Wedding Woes

This week's..."hey, try therapy?"

Dear Prudence,

I started a new job at the beginning of 2020 and almost immediately had to start working from home, due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, I feel that working from home is killing my productivity, which used to be quite impressive. I know I should be grateful because I’m in a much better situation than so many others. I get to spend a lot of time with my boyfriend in our big apartment with a balcony, both of us are healthy, and our families are safe. I also really wanted this job. On good days I like what I do very much. However, I often feel unable to do anything productive with my days, which leads me to miss some important deadlines. I end up feeling useless and like a fraud. I’m blaming myself a lot for this weakness and end up being really depressed on some days and unable to perform the easiest, even non-work-related tasks. My colleagues have not yet noticed my problems, but I’m terrified that they will find out, and am deeply ashamed. What can I do to become more productive?

—Productivity DOA

Re: This week's..."hey, try therapy?"

  • I think you may need therapy or even to look at some job coaches about ways to motivate yourself to be more of a self-starter.  

    Set small goals for yourself and consider sticking to them.  
  • mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited April 8
    I think this person needs some validation that their feelings are normal.  My life is pretty good from all accounts, but I am still plagued with self-doubts and anxiety more often than I care to admit.  The good thing is, I've learned some ways to get my brain around that stuff and basically tell myself, "Hey, your thoughts aren't real." and redirect to more plausible scenarios/outcomes. 

    However as someone who has been WAH for a decade, time management can be hard af.  It takes practice and discipline.  LW may need to set calendar reminders or set up some other system to keep them on task.  Also if they do have an opportunity to move to an office environment (even for a few days a week) in the future with this job, maybe they should take it. 
  • M could have written a large part of this. He's also horrible as a wfh

    I mean yes, therapy could help but also finding yourself as a set up could also help as well.
    Ensure you're treating the situation as if you're working. It's not going to work 100% but it may help drawing your focus back.
  • Talk to your manager. What you’re feeling is completely normal (and what A LOT) of people are feeling right now! Maybe they can help your prioritize your work, or set small daily goals/check-ins to keep you on track. If it’s bigger than that they’ll know about employee EAP or other resources. 

    If it’s making you miss deadlines you need to be proactive in reaching out to get support so that it’s not seen as a performance issue and rather a pandemic-WFH-adjustment issue that it is (and is completely reasonable!)
  • If it's possible in their living arrangement, the LW should try and set up as designated of a work space as they can.  A room set up as an office would be ideal.

    At the start of each day, prepare a timeline for which tasks they will be completing when.  Include on their timeline a 10-15 minute break, mid morning and mid afternoon.  What time they will be taking lunch, etc.  Keep their eye on the time to make sure they are sticking to their schedule and "check off" when they have completed something on their timeline.

    Have a symbol or ritual to designate the start/end of the workday.  For example, keep the door of their home office closed during work hours.

    I didn't have the luxury of a home office for the two months I was working from home.  I sat on my living room couch with my laptop.  Which is no different then when I'm on my own time.  I was diligent about keeping the tv off during my work day because I know that would have been too distracting for me.  Sometimes I made an exception during my lunch hour.  But it was clicked right back off again when my lunch hour was over.

    As dumb as it sounds, I made a little ritual for the "end" of the work day.  I would log out of the remote access.  Physically close my laptop.  Get up from the couch and walk around for 2-3 minutes.  Even if it was just within my own house, lol.  Then come back to the couch.  Turn on the tv and open my laptop for my own amusements.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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