• Leila Ainge

Time management- anticipatory anxiety

Updated: Mar 19, 2021

If you want to find more time, you might be better off thinking you have less.

Your time perception determines whether you see time as expanded or limited - and this drives behaviour, impulsivity for example

Countdown clocks used effectively in sales and sports establish a sense of urgency.

In sales, creating anticipatory anxiety around ‘limited’ time triggers customer behaviour. In modern terms this is a 'fear of missing out'

In sports urgency has multiple effects, triggering a range of behaviours, a countdown clock may focus a losing team and help them to take risks.

Of course, too much anticipatory anxiety and performance suffers!

So how does this help with goals?


Visual Countdown Timers are a form of ‘approach motivation’

Try swapping your calendar 📆 for a countdown clock for deadlines, to speed up your perception of time.

💛Focus and Flow

You’ve probably experienced time distortion or a sense of ‘flow’ when immersed in an activity

That flow state (if you reach it!) is protective, researchers think it narrows our memory and attention processes, helping us to shut out irrelevant thoughts and feelings. It gives us focus.

💛Trigger Action

The pomodoro technique also uses time to establish a sense of urgency - by setting a 25 minute timer you are triggering anticipatory anxiety to fire yourself into action.

Next time you find yourself saying 'I wish I had more time' create a sense of urgency

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