timeOne of the best things you can have in life is a healthy relationship with time. In fact, you can say that it is probably the most important component of what defines a happy life. And in order to have that healthy relationship with time, you have to avoid these two extreme reactions for dealing with calendar stress.

Under-scheduling is a chronic condition common to those who are feeling deprived when it comes to time. It's a natural but misguided reaction—when time pressures start to get oppressive, it can feel like you are giving yourself more freedom if you just don't add anything else to the calendar. Of course, that doesn't mean these demands on your time magically disappear. They are just now less organized, which ultimately creates more stress.

Over-scheduling is the problem at the other end of the spectrum, common to those who feel an obsessive need to be responsible with every demand that comes their way. Everything, no matter how important, is immediately assigned time, which creates a sense of order. But again, it can be a misguided impulse, because you only have so much time, and if you fill your calendar in an indiscriminate, first-come-first-served way, many important things will not get the attention they deserve.

Time: You Need to Get it Just Right...

So given the limitations of the clock, the calendar and your energies, the right path clearly lies in finding a Goldilocks approach. You need to get it just right. Too little scheduling and you end up living a life without the structure you need to ensure progress. Too much scheduling and you get bogged down with the noise that can consume you.

The secret is not just to get things scheduled, but to ensure that each item in your calendar is given the proper weight, and that you always have time for the things that matter most. The right time for the right things—that is the ultimate point of winning the time crunch game. It's a rocks first approach that I have spoken about often in the past, and one that bears repeating. We often need to be reminded to give priority to our priorities.

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