Many employees struggle with anxiety while on the job. Some may experience high levels of stress due to heavy workloads, while others might worry about making a mistake on an assignment and losing their job as a result. In any case, the effects of work anxiety can cause staff members to lose focus, turn in poor work, and reduce their overall productivity.
Workers can use several methods to manage their negative thoughts and worrying emotions. They can also make adjustments to their surroundings and their work habits to improve their mood and stay on track while they work. Use the following seven tips and productivity hacks to keep yourself focused and feeling good in the face of work anxiety.
Learn How to Calm Down
When negative feelings and troubling thoughts begin to set in, take a few quiet moments to settle your worried mind. Simple exercises like closing your eyes and breathing deeply for a minute or two can help stop panic attacks and quiet racing thoughts. Another useful trick to get these anxious ideas out of your head is to write them down. From there, you can evaluate which concerns are legitimate and which ones are not and return to work with fewer worries.
Create a More Productive Workspace
Some of your anxious feelings may be the result of working in a cluttered environment. Creating and maintaining a neat office space is an effective way to combat these feelings. Adding comfortable seating, practical storage, and uplifting decor to your workstation can help reduce your stress, discomfort, and confusion, keeping you relaxed, focused, and in a good mood.
Make To-Do Lists to Break down Overwhelming Assignments
Those who frequently tackle heavy workloads and meet strict deadlines tend to experience overwhelming work anxiety. The stress of handling multiple duties at once can lead to concentration and memory problems that can slow down your work pace. Some may also experience a lack of motivation, causing them to procrastinate or rush through the assignment and miss important details.
Making lists allows you to break down larger projects into smaller duties. You can then, focus on one thing at a time instead of multitasking. To -Do lists can also show you the amount of work you do every day, alleviating feelings of failure in those who worry that they aren't working hard enough.
Learn How to Say No
The demands of the job can sometimes push employees past their limits. Also, the fear of letting their bosses or coworkers down can drive anxious employees to pick up extra shifts or take on larger assignments than they can handle. Setting healthy boundaries can prevent the stress, anxiety, and burnout that comes from being overworked.
Give Yourself a Break
Staff members with high-functioning anxiety tend to think that working non-stop will ensure they'll meet their deadlines. However, one of the best ways to increase productivity in the face of anxiety is to take regular breaks. Stepping away from your workstation every once in a while allows you to refresh your brain and relax your body, so you can concentrate better when you return to work.
When your mind starts to wander, take a moment to step back and refocus. Grab a healthy snack from the employee break room, or step outside for some fresh air and a change of scenery. A few stretches or a brisk walk can get your blood pumping again and boost your energy before you head back to your desk.
Use Software to Track Your Progress
Project management software is an excellent tool that helps anxious employees stay on track while they work. Time and task trackers let supervisors measure productivity in the workplace and lay out guidelines for each project. Some software also let managers post instructions or checklists, that allows employees to stay focused on the specific requirements of each assignment.
Tracking productivity through digital software also allows supervisors to reach out to employees and provide feedback on their work. Learning about their strengths and weaknesses on the job can give people with work anxiety a sense of pride in the things they do well and help them pay closer attention to areas where they need improvement.
Create a Workplace Community to Cope with Work Anxiety
Talking about your experiences with a trusted coworker or manager can lessen the effects of anxious feelings and negative thoughts. Connecting with other employees struggling with work anxiety makes workers feel less alone as they learn to manage their mental health concerns. These employees can also give each other self-care tips and strategies for coping with anxiety while working.
Higher-ups can also implement new protocols that address high-functioning anxiety. Supervisors can develop a workplace mental health promotion program to give their staff the resources they need to reduce work anxiety. By offering mental health workshops, tips on creating a healthy work-life balance, or even resources for finding a therapist, management can give employees the tools they need to handle difficult and stressful situations on the job.