Throwing Myself Out There

I’ve written before, many times, about my depression and anxiety, and how it affects all aspects of my day-to-day life. One of the biggest challenges for me is its effect on the simple tasks, the things most take for granted, like socialising. I’ve always typically found it hard to socialise and meet new people anyway, but my poor mental health over the past few years has made it even tougher.

Depression and anxiety hugely affect both relationships and friendships. Months pass by in a blur, and suddenly you find yourself having lived in a new city for almost a year and not really taken advantage of your new surroundings. Living alone is great, but it can be lonely at times, but it’s not easy to change that. There’s also the fear of rejection, of not being good enough, of things somehow just getting worse. People often think they have all the answers for you; the most frustrating being “you just need to put yourself out there”, but let’s face it if you have a job, family, and friends, you are already “out there”.

At University, the challenges were different. I was on a course with people who had similar interests, living with people in similar situations to myself, but this is a different story. I’m practically the youngest at work and those around are in different stages of their lives, I live alone (which I do love), and working full time leaves very little time for other activities anyway. I see so many people making it look so easy, both online and offline, balancing hectic lives with being able to socialise, meet new people, and put themselves out there. I can’t seem to do that.

Being an introvert means it takes up stacks of energy to put myself out there and to be social. But living with depression and anxiety zaps that all away. It’s hard to make plans not knowing how you’re going to feel that day, worried you’re going to let someone down by cancelling those plans. As I’ve written before, I do worry about the huge effect these problems have on my life, not only right now, but going forward too. I worry it might hinder my ability to progress up the ladder at work, to meet new people, stop me finding someone, stop me having the future I desperately want.

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The Art of Productivity

The art of productivity, is complex, and for so many, fruitless. We all have days where we simply cannot get going. Our procrastination is off the scales, the documents stay blank, and episode after episode of our favourite shows get watched. Whether it’s at home, at university, at work, we all have busy lives, and let’s face it a productive day is incredibly rewarding. So, what are some of my tips to turn those dead days into peak productive periods?

The Art of Lists
I absolutely love lists! I understand that it’s easy to get overawed by them, seeing all the tasks laid bare you need to complete. For me, lists should also be a planning tool, something to show you a clear path to success. On your lists break up your tasks into manageable chunks, clear steps that will help you to reach your goal, and they will be completed, and scrubbed off even quicker. Seeing the number of tasks falling quicker will also help to build up morale, which helps up productivity.

Attack the Mornings
I understand – people love their lie ins. But the mornings are when we are most productive, and they must be utilised. Mornings are when the distractions are less common, our brains are most active, and more gets done! Also, make sure you have a proper breakfast; your brain, and your body needs fuel, and it gives you the energy to make a great start in the morning. Also, the more you get done before lunch, the more you can relax for the rest of the day.

Shut off the Devices (not necessarily the phone)
I’ll first highlight that I’m not one of those people who say you must turn off your phone to be productive. For some it works, but for most, including me, it’s very possible to be highly productive without putting the phone away. There are some devices that are a big no however: TV’s and games consoles are not needed. Also try working with some music in the background, not too loud however, just enough so you’re not working in silence.

Learn, Adapt, Re-position
Everyone has their own methods that work for them, and this also fluctuates over time. You try new methods, you see how successful they are, and you adapt from this. Maybe music doesn’t work for you, bin it. Maybe a certain type of list helps you, change to that. Maybe you were distracted by something else, find something to counter it. Over time you can put together a routine, a schedule, a plan that works for you, and this is when you start reaching peak productiveness.