Manage Your Time to Help You Manage Your Anxiety
One of the biggest challenges I faced when I was in graduate school was trying to manage my time effectively. At the time, I was a full-time student, employee, mother, and wife. Juggling multiple roles was extremely difficult, and it often felt as though there were not enough hours available in the day. As someone who struggles with anxiety, you can imagine that this made my anxiety symptoms worse. I frequently experienced panic attacks, irritability, and constant worry. I was often sick and had a hard time staying focused. Eventually, I worked on ways to manage my day, and this is something I continue to work on.
Effective Time Management Can Help You Manage Your Anxiety
Consider this: You've created a to-do list for the day with all of the tasks you need to get done. Hours go by, and you are only partially through the list. Before you know it, unexpected things pop up and, by the end of the day, your list is still not complete. You feel stressed because there are so many things you still need to do and you don't have time to do them. Does this sound familiar?
Those who struggle with anxiety may find that they often feel an extreme amount of worry about things that they need to get done. A lack of effective time management can result in more tasks left unaccomplished, and more to worry about. When unforeseen situations occur throughout the day, this may add to anxiety due to a lack of control of the circumstances.
While each day will be different and you have no control over unexpected things that occur, using specific time management techniques can at least help you to stay organized and manage some of the factors that you do have control over. Additionally, it allows you to create a plan to help you stay on track throughout your day. I find that having a plan to follow each day helps me to stay focused and, overall, helps me to feel better.
4 Strategies to Use to Manage Your Time and Anxiety
Here are some strategies you can use to help you manage your time, get more accomplished throughout the day, and feel less anxious:
- Develop a list of your tasks. Write down the things you need to accomplish. This is not a to-do list; rather, this is a list to help you put into a realistic perspective the things you need to get done. By creating this list, you can begin getting organized.
- Prioritize them. Organize your list in terms of priority. What is the most important thing that you need to get done? Be sure to put this at the top of your list and begin from there. However, be cautious about avoiding tasks that are particularly anxiety-inducing. I know that I have a history of avoiding things that I really did not want to do, and therefore, I would find a way to procrastinate -- an action which, by the way, only added to my anxiety. Put those tasks at the top of your list and get them out of the way.
- Schedule them in your calendar. Next, schedule your tasks into your calendar. Be sure to be realistic when you do so. For example, if you plan to go jogging for half an hour, don't schedule that run during your lunch hour if you are not likely to actually do it. Schedule your tasks for when you can realistically complete them and therefore adhere to the schedule you have set for yourself.
- Schedule time for yourself. Be sure to incorporate time for yourself. When it comes to managing your anxiety, you know that taking time to meditate, journal, exercise, or practice other types of self-care is extremely important. This should be scheduled in your calendar just as your other tasks should be.
Practicing these strategies will hopefully help you to organize your day and feel less pressure that leads to chronic anxiety symptoms. You may also find that your productivity increases and that you can effectively accomplish many of your goals.
Have you figured out a time management strategy to reduce your anxiety? What works for you? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Bermio-Gonzalez, R. (2020, January 14). Manage Your Time to Help You Manage Your Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, July 6 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/treatinganxiety/2020/1/manage-your-time-to-help-you-manage-your-anxiety-1
Author: Rizza Bermio-Gonzalez
Time management and anxiety can truly go so hand in hand if you approach them in that way. I love all of your suggestions, particularly the ones to prioritize and schedule a time for yourself. When it comes to anxiety the feeling that you need to be "doing" can quickly become overwhelming, it's so important to remember to take time out for you and simply be, and enjoy things just for you.
Thank you so much for your comments! Taking time for yourself is so important and it can sometimes be difficult to fit that time in when our lives are so busy. I agree that it is important to take time to do things we enjoy.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts!