Being productive with anxiety(SQUIRREL!!)

 

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I am always in limbo between needing coffee for energy and overcaffeinated paranoia.

I tend to be a spaz. Running around doing 1/8th  of each task on my to do list before jumping to another task.

 

I also suffer from anxiety/ manic depression. It tends to manifest itself as procrastination. Or the constant feeling of being overwhelmed that scares me into bed and trying to find anything to avoid these frightening mundane tasks. Or I have my manic mode, where I am rushing around trying to do everything all at once. Anxiety and depression are serious, please refer to your own physician and do what is best for you. I have been on medication, when my brother passed away I really felt like nothing else would help. I have luckily not relied heavily on my medication and have adapted practices that allow me to be productive through the chaos.

Am I by nature clean? No! Organized? NOPE! Driven? Not really…

Should I throw my hands up and give up the things I want because they don’t come easily? Of course not. Doesn’t that sound so silly, when simply put?

 

1.       Schedule your day.  Give yourself chunks of time to do nothing.

That may seem contradictory. I feel like if I schedule (to the minute) to do’s, I feel defeated if I stray from that, and I know I will. If I give myself 30 minutes to have a cup of coffee, watch tv and play on my phone, I feel like I have gotten it out of my system and am able to focus on what I am doing. I always allow myself that time to do nothing and do not feel guilt for it.

I suggest scheduling your day first, so you know how long you should do nothing for. You will have a visual on how much you need to do that day and understand that veering off that will make the day less productive.

Writing down the day will relieve anxiety and you can guilt free relax and let go of the nagging feeling. This also helps to do before meditation/prayer.

*I recommend no more than 20-30 minutes of mindless activity

 

2.      Keep a notebook at all times/ brain dump

Maybe even two. If you are overwhelmed with your thoughts, like I constantly am, write your thoughts down.

I always have paper everywhere and I use google keep for my thoughts.

Anything I need to return to for reference goes in google keep. On paper, I may never look at the list again, but the angst is somehow released once I write them down.

The act of writing things down is a huge help for my anxiety and nerves. It makes me feel in control and able to manage- to-dos, ideas, and just random thoughts in general.

Brain dumping is important- imagine you are cleaning your drawers. If you specifically only organize one drawer at a time you may not see the full job at hand. You may start in one drawer and get so overly obsessed with one task that you’ve spent all your time and energy completing one drawer while neglecting the rest or not giving appropriate attention to the area that needs the most work.  When you don’t see the full task at hand it can end up being more work. Most people dump all their clothes on the bed. You can see all the items at once and sort through when you have a big picture, like maybe I need to use the big drawer for my t-shirts because I have so many of them. Or maybe I should toss some socks because they are miss matched or have holes in them and don’t serve me to keep them.

Brain dumping allows you to clear your mind

 

3.      Give yourself 3 non-negotiables

 Go over your thoughts spilled out on paper and circle 3 things that MUST be done. These are under time constraints (like paying a bill on time), things that give you the most stress and you want to do the least, and something that will give you so much gratification to finish.

 

4.      Divide and conquer

When faced with a large overwhelming task, like cleaning your entire house, chunk it up to small pieces. Even room by room may feel overwhelming. Think of an area of the room (the bathroom, closet, desk, pantry) and do one thing at a time. Something is so powerful about checking an item off your list. Accomplishing one thing most likely will motivate you to do more. Seeing one area clean in your house really amplifies how dirty the rest is and can be a push in the right direction.

5.      Find your motivation

Being motivated is key. I recommend a vision board for every facet of your life. I have mine on my google keep and Pinterest. Go over it every night and morning. It should speak to you on such a level you feel actual heat from the fire lit under your arse. Let that motivation run through you, write an affirmation/ intention journal and write down in the morning that today you WILL be productive. There are tons of cleaning motivation videos on YouTube (that my children ridicule me for watching). Put on an upbeat music playlist, throw your hair in a pony and get it done.

6.      It becomes second nature

Just like using TV to avoid and cope with feeling overwhelmed, is a learned behavior. Being productive can become habit too.

7.      Perfection is a mirage

Please don’t expect perfection, better yet stop expecting. It leads to disappointment, and disappointment leads to a myriad of other issues. Be the best you, do what it takes to make you proud. Use other’s as a muse for inspiration not as a model to how you should live your life. To be honest their life may not be as a perfect as you think. Or maybe there is something they sacrifice to have what you envy.

Happiness comes from a sense of peace. Find yours! Hope this helps~

 

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