger scale once instead of repeated several times on different occasions. For example, you are the family chef responsible for making family meals. Every Tuesday night, the family has chili. By time you come home from work and spend an hour in traffic, making chili may not seem like the most desirable task. What if the chili were made once a month in a large pot and frozen. Now all you have to do is throw it in the microwave.
Set a time limit. In general when you have to accomplish a task, if there is no time limit set, the time it takes for the task to be completed tends to drag on. If a time limit is set, you are more likely to complete the task within the allotted time. Try it! You may also find that the time it takes for you to complete a task will vary to the limit you set for it. That is, the longer you set the time limit, the longer it will take you to complete the task. Set reasonable time limits as the whole reason for this exercise is to try to limit stress. The purpose of setting a time limit is to keep you focused on the task at hand in order to get it completed in a timely efficient manner.

These tips are quite simple, but when used can help you to become more efficient and less stressed.

About the author:

Richard Gary is a stress management specialist. You can find his and other free stress management articles at


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