How to get things done professionaly at work when I'm very depressed?

97 Answers.
Last Updated: 04/25/2018 at 10:08pm
Top Rated Answer
July 13th, 2016 9:31am
For me, one of the first things that goes when I am depressed is the ability to focus. Focus is a skill that can be practiced. Our brains have a finite limit of processing power. We can only focus on a very limited number of things at a time and use only a limited number of skills. One of the benefits of fully focusing on your tasks is that when you are fully adsorbed in a task the brain no longer has the resources to maintain the parts of your memory and personality that focus on the negative thoughts and feelings you are having. The positive psychology term for this is FLOW. The more often we are able to be absorbed in a worthwhile task, the more often the clock moves without us realizing it the happier we are overall. The happiest people on the planet experience flow almost daily. I can always tell when myself care is working because I will be working and look up and two hours have pasted. I feel contentment rather than happiness I suppose but it is longer lasting that simple enjoyment. Take a look at the documentary titled, "Happy." It is a wonderful look at what makes for lasting happiness across the world. I wish you peace. ~J
Newest Answer
April 25th, 2018 10:08pm
In my humble opinion, it is not possible to do so. If possible, take a time off. You don't want your depression to affects your work competence.

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Top Rated Answers
September 11th, 2016 8:47pm
It may sound a bit different, but I think this is worth a thought. Certain theme parks call their employees cast. If you think of your work self as a cast member, then you can try to think of work as a character. I tell myself, I am in work character mode, and I will deal with my personal issues at home. While I am on shift, I will do my best not to break character. A busy job can be a blessing because it accomplishes something, and it can be distracting.
April 25th, 2018 9:03pm
Looking for answers on the internet...we've all been there. I just want you to know you don't have to figure this out on your own. I know this might not be something you want to discuss with your friends or family, but if you join this site you can get free, anonymous support from trained listeners and a huge support community. Nobody is here to judge.
October 28th, 2016 1:03am
The saying "fake it 'til you make it" sometimes actually works, if you pretend to be happy and professional and kind, etc., those feelings will actually set in and become easier to handle when at work.
July 8th, 2016 11:21pm
I understand what you are going through. I have been there myself. I would say you should just push yourself and think that "I will think about all that emotional stuff later. This is not the right time or place." So acknowledge the things that bother you don't block them or pretend but just put it to the side to to deal with it later. Also, I think you should do things that will help you in your free time or when you are not working. Go to the mall, watch a funny movie, hang out with people who matter, go on a walk, treat yourself, work out, go to the beach, paint, draw, jog, join a club, go on a camping trip, go on a holiday... the options are endless. The key is to do that things that you genuinely enjoy. So basically try to stick with you "happy and positive" routine. With time you will start to feel better. :) Hang in there. I have been there and I know from experience that things will get better. You can't possibly feel upset forever ;) Hope my answer helped and all the best.
August 11th, 2016 5:07pm
You can't work efficiently if you're not feeling 100% and every employer should realise this. You are entitled to have time off work to try to get back to a more stable version of yourself or see a doctor about your depression. It may be time to take a break for your own sake.
September 1st, 2016 8:37pm
In order to get things done professionally at work when I'm very depressed I self soothe before I begin anything. Meaning that I take time to do comforting things like listen to music, drink coffee, mindfulness walks, and coloring, so I'm at enough ease to do professional work.
July 13th, 2016 8:54am
You can try to focus on your job without thinking about your depression. I personally used to do this at school and it helped me a lot 'cause I was distracting myself from bad feelings.
July 30th, 2016 3:29am
When I am at work, I take a few minutes to take a deep breath, meditate and pray and then get back to work. If I was severely depressed, I would do that and take my medications that my doctor prescribe.
August 11th, 2016 11:18pm
Work through individual tasks and see them as set goals to achieve. Try to keep thoughts set on the task at hand. It's useful to focus on jobs that need to be done, when you feel depressed. Use a tick list to help you realise what you have achieved! you should feel a sense of management and a way of focusing while at work. Keep in mind that you will get some time during the day to switch off and allow some time for your thoughts or simply rest.
August 13th, 2016 10:26pm
That's a tough one. For me, what I had to do was use my time outside work to make sure I did tonnes of self care stuff, why I did was exercise for an hour three times a day, drank nutrient packed smoothes,( I found eating to be difficult), and did mindful breath awareness exercises and tried to sleep, my days were consumed with it, and I lost friends, and had no fun., I was trying to stay well and alive, but what was the point with no friends or reason to enjoy this place. So I took time off work, got my meds straighten out a bit and now can exercise less and get away with it. Only three times a week. It took me 6 months in and out of the Hosp, but glad that I can manger a better life. Has to get a new job, though. That was unfortunate. We la vie! Hope there is something in that we that you can use in your life
August 17th, 2016 11:10pm
It can be scary to recognize your depression and realize that it might affect your work. For me, the biggest thing was to have compassion for myself - if something didn't get done as well as I would have liked, I try to let go of any guilt around that by reminding myself that if anyone else were in a similar situation, I would not think any less of them or their work.
September 14th, 2016 11:44am
Focus on whatever amount of time you feel you can. For example, if you feel you can handle the next 5 minutes working on your project, take it 5 minutes at a time.
May 21st, 2017 7:08am
The "half-smile." Smile only with your mouth (as opposed to a genuine smile which includes the use of your cheeks, eyebrows, and forehead). This will in a way trick your mind into thinking you're happy, and then the half-smile turns into a real one. Also, academic research has found that good posture promotes happiness during depressive episodes.
September 3rd, 2017 6:45am
When you're feeling depressed, it's understandable that you won't be motivated to do every task, unlike how if you were feeling fine. So, please have a to-do list in mind, that has the essential and important tasks only. It is important for you to focus on them, and not on the negative thoughts during that moment. Think about what you're going to do next, after the first task. That way, you can distract your mind from the depressive thoughts, and you'll feel better for finishing some work as well.
October 1st, 2017 6:39am
Depression can feel like a cloud over our head, and it can be tough. Especially when it is sunny outside, and everyone else is enjoying the sunlight. It may seem like you are the only one under dark skies, but you are not alone! Many of us keep pushing through, just like you! I would suggest adding small rewards to your everyday life. If you get through today, then you get (insert reward). You can decide based on how hard that day is, how big your reward for getting through it will be! So, if you are having a really tough day, that just means you will get a really great reward if you get through it! Sometimes the reward might not help anyway, and that is okay. Reward yourself for trying. You deserve it!
October 28th, 2017 3:58pm
Wow, this can be tough. I think the important thing, when one is "very depressed," is to reach out and get as much help as possible. I recommend working with a pro (therapist or physician) and talking often with listeners at 7 Cups (of course!) and reaching out to reliable, supportive friends and family. At work, too, it's good to reach out for help--and see if others can help with projects or deadlines. When possible, it might be good to take time off or try for a lighter schedule. (However, it can be tricky to disclose mental-health conditions to certain employers, whereas others are wonderful about it and have Employee Assistance Plans to help employees get through tough times. Some states and countries have laws that provide protection, and some do not.) As for tips for getting through the day, I could say things like, Try to get some sleep and eat healthy food and definitely get some exercise to keep the fog at bay -- but when a person is very depressed, this can feel terribly hard to do! So, when depression gets very bad, I think it's time to consider seeing a physician and using appropriate sleep aides and other therapies and medicines that can give relief. And ... yes, depression can make it awfully hard to reach out for help, but it's crucial! Please don't try to "tough it out" alone. There are people like the listeners at 7 Cups who are waiting to help.
November 19th, 2017 12:38am
I understand how hard it can be to stay productive while fighting depression. This could be a good question to ask your counselor, if you have one. Personally, I feel that it can be very helpful to do something, such as listening to music or watching a short video, in order to completely distract yourself from your sadness. Next, just start working and try to keep your mind away from your depression for as long as possible. You could set a timer and tell yourself that you'll just work as hard as you can for 10 minutes. Normally for me, I continue to work productively even after the timer goes off. If your depression is seriously affecting your working abilities, it might be a good idea to seek professional treatment. Recovery is worth it!:)
December 7th, 2017 3:07pm
Imagine yourself being a robot. Have a routine in place, so even when you are depressed and don't feel like doing anything, you follow the routine. Another thing to keep in mind is to break down a big task into smaller ones. That way you get the sense of accomplishment more often.
January 11th, 2018 3:56am
It is hard to get things done sometimes when you're very depressed. Set yourself reminders and small goals. For example if you've got something due at the end of the week, try to set reminders to work on it. Try to work on it for maybe 15 or 20 minutes at a time so you don't overwhelm yourself and take breaks. If you've dealt with depression before, try to find what has worked for you in the past and see if that has worked. It's also never a bad thing to speak to a Doctor about depression.
January 31st, 2018 5:44pm
Divide tasks accordingly and set a priority level for each task. Do it one by one and by completing the first task, the level of depression might be lesser than expected.
April 15th, 2018 4:02am
Take a deep breathe close your eyes, clear your mind. Picture yourself where you had a happy time in your life. Tell yourself your strong, capable, intelligent and that you can do this.
Recent Answers
April 25th, 2018 11:18am
Think of happy thoughts and happy memories. These is just another phase that you will pass and forget. My happy thoughts? Pong and Jingay - two people who make my life worth living no matter how hard life gets. They are the strongest happy thought and happy memory I have.
April 18th, 2018 3:23pm
Relax and focus on your job tasks... Focusing on other things keeps your mind off of your problems... Interacting with co-workers is another way to focus on other things rather then dwelling on your problems...
April 14th, 2018 4:13pm
Try to put what youre dealing with aside, i know its hard but remember that youve got to make a living and your health is also important so try grounding techniques like breathing in and out, and taking breaks when something gets too stressful and your depression comes back.
April 14th, 2018 9:23am
During the worst part of my depression, I remember being at work and unable to do the job. I remember sitting there with heavy breathing and hoping that the pain would subside. I say that so that you understand that I've been what you are going through. The best way to continue to work *initially* is to find a coping strategy, and honestly I would recommend multiple simultaneous coping strategies. Positive Affirmations (youtube), Meditation, calling friends / family, taking a walk, depression medication, music, etc. Try multiple things and figure out what allows you to get back to equilibrium. After you and/or a professional counselor has helped you find your specific strategy (mine was positive affirmations), use that to initially cope with the terrible feelings. Afterwards, I strongly recommend working towards a thriving phase. Staying in a coping phase is like walking on a tightrope, it's easy to fall back at any moment. But when you push towards a thriving phase its similar to a tightrope with a massive safety net underneath you. What's thriving? It's different for everyone but essentially its pursuing something that makes you feel like you are achieving part of your purpose in life. Working on my social skills, working on being a better and emotionally stronger man, working on helping others through youtube and platforms such as this are examples of pushing for a thriving mindset. Once you find yours and push towards it, you will be able to work without the terrible mental pain and issues that you may be currently experiencing.
April 4th, 2018 8:43pm
if you super or your not good at handling depression then i recommend visiting a doctor and getting help 1st
March 30th, 2018 1:17am
Depression can feel like a cloud over our head, and it can be tough. Especially when it is sunny outside, and everyone else is enjoying the sunlight. It may seem like you are the only one under dark skies, but you are not alone! Many of us keep pushing through, just like you! I would suggest adding small rewards to your everyday life. If you get through today, then you get (insert reward). You can decide based on how hard that day is, how big your reward for getting through it will be! So, if you are having a really tough day, that just means you will get a really great reward if you get through it! Sometimes the reward might not help anyway, and that is okay. Reward yourself for trying. You deserve it!
March 29th, 2018 5:50pm
Remind yourself of what you're thankful for. Keep your mind occupied on your work, and remind yourself why you have this job. Motivate yourself
March 28th, 2018 3:05am
Bear responsibility that one adopts when accepting the job. You were deemed equipped with the skills and knowledge to necessary to do well at work, so don't let others don't and most importantly, don't let yourself down.
March 7th, 2018 2:57pm
You are a human being. Get a cup of coffee, think about what is good in this life and what makes you going everyday.
March 4th, 2018 1:00am
To get things done professionally at work even when you are depressed is by meeting work expectations like getting work that needs to be done on time as well as once finished with your work you can lend your time to help others and as the day comes to an end, when you get home you can talk with a family member about your depression and help support you through this tough time.
March 1st, 2018 7:48pm
Usually distractions come to me as the best possible option as soon as you get going your mind is concentrated fully you feel proud and then are able to go ahead.
February 18th, 2018 6:50pm
Maybe asking for help with finishing important work or maybe listening to music whilst working that helps people
February 17th, 2018 3:28am
You are a thoughtful person. Sometimes focusing on something different can be of help. If it's not your work which is depressing, concentrating on that work could be helpful. It could give your mind a break from things which making you feel down.
