If you find knots in your stomach when writing your daily to-dos or rushing from project to project because there aren’t enough hours in the day, then you may be struggling with time anxiety. That forever feeling that the clock is ticking and you won’t beat it to meet your deadlines.
Time anxiety is always tied to the feeling that you’re running out of time, but it presents itself in a few different ways.
- Current time anxiety is the stress that you’re running behind or that you’re going to be late.
- Future time anxiety is a focus on the future and the what-ifs of life.
- Existential time anxiety is the worry over permanently lost time associated with milestones like a midlife crisis.
These are all natural concerns many of us will have in our lives, and it’s healthy to an extent. This becomes a problem when the anxiety becomes a regular part of your life and you feel like you can never catch up. It can cause career burnout, distractions, and stress as well as impact your mental well-being and relationships.
If you’re having trouble taking control, the first step is to decide what you consider time well-spent. It may seem like productivity is the answer, but you may find you most appreciate when you learn something new or take time to get to know your team.
This is where you practice shifting your focus so you’re not fixated on the end product, but the journey that takes you there. This can alleviate the stress of a deadline while helping you focus on the task at hand.
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It’s easier said than done, and requires a lot of practice to perfect. Here are some other tips from Mint to help you recognize your anxiety and overcome the obstacles: