A Little Anxiety Will Help You Perform Optimally, But Too Much Is Debilitating - Business Insider
Jennie Luke stashed this in Interesting
Anxiety — that urgency blended with fear that creeps up when you're approaching a deadline at work or pitching an idea to your boss — may actually be good for you in moderation.
I'm glad you gave the details of this being about productivity.
Because I see a chart with Performance and Arousal my mind thinks of other things.
I know! A little strange how they worded it that way but overall, it's a good point.
Actually, given the chart it's entirely possible they meant it both ways. :)
The military increased passing rates among Navy SEAL candidates by teaching them "arousal control" -- basically the ability to keep yourself in that optimal range:
Josh Waitzkin has written about athletes developing triggers so they can relax and de-stress during short breaks so as not to tip into the overstressed zone:
Another interesting technique is to use the body's "misattribution of emotions" to our advantage. Since the physiological states of stress and excitement are so similar we can actually fool ourselves we're experiencing the latter instead of the former: