Brad Æon is a PhD researcher at Concordia University who studies the science of time management.
In a recent article published in University Affairs, Æon says that “structuring your time is the single most important step you can take to alleviate your anxiety, preserve your mental health.”
He draws on the literary classic, Robinson Crusoe, to illustrate his point.
“…the first thing Robinson Crusoe did after getting shipwrecked was etch marks on a wooden cross to create a calendar,” writes Æon. “But many people don’t have what I call the Crusoe reflex – the habit of structuring one’s time.”
Æon offers several concrete steps to develop a Crusoe reflex — in a nutshell:
- Adopt a fixed-schedule system
- Time-block your day
- Structure your time around social hours.
He has more to say about each so be sure to go to the story for more tips and advice.
“Treat your own schedule as if it were externally imposed, as if your job depended on it. (To a large extent, it does.),” writes Æon. “Having your own time structure will do wonders for your stress, anxiety, and work-life balance.”