When you’re feeling down, it can be hard to get things done. That’s why it’s so important to beat the blues and combat depression when you’re a person who wants to accomplish big things. But getting through the muck that is depression can be rough-going. Here are some ideas that can help you get back to making things happen – even if it’s only a little bit at a time.
1. Break Big Projects into Bite-Size Chunks
It’s no fun trying to get things done when everything you need to do seems so big. That’s why it’s important, especially when you’re trying to pull yourself up and out of a slump, to break those tasks into “micro-actions.” Instead of “cleaning the kitchen,” try “clean the clutter off the left counter.” Instead of “write the article,” try “write part one of section one of the article.” Julia at The Business Bakery runs a 100 Day Goal Challenge, and one of the biggest factors for success in the challenge is breaking the goal down into micro-actions that move you closer to your goal each day.
2. Keep Moving, Even if it’s at a Slower Pace
When you’re down, it’s tempting to stop and “couch and fondle the remote control” (Brownie points if you can identify what movie that’s from). But, at least for me, that leads to more feelings of despondency and despair – especially when you have goals you’re working toward. When you stop, you watch as your goals further move from you, you let people down who are counting on you, and the anxiety piles on. Instead, even if you have to slow down a little, try to get one thing done each day that moves you forward.
3. Enlist Help from an Accountability Partner
Sometimes, to get things done, it’s important to seek a support figure. If you don’t have an accountability partner, or if you’re not part of an accountability group, find one to be part of. (I run a Mastermind group for women on Facebook. The group exists for women to network and support one another; there is no advertising or selling allowed.) An accountability partner can help gently prod you into action, and can help remind you of what your goals are.
4. Play the “For Just Five Minutes Game”
It’s hard to get stared when you’re head isn’t in it. Try using a randomizer tool like this one. Select one small task from your list and commit yourself to it – for just 5 minutes – with a timer. The benefits of this are two-fold: There are many tasks that can be completed in under five minutes and sometimes five minutes is all you need in order to get jumping on a task.
5. Tidy Your Work Area Up
When you’re not feeling like doing much, sometimes it’s because you have a lot of clutter in your visual space. Try tidying your work area up just a bit to see how that can help. A lot of the time, it will feel like a load has been taken off – even if all you’ve managed to do is clear off your desk.
6. Revisit Your Goals and Projects Lists
Look them over. What has to be done? What can go for now? By looking over your lists, you can make some judgment calls that can help alleviate some of the overwhelm that can happen when there’s just too much to do.
What do you do when you’re feeling down but still need to get things done? Post your tips in the comments section.