How Depression Slows Productivity (And What to Do About It)

How Depression Slows Productivity (And What to Do About It)

Every day, we make a list of tasks we’d like to complete. Some of us keep mental track of our daily errands while others actually write them down on boards or in planners. More often than not, all of the tasks don’t get completed and we have to adjust our schedule. Life happens; people are running late, kids get sick or traffic is a nightmare. But what happens when it’s your brain that’s hindering your progress?

Depression is an emotional and mental disorder that can disrupt our daily lives. Typical symptoms include listlessness, difficulty concentrating and an overwhelming sense of being tired—all of which slow down our productivity levels. Getting past depression can be a daily struggle but there are different ways to overcome it. Knowing how this condition is slowing you down can be the first step in knowing how to move past it.

Contributes to Presenteeism

Presenteeism is probably an unfamiliar word but the condition is fairly common. This happens when depressed employees still report to work, despite their lowered productivity levels. Typically this means simply being present physically but not mentally. You can get over this by making a short daily list of things and ordering them by priority. Keeping it short will help you not only help you get things done but also help you feel accomplished, which will ease your depression.

Lowers Your Nutrients

Part of depression is being unable or unwilling to eat. Maybe you skipped breakfast because you were late or maybe you just forgot about eating altogether. Either way, not having food in your body means you won’t have the energy needed to work and be productive. Keep small snacks, like fruit or nuts, in your desk that you can eat throughout the day.

Dehydration

Depression affects more than just the solid foods you eat. Getting enough water is vital to your health. Being hydrated keeps your body functioning properly. Make use of your office water cooler or bring your own refillable bottle.

Intensifies Loneliness

Depression can cause extreme feelings of isolation. Even if you’re surrounded by your coworkers, you might not feel able to connect with them. Try building supportive and social relationships with the positive people in your life, whether that’s friends, family or your coworkers. Make and keep lunch dates or hang out with your coworkers after work.

Depression Can Be Like Having an Addiction

Depression oftentimes does not happen on its own. It can cause other emotional imbalances like anxiety to increase. Addiction is also another condition that is sometimes only part of a bigger problem or another aspect of a disorder. Both of these conditions cripple your self-worth as you find it hard to see your value. They both also contribute to feelings of helplessness and being unable to stop or get better. While treatment methods will differ, both depression and addiction can be handled and lessened with proper care. Seek professional help, be it counseling or antidepressants as a means to restoring your health.

Increases Absenteeism

Unlike presenteeism, where employees still go in despite their low mood, absenteeism sees more workers simply calling out. Depression is a serious condition and there will be times when everything seems too hard. If so, make good use of your sick time by taking a mental health day where you can recharge your batteries by getting rest, going outside and getting sunlight or other ways of taking care of yourself.

Intensifies Drowsiness

Even with depression, it can be hard to get through the day. But add in a lack of quality and truly restful sleep and it can be even harder. Depression can increase stress and that means less sleep. Set aside time each night for at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Make a schedule and follow it as better sleep can help you get back on track.

Reaches for Quick Fixes

Depression affects almost every aspect of our lives. There will be times when you reach for a soda or a strong cup of coffee to help you feel awake. Unfortunately, high sugar drinks like coffee only provide temporary relief and can leave you feeling worse. Coffee can stimulate your anxiety, making it even harder to concentrate or be productive. So skip the coffee for better sleep and perhaps green tea.

Living with depression is not only restricted to how we operate in our homes. Our social and work lives will also see the effects. But with a few small changes in your routine, you can find ways to make each day a little more bearable. Seeking outside, professional help can be extremely beneficial, too. Getting the most out of each workday can seem like a daunting task but it can be done with time management and making smart decisions. Increase your productivity and improve your mood with small changes every day.

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