If you suffer from anxiety – no matter what your triggers are – when you come across a title that suggests a way to cure your anxiety or get rid of it, you’re likely to jump at the chance to find the magical fix to that heavy feeling that weighs on your chest and the inability to breathe when it just becomes too much. It’s why, while I want people to read this, I didn’t want to bait you in with something that wasn’t true, and used the word cope.
The number one thing that you, the people around you -your managers, your friends and family-need to understand is that there isn’t a cure. There isn’t a quick fix. And anxiety can have such deep roots that you may not even know why you’re triggered.
The Cure to Anxiety is a Myth
So no. I don’t have a list of things to cure your workplace anxiety. Anyone that promises that isn’t really being honest. Or, perhaps, has little understanding of how anxiety works. I do however have coping tools that may just be exactly what you need. The combination of tools come from a mix of research and practice.
Procrastination tends to get a bad rap that those that procrastinate are lazy. The thing is, those that procrastinate rarely actually do nothing in place of the task that they are supposed to be doing. Meaning that they actually have the potential to be way more productive. This is where positive procrastination comes into play.
Sure, browsing social media isn’t the most productive thing. But washing the dishes when you usually avoid it like the plague or finally mailing off that package to your sister’s kid that you meant to mail a year ago, well those aren’t bad things to occupy your time.
Even better is when your procrastinating in work by completing other must do tasks that are just feeling a little less daunting. No matter why you procrastinate, if you’re using other productive tasks to do so, then you’re not really losing out on productivity.
How it Works
John Perry, a philosopher at Harvard, actually wrote a book entitled The Art of Procrastination. Within this he suggested when you’re writing out your to do list to put at the top of that list those big, daunting, scary tasks that you know you’re supposed to get done, but will probably avoid.
Then, fill the middle of that list with doable and still important tasks. Finally, add to the bottom of the list, very doable, quick to finish tasks. When you find yourself avoiding those top of the list items, you’ll find that you will pretty naturally start checking items off your list from the bottom up.
Probably completing a LOT more of what you need to get done in a day than if you had tried to force yourself to focus all day on numero uno!
Controlling too Much of a Good Thing.
Really, in order to avoid the plague of procrastination you actually need to let yourself procrastinate.
Procrastination is part of the productivity process. It just gets you in trouble because people will do too much of it and dig themselves into a hole. That’s why there are so many tips on how to avoid procrastination.
So, aside from Professor John Perry’s strategy, let’s look at some other quick tips on how to manage procrastination successfully to actually increase productivity.
Other Procrastination Tactics that Work
When planning how long a task will take you, factor in procrastinating. A little wiggle room will go a long way.
Pick 2 or 3 activities that allow you to check out for short periods. Rotate through them when you need a brain break. Browsing social media, straightening up, deleting emails…there are a lot of things that can help you take a break without taking over the whole day.
Every 3o minutes, stand up and stretch. This can be a walk around the room or literally just standing while you work for a few minutes. You’ll find that this break from work can actually end up bringing you some pretty good inspiration.
Plan a break where you completely shut it off. For example, when you stop to have lunch, don’t “work” through lunch. Grab your lunch, sit in a different place than where you usually work, and just enjoy your food.
Set a timer. Using timers for your productive time and your procrastination time will help you avoid watching the clock. This way, you know you’ll have a break coming up. It can help you push through when you feel ready to give up. Plus, you’ll be able to really enjoy your procrastination time because their will be no antsy realization that you’ve been watching YouTube videos for an hour instead of five minutes.
Whatever your goals are, implementing positive procrastination into your work strategy may just be the tactic you need to move your productivity to the next level!