Feeling Less Productive Lately? You’re Not Alone

It has been about two weeks since UF students have completely transitioned from on campus classes to online classes, and personally, it’s been difficult for me.

As someone whose mental health depends on constant work and a set routine in order to not completely break down, it has been challenging for me, as I am sure it has been for others, to adjust to this transition. 

I have seen people online talking about attempting to be as productive as possible (and being successful) which leaves me feeling guilty because I haven’t been feeling the same way.

I think it’s perfectly normal to not be able to have increased productivity, or any productivity at all during times like these.

I’ve had a hard time getting work done and feeling motivated amid a constant cycle of anxiety and melancholy.

I have found that these five things have helped me to calm myself down and make me as present as possible at this moment.

  1. 1. Listen to a podcast, read a book, watch YouTube videos

    Whenever I cannot muster up the willpower to be productive (aka do my schoolwork) I try to do something else that is “productive” but doesn’t feel that way. I

    like to listen to podcasts about whatever catches my interest at that moment, read a book that may teach me more about myself or watch a funny YouTube video and get a laugh.

    I still might learn a little something about the world or myself, but I also don’t have to concentrate or strain my brain to do so.

  2. 2. Have a self-care day!

    It’s easy to keep working and not even look at whether you or your mental health are doing OK.

    For a long time, I thought using work as a distraction was one of the best ways to cope with any life struggles.

    I’m still in the process of unlearning this, and one thing that I have found that helps is to acknowledge that you are worthy of love and care.

    What better way to accomplish this than to have a self-care day?

    This may include binge watching a TV show, doing your extensive skin care routine or dedicating the day to a hobby you’ve been putting off.

    Either way, it should be a time for you to remind yourself that you are worthy of love and care, most importantly, your own.

  3. 3. Check in on your friends

    Many people think of school and their friends as a safe space, and now that the pandemic has taken these things away, it may be even more difficult to feel at peace.

    This may also be you, so FaceTime or call your friends to keep in touch and make sure that you all are doing OK.

    The good thing about growing up during a time in which we have so much technological advancement, is that we have so many ways to communicate.

    Use these tools to your advantage and keep in touch.

  4. 4. Know that you are trying your best

    I haven’t been as productive as I have wanted to be, in fact, it seems as if having all this time has somehow festered with my ability to work.

    At first, I was hard on myself for my lack of productivity.

    But talking to other friends and peers I understand that it’s normal to not be able to focus and be your best self during this time.

    There is so much anxiety around what is going on in the world, and on top of that, we have had to transition to taking lectures, quizzes, exams, etc. in the confines of our homes.

    It’s understandable and normal to have a hard time finding motivation during all of this chaos.

    Let’s not be so hard on ourselves and know that we are trying our best.