Anxiety. A lot of people have it and not enough people talk about it. But should having anxiety stop you from achieving success or chasing after your dreams? Of course not. But that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy like a walk in the park. It’ll be hard. Harder for you than for those who don’t have the same obstacles as you. There may be times that you’ll want to quit and it’s ok to have those moments but the important thing is working through those difficulties and still going after what you’ve been working towards. After navigating my own business for three years and struggling with my own anxiety there’s a few things that I’ve come to implement that make a word of difference in how I can be productive and keeping my anxiety in check.
Have a pen and paper at the ready
The worst is thinking you can do it all. That just puts an incredible amount of pressure on yourself that you don’t need. About a year ago, when I was feeling like I was ready to crumble under my never ending to-do list, I was gifted a notebook and pen. Simple, right? Well that little notebook and pen gave me a freedom I didn’t have before. When anything entered my mind I wrote it down. It didn’t matter how big or small the thought was, it went on the piece of paper. Anything that needed to be done from brushing my teeth, to exporting photos, emailing clients, changing out photos on my website.
This was hugely important because it took the pressure off me for having to remember everything that needed to be done. You know the feeling where you think you’re going to go crazy because you have a million things bouncing around in your head? Having the pen and paper allows your head to be a little less quiet and feel a little lighter. You’re not worrying about trying to not forget all the things you need to remember and then trying to remember all the things you did forget.
Ask for help
Asking for help is usually the hardest thing for anyone to do. Some look at it as admitting weakness but I look at it as the complete opposite. It takes a lot of courage and strength to say the three words “I need help”. But before asking for help and then getting overwhelmed trying to delegate tasks you need to figure out what is it you need help with. I quickly realized that the hardest part of owning a business for me was keeping track of emails, reading emails, and responding to them. The unknown of what was waiting for me in my Inbox was terrifying to me (and still is) and would freeze me in my tracks. I was missing deadlines, I was leaving too many gaps in my response time, and none of that is good for any business.
So, I did two things. The first was asking Erik for help. Erik started reading my emails for me and making a list of the ones that needed a response. He would delete any Trash, Spam, or unnecessary Inbox fillers that way when it came time for me to look at my emails I was only looking at 10 emails instead of 25.
Get a bedtime routine
I know this makes me sound a bit like a Mom but making sure you get a good bedtime routine and a solid night’s sleep is a big help. Usually when you don’t get a good night’s sleep your next day is unproductive. You feel groggy, you feel unfocused, and you usually don’t get a lot done which just adds to the anxiety you’re already feeling about not getting anything accomplished.
Set an alarm on your phone that will repeat each evening. This will serve as a reminder for you to start your nightly routine. Whether that routine is just washing your face, brushing your face, and then going straight to bed or maybe your routine is more involved with making sure the dishes are cleaned up, your lunch for the next day is packed, etc. Whatever it is that you do at the end of each day make sure the alarm serves as giving you enough time to complete all those tasks and still get to bed for a solid eight hours of sleep.
It’s always best to identify what it is that triggers your anxiety and from there you can find through trial and error the best solutions for yourself and for your business. It may take weeks, months, and for some, even years to finally be able to find a solution but the important part is to keep trying, keep moving forward, and keep bettering yourself.