Completion Anxiety And Its Causes + How To Get Over This Anxiety

Last Update on November 4, 2022 : Published on November 5, 2022

Procrastination is something that we’re all intimately familiar with but have you ever wondered what pushes us into procrastination? For many of us, it can be the thought of closure but for others, it could be completion anxiety that might drive their actions.

Have you ever wondered why it’s hard to finish the last few percent of a task? Maybe you’re motivated to finish it, but something comes up, and you just can’t seem to finish the work. Sounds like something you struggle with? Well, then you know how overwhelming it can get when you have too many tasks to complete but not the will to finish them.

It’s not that you don’t finish what you started but if you find yourself not finishing things on time, there could be a reason for that. It could be your completion anxiety or something else. Let’s take a look at what is completion anxiety, what causes it, and how to manage this anxiety.

What Is Completion Anxiety?


The fear you experience when you think you won’t be able to finish a task on time or when you excessively worry that you won’t perform to the expectations of others is what we can call completion anxiety.

Did you know that 20% of adults in the United States alone can be classified as chronic procrastinators? So, if you’re one of those people who experience anxiety at the thought of not being able to complete a task or panic into procrastination, then it could be completion anxiety driving you.

Let’s take a look at some of the common causes of completion anxiety.

What Causes Completion Anxiety?

1. Low Self-Esteem

One of the biggest causes of why you’re experiencing completion anxiety can be low self-esteem. If you fear being judged about your task or fear evaluation, then it could manifest as completion anxiety and hold you back. Often, low self-esteem and fear accompany each other and if you’re prone to anxiety, then you can have low self-esteem, and vice versa.

This can also hold you back from addressing your negative thinking. So, if you’re thinking about the fear of completion more than the task, then you may experience completion anxiety.

2. The Fear Of Failure

Another cause of completion anxiety can be the fear of failure. Again, fear and anxiety often accompany each other so if you ever fear receiving anything resembling failure, then you’re more likely to experience completion anxiety.

You may also excessively worry about the fear of failure and this fear can eventually lead to procrastination, which can keep you from finishing your tasks. It’s a cycle. For example, if you’re thinking that your manager will think you are not hardworking and if your manager does tell you that you need to work harder, then it will only fuel the fear.

3. Mental Health Conditions

Certain mental health conditions can also cause completion anxiety to rise. Some of the common conditions that can increase task completion anxiety can include;

  • Avoidant Personality Disorder: Here, people are scared of rejection and may actively avoid all situations that might involve social interactions.
  • ADHD: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a condition that can challenge people when it comes to completing tasks. This disorder hinders one’s executive functions, including time management. This can often cause overwhelming feelings and anxiety.
  • Bipolar Disorder: Here, manic episodes might bring a sudden influx of ideas that can make one start more than one project and leave them unfinished. Some people might not even notice it, but others might experience anxiety over uncompleted tasks.

Overcoming Completion Anxiety


If you’re one who often finds themselves struggling with feelings of anxiety over uncompleted tasks, then here are some tips to help you manage completion anxiety;

1.Find The Source Of Anxiety

The first step is to figure out where your anxiety stems from. The source of your anxiety. The moment you understand the root of your anxiety, you’ll find it easier to manage and overcome completion anxiety.

Pause and take a moment to think about where your anxiety comes from. Is it low self-esteem, fear of failure, lack of support, or something else entirely? Once you know the source, you can move on to the next step.

2.Break Down Your Tasks

To avoid your anxiety overpowering your mind and the panic of procrastination sets in, try to break down your tasks into smaller parts. This step will help your tasks seem more manageable and reduce the anxiety of finishing tasks.

Try to think about the outcome then work backward and plan the steps you need to take. Try to spend an allocated amount of time on each task.

3.Schedule Your Tasks

Another way you can reduce or overcome completion anxiety is by scheduling the tasks you’re supposed to do throughout the week. Start small. What this step will bring is that it’ll help you set a completion date so that you can rest assured that your tasks will be completed on time, thus reducing your anxiety.

You can try time blocking, day theming, or other time management strategies. Keep in mind that some tasks might feel overwhelming, but when you spread them throughout the week, you’ll find them less overwhelming and burdening.

What Next?

If you struggle with completion anxiety, then there could be certain reasons contributing to the anxiety. Some of it might come from having low self-esteem, a fear of failure, or hidden mental health conditions such as ADHD or Bipolar disorder.

Fortunately, you can cure and overcome completion anxiety by following the above steps. With some self-awareness, time management strategies, and a few relaxation activities, you can say goodbye to procrastination and completion anxiety.

If you’re still struggling to manage task completion anxiety, then you can connect with a professional for additional help and support. You can also connect with us at for more information.

I hope this article helped you understand what is completion anxiety and how to manage this anxiety. Let us know in the comments if you liked this article. You can also share your tips to reduce completion anxiety with us in the comments below.

Take Care!

About The Author

Swarnakshi Sharma
Swarnakshi Sharma

Swarnakshi is a content writer at Calm sage, who believes in a healthier lifestyle for mind and body. A fighter and survivor of depression, she strives to reach and help spread awareness on ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues. A spiritual person at heart, she believes in destiny and the power of Self. She is an avid reader and writer and likes to spend her free time baking and learning about world cultures.

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