Productivity is an essential result of work. When we get things done, our superiors laud us for being productive. When we’re unproductive, though, we would most likely get the boot out of our jobs. “Usually procrastination happens because the task seems too difficult,” said A. Chris Heath, MD, a psychiatrist.
Or it could be stress or depression. That is why it’s hard for depressed people to keep up with work demands because WE don’t have the drive to get things done.
This article is more than just my story of how I became productive despite my depressive tendencies. This me telling you that if I can then, why can’t you? Here’s how online therapy helped me how to be more productive – not just in work – even during my darkest days.
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My depression tendencies started when I was in high school. I’d get depressed at even the smallest things – from dates to not being able to buy the right pen brand. And though I’m far from having suicidal tendencies, there are times when I just want to crawl into my bed and forget the outside world existed.
These propensities persisted until now. I jumped from one job to another. I didn’t engage in romantic relationships for fear that I’d be lousy on it like I am at keeping appointments. My parents and a handful of friends are supportive, but I knew I needed professional help. As I am afraid to talk about my fears and my condition face-to-face, I opted for online therapy. Through BetterHelp, I found my therapist who, though I haven’t seen face-to-face, I feel a close affinity to.
Here are the tips she gave me about being productive even in a depressive episode, pieces of advice that I think worked. I always remembered this quote: According to Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S., “While more hours in the day might be nice, it’s not necessarily a lack of time that stops us from completing tasks and accomplishing our goals.” Depression can also do that.
- Head outdoors especially during the times when your mind tells you not to.
When my sad thoughts set in, I just want to stay in my room and ruminate on them which, according to my online therapist, is a habit that isn’t healthy.
“Stop nurturing and babying your depression,” she told me. “The best time to go out is when your body wants you to stay indoors. Get a new perspective by seeing how big the world is or by breathing in fresh air.”
Fortunately, we live close to a small nature park. It’s become my favorite spot to go when the need kicks in. And she’s right! A little walk or run sets my mind up that when I get back home; I’m ready to work again.
- Do what works for you even if it doesn’t fit the conventional way of doing things.
“Goal-setting in psychology is an essential tool for self-motivation and self-drivenness – both at personal and professional levels,” according to Madhuleena Roy Chowdhury, BA, certified psychiatric counselor.
Most experts’ advice regarding productivity is to tackle the more difficult things first then move on to the mundane like doing emails and the likes. But as this didn’t work out for me, my therapist advised me to do the opposite – do the smaller tasks first, feel a sense of accomplishment and make that my drive to do the bigger, more complicated parts of my job (I’m a freelance digital artist, by the way). However, she told me to make a list of tasks with allotted timeframes for each, so I don’t get lost in things.
So, I made the most attractive and colorful tasks list I could ever come up with (her encouragement) and followed her advice. And once again, it worked. I like seeing my list getting filled up gradually with colors. And it has been part of my work drive to even out the colors I use at the end of the day.
- Have an accountability partner or a support group.
My accountability partner or group, said my therapist, are the ones who’ll push me to work on times that I don’t want to. They’d ask me if I’ve done the tasks on my list and I have to keep them updated on the things I do. As I still live with my parents, my accountability partner is my mom. She leaves me a piece of encouragement when she goes to work on the mornings, call me twice at random times of the day to ask me how my job’s holding, and we have short talks at the end of the day.
Additionally, I also have some friends who I call or go to visit whenever I need a breather.
It’s my sixth month following these three simple advice from my online therapist, and so far, I get work done on time. I haven’t missed a deadline, and I get to work even when I’m at my downiest.
On the other hand, if you have not decided on which online therapist to connect with, it would be wise to choose BetterHelp, where professional counselors are available to provide you with information, guidance, and compassion anytime and anywhere. To know more about it, visit their official Facebook page, or read client reviews on this site. Sign up today and be on your way towards mental wellness.
- Written by Theresa, a close friend of the blogger
Like Theresa, don’t let depression push you further into its murky waters. If talking about your condition fazes you, try online therapy. It might be the HELP you need.