U-M Counseling and Psychological Services

There’s never enough time!  Arrrrrgggggh! Sound familiar?

Class projects, exams, presentations, and social commitments — even the everyday demands of life — can lead to time management overload.  And when our time management skills are pushed to their limits, our stress levels can rise, too.

During crunch times, stress management tools become time management skills.  For example, it’s important to schedule (and take) regular breaks away from your work — even 15 minutes can help!  

Within a 15-minute break, you can:

  • Call friends to make dinner plans
  • Head outside for some fresh air
  • Grab a fresh cup of coffee or a snack
  • Stretch your neck and back muscles
  • Listen to a guided meditation recording
  • Lift weights or jump rope
  • Blow bubbles

With a 30-minute break, you can:

  • Visit a friend — in person
  • Photograph the moment, your surroundings, or friends to post later
  • Try yoga
  • Energize yourself with exercise or movement 
  • Watch an episode of your favorite show
  • Head to the CAPS Wellness Zone
  • Power nap 

To tackle multiple deadlines, step-back to reassess your calendar and priorities.  By being realistic and flexible with your to-do list, you might gain a whole new perspective.  Here’s one way to do this.


Write a to-do list and categorize each task by:

  • A = Must be done today
  • B = Could be done tomorrow
  • C = Should be done by next week/month- fill in your dates
  • D = Would be nice to do, but not now

Hopefully, this exercise helps you see what needs your immediate attention compared to what you want to get done. 

Of course, these tips won’t make your deadlines disappear or your calendar less full, but they do offer hands-on ways to manage both your time and your stress!

Find more information on stress HERE