Time Anxiety In The Workplace

Time anxiety! A prevalent issue for employees!

Time anxiety is truly becoming a tough nut to crack. Being anxious about completing tasks is becoming the norm in workplaces. Employees are lagging behind and are unable to complete their duties on time. This can lead to feeling inadequate when it comes to a sense of purpose. Dedicated employees are a necessity for every business, be it small or large. But business owners sometimes fail to recognize that taking steps to ensure employee well being is just as important. 

This is a two-way process. Employees cannot be expected to regain their mental health when they are hammered with unrealistic expectations in the workplace. A lot of it has to do with how a company’s culture chooses to operate. Highly competitive environments breed a culture that screams time anxiety. Hence, an employee’s mental health suffers the most in an office that does not provide proper means to combat time anxiety. 

Before we discuss the impact of time anxiety, let’s see what it truly means.

What Is Time Anxiety?

Time anxiety is a blend of being overworked and drained. It manifests itself by being directly connected to the workplace. It is more like a fear of feeling that time is passing quickly and you are unable to fulfill your responsibilities. A repetition of such a pattern can take a massive toll on one’s mental health, and the effects can be scary. 

Being constantly overwhelmed by the ticking clock, along with being overwhelmed by the approaching work week, is the most prominent sign of time anxiety. The mental stress of knowing that there is less time left wears a person down. 

This leads to them actually wasting time thinking about how they will get all the work done. Inevitably, it results in tasks left incomplete and a heavy burden. 

Symptoms of Time Anxiety

Being Obsessive About Being Late 

An employee is always on edge, thinking about how they might get late to work. But constantly thinking about that possibility can leave them feeling drained. Being obsessed with time passing by can make one overly anxious. Though being punctual is a characteristic that is appreciated, focusing solely on it can undermine other requirements at work. 

For starters, an employee can be distracted by other responsibilities that they need to fulfill. Getting cranky about being late can impact their entire mood. Their work can be affected, and it will set the tone for the entire day. Being a little late can make them feel like they have already missed out on a lot and will not be able to complete any work. 

Overrating “The Hustle” 

The need to hustle is a more modern concept. Work was being done and companies were functioning before this concept became relevant. Hustling in itself projects a need to be ahead of everything. 

Being updated is a choice, but being in a rush to get ahead of everything is not humanly possible. There will be setbacks, even failures. One will always have to face issues in the workplace. Getting ahead of schedule will only leave an employee drained and overworked.

This is just not worth it because it starts to impact other important facets of life. For starters, overvaluing the hustle culture can lead to spending less time with loved ones. Prioritizing work over connections will increase the possibility of missing out on many important occasions. Family members will deem you distant and not available. You only realize this much later, but by then it’s too late. 

Skipping Breaks 

Being drenched in work to meet deadlines is also a major symptom of time anxiety. It can lead to an employee skipping necessary breaks. Taking a break at least twice or three times during a working day is of the utmost importance. It is important to unplug and rest in order to be reenergized to work again. 

Skipping breaks can help complete work for the time being. But it will later lead to being physically and mentally exhausted. That will amount to feeling sick and inevitably taking days off from work. This definitely has a chain effect that can later translate itself into a major setback in life. 

Solutions For Time Anxiety

Make A Daily List

Being prepared goes a long way. Hence, making a list of daily tasks to complete within a certain time frame is always helpful. It offers a roadmap in order to get clarity and maintain order. 

All you have to do is make a priority list in ascending order with the time frame mentioned for each task. This way, an employee can also track themselves and their ability to perform under a deadline. Maintaining a list of daily tasks also takes away the mental burden since everything is completed on time. 

How Employers Can Help Manage Anxiety (Source: Mental Health First Aid)

Disconnecting From The Workplace

Work is a part of life and should never define your entire life. That is something most employees find hard to come to terms with. Disconnecting is as important as working, and every employee should understand this. Keeping the weekends work-free is an excellent step toward making it a reality. 

Weekends should be spent indulging in self-care and spending time with loved ones. That helps with regaining a sense of purpose and understanding what is truly important. Seeking professional help for time anxiety is also something that can help break the rut of being overwhelmed. So employees should definitely consider it. 

Will Employees Be Able to Strike A Balance?

Companies are becoming more competitive. Unfortunately, their employees are bearing the brunt of it. The only way an employee will be able to strike a balance is when their company promotes a culture of flexibility. Plus, it is extremely important to offer employee benefits that prioritize mental well-being. Otherwise, employees will continue to face time anxiety, and that will not help anyone. 

Featured Image: Timely

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