The Emotional Side of Productivity

I've heard it on the TV commercials advertising depression medication, but I didn't think I would hear myself saying it to my husband, pre-deployment, about my freelance writing business. I experienced / am experiencing a sudden loss of interest in the things I enjoy. Part of it is because of the stress of having a baby (it will change our whole lives—well, it already has) and it is mostly the traumatic sadness of my husband's deployment.

The point is that life changes, and sometimes you aren't the glorious motivated person you once were. When your productivity is struggling because of emotional stress, try these things to keep going and to heal:

  • slow down and take small steps, one at a time
  • make critical lists of what actions must occur to help you prioritize and not get entangled with urgency daily obligations meddling with the “big deal” things to handle
  • do less, when stressed, don't guilt or overwhelm yourself
  • simplify: create and implement your simplest, no-fuss system for making progress on daily tasks and bigger goals
  • experience your emotions--yell out your anger and cry out your sadness—but remember not to attack people (tell them you need to vent)
  • get support

This deployment isn't something I can do completely alone. With my husband as my rock, I discuss everything I can with him and he can help with discussion making and consolation, but he's got a mission, too, and that means I need a support system of friends and, if need be, professionals in counseling and depression.

How do you handle the emotional side of productivity? Tips, tricks, hints, questions...leave your comments below.

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Jessie Fitzgerald writes about health and nutrition, especially for direct B2C sales nutritional supplement companies.

7 thoughts on “The Emotional Side of Productivity”

  1. All my best to your husband and to you.

    I don’t have a full answer to the question, but I do have a partial one.

    When my motivation is low, I often find that I have a real problem diving into work. However, once I do get started, things start rolling right along.

    The trick is finding that nudge that will get me started. That can occasionally be harder than one might think.

  2. When I’m finding it a struggle to get motivated for whatever reason, what works best for me is taking a short break, doing something I like and then diving straight back in.

    It doesn’t work for everyone, but I find the lack of motiviation is a bit of barrier that if I just push it a bit – after a short break – I can get past it.

    Take care, Jessie. And to your husband, too.

  3. Jessie–post-partum depression is a very real and serious thing. The added stress of your husband’s deployment at this time would be enough to take it from a case of the blues to a serious struggle. I hope you have success setting up your support team and put taking care of yourself as your number one priority. Babies need healthy mommies! 🙂

  4. Best to you and your husband … I thank him for his service!

    “Experience your emotions–yell out your anger and cry out your sadness—but remember not to attack people (tell them you need to vent),” this is what I’ve been doing. I have to make a decision to stay in Arizona, go back to Ohio, or try to get myself to California because I’m thinking of going back to school. My move to Arizona didn’t work out the way I planned it. Whatever. I’m detaching and letting go. I can’t force things to work out if it’s not meant to be.

  5. Jessie:

    A virtual hug to you & a great big thanks to your husband for his service. The first big thing you did was not ignoring your very real emotions. That is a great 1st step.

    I’m in the Dan camp of taking a break-walks work wonders for me. But when it’s an ongoing problem that is difficult to shake, this may sound crazy, but what always works for me is doing some kind of volunteer work.

    Your 1st reaction is probably when and where am I supposed to find the time for that? But, it doesn’t take a huge commitment. It’s just doing something to help out – no matter how small. It takes you away from your problems and it makes you feel good about helping someone with their problems. And it’s practically guaranteed to inspire you!

    Best of luck, Jessie.

  6. I did a 5-month deployment with my then-fiance (now-husband) 4 days after we got engaged. It was during peacetime for training, so I can imagine how much different it is in our current situation. It’s absolutely stressful and it sounds like you’re dealing with it well.

    The biggest thing I’d suggest is to have a long list of projects and activities to do to keep you busy. I found that sitting around just put weight on me and made me feel worse than if I was using my time. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough projects to do. Getting in a routine of doing makes it much easier to just keep chugging along. Hugs to you and good luck to him. 🙂

  7. Jesse — I think everyone in America should know more about the incredible burden that is on spouses of deployed service members. I live in an area with several military installations, and have one synagogue member whose husband is on a sub for six months at a time, and she has 4 kids…NO idea how she copes.

    I don’t have your particular stress…but with 3 kids 2 of them special needs and a husband who’s still figuring out who he wants to be when he grows up…I have certainly been in the spot of finding it difficult to focus some enthusiasm on writing that lawyer ghost-blog that’s due today, due to my personal stuff!

    Your suggestions are great…try to take yourself up on them!

    Much love and prayers.


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