New Intro & Questions!!
This turned out to be really long so please feel free to skip to the questions at the bottom!!
I have been reading the info and the check-in forum on PA for the past few days… I am a chronic procrastinator, I suppose I have known this for a very long time and I feel like I have been fighting this demon for at least 15 years (about half of my precious life on this Earth!!) I used to think that I only procrastinated in one area of my life (paper/financial stuff) but I now know that it is everywhere…I just manage to hide it as best I can from others. In fact I procrastinate so much that at this point I don’t even know when I am not procrastinating because it feels like every “busy” task I do (and I am VERY busy) is to procrastinate for another task and there is no end to this domino effect. I don’t know how to make sense of it all. I don’t even know where to begin with my To Do List.
So over the years, I have been in psychotherapy (this is a medium that works well for me) a few times for different reasons and two big themes that never go away are:
1- My “boxes of stuff/paper” (represent the procrastination that I am not willing to let go of) that take up all my mental and emotional energy.
2- A highly critical, anxious, self-centered parent who continues to try to control me in reality (even though I am now thirty something) and in my internalized inner voices (irrational beliefs that keep me stuck).
In terms of the procrastination, I have done all the reading, researching, workbooks, journaling, setting up goals and to do lists (re-writing these multiple times),writing values and mission statements to the point of using these so called self-help tasks to procrastinate even more. It feels like procrastination is octopus type monster with multiple arms that keep showing up and regenerating when you think that you have managed to cut one off.
The guilt and shame that I feel about my procrastination is weighing heavily on my shoulders even tying me down with chains and it is eating me up inside. I feel that I am a terrible person and that I don’t deserve ANYTHING in life to the point that I don’t even deposit my paychecks and just let them sit around let alone deserving to be happy. On the outside though, I look like a different person and I am outgoing, have lots of activities and a few great relationships that I have managed to maintain throughout all of this (one of them even knows about my inner battles and continues to stick around). I am able to say that about my life because I can “see” it or people tell me what a great life I have but I don’t “feel” it since it seems like I am watching my life go by without me…
I guess this is me in a nutshell (bit longer than expected and still would have lots more to say). So I am joining this group now because I have been feeling pretty helpless over the past few weeks and feeling like death would probably be a relief from all of this. (I am not suicidal here but it is the only way I can describe this). I am sick of pretending, sick of being stuck yet am still choosing to procrastinate away and I feel like I have tried all the tools I could think of…the self-help books don’t even give me a little high like they used to (even though this was a trap, it was some hope…). All this is unusual for me as I am a positive person in general and have always had faith in LIFE and the fact that in the end everything happens for a reason. I am starting to doubt…and I have no trust in my ability to keep ANY promise with myself as I have overdrawn this emotional bank account many times over and am now scared to death to set even the smallest daily goal.
I suppose this is a last attempt at getting freedom from the chains and I guess if I am joining this group I must have some hope left!!!
So I have a few questions:
1- How can the check-in/daily to-do-list work since making lists for me has always been a trap; a setup for failure? I get lost in them and get quickly overwhelmed or just spend all my time re-writing them.
2- How do I know that the tasks I do are not more procrastination? I have started tasks before that had to be completed only to realize later that I was procrastinating most of the time. (Anything can turn into procrastination. Help!!!!)
3- If this is an addiction (I believe it is) and not a time management problem, why is it important to plan our time down to every minute? How to not fall in traps because I have tried time logging/ planning etc in the past and again spend all of my time on organizing the “perfect” system.
4- If I have no ability to keep a promise with myself, how can I even think of setting one MIT?
5- I think that I have severe “demand-resistance” issues; any more info available on this topic other than article in that section?
6- Finally what does the “backlog” refer to?