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You Thought You Couldn’t Be Productive When Feeling Depressed, Just Wait Till You Read This

You Thought You Couldn’t Be Productive When Feeling Depressed, Just Wait Till You Read This

Depression takes you by surprise, drains your energy, and leaves you without motivation to accomplish even the simplest tasks on your to-do-list. But never fear – it doesn’t have to render you lifeless! Don’t let your work-life suffer, and don’t feel overwhelmed by all the chores waiting for you at home. Check out these twelve ways to stay productive even when you’re depressed.

1. Practice calming techniques.

Depression can affect people in different ways. It might make you feel frustrated with yourself and your life at all times, or you might feel nothing at all. Regardless of how depression makes you feel, you need to make time in your day to practice calming techniques. Force yourself relax. Clear your mind, close your eyes, let all your muscles unclench, and try to leave the daily grind behind.

2. Have a support circle.

Have people you can talk to about anything. These should be people you can be open and honest with, so you can tell them how your depression makes you feel without worrying that they’re judging you. You should also respect these people so you can value the quality advice they give you to help you through tough times.

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3. Get physical.

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    Sitting on your butt might be making you feel worse! Get out and go for a jog around the neighborhood. If it’s too hot or too cold outside, then go to a gym and get your heart pumping. Lift weights, walk on the treadmill, or try to learn how to use equipment that is new to you. Keeping your body busy will also occupy your mind, and being active instead of stagnant will make you feel better overall.

    4. Start new goals.

    Don’t be deterred by broken resolutions! Who cares if it’s not January anymore? Resolutions don’t have to be started at the beginning of the year, the beginning of the month, the beginning of the week, or even the beginning of the day! You can resolve to change your life at any moment. If your goal is to eat healthier, don’t be frustrated that your breakfast was a pastry – start by eating fruits and veggies for lunch! Starting new goals at any time will make you feel more productive.

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    5. Spend time outside.

    Sit on the porch in the sunshine; lay out in the grass; soak up the great outdoors! Getting fresh air and sunlight will make you feel better than being cooped up inside.

    6. Eat well.

    Eating junk food is going to make your body feel worse, which will in turn bring down your mood. Eat healthy foods, and don’t overeat. You don’t want to feel sluggish when you’re trying to be productive.

    7. Clean.

    Spending time in a messy space is going to make you feel bad, because you’ll feel claustrophobic and unorganized if you’re surrounded by clutter. Take time to clean your work or living space; the act of cleaning will make you feel productive, and you’ll feel great once you have all of your stuff organized.

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    8. Rearrange.

    If your space is already clean, try rearranging it! Moving furniture and wall hangings around will make your space look different and new, and that might rejuvenate your mood. If nothing else, the act of rearranging will give you something to do, and the results you’ll see as soon as you get started will keep you motivated!

    9. Stay healthy.

    You’re already getting physical, going outside, and eating well, right? Then you’re well on your way to staying healthy. Keeping your body in good shape is the best way to keep your mind in great shape! This will elevate your mood and make you feel inspired to be productive.

    10. Be social.

    Depression makes you want to close yourself off to others, but don’t let this urge take over. You need to be around people. Even if you have to push yourself to act interested or like you enjoy their company – do it! Forcing yourself to act social and talk and smile to others will make you feel surprisingly good. You’d think it would make you feel fake, but making yourself smile will actually lead to real smiles. Try it!

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    11. Take breaks.

    Don’t overwork yourself. Take frequent breaks from your tasks, whether it’s a project at work or chores at home. Overworking yourself will wear out your body and mind, which will be inviting the depression to overstay its welcome. If you’re worn out and frazzled, you’ll find it harder to be productive.

    12. Take one step at a time.

    Don’t let your goals seem too daunting. Thinking that something is unattainable will make it even harder to get started, which means you’ll never be productive! Break larger goals into smaller steps that will be easy to accomplish. Make to-do-lists that give you time to tackle each project without feeling like you’re on a tight deadline.

    Featured photo credit: Young business man with problems and stress in the office via shutterstock.com

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    Last Updated on September 17, 2018

    How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

    How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

    Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

    Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

    All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

    Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

    How bad really is multitasking?

    It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

    Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

    This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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    We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

    So what to do about it?

    Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

    Now, forget about how to multitask!

    Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

    1. Get enough rest

    When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

    This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

    When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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    2. Plan your day

    When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

    When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

    Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

    3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

    I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

    I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

    Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

    4. When at your desk, do work

    We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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    Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

    5. Learn to say no

    Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

    Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

    By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

    6. Turn off notifications on your computer

    For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

    Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

    7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

    Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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    You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

    The bottom line

    Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

    Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

    Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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