What’s a reasonable amount to do in a day?

Posted by witsend000 @witsend000, Jun 7 11:04pm

Just wondering: what is a reasonable amount to accomplish in a day?

What is a typical day for you?

I feel I have been a very unproductive person for most of my life. Would love some insight into other peoples’ daily living.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Depression & Anxiety group.

Good morning @witsend000 What’s a reasonable amount to accomplish in a day? Golly, that’s a slippery slope when you’re feeling unproductive.
It’s really dangerous to compare ourselves to others. We’re all born with different energy levels and priorities. What one person accomplishes in a day is really all about them!
I was born a Border Collie. 😂 I have unlimited energy, even now at my ripe old age. I have a friend who was born, let’s say, a Blood Hound…laaaazy. She and I are on opposite ends of the spectrum. But we both accomplish in one day what WE feel we can do.
Some days I move mountains and some days I feel I’m stuck in a pit with a bulldozer shoving sand around me.
What helps is I make lists. I don’t always accomplish what’s on them that day. I do prioritize the tasks though if some need doing ASAP.
And…some days I have a blank piece of paper and write down what I DID accomplish that day. LOL. Try it! You might surprise yourself by what you have managed to do.

The only two things we have control over are our Attitudes and Effort. So if you want to accomplish more just up it a notch.

What would you feel is a reasonable amount done in a day?

REPLY
@loribmt

Good morning @witsend000 What’s a reasonable amount to accomplish in a day? Golly, that’s a slippery slope when you’re feeling unproductive.
It’s really dangerous to compare ourselves to others. We’re all born with different energy levels and priorities. What one person accomplishes in a day is really all about them!
I was born a Border Collie. 😂 I have unlimited energy, even now at my ripe old age. I have a friend who was born, let’s say, a Blood Hound…laaaazy. She and I are on opposite ends of the spectrum. But we both accomplish in one day what WE feel we can do.
Some days I move mountains and some days I feel I’m stuck in a pit with a bulldozer shoving sand around me.
What helps is I make lists. I don’t always accomplish what’s on them that day. I do prioritize the tasks though if some need doing ASAP.
And…some days I have a blank piece of paper and write down what I DID accomplish that day. LOL. Try it! You might surprise yourself by what you have managed to do.

The only two things we have control over are our Attitudes and Effort. So if you want to accomplish more just up it a notch.

What would you feel is a reasonable amount done in a day?

Jump to this post

Thank you for your response @loribmt.
I have no idea what is reasonable. All I know is that what I do is far from reasonable. Most days it is a struggle just to get out of bed, shower and do a few house chores like laundry or cleaning.
I used to enjoy these things. I enjoy nothing now.
How I wish I were a border collie! Or even a blood hound…they have an amazing ability to sniff things out.
I’m more like a paralyzed dog with no sense of smell.
Actually, I’m not that either. My parents have a paralyzed dog and she is a sweetheart with a great personality; she makes everyone smile and be comforted.
I am useless. Both physically and mentally.
I posted the question because I would like to see what others are able to do and what is normal.

REPLY
@loribmt

Good morning @witsend000 What’s a reasonable amount to accomplish in a day? Golly, that’s a slippery slope when you’re feeling unproductive.
It’s really dangerous to compare ourselves to others. We’re all born with different energy levels and priorities. What one person accomplishes in a day is really all about them!
I was born a Border Collie. 😂 I have unlimited energy, even now at my ripe old age. I have a friend who was born, let’s say, a Blood Hound…laaaazy. She and I are on opposite ends of the spectrum. But we both accomplish in one day what WE feel we can do.
Some days I move mountains and some days I feel I’m stuck in a pit with a bulldozer shoving sand around me.
What helps is I make lists. I don’t always accomplish what’s on them that day. I do prioritize the tasks though if some need doing ASAP.
And…some days I have a blank piece of paper and write down what I DID accomplish that day. LOL. Try it! You might surprise yourself by what you have managed to do.

The only two things we have control over are our Attitudes and Effort. So if you want to accomplish more just up it a notch.

What would you feel is a reasonable amount done in a day?

Jump to this post

I forget to mention that I too make lists….I make lots of lists. Both “to do” and “did today”. It unfortunately is always a big disappointment.

