We share time management tips for reducing stress and preventing anxiety attacks by not spending your time worrying about inappropriate to-do-list and pleasing others. But getting things done.

Many folks seeking a means of preventing anxiety attacks do not consider the relationship between anxiety and time management. But it should be. I speak from experience because I certainly didn’t grasp the connection when I was suffering from panic attacks.

I like what Melinda Smith, M.A. and Robert Segal, M.A. state in their article Stress Management – How to Reduce, Prevent and Cope with Stress: that until you take responsibility for your role in creating or influencing stress in your life, you will be unable to control your stress levels.

This bears stating again: until you take responsibility for your role in creating or influencing stress in your life, you will be unable to control your stress levels.

You see, sufferers of anxiety tend to spend their time worrying about getting everything done or trying to find time to please others, which means they are not likely taking the appropriate time for self-care to address stress levels, saying things like “I don’t have the time”, “I’m just trying to deal with my anxiety”, and so on and so forth.

You might also have a huge “to do list” which can literally can take over your life and substantially increase your anxiety which might even lead to a panic attack.

The poor alternative is that you might not have any list which means relying totally on memory, and doing so can nag at you all day long and exacerbate your anxiety which might even lead to a panic attack.

So what is the answer for preventing anxiety attacks and not trying to please others?

Properly organizing your time and tasks in such a way that ensures you have a balanced daily life – balancing your personal, professional, and family activities – in a realistic and efficient manner which is the most beneficial to you as an individual.

Once you inject balance into your lifestyle, it can improve your life in countless ways beyond reducing your anxiety and panic. Things can begin to flow more smoothly; you are more productive and feel better about yourself and those around you, and you may even notice that your surroundings seem to have improved.

Okay practically speaking, how do I go about “injecting balance” into my life?

• You must truly recognize that you only have 24 hours in any given day and decide what is most important – keeping in mind that adequate time for self-care needs to be in the most important category.

• You need to schedule self-care breaks throughout the day. For example, find out when you can take a break – even if it just a quick break.

What is more important here is taking a time out. It’s not necessary to do any special self-care technique, but rather you can do nothing for a short period of time. I’m not talking about “goofing off”; just think of it as a quick “health” break.

Believe it or not, doing nothing when you’re stressed can be helpful for preventing anxiety attacks

Doing nothing can break the escalation of anxiety that occurs throughout the day. It can be very empowering. Dr. Anita M. Schimizzi, Ph.D. in her article How to Effectively Implement Time-out indicates:
“Think of it as taking a break, just as you would if you were trying to solve a problem and got stuck. Sometimes having space from the problem can decrease frustration and other negative feelings as well as provide renewed energy and greater perspective.”

While Dr. Schimizzi’s article is in the context of time-outs for children, the same principles can still be applied to all. If you think about it, time-out can be a great skill for later in life.

• Try planning your day either at the beginning or end of each day. You’ll feel good about being organized but will also have moments of inspiration in which you think of some activities you’d like to do. Write them into your plan!

Don’t overload your day, but try keep your schedule a little on the light side – better to have extra time than not enough. (Most people underestimate the time required to complete activities)

Here is an interesting video featuring Dr. Daniel Levitin discussing how the information age is drowning us with an unprecedented deluge of data. At the same time, we’re expected to make more—and faster—decisions about our lives than ever before.

But somehow some people become quite accomplished at managing information flow. In The Organized Mind, Dr. Levitin, uses the latest brain science to demonstrate how those people excel—and how readers can use their methods to regain a sense of mastery over the way they organize their homes, workplaces, and time.

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References (Preventing Anxiety Attacks)

Schimizzi M.A. How to Effectively Implement Time-out. Retrieved October 31, 2012 from:

Segal R. & Smith M. Stress Management – How to Reduce, Prevent and Cope with Stress. Retrieved October 22, from helpguide.org: