How to get things done professionaly at work when I'm very depressed?
Last Updated: 03/26/2021 at 9:34am
Graham Barrone, Adip ICHP, MCBT
If you've found that your quality of life has reduced because of anxiety, fear or some kind of mental hurdle that you just can't get over then lets chat.
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Nothing should affect your professional life. Infact you should use your work as a method of distraction. Not working properly may lead to loss of job and further depression! When it comes to professional work, people do not expect you to mix your personal life or depression of any kind to affect the work. You may try to gel up with your office colleagues. Probably a lunch together may also divert your mind! You should never think that the roots of the depression are the end of your life. You have a long life ahead and many challenges and opportunities ahead. May be you are destined for something better. It will be difficult to divert your mind but you cant let one thing affect the other!
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The fact is, you cannot do everything you could normally do when you’re depressed. Even within depressive episodes, some days are worse than others. To Do lists helps you to prioritize what is most urgent and what is most feasible for you to do in any given day. The list contains all of the things you need to do, just like any To Do list. However, next to each item, you assign it a number between 1 and 4, indicating how difficult it is. For me, petting my cat would be a 1 – so easy, I would do it even if it wasn’t on the list. A 4 would be something that would take much more effort.
The best way to get something done professionally is to take it slow. Don't overwork yourself or stress out if you couldn't do as much as you wanted to. It is important to realize that getting even a little bit done is a huge accomplishment and bringing you one step closer to your ultimate goal. Little results make a huge difference. If you can go ahead and do what you can do with how you are feeling, that will motivate you to get more done as well. Being patient and allowing yourself time to reflect is key to doing better overall.
Remember first you don't need to be perfect. It helps to bring down the pressure...Also knowing that you are depressed you should cut yourself some slack..meaning its okay to be a bit slow, passive, and not getting results as fast as when you are active. Now you need to know what you need to achieve...like complete this much work (cut some slack here, if possible) and then just immerse yourself in it till you reach the end Be good to yourself...you know you would do the same if not more for your friend in the same situation. Hope it helped a bit.
When it comes to careers it's easy to get tunnel vision and focus on the goals set for you by the company (or yourself, if you are freelance). However, sometimes it's more important and beneficial to take a step back for a minute to focus on setting yourself up for success. If it's possible and you think it would help, a mental health day may be in order. It would probably also help to talk to a doctor or therapist about your depression. This way the depression is no longer a problem. These are solutions that are not quick fixes, so they should be initiated sooner rather than later. For a very short term solution, sometimes you just how to power through it. Pick your tasks wisely - push off things with later deadlines - and just force yourself to do what you can. I like to use the "5 Second Rule" coined by Mel Robbins, where you count down from 5 like a rocketship blasting off, and when you hit 0, you begin with no question or excuse to move on.
Sometimes I just need to push feelings and negative thoughts aside and put on a brave face so I can get things done. It is not always easy but I find that it gets me out of a slump and helps me continue moving forward. I have struggled with depression for over 10 years and there are good days and bad. Some days I feel on top of the world and others I think that the world would be better without me. At a certain point I need to just turn my brain off and get my work done. I find I always feel a lot better after having accomplished something
When possible, take a 2 minute break and find a safe place where you can relax and preferably be alone or at least not within earshot of another person. Try first tuning in to your physical body. How are you feeling? are you breathing? Is it shallow or deep in yuour abdomen? Try taking three full abdomonal breaths. Then check in about how you feel. It's ok to have your feelings, even at work, but it helps to find a safe space away from work if you feel you need to cry or just be alone. It's ok to feel depressed.
Being depressed affects our lives. It can affect our relationships but work life as well. Taking care of your mental health is your priority. You can't be functioning if you don't treat your mental illness. Visit a therapist and discuss possible treatment plans. Having the right treatment and support from a professional can help a lot. Your depression symptoms will start feeling lighter. You will take more care of yourself and care of the major symptoms that cause you dysfunction. That's how you can start getting things done more professionaly at work. Step by step you can make it.
You can consider trying to focus on your work. It can be great distraction from your overthinking and ruminating and thus you might also have less depressive thoughts this way. Let's not listen to your depressive thoughts as they only bring you down unnecessarily. If you focus on your work and do proper self care before you come to the work (enough sleep, hygiene (bathed, shaved, decent haircut), dress decently, have some exercise (previous day before work or if you have time also in the morning) eat breakfast, have something for lunch with yourself or buy something healthy for eating at lunch break time, you will get things done as professionally at work as you possibly can.
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