REPLY
@witsend000

Thank you for your response @loribmt.
I have no idea what is reasonable. All I know is that what I do is far from reasonable. Most days it is a struggle just to get out of bed, shower and do a few house chores like laundry or cleaning.
I used to enjoy these things. I enjoy nothing now.
How I wish I were a border collie! Or even a blood hound…they have an amazing ability to sniff things out.
I’m more like a paralyzed dog with no sense of smell.
Actually, I’m not that either. My parents have a paralyzed dog and she is a sweetheart with a great personality; she makes everyone smile and be comforted.
I am useless. Both physically and mentally.
I posted the question because I would like to see what others are able to do and what is normal.

Jump to this post

Your @name of @witsend000 really paints a picture of what you’re feeling right now. I didn’t see your first post regarding the various health symptoms you’re dealing with.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/need-advice-on-multiple-symptoms-long-post/
I’d like to reply the post directly over in that group.

After reading your list of health symptoms, I can’t help but think you’re being too hard on yourself! If you don’t feel well, it’s pretty difficult to feel motived to be a mover and shaker during the day. And you’re certainly not useless.
I went through a serious period of depression about 30 years ago. It was debilitating and I can fully appreciate the feeling of uselessness. But in reality, I wasn’t useless, I just never had the sense of accomplishment when I did do something. I was basically going through the motions.

Have you spoken to a therapist at all about depression?
And I’m also going by some of your symptoms from your other post. But have you had your thyroid hormone checked?
One more biggie, have you had your estrogen hormone level checked?

REPLY
@loribmt

Your @name of @witsend000 really paints a picture of what you’re feeling right now. I didn’t see your first post regarding the various health symptoms you’re dealing with.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/need-advice-on-multiple-symptoms-long-post/
I’d like to reply the post directly over in that group.

After reading your list of health symptoms, I can’t help but think you’re being too hard on yourself! If you don’t feel well, it’s pretty difficult to feel motived to be a mover and shaker during the day. And you’re certainly not useless.
I went through a serious period of depression about 30 years ago. It was debilitating and I can fully appreciate the feeling of uselessness. But in reality, I wasn’t useless, I just never had the sense of accomplishment when I did do something. I was basically going through the motions.

Have you spoken to a therapist at all about depression?
And I’m also going by some of your symptoms from your other post. But have you had your thyroid hormone checked?
One more biggie, have you had your estrogen hormone level checked?

Jump to this post

Hi @loribmt.
Yes I have had both checked recently actually. I made a long post on the other group about it.
Thank for your links. I will check them out.

REPLY

A reasonable amount can vary from day to day. Somedays doing nothing is reasonable. No dressing or bathing, mostly sleep and just what must be done, such as feeding the dog and cat, and sending my daughter out to get something to eat. My biggest task on days like that are to protect myself from my feelings of worthlessness and uselessness. Dealing with a multitude of medical issues, I cannot decipher the physical from the emotional.
Daily lists and plans are made and usually have to be scrapped due to lack of energy, and I like to think I'm very flexible, but after several days of not meeting any goals irritation and frustration set in. Knowing that it will pass eventually doesn't always help, and pushing myself results in bigger steps backward.
On good days, I get so much accomplished, and feel it will continue, but it always comes to an abrupt end, so I try to be grateful for the good ones. this all leaves me feeling so far behind, which I am. My home is a mess, and there are years of projects left to be completed.

REPLY

Thank you for your encouragement @ flynnzie. I can relate to some things you said.

– “I cannot decipher the physical from the emotional.”
I experience this also. The physical and emotional are intertwined and I don’t know how to remedy a symptom because I don’t know what’s causing it…where it’s coming from.

-“Daily lists and plans are made and usually have to be scrapped due to lack of energy, and I like to think I'm very flexible, but after several days of not meeting any goals irritation and frustration set in.”
I am huge on making lists. I have over a hundred lists on my phone. Some to do, some to think things out on paper and lots for remembering things because if I don’t write things down immediately I’ll forget. (i.e.: an item needed from the grocery store)
I get throw things mad when I haven’t accomplished my list…along with very disappointed, frustrated and depressed.

-“ On good days, I get so much accomplished, and feel it will continue, but it always comes to an abrupt end… this all leaves me feeling so far behind, which I am. My home is a mess, and there are years of projects left to be completed.”
I absolutely relate to this. For example right now I am laying on the couch where I’ve been since breakfast three hours ago. I am exhausted, frustrated, angry and very defeated…it’s a beautiful perfect day and I should be a busy bee. Instead I’m laying here trying to force myself up with thoughts of all the things that are past due to be done: mowing, cleaning, laundry…not to mention the many unfinished (or not even started) projects that need to be done.

