Mental Health

Getting Things Done

sticky notes covering laptop screen
geralt on Pixabay

The last several days my brain has felt like it has the approximate cognitive power of a bowl of Jello.  I try to read, and it’s more like a hazy skim.  Decision-making seems like a foreign concept.

It’s fascinating, though, how my natural tendency to be uber-organized can kick in and compensate for the deficits caused by depression or prolonged jetlag or whatever is going on.  Yesterday I managed to check several things off both my to-do list and my more vague want-to-do list, and I’m pretty proud of getting things done even though none of it is stuff that’s actually that big a deal.

I managed to get a phone call and an email done with the goal of getting my monthly health insurance premiums reduced.  I had been thinking I should go visit my grandma this month but had no idea how to decide when to go.  Then I realized I should check with my uncle, who’s her main caregiver.  So I did, and he told me the dates that would be helpful for him – boom, decision made.  Next step was rebooking a massage therapy appointment that fell on those dates, so I go that done.  Then I was able to pick a date that would work to do my annual CPR re-certification.  By lunchtime I’d already checked several things off my to do list.

I’ve always used my organizational skills to make up for the fact that my memory isn’t always that great, and that’s something I’ve been aware of for a long time.  It’s important to be able to recognize what our natural abilities are, and give ourselves credit not only when things are going well but also when those abilities are able to shine through whatever darkness might get in the way.

Is there anything that helps you compensate when things are difficult so you can keep getting things done?

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The COVID-19/Mental Health Coping Toolkit page has a wide range of resources to support better mental health and wellbeing.

26 thoughts on “Getting Things Done”

  1. Great post! Sometimes I snooze emails that need a followup at a later time so that I’m reminded closer to the time. Hope you get acclimated to your normal routine soon. Jetlag sucks 🙁

  2. I use my iPhone! I input important dates so I won’t forget. I also write those important dates in my planner so I won’t forget either. I remember more, when I write things down. Besides you never know when Siri, decides to forget those important dates😓

    1. I use my Gmail calendar so I can access it on my iPhone, my laptop, or wherever it might be. And it’s definitely a good idea to have important info in multiple places.

  3. Great job getting stuff done!! I also think it’s so wonderful that you’re devoted to your grandmother!! You’re such a blessing to her!

    I’ve been running around cleaning the whole house, because I want it to be clean for the start of NaNoWriMo. (My dad does very little to help keep this house clean.) I got a lot done yesterday, but it made me tired, and I slept like a log until 12:45, when my dad woke me up so I could go to the dentist.

    Don’t worry, my memory’s shot too. I think it’s side effects, but that’s just a theory.

  4. I struggle with remembering things too – especially when I am going through an insomnia bout and sleep deprived! I find that hand writing things down really helps me. I have a to-do list by my computer every day plus a hand written office calendar on the wall and a notebook version on my desk! 🙂

  5. Lists. Breaking tasks into tiny bites. Lowering my standards, especially around food – cereal/toast + juice is not just for breakfast! 🙂

    The one which was hardest to do because of difficulty trusting people due to being taken advantage of in the past is outsourcing eg I used to do my billing entirely myself and during depressive epsiodes would be losing thousands of dollars a year because of not following things up (rejected claims, non-payment etc). And then I would hold myself back from things I enjoyed because I felt guilty about being behind with my admin work, which made the depression worse. I finally found someone who I trusted enough to help with the billing and follow-up and it has completely turned things around, not just because of them sharing the workload but because having to train someone else forced me to organise my system better eg building in reminders for follow up.

    1. I can definitely see how it would be hard to find someone you trust for something like that.
      I have no idea how some people manage to function without lists.

  6. i’m like you there … super organised … & cleaning or clearing stuff out! love it & it becomes like a default button 🙂

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