How To Be Productive With Depression

How To Be Productive With Depression

One of the major downsides of depression is its negative impact on your productivity. You could watch minutes, hours, days and even weeks go by while you're depressed.

Depression acts like a vacuum, it sucks away your strength, motivation, happiness, and vigor. It can leave you feeling empty, weak, and fruitless.

The good news is you can manage depression at work. It is possible to harness your creative juices even while depressed. Here's how to do it.

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Take Short Breaks

When you start feeling overwhelmed by work don't push yourself any further, take a break. You don't have to worry, your job will still be there when you return. This could be a 10 to 15 minutes break.

You can step out on the balcony to receive some fresh air. Or take a short walk outside the office building.

Keep Your Energy Levels High

One way to do this is by eating a balanced diet. This way your body isn't lacking in any essential vitamins and minerals it needs for strength. There is however one key mineral the body needs for strength– magnesium.

Women and men need 300 milligrams and 350 milligrams of magnesium respectively, daily. To give your body the magnesium nourishment it needs goods like fish, whole grains, and nuts like almonds, cashew and hazelnut should be a part of your diet.

As mentioned earlier, taking a walk not only clears your mind but gives you more energy.

Finally, take a power nap. This is a sure way to hit your body's reset button. A short nap leaves you feeling stronger and more prepared to finish your tasks.

Take Some Time Off

When you have tried so many techniques to keep working with depression but nothing is working. It may be time to set work aside and focus on your health.

Don't think a mental health illness like depression isn't serious enough to take a leave from work. Depression can be quite severe especially when left unattended to. So don't hesitate to take time off work if you feel your depression getting worse.

Share Your Tasks

It's one thing to manage to work, it's another to accomplish your tasks. Sometimes accomplishing your major tasks pose a great challenge. You might be able to focus long enough to fully finish them. This is why sharing or breaking them up will make working with depression easier.

Dividing your tasks into shorter or smaller sections will help you finish them faster. Between each small task take a break to stretch your legs, listen to music or grab a quick snack. This way you are not overwhelmed and it might even be fun.

Don't Take On Extra Tasks

There's a popular belief that if you overwork yourself you won't have time to be depressed. It is very untrue. Placing yourself under more pressure will never be a solution to depression.

Doing more work than necessary is just like stretching a rubber band. If you stretch it so much, it'll eventually snap. Same thing with your sanity. If you keep stretching and pushing yourself over the top, you may do permanent damage.

In cases where more work is being offered to you either by your colleagues or employer, say no. It is okay to refuse extra work especially when it's something others can handle. 

Improve Your Work Environment

Whether you work from home or in the office, creating a positive workspace would go a long way when working with depression.

This could involve adding a splash of color, family or vacation pictures, plants, positive quotes, etc. The goal is to surround yourself with things that make you happy or can at least lighten your mood.

See A Doctor

Going to see a doctor is one of the best decisions you can make when struggling with depression. A doctor will assess your current symptoms, then make a diagnosis, and recommend the best kind of treatment. The doctor would decide if medications or a special kind of therapy is what you need.  

A doctor will also help you decide if quitting or remaining at your job is a good idea. Because sometimes your work could be the major cause of your depressive episode. So the only way to get better is to quit.

Inform Your Workplace

If your employer or manager is understanding and caters to the needs of mentally ill workers, inform them about your depression. This is a great choice if your work contributes majorly or triggers your depression. 

Explain to your employer everything or at least the most important thing about your depression. This way they can decide if reducing your workload, giving you time off, or assigning someone to assist you will help.


TMS is short for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. It is a non-invasive therapy that changes the wiring in your brain at a molecular level through magnetic stimulation. It alters the dysfunctional thinking process present in mental illnesses like depression. 

This type of therapy has proven to be very effective so it is worth giving a try.

Accept Help From Your Support System

Remember depression isn't something you must go through alone. Don't be afraid to ask for and accept help. 

It is okay to rely on your support system for a while. A support system is made of people who care and love you genuinely like – family members, your partner or spouse, close friends, and even children. Coping with depression may seem like a battle, but it's a battle you mustn't fight alone.


1 in 6.8 suffer from mental health problems in workplaces. So you are not the only one to struggle with working with depression. However, others like you have overcome depression at work and you will too. 

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March 30th, 2023