The Effects of Time Management on Stress

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Everyday people struggle with the stress of getting what needs to be done on time. Almost all college and high school students procrastinate till the night before an assignment is due. Which puts unneeded stress on themselves. With the use of a time management intervention, the amount of stress these students have can be minimized. I myself wait till the last minute to do almost all my assignments.

Whether I have a week or five to start planning and working on an assignment I will wait till the week or the night before it is due. Stress management as a technique can be implemented into my daily life. Simply using a planner to write down where and when I need to start and assignment and plan out my day. With the use of a planer I can write down when I have free time and at what time each day I should work on homework or study for a test. As it is right now I pick a random time in the day I feel like starting it. Often, I end up procrastinating even more because I do not want to do it. If I start scheduling a time during each day to do a chunk of homework or studying it will take the strain off me during busy weeks where I have multiple assignments and test due.

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The purpose of Time Management Training and Perceived Control of Time at Work was to study the effects of time management on perceived stress levels in the workplace, as well as the level of performance in the workplace and their ability to control time when working. In this study they had 71 participants, and “used an experimental 2 (treatment-control) x 2 (pretest-posttest) design” (Hafner & Stock 2010). The control group would be taught the same skills five months after the training group. All participants were given a pre and post test to determine if the effects of the training was the actual cause of improvement of stress levels and work performance. The training group were given training session each week and had to fill out questionnaires and fill out online diaries, where truthful and honest answers were stressed by the experimenters. Their work performance was also measured during this time.

After the sixth week the results of this study found that those in the experiment group showed more desire to change and implement the time management skills they were taught than the control group showed. It also found that, those in the control group had a significant increased sense of time control though a minor influence of perceived stress levels. There were no changes in self important tasks, which means that the experiment had no effect on that aspect of their work. At the end of the study it showed that there were minor improvements to time management in the trained individuals. Although, it did not show improvements in their work performance it did show minor impacts in the participants perceived stress levels. In the end their hypothesis was partially correct. While there was some improvement in control of time and well being there was no effect on the participants work performance.

For the study “Effects of Time-Management Practices on College Grades” (Britton, Tesser 1991) they tested the hypothesis of weather or not GPA could be predicted if they measured the time-management skills college students used. At the University of Georgia ninety male and females undergraduates were tested. The undergraduates were made up of freshman and sophomore students that had enrolled in a first year psychology class. In the class they were offered course credit to participate in this study. For the study each undergraduate was given a set of questionnaires, one being the questionnaire about time-management. The time-management questionnaire was 35 questions long and each question was graded on a five point scale. With the closer to 5 an answer was, the better time-management skills they used. In particular the study looked at short-Range planning. Where those who reported a high score on this section, would plan their schedule weekly or daily. It also studied the their the students attitudes on time. Those with a high score in this field showed control over time and that they felt as if they were using their time efficiently.

The last part of the questionnaire looked at students who worked in the long term. That is they would make in their planners or calendars important due dates and events for the entire semester. That they study or review material even if they did not have an upcoming test or quiz or wait in till the night before an assignment is due. The study also looked at SAT scores and how time-management skills influenced them. The study found that there is a positive relationship between time-management practices and their respective grade point averages. Though the study did not find a relationship between time-management practices and SAT scores. With this study it shows that as students who have good time-management skills achieve a higher school performance level than those who have poor time-management skills. Though this study does need to be retested and further explored by other experimenters. In the end it is also unknown if the answers the students gave in the questionnaire were truthful or not. There is not a definite way to determine if the answers they put were truthful and it is all on an honor system and encouraged by the experimenters.

In the article Longitudinal Study of Procrastination, Performance, Stress, and Health by Tice and Baumeister they discussed how Procrastination has been linked to many negative health outcomes. Some of them being low self esteem, anxiety and depression. In this article they conducted two studies the first one was in a psychology class. Where they had to write a paper for the class. When the paper was announced they were told the due date and if they could not meet the due date, it would be extended. After a few weeks after the paper was announced they filled out a procrastination survey. Those who scored higher on the procrastination survey scored lower on the paper and on their exams. Though in the non procrastinators showed higher stress levels than the procrastinators. Though stress levels were measured in the beginning of the semester. In the second study everything was conducted in the same way. Except that health outcomes were measured right before the deadlines of the paper. It showed that the procrastinators visited the health center significantly more than non procrastinators. In the end procrastinators experience less stress in the early parts of the semester. Though in the end those who procrastinate often fall more ill than those who don't. More experiments and data must be collected on this topic to give a definite answer as to whether or not poor time-management and skills lead to negative health outcomes compared to those who don’t procrastinate.

For my Intervention plan I will measure my resting Heart rate as well as use the perceived stress scale at the start of the four week plan and at the very end of the four week plan to see if my levels of stress have gone up, down or stayed the same. The reason I chose to use heart rate was to show me a biological indicator of how I feel in respect to my stress level. I will the perceived stress scale to see what has been the cause of my stress and aspects of my life that I can change or stop doing to lower my stress levels. For my SMART plan I will write down my daily schedule, what I need to get done in the day and upcoming assignments at the beginning of each week as done in the investigation study mentioned above. I will increase the amount of time I spend on studying by 30 minutes each day for the first week, an hour the second, one and a half hours the third and two hours the fourth week. This chunk of time will be inserted into my schedule 30 minutes after I get home from school. To allow me a little time to decompress and relax.

Some barriers that I might encounter along with this plan is running out of homework or assignments to do. Making me study material that was just covered or look over something I don’t have the drive to do at that given time. Another possible barrier would be if my friends ask me to hang out with them during that time, forcing me to have the will power to decline and focus on my studies. The last barrier that I might encounter would be just not wanting to study that day. whether do do me having a bad day or exhausted from school. These little things will be of a big impact to me when i first start and I will have to overcome these obstacles for this plan to succeed. In addition to the thirty minute block I will record my stress level each week and record it in a diary like that investigation study taught to the workers in the first article I discussed.

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