Set aside specific 15- to 30-minute appointments on your calendar for focused “Worry Time.”
Make them regular if possible, as in “I’ll worry from 4:00 to 4:30 p.m. every evening.”
If a worry emerges before or after your Worry Time, jot it down and tackle it later.
For the span of your set Worry Time, agonize over whatever is bothering you. Chew on your problems or write them down. Then commit yourself to get back to your routine.
Don’t do this right before bed or first thing in the morning, especially if you tend to wake up with a sense of anxiety over everything that needs to be done.
Ruminating about the past and worrying about the future makes staying in the present moment impossible. It’s mentally and emotionally draining. It interferes with moving forward. Therefore, by using this focused time for worrying, you can get your worries out of the way. Put off any emergent worries until your next scheduled worry session, just as you should ‘do’ emails at set points during the day instead of letting them disrupt your flow.
Limiting your time to worry can also make your Worry Time productive. By having a clear limit to how much time you can spend thinking about an issue, you can push yourself to seek a solution instead of ruminating endlessly.
With some practice, you’ll learn not to let those inevitable anxieties flood your thoughts throughout your day.