As I worked like a crazy person into the wee hours of the night. I felt my anxiety levels rise and my mind began to shift to all the ways and reasons why I couldn’t do the task placed before. For some reason the fear and uncertainty of what my client would think virtually paralyzed me. The work had been done for about an hour yet I read and spell checked, checked fonts and checked the alignment of the graphics. Only to grow more uncertain. While attention to detail is a great skill to have it seems to me there is something inherently wrong with allowing that attention to detail to consume you and prevent you from considering a task complete.
I am slowly realizing that things that pop up in my professional life are often found in other areas of my life as well. The desire for everything to be just so often keeps me from getting started. Until I have conversation with myself saying “Just start! What’s the worst that can happen” and this seems to be when, if I’m not careful, my anxiety kicks into overdrive. I start rehearsing all the ‘worst’ that could happen and before I know it the precious time I need to
complete the task has evaporated.
So while I haven’t totally mastered letting go of my desire to want everything to appear perfect I do implement some techniques that help me snap out of it, focus and get things done.
Close my eyes and take 10 Deep Breaths. Now that seems simple but if you are impatient like me taking deep breaths can seemingly take to
o long when you are under the pressure to get some work done. I generally spend the first 3 breaths thinking ‘why don’t I feel calmer, I should feel calmer by now”. By about breath 7 I’m feeling some of the stress leave me.
Whisper a prayer. There is a time for long drawn out prayers and sometimes I do that too but if I’m feeling extremely anxious, I keep it simple and say “God I need your help here I am freaking out, please help!” Sometimes it gets more elaborate than that but that is always my starting point.
Take a 5-10 minute break and actually go outside and take a walk without music or cell phone. Just a quick step outside for fresh air does wonders.
Put on some good tunes to help remind me of the greater plan for my life and how every circumstance surrounding me is pushing me closer towards my purpose, the very thing I was created to live out.
What are some things that you do to help yourself focus and complete the task at hand?