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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 March 15, 2019

    How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

    How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

    When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

    Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

    In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

    What Makes a Leader Fail?

    A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

    If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

    And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

    What Is Effective Leadership?

    Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

    Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

    Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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    “… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

    How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

    To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

    1. Courage

    The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

    “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

    Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

    For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

    In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

    It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

    Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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    2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

    If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

    The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

    To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

    3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

    Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

    Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

    4. Likability

    Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

    When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

    Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

    So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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    5. Vulnerability

    Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

    When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

    6. Authenticity

    Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

    Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

    7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

    Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

    Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

    Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

    Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

    As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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    “A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

    8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

    Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

    This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

    9. A Passion for Continual Learning

    Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

    These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

    Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

    The Bottom Line

    No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

    Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

    More Resources About Effective Leadership

    Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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