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Dealing with Depression-Induced Procrastination

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Struggling with depression and procrastination can be a huge battle. It feels like you can’t get over this, and you are overwhelmed with work to the point where you just give up. This battle can only be won if we try a little every day along with seeking additional help as and when we need it. 

The other day, I woke up in the morning and set a deadline to complete this article by 11 A.M.  As predicted, by 10 A.M. I had done everything including cleaning my room, taking a bath, eating breakfast, surfing the internet, even daydreaming but I hadn’t started working on this article. A lot of people might find this relatable, many of whom take this issue lightly, laugh it off and write ‘professional procrastinator’ in their tinder bio. After all, by the end of the day, they manage to. However, for some people, it’s a different story altogether.

You have assignments to complete, presentations to make, and articles to write but are unable to type a single letter on your laptop. Time ticks by and the motivation to work is still lost. You feel sad because you think you’re being unproductive.  You feel stuck and somehow, you accept this routine. You wake up every day with a hope that today would be different. People dealing with depression would understand this struggle. You somehow learn to live with it and just do enough to get through but it is so unhealthy. Depression acts as a roadblock to one’s dreams and ambitions. How to deal with depression- induced procrastination?  Well, this is what I have learnt.

Go slow. Take things at your own pace and stop looking at what you have to do as a long series of tasks, instead take it one basic task at a time. The key is to try and take the first step without thinking about everything else you have to do and once that is done, it becomes easier. Do not multitask. Focus on one thing at a time. Make a checklist which should not only include important tasks but also easier, smaller tasks like taking a shower or replying to pending emails. Start with the easiest tasks (or ones you like the most/hate the least). As you check things off the list, it will make you feel better. If you find out that you can’t even do that, let it be for a while; take a nap and try again later. It’s okay. Also, be realistic with your checklist.  Do not pack it without taking into account the amount of time you need to eat meals and to relax.  Reward yourself after you complete a task which you had been postponing for a long time and couldn’t get around doing. Another thing that needs to be kept in mind is to allow you to not get bogged down by perfection. Do it badly. You are allowed to fail or deliver less than perfect results of work. Take your time and never forget to be gentle with yourself.

However, this advice might not help some people. If your mental health condition has deteriorated to a point where you cannot function, seek a counsellor or a therapist. Seek help if you feel that it’s interfering with your life to the point where you can’t go about your day or feel burdened most of the time. Don’t lose hope, things do get better. All it requires is that you recognise your problem and seek valid solutions to it rather than indulging in self-loathing. Recognising that you have a problem and giving yourself the gift of additional help is what you need to get of this seemingly impossible rut.

Feature Image credits – Viral Novelty

Disha Saxena

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Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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