It can be easy to get in a rut, whether it be a mental funk or laziness. I find myself here often, so I want to finally do something about it. Therefore, I have made some trackers in my bullet journal to track my progress. I think the main thing for me this year is tracking the ends and outs of my mental health and productivity to establish a baseline as well as to see it any of the data correlates.
1. Go to therapy.
I’ve been seeing a therapist for a few years now. Sometimes I feel like it’s beneficial, other times I don’t. But when I need it, I need it, so I continue to go. This year, I’ll be paying attention to my moods and depressive anti-productive funks so I can identify the triggers and discuss how to avoid pitfalls when I go to therapy. Luckily, I have a monthly appointment, so I can adjust what I’m doing throughout the year.
2. Track my mood.
I tend to have a distorted view of how I’m feeling on a grand scale. I can look at how I’ve been doing the past few days and think all the days have been bad, completely forgetting the good days. There are also many days that are normal with neither strong positive or negative feelings, and those aren’t bad days, even if I think everyday should be amazing. So I’ve started tracking my mood to see how I fluctuate and if there is anything I can do to up the probability of a good day.
3. Track my productivity.
What I have noticed is that I feel like I’ve had a good day when I have accomplished tasks. However, I can do great things and forget them or give them less weight in my mind by the end of the day, so I created a tracker. I have three markers for productivity. Unproductive is for when I set a reasonable plan and just don’t follow through. Productive is for when I complete the three main tasks I assign myself for the day. Very productive is for when I do more than the three main tasks.
If I notice I’ve had a few unproductive days in a row, I can look at what I did during those days that kept me from doing them. For example, I had a few days where I gave myself too many large tasks. There were also times I didn’t do any of my tasks because I was binge watching the final season of The Walking Dead. One of the ways I think I can help both my mood and productivity is to check in with my planner frequently throughout the day so that the tasks I need to accomplish are on my mind. I also find that both of these areas improve when I start the day by making progress with my habits, such as getting enough sleep, eating a fruit and vegetable, and drinking plenty of water. They are easy habits, but when I slack on those, the rest of the day seems to fall apart as well.
4. Track my anxiety.
Another factor that goes into being in a bad mood or unproductive is my anxiety level. Sometimes it’s high, which can mean I need to make my tasks really easy so that I can have a win for the day without pushing myself too much. And I tend to have less anxiety when I feel accomplished. I get that feeling by doing my main tasks, such as house cleaning, writing, or working a shift at my job. If I check in with my planner regularly and start the day with knocking off tasks rather than binging TV, I should be able to keep my anxiety low.
5. Track my self-care.
Another thing I can do to lower or prevent anxiety is to do self-care activities. This can be anything from watching TV to painting my nail. Just something that makes me feel relaxed or happy in the moment. If I turn into a task-slashing ninja and don’t do anything just for me, I’ll likely be a couch potato the next day. So it’s better for me to do less and manage my stress levels than for me to burnout and get nothing done the next few days.
In conclusion . . .
I hope that by tracking all these factors, I can identify ways improve my life, feel good able myself, and get stuff done. How do you manage your mental health and productivity?