I feel so very lazy pathetic and useless. And guilty….very guilty. I don’t understand why I’m like this. I don’t know how to fix it.

REPLY
@witsend000

Thank you for your encouragement @ flynnzie. I can relate to some things you said.

– “I cannot decipher the physical from the emotional.”
I experience this also. The physical and emotional are intertwined and I don’t know how to remedy a symptom because I don’t know what’s causing it…where it’s coming from.

-“Daily lists and plans are made and usually have to be scrapped due to lack of energy, and I like to think I'm very flexible, but after several days of not meeting any goals irritation and frustration set in.”
I am huge on making lists. I have over a hundred lists on my phone. Some to do, some to think things out on paper and lots for remembering things because if I don’t write things down immediately I’ll forget. (i.e.: an item needed from the grocery store)
I get throw things mad when I haven’t accomplished my list…along with very disappointed, frustrated and depressed.

-“ On good days, I get so much accomplished, and feel it will continue, but it always comes to an abrupt end… this all leaves me feeling so far behind, which I am. My home is a mess, and there are years of projects left to be completed.”
I absolutely relate to this. For example right now I am laying on the couch where I’ve been since breakfast three hours ago. I am exhausted, frustrated, angry and very defeated…it’s a beautiful perfect day and I should be a busy bee. Instead I’m laying here trying to force myself up with thoughts of all the things that are past due to be done: mowing, cleaning, laundry…not to mention the many unfinished (or not even started) projects that need to be done.

I feel so very lazy pathetic and useless. And guilty….very guilty. I don’t understand why I’m like this. I don’t know how to fix it.

Jump to this post

@witsend000 and @flynnzie I bet there are a lot of us reading your posts who are nodding our heads in agreement. You see, we all have been there one time or another. We may fall behind in our chores due to work, or illness, or the blahs. We might have tackled something that really "looked good on paper" but the execution was beyond our skillset or time allowances, leaving us feeling very inadequate.

I can only speak from my experience, and hope this might give you some support and let you see what worked for me. While I deal with health issues, I also live with depression from time to time. Making a list of things to do can be daunting, and it helps to write it out so I can see what needs to be priority. Forgiving myself for not getting something done was, and still is, difficult. I'd like to do it all but it simply is not possible. Pick a small thing. Clean off the coffee table in front of the couch. Vacuum one room. Sort through old mail and magazines. Once that is done, you may find yourself doing another small thing. Congratulate yourself! Take a short break, then do something else small. Stop being so hard on yourself. Don't hold yourself up to someone else's standards, just yours. No one said it is easy. Keep a journal, writing down your accomplishments, worries, concerns, and solutions, and congratulate yourself, everyday, for what you did that day. Find the positive in each task you get done.

Do any of these thoughts sound like a workable solution to you?
Ginger

REPLY
@witsend000

Thank you for your encouragement @ flynnzie. I can relate to some things you said.

– “I cannot decipher the physical from the emotional.”
I experience this also. The physical and emotional are intertwined and I don’t know how to remedy a symptom because I don’t know what’s causing it…where it’s coming from.

-“Daily lists and plans are made and usually have to be scrapped due to lack of energy, and I like to think I'm very flexible, but after several days of not meeting any goals irritation and frustration set in.”
I am huge on making lists. I have over a hundred lists on my phone. Some to do, some to think things out on paper and lots for remembering things because if I don’t write things down immediately I’ll forget. (i.e.: an item needed from the grocery store)
I get throw things mad when I haven’t accomplished my list…along with very disappointed, frustrated and depressed.

-“ On good days, I get so much accomplished, and feel it will continue, but it always comes to an abrupt end… this all leaves me feeling so far behind, which I am. My home is a mess, and there are years of projects left to be completed.”
I absolutely relate to this. For example right now I am laying on the couch where I’ve been since breakfast three hours ago. I am exhausted, frustrated, angry and very defeated…it’s a beautiful perfect day and I should be a busy bee. Instead I’m laying here trying to force myself up with thoughts of all the things that are past due to be done: mowing, cleaning, laundry…not to mention the many unfinished (or not even started) projects that need to be done.

I feel so very lazy pathetic and useless. And guilty….very guilty. I don’t understand why I’m like this. I don’t know how to fix it.

