Author, coach, speaker, entrepreneur Paris helps overextended professionals and organizations increase their productivity in life and in business. A personal organizer aids in increasing productivity through space planning, time management strategies, and tools for student organizing, at home, at work and/or at school.
If you are feeling anxious, you definitely need to chill out. But how do you do that? The best way is to go looking for some new ideas that appeal to you. What is relaxing to one person might just be annoying to another. Here are some places to hunt for new ways to relax.
Have you progressed to worrying about if you worry too much on top of your other worries? Do you wonder if maybe you should see a professional for help? You can visit PsychCentral.com and take an Anxiety Screening Test.
List Making-Worry less and stay in control with tons of lists. Use your phone to create a list that you can add to all day long as you think of things you need to do. Make lists for each day, prioritizing the most important things to the top of the list. You can make either separate lists for work and personal life or merge them into one document. Try it both ways and see what you like. Another tip is to start a new project by creating a list of every step that needs to be done. Use that list to control and pace out your work to meet deadlines.
Planning-Thinking ahead is a great way to push off anxiety. Do some strategic planning for your job or business. Know what is coming up in each of the business quarters. Sketch out what you need to do and when and get it on your calendar. Look at the long-term and think about how you want to grow. Creating a plan for how to get there is a great reliever of anxiety. We always feel better-taking steps forward rather than just thinking about how we need to do that.
Routine-If you are a worrier and start to feel anxious when your house is a mess, you need groceries, there’s tons of paperwork to do, the laundry is piling up and you’ve plenty of work related tasks gnawing at you, then you need routines. Creating a routine for each item takes away the anxiety. For example, how about a routine where you create a menu for the coming week and a grocery order over the weekend? On your way home each Monday, you swing into the supermarket and pick up your order. It’s one routine that keeps things moving smoothly. The same applies to all of your regular tasks.
Know It Is Okay Not to be Perfect – Sometimes we send ourselves into a tailspin by our own need to be perfect. Think about when that has happened to you. You picture a “Pinterest-perfect” scenario for your kid’s birthday party, your redecorated home office, or that simple appetizer you are taking to a party. Next thing you know, you’ve worried for hours and maybe even lost sleep over something that isn’t worthy of your time.
Those are some, tiny simple examples. Multiply that by hundreds when you add in worrying about your appearance, your home, your business, your reputation and on and on.
So yes, it is possible to control anxiety by allowing yourself to be less than perfect. Doing a good job is good enough.
There’s a famous letter by author F. Scott Fitzgerald to his daughter that discusses this very subject. He tells her to worry about courage, cleanliness, efficiency, and horsemanship. He tells her a while string of things not to worry about ranging from popular opinion to mosquitos. You can read the entire letter here.
I have to admit that the first three things to worry about are still terrific today but most of us no longer own horses so that last one may not apply.
Courage: This could be starting your own business, launching a new product, making a move across the country, changing your life or career, standing up for what you believe and more. It’s a pretty good and worthy worry list item.
Cleanliness & Efficiency: While Mr. Fitzgerald separated these two items, as a productivity expert, I can tell you they go hand in hand. Keeping your work, your desk, your home, your closet, and your calendar in good working order will contribute to your efficiency.
A wise person once told me that EVERYONE has anxiety. They told me that you can’t be human without it. Of course, like eating cake, there is such a thing as too much.
Keep in mind that human beings feel anxiety as a way of self-preservation. Look out for that flood! Is there enough food to make it through the winter? Am I on a bear trail?
The problem lies when you find yourself feeling the same level of anxious all the time. You feel just as anxious knowing the bathroom needs cleaning as you do about making your sales goals and as you do wondering how you will fit picking up a birthday gift in your day.
While you might not be on a bear trail or about to be swept away in a flood, there are some real reasons to be anxious. Legitimate worries such as making your mortgage payment or waiting for biopsy results are bound to happen. When you feel very anxious, take a moment to take a deep breath and think about what is making you anxious. Decide if it is a real, serious reason to be anxious or if you’ve allowed anxiety to appear on your doorstep and camp there. Knowing which worries to keep and which to banish is great power.
Uh Oh. You’ve got company. Not only do you have too much to do and too little time to do it but now someone’s at the door. Guess you better peek and see who it is!
Cracking open the door, you peer out and what do you find – a full-blown case of anxiety standing on your porch holding a suitcase full of worry and another full of guilt.
Dang! Let’s slam that door shut!
Often when anxiety rears its ugly head, it is just when you feel out of control. Not only are you running around like a headless chicken but now you are worrying 24/7 about what you haven’t done, what you should do, what might go wrong and even worrying about things that are very, very likely to never go wrong. Carrying a load of anxiety along with your to-do list is a surefire way to get behind.
Let’s look at some ideas that might help you with anxiety and reining it in so you can be more productive or even better, calmly productive.
Volunteering can make you more productive at work. It can open doors for you in ways you never imagined. It is good for you and for your community. On the other hand, it is in actuality a job- just an unpaid one. Make volunteering be something you look forward to and desire to be a part of by checking out these things you need to know before stepping in. See FastCompany’s article here.