Flickr, Ana Santos

With the fast pace of society and our daily multitasking, we are already running on adrenaline for much of the time. This adrenaline can provide us with needed energy, but adrenaline is a result of stress, and our bodies were not designed to sustain those levels on a regular basis.

When a real emergency occurs, how do you cope if you are already stretched to the limit? The key is to cut the amount of daily stress by developing processes that limit your need to multitask, while improving both your concentration and productivity.

Does that sound like merely wishful thinking? You need to believe that it can be done. Part of effective time management training is developing systems that teach you what to do with every incoming item, whether paper, verbal, or electronic, and how to achieve the most productivity each day. With these systems, you have limited the number of collection points for tracking chores and projects, instead of having them scattered.

In addition, take everything out of your head and write it down, adding those items to your collection points. You can start to prioritize your day easily. With good systems, you limit the need to multitask, you can plan ahead, and you have no fear of overlooking deadlines. A bonus is that you will sleep better at night. All of this adds up to decreased stress.

Now when a truly stressful situation occurs, you can concentrate on that one area, knowing your work is prioritized and your mind is not sidetracked with other worries about what needs to be done. You will be the one who can be counted on in an emergency.