Jump to this post

Oh gosh, my friend. I can just feel your desperation in the last 2 sentences. I’m not a mental health professional but from experience I do know that negative self talk is our very worst enemy. It fills our head with so much darkness and anxiety. You’re not a lost cause, you’re not lazy or pathetic or useless. What will help you to fix this is to find the person who is lost inside of you. A small beginning would be to change the perspective on how you think about yourself.
https://www.verywellmind.com/things-to-do-if-you-are-feeling-worthless-5087740
Has your doctor ruled out underlying medical conditions? Another member mentioned fibromyalgia.
Your bloodwork seemed to be fine for thyroid, but I’m wondering if you’ve had your estrogen level checked. I shared my experience with you and the huge difference balancing my hormones made. I went from ‘deep dark night’ back to my old self with a hormone replacement and my anxiety/depression issues disappeared. That was over 20+ years ago and it has never recurred. I’m not saying that’s what has happened to you. But it is an example of how our bodies can get out of whack through nothing we’ve done wrong!

Anxiety can cause a great deal of debilitating symptoms including depression. From experience I know how anxiety can take over your life and mushroom from there.
You mentioned being on Lexapro in a previous comment. Who prescribed this and has there been any follow up? Did it help you at all? There are other medications on the market that can help with anxiety too.

The best medication doesn’t come from a bottle though. Our own body and mind have remarkable abilities to heal and regenerate through exercise. I know you ache and don’t feel motivated. But I’d really like you to challenge yourself daily to get out and walk. If not outside, then inside the house. Start slowly with a goal in mind of a lap around the yard. Increase that every day. It won’t be a cure all but I’m willing to bet it will make a difference in your daily life.
This small step towards getting the blood moving, the muscles being fed with blood and oxygen will start breaking the cycle of sitting around without a sense of accomplishment. It’s an important beginning.

@gingerw had a very good suggestion to speak with a counselor/therapist to help you get started on a journey to wellness. Have you spoken with a therapist?

REPLY
@gingerw

@witsend000 and @flynnzie I bet there are a lot of us reading your posts who are nodding our heads in agreement. You see, we all have been there one time or another. We may fall behind in our chores due to work, or illness, or the blahs. We might have tackled something that really "looked good on paper" but the execution was beyond our skillset or time allowances, leaving us feeling very inadequate.

I can only speak from my experience, and hope this might give you some support and let you see what worked for me. While I deal with health issues, I also live with depression from time to time. Making a list of things to do can be daunting, and it helps to write it out so I can see what needs to be priority. Forgiving myself for not getting something done was, and still is, difficult. I'd like to do it all but it simply is not possible. Pick a small thing. Clean off the coffee table in front of the couch. Vacuum one room. Sort through old mail and magazines. Once that is done, you may find yourself doing another small thing. Congratulate yourself! Take a short break, then do something else small. Stop being so hard on yourself. Don't hold yourself up to someone else's standards, just yours. No one said it is easy. Keep a journal, writing down your accomplishments, worries, concerns, and solutions, and congratulate yourself, everyday, for what you did that day. Find the positive in each task you get done.

Do any of these thoughts sound like a workable solution to you?
Ginger

Jump to this post

I am nothing if not inconsistently inconsistent 🙂 Making lists works for me sometimes, but other times I lose the list. The hard part is forgiving myself for 'depression paralysis'. Usually it starts with a bad physical day, then the brain fog sets up housekeeping.
Although I know what to do or what's helpful, can't seem to push through it to just sit on the porch for a change of scenery, or a shower and getting dressed. Once I am able to do a small thing or two, the cycle comes to an end. Can't say I ever feel good, but I feel more productive. I have had to learn to find new ways of doing things, and asking for help is one of the hardest. I have tried journals in the past or positivity, but it never goes beyond a week or two.

REPLY
@witsend000

Thank you for your encouragement @ flynnzie. I can relate to some things you said.

– “I cannot decipher the physical from the emotional.”
I experience this also. The physical and emotional are intertwined and I don’t know how to remedy a symptom because I don’t know what’s causing it…where it’s coming from.

-“Daily lists and plans are made and usually have to be scrapped due to lack of energy, and I like to think I'm very flexible, but after several days of not meeting any goals irritation and frustration set in.”
I am huge on making lists. I have over a hundred lists on my phone. Some to do, some to think things out on paper and lots for remembering things because if I don’t write things down immediately I’ll forget. (i.e.: an item needed from the grocery store)
I get throw things mad when I haven’t accomplished my list…along with very disappointed, frustrated and depressed.

