While this might sound harsh, it's important to acknowledge that we sometimes create our own anxieties. If we can recognise this fact, then that can help us move from a position of helplessness to one of being in more control.
Whether you're struggling with work/school, or keeping on top of things that need doing at home, there are different ways we help ourselves. In this post we focus on ways we can get organised and reduce anxiety.
Your 'to do' list of tasks may be ever-growing, and it might often feel that you're constantly working without feeling you're getting much done.
Have a look at your list and see if any of the tasks have deadlines. Ask yourself whether you need to prioritise the tasks which have an end date.
Can other, less pressing, tasks wait until the more urgent stuff gets dealt with?
Are there any tasks on your list which aren't actually your responsibility and need to be allocated to someone else?
2. Break tasks down into smaller steps
You might have things to do which, on the face of it, seem like mammoth tasks. Looking too far ahead at the overall goal may cause you to feel over-whelmed, so one way of dealing with this is to break tasks down into smaller steps.
A very simplified example might be: you have a report to write about staff satisfaction at the company you work for. The report requires a lot of detail and will likely take a considerable time to write.
Thinking about the report is making you feel anxious, so instead you look at the individual tasks you need to get done in order to complete the report. These might include:
- Doing research on the internet about staff satisfaction in general
- Interviewing a certain number of colleagues, using specific interview questions
- Asking staff to complete questionnaires
- Setting time aside to write the actual report
Once you've broken the overall task (i.e. writing the report) down into these smaller steps, you can then tackle each step separately. That way, once you've completed each step you can feel a sense that you're moving closer towards achieving your goal.
3. Set yourself goals
Setting goals can be a great way of motivating yourself to achieve the things on your 'to do' list. This is where SMART goals come in; you may well have heard of these. Here's what each letter stands for and how it applies to goal setting.
These are goals which are well defined. You might want to ask yourself things like what you want to achieve; why the goal is important to you; who else is involved; where is it going to take place; and which resources will be needed?
When these things are clearer, this gives you more focus towards your goal and you know what is required to achieve it which can remove a lot of the anxiety.
When a goal is measurable, this helps you track your progress and stay motivated. It also means you remain aware of how close you are to achieving your goal.
You may want to ask yourself how you can achieve your goal. Do you possess the tools/skills to achieve it, and if not how would you attain those tools/skills? So, instead of feeling anxious that you don't have the skills, you can identify what you need to do to get those skills and go and do it.
When setting your goal, you need to be aware of the resources available to you, the knowledge you have, and the time you have to complete the goal. If you set unrealistic goals you may not achieve them and this might leave you feeling like you've failed.
How much time have you allowed yourself to achieve your goal? If you don't allow sufficient time you may not get it done, or you may rush to get it completed and not do it properly.
We've got two more points to add which aren't so much about planning, but more about your mindset.
4. Don't compare yourself to others
We're all different. We all have different skill-sets, different day-to-day responsibilities, and different amounts of available time in any given day.
Therefore, it's futile to look at someone else and perceive that they're achieving more than you, or doing things in a better way.
Don't waste your time focusing on what other people are doing, as this only takes you away on the things you've got to do!
5. Go easy on yourself
There are only so many hours in the day and there's only one of you. You can't do everything.
Use the tips above to help you get more organised and reduce anxiety, but don't beat yourself up if you don't clear your 'to-do' list all at once. There's no such thing as perfect 🙂
Do you have any tips to getting organised? Let us know in the comments!