In difficult times like the pandemic we have now, it is difficult to maintain productivity at work. Still, we all need to put our minds on track to do the best we can at this point.

To help those in this situation, we adapted some recommendations I heard from psychologist Nina Taboada, so as not to let a problem completely compromise our productivity at work. They fit perfectly for the moment we are going through.

How to maintain your productivity at work

Try to define what is causing your suffering to understand what can be done about it. We often need to change the focus of thinking to be able to do anything other than listen and spread bad news. We will try?

1. Define your problem

The first point to reaching a solution seems very obvious, but is overlooked by most people, according to Nina. “You have to start by defining what your problem is, what is causing the suffering right now,” she says.

It may seem weird, but for the most part, we don’t know what’s really going on. We only know that we are totally uncomfortable, but we do not name this general discomfort. “When the problem is a serious family illness or separation, for example, this definition is clearer,” she says.

On the other hand, when we are all irritated by the uncertainties of the moment and the direction of this pandemic, we end up discounting the bad mood in those around us – co-workers, if we are at the office, or the family itself, for those who are already at home office.

2. Assess whether something can be done

Having defined the problem, the second step is to evaluate what can be done. “Try to separate productive from unproductive concerns,” she recommends. At this point, a productive concern would be to wash your hands and stay away from crowds. They are practical, productive measures.

An example of unproductive concern is asking yourself if someone in your family will be infected with the coronavirus, if the single sneeze your child gave last night is a symptom of the disease or if someone who attended a face-to-face meeting with you could be infected. , even without any indication of it.

These are concerns that we are ruminating about, but do not really have an answer or solution for the moment.

3. Turn worry into action

The third tip is to turn concerns into action. “Ask yourself what you can do to resolve the concern you’re feeling,” says Nina. That is, before these ghosts take over your head, it is best to check if the family is well and if someone who attended the meeting developed any symptoms.

If everything is ok, try to change the focus. Avoid fantasizing about what has not yet occurred and possibly will not happen (that’s what we hope for!).

4. Make a list of tasks

Another interesting recommendation is to organize your work routine with a “to do list“. “Put on the list what you need to do that day,” she says.

For example, seeing emails, having an online meeting with the customer, sending updates to the boss, finishing the report and reading the contract. “When we are in pain, the organization helps to focus on what is a priority at every moment,” she says.

That’s because, of course, if you spend the day without a defined goal, it will be much easier to let negative thoughts take care of you.

5. Take the time to think about it

Setting time to think about your suffering is also an interesting tip. “Arrange with you that there will be a time to pay attention to the problem that is bothering you,” says Nina.

Define, for example, that you will stop to think about it at the end of the day, when watching the news. “It’s like saying ‘I’m going to pay attention, brain, rest easy, it just can’t be now’,” says Nina.

And she explains that this attitude is more efficient than simply trying to control your thoughts. “If I say ‘Don’t think about the elephant, don’t think about the elephant, don’t think about the elephant’, the elephant will already be in my head”, he says.

The problem exists and deserves attention, but you can focus on it only at certain times so as not to let yourself sink. Using this technique can help control anxiety.

6. Identify whether it’s time to seek help

In normal situations, the last tip would be to seek professional help – especially if you have tried to make the first five recommendations and have not worked. “When the suffering is growing and you can no longer maintain your social life, your productivity at work, it’s time to ask for help from a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a friend, someone you trust,” she says.

At the moment we are, however, we know that even asking for this help can be more difficult. If you think that the suffering is really uncontrollable, try to seek professionals in this area who can attend online.

And remember what Nina says: “We don’t suffer from what happens to us, but with what we think about what happens to us.” The time is difficult, but we are here, all together.

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