How to Be Productive at Work when you’re Depressed

Hi Blog fans, Helen back again and I am writing this the same day as my last post as I am in a super productive mania mode right now nothings gonna stop me lol.

I’ve been scrolling through Wikihow to try and get ideas for articles and as soon as I came across productive work while depressed, something in me just clicked with the post, I am not sure maybe it is my current relapse making me relate to these articles.

Now as I took inspiration from wikihow, I can assure you this will not be a carbon copy do this do that, kind of post, I want to use the headline as a jumping point for me to use my experience to show how I stay productive even on my down days.

My first step even before I enter work. Leave the mobile in the car, if someone needs you that urgently they can either send you an email or they can ring you on the work line if it’s a life or death situation. This way I don’t have to worry about Facebook notifications so and so wrote this have you seen that. I set aside 30 minutes a night for mindless scrolling as I call it. Where I catch up with the worlds gossip. But in work I work. I don’t feel I need my phone even on my worst days I don’t want to be inundated with mindless drivel of I am eating food look at how it looks. I know as a blogger this is bad but during working hours 9-5 I love my social detoxes it just gives me, self-time where I focus on my day job and my side hustle. I also plan in my chores dinner dates, I have time to do the things I need to do and come home time I focus a bit of my time on my social media followers.

Secondly I log into my work station and open up all my documents and work systems. In excel I have a sheet called my dailies, where I write down things I need to do that day if it’s a recurring task like drink water I enter it into my habits sheet, if it is to do it goes in dailies, I also have a calendar which I colour in the dates I have appointments with headers at the top as a key. I like using both a online diary and my excel sheet as I don’t always have access to the diary when I am in work so it lets me see what’s coming up in advance. I also have my work schedule so I can check what I’m working even when I am not in the office.

Now I have the main bulk of my head clear I can focus on my day ahead and hopefully not be in my head all day. I like spending my first 45 minutes doing this as it leaves me feeling calm the rest of the day. Knowing I can delete a task once it’s done.

Now I am in full swing in my day job and I have a few minutes down time, I turn to my list and see is there anything I can check off quickly. Usually I find one or two things, like today for example. I was able to create a canva cover for my Facebook page to be uploaded tonight when I am doing my blog stuff. I also got Saturdays post fixed up and emailed, drafted an email to a fan of the blog (I love you Zoo.) I’ve also been writing pieces of this post, in the down time I have had between my calls.

I feel proud I even was able to remember to check if I had taken my medication I have to laugh at my little remember trick I use kids plasters or neon plasters something a little out of the ordinary on my arm to say hang on a sec why is that there have I forgotten something. I then check my tablet case and if I have taken them I’ll put the plaster in my case to show myself I have taken it. I then get a reward one butterscotch or mint sweet which I keep in the pm container. Il show you it on my Instagram. The reason I bring up my medication is because if I don’t take it my mind can split itself into 10000s different places and I haven’t a clue and I get nothing done.

I break my calls up into chunks, when I am feeling down I say to myself if I get through this call I will allow myself … and choose a funny reward usually gifs to make me smile.

Sometimes my depression makes me want to crawl into a small space and hide from the world on those days I try and pull the covers back over my head, but something is in me that is a fighter because the longest I let myself feel that way is 10 mins then I get up throw whatever it is on me that I choose to wear, usually something highly unflattering, says my depression. Then I try my hardest to make myself look decent and not sleep deprived ill or living dead and I get on out the door.

Sometimes I just feel nothing so doing anything is tough, but I try and get my mind to look at something to make me smile and feel less apathetic, once I manage to get out of the apathetic mood, I deal with an emotional high which I try to focus into working on something productively otherwise I’m like a rubber bouncy ball, heads bouncing from topic to topic, or in my case, topic, song, quote, topic etc…

I recently added a sheet to my dailies called happy times, and its where I recount my happy days for my apathetic moods, I also include links to gifs, funny quotes, anything I need to change my mindset.
Wikihow suggests that we manage our apathy by eating well, when I am on the emotion rollercoaster, I try to stick to mints or a hard sweet in between my meals as I know I can over eat due to my emotions. When I tend to over eat, I do it in secret because I feel ashamed of what I am doing and I don’t want anyone to find out about it. Once I come off the rollercoaster usually I do come clean to my other half who I know is very non-judgemental of me and tries to talk about why I feel this way.

Being kind to myself is something I find hard as I am super critical of myself, I don’t know whether its my autism eye for fine details but the tiniest flaw and I mean like an eyebrow hair that I maybe haven’t got round to plucking yet because it’s a single hair and I tend to do my pruning bi weekly and I can be in floods of tears on the floor hating how I look. (I know I have used many analogies today but bear with me, they are the only way I can explain myself sometimes) when I feel like this it is all aboard the thought train and my thoughts are the accelerator pedal, negative thoughts speed the train up, positive thoughts tend to slam on the breaks and make me challenge myself. I tend to bring my thought train spreadsheet with me to my doctors appointment so they can see monthly how I am doing, I try to check in with the doctor on a 6-8 week basis as needed for my depression as I feel regular contact and their expert advice makes me feel like I am still a sane person.

They say a tidy desk leads to a tidy mind and I would agree with that statement. In my desk at work I tend to have my Bino flask with washable dry wipe marker positive comments, my wonder woman mug as this makes me feel strong, my stress balls on a string, I keep 2 at my desk. One yellow light tension one for my that’s not good thoughts and my blue I want to squeeze the life out of this ball, stress ball, and I keep my medication and reward boxes I’ll do a little facebook post about these later on today. Apart from my little touches like my bino, mug and bag of medication boxes and stress balls, I have my general work hardware, computer and phone. Which are tucked up nicely at the back of my desk.

Having that little set up at my work station makes me feel like I am in control, I have certain places for everything, I guess that’s just the control freak in me.

Right I think I have rambled on enough about productivity as I can see that I have gone off topic a few times, so I think I’ll end this post here.

Much Love
Stay Strong
Helen xo

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