These days, it feels like there's always something you should be doing. Whether it's work, chores, exercise, or anything else, it can often become overwhelming, especially for those who suffer from anxiety.
Anxiety can lead to procrastination and avoidance, and it's easy to fall victim to these behaviors. In this article, we'll share some tips on how to stay productive when you're feeling anxious.
Table of Contents
1. Set Achievable Goals
It can be easy to think up a load of different things you need to get done by the end of the day, and then find yourself overwhelmed with a huge list of tasks. This alone can be enough to set your anxiety off, and it's easy to just shut down and walk away from your tasks all together.
The best way to avoid this is to keep your task list realistic and attainable. Although it seems like you're doing the bare minimum when you don't finish all your tasks, this is much more beneficial than feeling overwhelmed or burning out with how much you've set yourself up to do. Think about how much time you have, and roughly how long it'll take to complete each task, instead of just listing as many things as you can think of.
And, if you find yourself with all your tasks completed, you still have the option of getting more done. Just taking small steps and setting realistic goals can be more helpful than you'd think. Remember, you're not super-human, and slow progress is better than no progress at all.
2. Keep Your Phone Away
Phones can be problematic for a number of reasons. If you suffer from anxiety, you've probably felt anxious, self-conscious, or just a little blue after scrolling through your social media feed. Seeing what others are doing and achieving can often make you feel like you aren't doing enough. And, with the added fuel of anxiety, this feeling can even ruin your day.
This is a common feeling, and one that we can walk ourselves into all too easily with the quick accessibility of social media at any time of the day. It's more harmful than many of us may think.
Moreover, phones are extremely distracting. You tell yourself to take a quick five-minute break, and next thing you know you've been scrolling for half an hour. These factors can both play a detrimental role in your productivity levels, so it's best to keep your phone away from you as much as possible.
You can achieve this in a number of ways, including putting your phone in a different room, turning it off, or even giving it to a friend so that you cannot access it until your work is completed. This might not sound fun, but it'll help massively in getting stuff done.
3. Take Regular Breaks
Let's say that you have been working hard and pushing yourself for hours, trying to complete your tasks as quickly as possible. Next thing you know, you feel burnt out or overwhelmed, and you spend the rest of the day avoiding what needs to get done.
Sound familiar? Though it may seem like breaks are just an excuse to procrastinate, or to be lazy, this is far from the truth. Don't let your anxiety convince you that you don't need a break! It's actually great for our concentration and motivation to take short breaks regularly, so that you don't push yourself too far or feel overwhelmed.
The Pomodoro Method is a great way to stay productive. This involves working for 25 minutes, and then taking a five-minute break. The recurring work-then-relax windows can really help you stay motivated, and the accomplishment of completing each work window actually boosts your mood.
4. Use Deep Breathing
It may sound a little cliché, but deep breathing is actually helpful for keeping yourself calm and grounded. If you start to feel anxious or overwhelmed while working, taking five or ten minutes to practice some deep breathing can really change how you're thinking and feeling.
While you can keep it simple, and just breathe slowly and deeply for a few minutes in order to chill out, there are an endless number of deep breathing methods you can follow.
Not only are there a number of apps out there, but just simply typing 'deep breathing' into your YouTube search bar will give you access to thousands of videos walking you through deep breathing. Even a simple Google search can lead you to some amazing resources.
If you want to find some great deep breathing resources, check out Headspace, Calm, or Liberate.
5. Think About the Results
If you feel anxious while trying to work, it can be hard to keep going. It can feel like a never-ending drag, and it can kill your motivation quickly.
However, it can be hugely beneficial to just think about the end result. For example, if you're struggling to finish that essay, think about the moment it's finally submitted, and off your back. If you're anxious about getting out to the gym, think about that awesome feeling you get after sweating it out and getting the workout done.
You can write down—or type on your notes' application—exactly what it means to you when a task is completed. And that will serve as a great motivator, which you can look back on when you need an extra push the next time. You can often find the right motivation within yourself if you take the time to do so!
Don’t Let Anxiety Stop Your Productive
Although anxiety can often feel like a losing battle, remembering these factors can help you a lot to overcome this. You may feel that your anxious thoughts and feelings will forever hold you back when it comes to getting things done, but you should remember that there are ways around anxiety, and it can be managed.
Take a look at some of these apps for relieving anxiety and panic if you're interested in more details and help with day-to-day anxiety.
These must-have apps for Android and iOS will help you deal with anxiety and panic attacks.
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