-“ On good days, I get so much accomplished, and feel it will continue, but it always comes to an abrupt end… this all leaves me feeling so far behind, which I am. My home is a mess, and there are years of projects left to be completed.”
I absolutely relate to this. For example right now I am laying on the couch where I’ve been since breakfast three hours ago. I am exhausted, frustrated, angry and very defeated…it’s a beautiful perfect day and I should be a busy bee. Instead I’m laying here trying to force myself up with thoughts of all the things that are past due to be done: mowing, cleaning, laundry…not to mention the many unfinished (or not even started) projects that need to be done.

I feel so very lazy pathetic and useless. And guilty….very guilty. I don’t understand why I’m like this. I don’t know how to fix it.

Jump to this post

Wasting the few beautiful days of the year makes me feel sad too. I have to laugh about your lists-mine are on paper, and it gives me a chuckle when I find an old to do list with projects that are still needing to be completed. Some of the lists are more than a decade old!
I never really give up, but things get put on hold for a very long time. It's important for me to get organized so that I don't leave this mess behind. I don't know about you, but even after 20 years of chronic disabling disease, I still mourn the able person I used to be. I miss being able to depend on myself, and keep promises.
Mostly I understand why I am the way I am now, but knowing doesn't make it easier. I used to try to figure out what was causing my fatigue. The short answer is everything. the medications for various ailments, the ailments, depression all cause exhaustion. Oh , and then there's being older…
The past lists, plans, and ability to function no longer work as they once did.
These sorts of problems require the development of strategies, setting boundaries, and perhaps learning to be kind to ourselves.
I have a feeling that we may have a similar background in being raised to perform perfectly, worry about ourselves last, little love or encouragement. Part of being female, I guess, and one can overcome many of these life challenges, but self acceptance when you're brought up with judgment and criticism is something I've never been able to master.
When I think about it, I'm certain that many of my medical issues are a reaction to years of stress.
I learned that while I can't fix this, I can learn to cope better, and I work on being grateful for what I can do and for the people in my life. I have had to stop contact with toxic family members and friends that made my life more difficult. I try to surround myself with positive people, preferably with a sense of humor. Setting boundaries has helped a lot, and in a way I am more content then in the past when I was killing myself to live up to other's expectations. Now to let go of my own expectations! The first thing that had to change was priorities. Very hard to take care of yourself when you're used to taking care of everyone else, but once you realize that no one else is going to do it, it's possible.
None of these lessons are easy or quick, and not a straight course. On the worst days I try to remember that this too will pass.

REPLY

Hi @flynnzie. So I started to reply because something you said made me think of something. Then I stopped….because I feel like I should address ginger and Lori first, then say what you made me think of…otherwise I’m not being fair/considerate, like “first come first serve” or something….is that weird? Like is that normal to think that way?

I used to make lists on paper before I had a smartphone…I lost them all the time too. I still find old ones from time to time.

Speaking of “to dos” and being productive. I too try to pick small tasks especially when I’m having an especially hard time. And it often goes like this in my brain, “the floors are a mess….If I just vacuum it will look and feel better in here…but first I need to clean the vacuum because I can’t clean with something dirty…so I’ve got to wash the sponge filters…and I’ve got to dry the sponge filters before I put it back together…but first I have to fold the laundry that’s in the dryer so I can dry the filters…also, I need to vacuum every room, top to bottom, under all the furniture and in all the nooks and crannies otherwise I haven’t really ‘cleaned’”….
Then if I don’t also dust, and clean the bathrooms I don’t really feel like I’ve cleaned and it’s not satisfactory. Problem is, I hardly have enough energy to just push the vacuum around one or two rooms.
So….then I wonder…is that perfectionism or is that just good housekeeping?

Thank you @gingerw. It helps to know that others out there feel like I do.
I don’t think I could ever congratulate myself….if I could change things about myself it would be literally everything except three things.
I do try to implement lists and doings small things one at a time and also taking breaks..that helps me get at least the essentials done (like feeding the dog and cats, making dinner for my husband, etc)

Thank you for the link @loribmt. I read the article and a lot of the things sounded familiar.
I have had a blood test recently for hormones. And I have talked to a therapist in the past. It was so hard, I had to write down things on paper for her to read because I couldn’t talk.
I try to take our dog for a walk everyday.

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.
  Request Appointment