In wake of the new year and people making resolutions to be more productive etc I thought I’d share some of what helped me be productive for people who are having difficulty getting things done, specifically if you are suffering from depression/burnout. Studyblrs are great and all but they all have the “just force yourself to do it” attitude that’s hard to attain for big things when your mental health is shaky.
Obviously in an ideal world you would be able to take a break from work completely but if you’re not in that situation, here are a few ideas:
- Lessen your expectations. Writing an email, or even getting out of bed and taking a shower are worthy accomplishments depending on how you’re feeling that day.
- If you’re at school and you take a load of fuckass subjects you actually don’t care about, only focus on the ones you do. Enjoyment is so hard to find, if one subject is slightly easier or more enjoyable for you then just focus on that and let the rest slide.
- Find some minimum-effort way of recording your progress, whether in a planner or in a studyspo blog where you reblog pictures for motivation. Even if you don’t actually make that much progress, feeling in control of that aspect of your work can make it seem more manageable. The idea is basically to find a small task you can manage and keep up with to make yourself feel like you’re trying your best.
- Give yourself incentives. You probably don’t want anything or feel like anything is worthwhile so it’s difficult to do your best for the sake of doing well or getting good grades etc. Instead give yourself incentives like retail therapy, or a movie, or anything you actually mildly feel like doing.
- Alternatively, ask a friend or parent to help check in on your work. Not to pressure you but to ask how you’re doing and help you assess whether you can actually finish what you’re doing or encourage you etc. You need someone who can tell you what steps to take when you feel so fogged up you don’t even know how to decide what to have for breakfast.
- if there’s no one you can talk to like that and you’re in an educational environment with anyone who is your counsellor, talk to them! They are there to look out for you. When I started feeling bad I first went to my uni advisor and she gave me a plan of action and helped me let all my teachers know, honestly anyone adult in your workplace/school who you feel relatively close to is really good to confide in because if you think about it their JOB DESCRIPTION is literally to provide an environment in which you are able to learn, also you know teachers will care about you because they chose a job which involves taking care of people your age for the better part of the day.
- In moments when you feel like you can actually get things done, don’t spend this time on trying to do as much as you can but rather assess how you use your time and what you can realistically get done. Try making lists, breaking things down etc so you don’t feel overwhelmed, and try and start a task because often starting is the hardest part.
- Don’t stay up trying to work. Set a time limit, e.g if I’m still up trying to work at midnight and it isn’t going anywhere I’m going to sleep. If you don’t sleep a lot usually/tend to wake up early try and get as much sleep as possible.
- Most importantly, prioritize yourself. Make it known that you are working on a different timeline than other people, that you are in the process of healing. Work comes second. If it gets too hard you can ignore all these tips and focus on getting the help you need.