As an entrepreneur, worries and concerns come with the territory. Undifferentiated worry often leads to over-thinking and then to anxiety and depression. It’s mentally and physically bad for you and your relationships.

I never understood the value of scheduling a “worry time,” a notion favored by many psychologists. Making a date to freak out with worry seems bizarre to me. Worry is not like a faucet you can turn on and off. When the alarm says to stop pacing and fretting, are you instantly serene and able to take action until your next rendezvous with worry? I don’t think so.

Instead, I suggest using “worry time” in a healthier and productive way. Differentiate your worries by accepting what you can control and what you cannot. Identify the high priority “can control” worries by establishing a prioritization criteria – the factors that make a task or a decision you have to make stand out. This step eliminates all but the most crucial tasks to come forward. Having too many worries in your face all at once is overwhelming.

A good night’s sleep and exercise rally the thinking brain over the emotional brain. This set up allows you to step back 30,000 feet and constructively problem solve one priority item at a time. This mental distancing feels distinctly different from the entrenched, undifferentiated worry state. Speak to yourself aloud as if you were advising a friend with this problem. Draw it out. Write out the pros and cons. Discuss options and make a decision.

Being able to transform “worry” into “constructive problem-solving” is a COREageous skill for surviving and thriving as an entrepreneur.

Need help upgrading your ”worry time?” I’m here for you at   [email protected]

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