Procrastinators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.

Curious about Self-Control

I mentioned in another post that I "Just wanted to do what I'm supposed to do, when I'm supposed to do it - whether I want to or not!"(I added, " a normal person," I spoke of how I just wanted things in my life to be that simple with out professional help or support groups.
Although I'm quite sure its well beyond that I some times come back to thinking my procrast. addictio is just laziness (although I can be one of the hardest working people I know - when I'm not doing something else to procrast, or when I'm right up to the wire of a deadline.)and that I should just "exercise some self-control" and "just get up and do it".
I am curious as to how many of you think that deep down NO ONE wants to do many of the things in their lives and that they just grit their teeth and make themselves do it while it seems we can't. OR is it that we just won't?
Deep -Down, I WANT this to be a simple self-control issue with me and NOT a complicated psychological problem.
Do any of you think our Procrast. is or has any link to laziness or lack of self-control?


command my muscles

I'm not sure what it is for me and i've processed so many things in my life through therapy and stuff. I'm to the point that I do not worry about the why or where as much as a simple solution. I do have discipline in several areas in life and people comment on how disciplined I am :)

One thing that I do that helps is literally command my muscles. I say "body, stop surfing the net and pick up that piece of paper to file" or "OK hands, open that text book"

Sounds very weird I know but once my muscles move, my brain changes the thinking pattern and starts going in the direction I need it to go. I've learned that I only feel bad if I sit and think about what I should be doing. When my mind sees my body doing it - something changes :)

I agree

Mind you, sometimes it's sometimes useful to know why a thing works, because I might find it helps me in other areas too - plus I can share it with the folks here and see if it anyone else fancies having a go to see if it works for them!

Having said that, there are things I do that I still haven't figured out why they work - I'm just grateful they do!

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I think you could call it a lack of self-control. After all, there are many kinds of self-control. I really resist stuff that involves becoming active. It's as if I'm a Newtonian object - my natural state is "at rest". Even the projects I take on and work hard at are usually motivated by a strong desire to *have accomplished something and be morally entitled to rest* rather than accomplishing because accomplishing is in itself stimulating.

Unfortunately, whether you label this "obsessive compulsive", "lazy", "lacking moral fibre", none of that much tells you anything about what causes it in the first place or what, objectively, is the best way of getting out of it (or, frankly, if that's even possible).

I think having someone else to push you into something is great, wherever it can be got, but it's very stressful for them, I guess, over the long run. Otherwise, I guess you have to try and fix it in a behaviourist way, by creating habits through no-nonsense training that remove your ability to "choose" to be lazy. Sort of like army training, only probably harder. :)

I agree with this too!

To a certain extent - I'm now more often getting to the point of doing something for it's own sake, rather than to 'get it out of the way'.

I agree it ~is~ a discipline - and the more I exercise discipline the easier it seems to get to be disciplined in other areas. Procrastination is definitely something that responds to training.

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no, I don't think so

> Do any of you think our Procrast. is or has any link to laziness or lack of self-control?

If I could cure my procrastination with willpower, it would be cured already. And I'm not lazy - I work hard, just not always on the right thing.

I think procrastination is compulsive avoidance - related to addictive behavior - not about laziness or lack of self-control or willpower.

Might be anxiety

I agree with Normy that we all have different drivers for our procrastination, just like we all have different drivers for our other behaviors.

I've had some good luck in dealing with my procrastination as an anxiety problem, as well as a perfectionism problem.

Perfectionism rears its head in a few ways. I want to be working on just the right thing at any given time... which means I can spend more time deciding what to do than actually doing anything. And of course I don't want to do things half-way, so I have trouble declaring some things "finished."

Anxiety can be more complicated. First off, let's assume that you have a stack of commitments that aren't yet fulfilled. Having a lot of commitments like that can lead to anxiety -- what happens if you can't fulfill all those commitments?

The natural reaction to anxiety is to get away from whatever's making you anxious -- which can lead to lots of different kinds of activities that all add up to procrastination. Calling this diversion "laziness" is a simplistic and inaccurate label. It's really an avoidance habit, and you'll have to deal with it like any other habit. (See Scott Young's blog posts about Habitual Mastery for some deeper discussion.)

The kinds of tactics that work for me are the ones that limit my focus to just a few things. This may mean that I declare some things "finished" that aren't done to my satisfaction (but are good enough for others), and it may mean moving things from my active list to my "someday" list so I don't have to think about them right now.

One simple thing I've been doing at work lately is starting every day with actual work. No personal online stuff until noon -- and it has helped my productivity a lot. It generates momentum, and it sets up a mental context that helps keep me going.


I don't think it's just that for me

I have an iron will in some areas of my life, so I don't think it's just about self-control for me (my DSO thinks I've got amazing willpower for example), and I'm certainly not lazy - I've got a busy and active life.

However, what I ~have~ found is that procrastination has different reasons for different people, so just because I believe that to be the case for me, it doesn't mean it necessarily applies to you. Look at other areas of your life to get a fuller picture.

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