Obsession with time
Just thought I'd share one of my biggest problems lately, which is an obsession with time (and also, I believe, with perfection).
When I sit down to work on my current paper, the biggest hurdle I face is getting over my obsession with time. I usually start to think, "if only I hadn't wasted all that time last night," or "why did it take me so long to settle down to work," or "why can't I stick to my strictly timed schedule?" When one of these thoughts creeps into my head, I usually realize even at that moment that my obsessiveness is wasting even more time, but instead of getting over it and getting to work, that thought that I am still wasting time paralyzes me even more. I end up just sitting there obsessing. And then I have to give up or find some other distraction. And by that time I am so upset by all of the "wasted time" that I can't get back to work and just cry myself to sleep.
It's like I have this obsession with everything having to be perfect and me having to be uber-productive with every minute that I have. And if I let time/productiveness get away from me, I flip out and feel as if something is irrevocably lost and that I just can't move on.
I had a particularly bad episode of this last night. Things were going very well, but then something interrupted me. After the interruption was over, I began obsessing over the time that had been wasted during the interruption. And one obsession just led into the next until there was a horrible spiral. Even today at work, I feel mildly sick to my stomach and am filled with regret and anger and sadness that I didn't work on my paper last night. What stared out as such a promising night devolved into another disaster. It's pathetic and silly. This nagging feeling that something is lost forever will not leave me.
I am trying to give up the need to control time and to be super-productive all the time. I am trying not let my obsessions control me and get in the way of what I need/want to do. I am trying to be okay with not being perfect, and to be okay with life not being perfect. I am trying to just live through my stress.
Good luck to all of you.