Overcome Low Motivation with an Activities Schedule

Depression often brings with it low energy and a lack of motivation to engage in everyday activities. It is important when feeling depressed to engage in regular, pleasurable activities  or activities that result in a sense of achievement in order to lift your mood, and to continue to meet everyday responsibilities so as to not worsen existing feelings of depression. It is normal to enjoy activities less than usual when feeling depressed, however it is important to continue to do them anyway.

A useful way of ensuring you engage in these activities on a daily basis is an Activity Schedule. An Activity Schedule provides structure to your day and motivates you to stay active, increases your sense of control over your life as you see yourself achieving the things you have planned, and has an additional benefit of helping you to identify activities that provide the most improvement in mood.

To use the Activity Schedule download the .pdf below (available to download for members only). It is best to print a copy so as to view it and write on it throughout the day. Fill in each section for a day with a target activity. If you find it hard to get motivated in the mornings make sure you plan your day the evening before. As you work through the day you may find you actually engage in a different activity to the one planned, if that's the case simply write that new activity in. For each activity score it with a rating from 1 to 10 for  Pleasure and Achievement, where 1 is low and 10 is high, e.g. A=5, P=7.  When you are depressed even small tasks can take a huge amount of effort to complete, ensure you credit yourself according to this effort when rating your achievement.