The day has barely begun, but you’re already overthinking and stressing about your day at work. The task in front of you seems insurmountable, and you’re just trying to figure out how to get through the day.
Why is it that, even in a job you might love, sometimes you get so overwhelmed? Most of the time, you’ll find the same root cause if you look hard enough.
You’re overthinking things.
Sadly, this kind of hyper-focus has a way of creating a mass of anxiety and can even stall you out from getting anything done at all.
How do you prevent this?
Start With Intentionality
Good days don’t just happen. If you wake up well-rested and take care of yourself from the onset of the day (meaning eat healthily and get some exercise), you’re apt to start with a more positive mindset. From there, decide how you’re using your time today. A schedule takes out a lot of questioning whether you should be doing one thing or another right now.
Set a Limit
Speaking of scheduling, keeping on task, and giving yourself less time to overthink starts with your timer. Start by giving yourself only five minutes to deal with small things (such as responding to an email) or set 30-minute chunks to work on more significant projects. Having a time crunch keeps you focused and gives you less time to worry about what you’re doing.
Put Yourself in Motion
Overthinking stops you cold and keeps things from happening. If you find yourself stalling out completely, make a list of the next couple of steps. What’s the next best thing? Once you know this, then act.
Let Things Go
Some overthinking is just stressing about things you can’t control. Remember, some things aren’t up to you. Rather than worrying endlessly about whether or not your boss likes you, or over whether someone will respond to your email, take a step back. Remind yourself there’s nothing you can do about this situation right now and focus instead on something you can control.
Look for the Disaster
Overthinking likes to pick at you, naming all the ways things can go wrong. Usually, these thoughts are very inflated and not reflective of reality. Ask yourself instead, what is the worst thing that can really happen in the situation? Now try asking yourself what the best positive outcome would be instead. Which would you rather focus on?
The key here is to redirect your thoughts anytime you find you’re overthinking yourself. Don’t let your thinking get away from you. A good day at work can still happen.