Chronic anxiety can turn workdays into a struggle. Grappling with troubling thoughts, an inability to concentrate, and the fear of failing can make it difficult to perform at our best while on the job. However, there are multiple tips workers can use to overcome these obstacles and continue to be a productive employee.
Take a look at the following productivity hacks to help manage work anxiety. You’ll discover information about finding the source of your anxious thoughts, creating an environment that boosts productivity, and using checklists to prioritize tasks. You’ll also learn some effective anxiety management techniques, the benefits of taking breaks, and how to seek help when you need it.
Tip #1: Identify the Source of Your Work Anxiety
When worrisome thoughts start to take over, try and figure out what is causing them. Are you in an anxiety-inducing workplace with unsafe conditions and toxic coworkers? Do you have outside concerns about your personal life causing you to lose focus on your job tasks? Whatever the case may be, determining the cause of your anxious feelings is the first step in figuring out how to overcome them.
Tip #2: Modify Your Workspace
A good way to reduce anxiety at work is to adjust your surroundings. A cluttered workstation can make anxious employees feel crowded and distracted. Also, dreary colors and decor can cause a lack of motivation and an unhappy work environment. With a few modifications, you can inspire an upbeat and efficient atmosphere that boosts your mood and keeps you on track.
Start by organizing your office area. Designate a spot for paperwork and other supplies to create a productive workspace where everything has its place. Ensure that you have comfortable seating, ample storage, and enough room for all your work equipment. From there, you can add colorful wall art and desktop decor to bring a fun, refreshing vibe to your office.
Tip #3: Use To-Do Lists to Break Down Overwhelming Assignments
Heavy workloads and narrow deadlines can be huge triggers for work anxiety. Creating to-do lists can help you focus on one task at a time and make big projects less daunting. When you start a new project, jot down the essential parts of the assignment and set a goal to finish those items first. To-do lists and good notetaking can help you focus on what matters most and stay on track while you work.
Tip #4: Give Yourself a Break
Those of us with high functioning anxiety often think that the only way to avoid missing a deadline and upsetting our supervisors is to work non-stop until all our tasks are complete. However, working for long stretches can cause us to feel exhausted and unfocused, resulting in shoddy work. Occasionally stepping away for some downtime can rejuvenate us and make us more efficient and effective when we return to work.
Your mind may start to wander after a long period of focusing. When this happens, take a break to rest your mind and reinvigorate your body. Boost your energy with a few stretching exercises or a quick walk around the office. If possible, you can also step outside for some fresh air and a change of scenery. After your break, you’ll be able to go back to work refreshed and ready to do your best.
Tip #5: Learn How to Quiet Racing Thoughts
Employees with anxiety often have a stream of negative thoughts racing through their minds. They may be worried about how they did on their last assignment, whether managers and coworkers are saying bad things about them, and whether they are likely to lose their jobs as a result. Imagining all these what-ifs and worst-case scenarios can have an unfavorable impact on their mental health and productivity.
Try some of the following anxiety management techniques to learn how to calm down when you feel anxious at work. Use deep breathing exercises to relax when you feel worried or afraid. Evaluate your fears to realize which ones are legitimate concerns and which ones are not. Finally, write troubling thoughts down to get them out of your head and help you refocus on the task at hand.
Tip #6: Form a Community
Sometimes the best way to lessen your negative thoughts and feelings is to talk about them. Discussing your work anxiety with a trusted coworker or manager can help you form connections and create a mental health network within the office. Anxious employees can then help one another cope with the job’s stresses by sharing self-care tips and information on local mental health resources.
Tip #7: Ask For Help
Even with all the above tips at your disposal, the effects of work anxiety can be difficult to handle on your own. Try to find a good therapist who can offer support and lend their professional opinion to your mental health challenges. They may also recommend medical treatments if necessary or suggest other psychological approaches for handling your anxiety and remaining productive while at work.