February 8th, 2018 12:17pm
Well, I guess if it motivated you, you could try to make yourself more productive by choosing an item you want to purchase (i.e. a new television) and just press on through the work because that's the only way to get that tv. I know fear isn't necessarily a happy motivator, but if you think about being fired that would also possibly work.
February 4th, 2018 12:27am
Don't consider what can be done at work, but more of what can be done at home. What makes you happy? Take a small step tomorrow in self care. Clear your mind. One thing that may be helpful AT work, would be to use a mindfulness technique to clear your head and get back to your duties. Something as simple as practicing a breathing exercise when you have a few minutes to yourself in the bathroom.
February 1st, 2018 8:43am
I would say the first thing to do is seek professional help. Get the medication and therapy. If you are already doing that, you can learn how to cut yourself some slack and do things in phases. Give yourself some incentive or reward along the way to refresh yourself.
February 1st, 2018 12:09am
I try to get past myself and think about what I am working towards instead of focusing on what I am depressed about
January 30th, 2018 4:37pm
What i usually do is try to push those negative and depressing thoughts away. I know it can be difficult, sometimes they are just so in your face sort off, and are so strong. But if possible, try to just focus on that specific task that you are doing, and put all your attention on that.
January 24th, 2018 1:01pm
The best thing to do is get help for your depression! Talk to your doctor or for me a therapist near you.
January 14th, 2018 6:07pm
Try to take it one step at the time. If you feel to depressed or sad, seek for professional help and try to work things out.
January 10th, 2018 7:24am
When I have this problem I ask for help. We all have bad days, or even bad weeks or months, so we all understand that it's not always going to be peachy. Being honest with a co-worker or even a superior can be a good thing to make sure when things pile up at work you don't get overwhelmed.
December 23rd, 2017 7:17am
Focussing on small goals can help, as can taking regular breaks if you're in a position to do so. Being active and getting stuck into work can feel like the last thing you want to do when you're depressed, but sometimes it can be one of the most helpful! Remember, your depressed mood is there, but it does not have to stop you doing things at work. It is also a good idea to see a trained therapist, at 7 Cups or in your area for more support as there are some therapies that can really help with feelings of depression.
December 22nd, 2017 6:59pm
The best way to get things done when you're at work and depressed is only to try remaining focused , because when you're focused and know you have to complete a task you've begun , only then your mind will be preoccupied and you won't have time to given to the thoughts/feelings that are making you feel more dull/low.. I know motivating yourself can be hard , try picking up a song or talk to someone and tell them how you feel , probably they'll understand and motivate you to complete tasks and get you to continue being busy.. :) Take care , you can do this :)
November 23rd, 2017 3:13pm
If you need to take a break, take one. A lot of the time we just try to push through our depression (which can be good, don't get me wrong) but sometimes we just need to relax and check in with ourselves.
November 22nd, 2017 4:05pm
If you depression is affecting your ability to work, you need to see a professional. A therapist or doctor can best help you overcome your depression and increase productivity.
November 16th, 2017 3:25am
When at work personal things have to be put to the side, the easiest way to do so is engage with other workers talk to them. If you’re feeling sad talk to another trusted worker
November 15th, 2017 3:20am
It is always best to talk to HR about issues such as these. It may even be wise to speak to your boss. When you are dealing with mental illnesses, people who supervise you will generally understand and try their best to empathise with you. Just ensure you get the help you need, whether it be from a doctor (medicine, therapy etc) or just by keeping yourself relaxed. Since it is a job, you don't want to lose it. But try to remember to keep depressive thoughts at bay where you can.
September 3rd, 2017 9:01am
Motivation is an indispensable thing that helps you to keep working although you are depressed. How about finding one for you together?
August 19th, 2017 10:00pm
When I suffered depression and was working I first went to see a doctor to get some help. I told them my situation and I was prescribed anti depressants. I then spoke with my manager and told them what was going on. We meet some where outside work and I told them everything. I then had some time off work until I got used to the pills. I went back to work and was really honest about my situation and everyone was really supportive. They actually helped to get me through it and working really helped. I also saw a counsellor and started using mindfulness to stop my mind spinning out of control. The doctor advised me to take the pills for min of 6 months. It was hard but things improved. The mindfulness really helped and the pills helped me coped as I worked through things.