This has happened to me so many times during school years, and I always roughed through it (pull all nighters etc). Seeing how unaccomplished I am in my professional and personal aspects of life, I would say that the old strategy did not serve me well at all. Seems like rather than trying to push away the worrying by procrastination, I should actually deal with my feelings. Only when it goes away can I actually get some work done.
New strategy: alleviate the worrying by imagining what's the worst that can happen to me if I completely flunk my tasks (in this particular case, a presentation). I could:
- Embarrass myself in front of a whole bunch of people
- Embarrass and disappoint my boss
- have to deal with my colleague's smug satisfaction that I make myself look bad while she can seem much more put together than me.
I don't think I would actually lose my job if I screw up this particular task. But even if I lose this job, I just couldn't care less. It's a little sad, but as I no longer have high ambitions, I do not feel bad if I lose this career and have to do something else. Since this is the case, I should stop worrying. Just get something done and let nature run its course.
Even know logically I know worrying is not a useful feeling, my old patterns take over so easily. Time to remind myself over and over again: self-care matters more than work accomplishments.