A few weeks ago, my mom was telling me about the debilitating work-related anxiety she was experiencing over the weekends. The issue was that on Friday afternoons, she had to do all kinds of preparation for certain things that happen over the weekend—things she’s not around for. On Friday nights, she would sleep lightly and wake up in a panic that she forgot this step or that step, and that there would be chaos in the morning.
Even though she knew all of the steps were done (she won’t leave work unless they are), she just couldn’t convince herself of that once she was home.
What she needed was something that would give her peace of mind. So here’s what I suggested:
- Create a checklist and print a fresh one out for every Friday.
- Check the tasks off as you do them.
- At the end of the day, take the completed checklist home with you.
- Before bed, take a nice, long look at the checklist and keep it on your bedside table.
And guess what? It worked!
I also suggested something that I thought was a little more fun, which was to identify some sort of token as a symbol of a completed checklist. She could put it in her pocket and take it home with her on Fridays and put it on her nightstand when she goes to bed. I was envisioning a gold coin to really commit to the gamification of the process.
Do you experience similar anxieties? What has worked for you to trust yourself, chill out, and get some sleep?
Other times I’ve written about checklists: