Is Your Constant “Overthinking” Leading You to Reduced Productivity at Work?

Thinking too much at work can actually cause you more anxiety, not less. Whether you’re trying to figure out the details of a challenging project or competing with a colleague for a promotion, thinking too much about whatever situation you’re facing will increase your risk of physical and mental health issues. These, in turn, affect your performance on the job.

Not only can your productivity take a hit, but your relationships too. When you’re consistently stressed and anxious, those around you will take notice, including your boss. They might begin to wonder about your coping skills and whether you’re ready for that next promotion. This can sabotage your efforts to get ahead in your career.

So how can you tell if you’re “overthinking” – and overcome this unhealthy habit? Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Tip #1: Pay attention to your thoughts.

If there’s a particular issue at work and you think about it most of the time, then that’s too much. Instead, focus on what you can change and accept or let go of the rest.

If you continually ruminate and worry about a problem that you have no control over, it leads to an abundance of stress in your career and your life. Likewise, if you’re striving for perfection, it’s going to contribute to added stress and strain because being perfect isn’t attainable.

Tip #2: Start off the day on the right foot.

Instead of waking up every day and immediately checking your phone for a text from work or the latest news headlines, create a healthier ritual to begin your day. First, go to bed at a time that allows you to get plenty of sleep.

When you do wake up, make sure you’re getting up early enough so you don’t have to rush around. Instead, meditate, reflect, or just sit quietly for a few minutes to ease into your day.

Also, make a “to-do” list for what you have to get done before you get to work. Sometimes, once you see your tasks written out, they’re less anxiety-inducing.

Tip #3: Stay in the moment.

When you’re in the moment, you’re not overthinking the conversation you had yesterday with your boss, or the presentation you have to give next week. You’re simply mindful of what’s going on – right now, this minute – and completing the task at hand.

If this is difficult for you, then practice actually closing your eyes, taking a deep breath, and being aware of your surroundings. What do you hear, smell or feel? Is there music playing? Are co-workers talking? When you focus on what’s happening around you, you’ll stop spinning your wheels on something outside of your control and focus instead on where you are and what you’re doing now.

Tip #4: Let go of control.

If you tend to overthink relationships or situations at work, it’s likely because you’re looking for a sense of control. However, in reality, you don’t have much control over anything but yourself.

So let go of trying to figure out why a colleague is acting a certain way or what will happen in the near future with the economy. Worrying won’t increase the chance for a positive outcome, so it’s a waste of time and energy. Focus on what you can change and let go of the rest.

Are you overthinking your next career move?

Call Provisional Recruiting. We’re experts in employment serving the Spokane area and can discuss your background and job options going forward. If you’re not happy where you are, we can work with you, so you get hired in a position that’s a better fit for you. Search our jobs now to see what’s available.

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