Knowing Your Direction & Having a Plan Can Reduce Anxiety and Feelings of Overwhelm

If I don’t plan I often get lost so easily and I stray away from anything productive, I become anxious about the future and overwhelmed at the number of tasks that I need to complete to achieve my grand ambitions. That’s why if you ever saw me, you might notice that I’m constantly writing down plans for later in the day, or for the next day and ultimately I write goals for the next months, next years and beyond. The reason why I do this is because I have to and I NEED to. I have identified weaknesses in my vision when I don’t plan and writing things down fixes that. But it doesn’t stop there.

When I write the plans, I can’t just leave them on the page and stare at them. I need to prioritise them based on my values and decide which I will attack first because if I skip this step I will become distracted by all the things I need to complete. Feelings of overwhelm will build and it is likely that what I have written will never become anything more than just words on a page. When we prioritise things it enables us to take action confidently and assert our best efforts towards achievement.

Most nights before bed I will come up with a list of things that are on my mind, maybe they are stressing me out and I feel the weight of them on my shoulders – this means I definitely need to address them if I want to have any quality sleep. And usually I start with the biggest of these – the one that is worrying me the most, because if I can lift that stone the rest of my worries will likely become half as stressful as they once were. The biggest worry must be attacked first.

So, if you’re anxious at the moment and are struggling to find what it is that can get you out of the endless hole you feel you are in, write it out and organise it. Make a plan of attack that you are truly happy with. Both long term goals and immediate goals. Admittedly, the first time you try to do this you might find it difficult to prioritise things, but you’ll get better at it over time. What usually helps is to write out your values and rank them – your goals should mirror your values and follow a similar kind of order.

To get a better idea of how you can plan better and set goals more effectively here are some useful articles:


~ Adam, 2019

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