Needing some tips to be productive with anxiety?
Have you noticed that your anxiety prevents you from getting things done? It’s funny is it not, that the very thing that is making you stress about getting things done, is the very thing preventing you from doing them.
It’s difficult to clear your mind enough to allow for productivity to actually occur. If you have functional anxiety, like me (read more about that here), you may have benefited from anxiety as far as getting things done. Others have not been as lucky, if you would call it that.
For those of you with Generalized Anxiety Disorder you may often experience:
- Persistent and excessive worry
- Physical responses (sweating, leg tapping, grinding teeth, biting nails etc)
- Inability to make a decision / worry about making the wrong decision
- Nausea/stomach problems
Among other symptoms as anxiety presents itself differently within everyone. Do not linger on the fact that your symptoms do not fully align with the list as it is excessive.
Symptoms can present differently based on age, gender, environment and the list goes on. What matters is that it is hindering you from functioning properly.
Related Post: How To Cope With Anxiety
It is my hope that these tips alleviate some stress and overthinking so that you can be productive with anxiety!
Tip #1 To Be Productive With Anxiety: Identify and Avoid Triggers
I know this seems counterproductive to spend time identifying your triggers to anxiety, but it helps in the long run. Being proactive and identifying what makes your evil friend anxiety come for a visit will help you avoid or find ways to combat them.
A great way to identify your anxiety triggers is to journal or take notes. I recommend setting aside a certain amount of time each day for a week to simply identify what or when your anxiety increased.
I have an anxiety trigger worksheet here you can use that will help you to identify your triggers and plan to combat them.
If journaling is not really your thing, get out my list of activities you can do to practice mindfulness (self awareness) and identify your triggers. Once identified you can combat them by avoiding them or developing a plan to get back to a peaceful place so that you can get things done.
I recommended meditation, yoga, exercise, showering or breathing exercises to calm your mind and refocus on the task at hand.
My anxiety workbook has more worksheets that go more in depth to combat your anxiety! Check out whats included here!
Tip #2 To Be Productive With Anxiety: Make A List
Anyone that knows me, knows that list are my JAM! Literally, it is my jam, it holds everything together for me, so that I can just do. Without a list, I find myself venturing off to other tasks that may not be as important but need to be done.
Anxiety creeps in and makes me feel as though I will not have enough time to get it all done, so I try to do it all at once. Of course, that makes sense.
The great thing about making a list is that you get a sense of accomplishment when completing a task, which decreases the worry of not being able to complete things. It also reminds you of the realistic expectation you have for yourself for the day.
I notice I am less likely to feel like I was not productive throughout the day if everything on my list has been checked off. I also give myself permission to do other things when those things are done. (Hint I normally start with a list of things I can do the next day)
Tip #3 To Be Productive With Anxiety: Take Breaks
When you need to be productive with anxiety it is very important to take breaks! Anxiety will take a lot out of you mentally and physically, without breaks it is near impossible to be productive with anxiety.
Short breaks have been shown to decrease stress, improve focus, improve concentration, and improve your mood! You will know that you need a break if you listen to your body and mind.
I know that I need a break when I am unable to sit still, my eyes begin to hurt, I get a slight headache or my back begins to ache. If I listen to my body, I get up to stretch or play a meditation on my phone to recenter myself. When I take a break, I notice that I am more productive and feel accomplished at the end of my day!
Related Post: How To Be Productive With Depression
Tip #4 To Be Productive With Anxiety: Sleep
Last, but certainly not least, you need to sleep! Your brain plays tricks on you all day and increases your anxiety which sends you into the fight/flight response.
Does it make sense that you would not need to sleep more than that of the average person? Of course! Though we can function with 5-6 hours of sleep, it is recommended that you obtain 8 hours of sleep a night to be highly effective.
However, there are nights I sleep more than 8 hours. I need it! My body, mind, and spirit needs to sleep 10 or more hours a night when I have been triggered that day.
I notice that I often sleep the most on Friday nights and I am sure it is because the work week is over and I am able to think more rationally. It is also because I know I can sleep in on Saturday without fault.
If you need more than 8 hours of sleep listen to your body! It will tell you what it needs and that may be the only way you are able to function and be productive the next day!
Most of you know that I am a huge fan of coping skills, therapy, mindfulness to help with your mental health. You also need to practice self care, cut yourself some slack, and set firm boundaries with yourself to manage your mental health and get things done.