a depressed girl’s guide to getting things done

Oh, hi! It’s time for disclaimers:

  • This post is my guide, not necessarily recommendations to you. Take what resonates and leave the rest!
  • You are not measured by how much or what you do. This is for when you want to get things done and happen to be depressed.

things should truly be as easy as possible

Don’t make yourself work harder than necessary. Instead, take the time to set yourself up for success. For example, if you can never seem to get your clothes in the laundry hamper, move the hamper to where you remove your clothes. If you hate doing dishes, just run the dishwasher. Simple, small changes can have great effects on getting things done.

it’s okay to have different methods for life’s different categories

In other words, your methods for getting things done at work may not give you the same results at home. For example, for work, I write things out and down on paper. For personal to-dos, I use electronic means.

My dude therapist’s advice to me? “Stop with the notebooks. You should not be using 12 notebooks with to-do lists. You need to pick ONE.”

So I basically did that. Then added an electronic one.

Bonus tip: For a brain like mine, it helps to constantly switch up my lists and calendaring methods.

so…no planner! but some device

Planner luvrs are shaking in their boots but y’all, dated planners are not where it’s at for me. UNDATED planners are. BLANK pages are. PIECES OF PAPER are.

Undated planners (pages and pages with lists but no pre-assigned date) decrease wasted days in the planner (and decrease guilt) and allow for flexible scheduling. Some weeks I may even use a DIFFERENT NOTEBOOK or PIECE OF PAPER and not use my designated journal.

Now that’s flexibility. Wink.

be intentional about time stamps and deadlines

Type A OCPD me says ALllLLLlLllLllll of THIIISIISSSIS has to be done TODAY. Or else. Knife emoji.

It doesn’t. It probably doesn’t even need to be done this week. So 2 tips I use: 1. write down, next to the item, when you’ll do the task. And 2. write only realistic dates. Ex: 7 days from now.

Research shows that writing down when you’ll do the thing can help you get it done.

use reminders widget on iphone

I use the reminders iPhone app and have a list called “life management,” made up of little administrative tasks that have to be done at some point. I set it up as a widget so I can see my top 5 things at a glance.

This is NOT a self shaming technique. If having it on your homescreen (even the second page) feels like shaming, remove it immediately and try a different method. My apologies.

try a weekly reset

Also in my reminders app is a weekly reset list. I got this idea from youtuber muchelleb. I have things like water my plants and refill my pill container on this list. You can check and uncheck the items weekly. I must say I don’t necessarily use this every single week.

projects are not tasks

If your tasks are project names, you’re doing it wrong. Tasks that take more than maybe an hour to complete should probably be broken into several tasks.

We want to feel encouraged and build up our self-esteem by crossing things off the list pretty frequently. Tasks as project names take too long.

Remember: You are not your work. You are not your productivity. How much you do does not impact how worthy you are. Your worth is inherent. So take THAT!

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