Reply To: I feel like I’m just awful at my job

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I feel like this at my job, too. And I’ve actually made some really major mistakes that have had a negative impact on the people that I work with. I’m always rotating between how I manage my tasks – sometimes I can keep up an app, but then sometimes I start writing things down on scraps of paper everywhere again.

I agree with what some folks said above: first, it’s not possible to address EVERYTHING all at once. It took me a LONG time to realize this – my guilt often makes me feel as though if I don’t come back the very next day a completely changed person, then it’s no good even trying. My therapist told me, “be a scientist about it – observe if your method helps you or not, and observe how other methods help or not.” ANd this method of believing I had to (or even could) fix everything all at once was NOT helping me. So, I’m now going with the one-at-a-time, small habit changes. I’m not going to lie, it does feel frustrating because I do want to be a COMPLETELY changed person. But I also have to be honest and agree with the person above – I am seeing changes, even if they’re small, and those small changes are more progress than when I was trying to pressure myself to transform immediately.

What I’m working on right now isn’t even specifically work-related: I’m just trying really, really hard to get to bed at a reasonable time. When I do this, I end up feeling more rested, and my medication works better, and I’m more able to get through a couple things on my to-do list. So even though sleeping isn’t directly work related, it helps my work SO much.

See if there’s something similar for you, where it’s a healthier lifestyle habit that helps support your brain. maybe it’s sleep like for me, or meditation like for that other person, or maybe it’s eating more vegetables, or maybe it’s getting more exercise. There’s gonna be SOMEthing like that that will help your brain in a general way, even if it takes time to find out what that is for you. Be a scientist – observe.

Combined with sleeping more, what I’ve started doing is writing a GIANT to-do list on Sunday afternoon or evening, of everything that I believe I need to get done, personal, work-wise, whatever – everything. It ends up being a gigantic overwhelming horrible list, but I feel a bit better because at least everything is out of my head. The trick is that everyday I then pick 3 to work on for work, and 1-2 personal ones for my off time (usually chores, errands, or social calls). ANd that’s it. That’s my only expectation of myself for the day. ANd I don’t go back to the giant scary list until I need another task to do. And I have never, not once, completed everything on that list. And that just kind of needs to be OK. Because I often, though not all the time, complete 2-3 of the work things a day, and even though that’s not where I want to stay, it’s way better than how I was doing before.

I hope that helps! You’re definitely not alone in this!