Hi all. NightOwl checking in
My message got long, words seems to have built up, and since I guess several of the readers here got time to spend, why not share. But first a short version, service minded as i am: :)
Male, early thirties, euro, independent software developer. Creative perfectionist who doesnt understand time properly. Procrastinator since forever, happy to be here.
I am a procrastinator + I am a depressed perfectionist. Curse and blessing.
I think part of my problem is a really warped sense of time. Time keeps screwing with me, I can't quite grasp it. There is the now, time is endless, moments will keep showing up for as long as anything matters. Why not just take as you go? I dont sleep 8 hours, i sleep till i wake up. 1-2-5-10-... hours. I dont work for 8 hours, i fight till I win or decides to give up. Might take too long, might need breaks, impossible to predict.
While going to school, I tried. Hard. But through several schools, i always had the lowest attendance. Never a perfect week.
So I cant make an appointment 3-4 days in advance, cant hold a job involving being on time. Who knows what my schedule is that day? Will i be awake in the day or in the night? Did I just pull a 36 hours creativity binge and need sleep? Am I emotionally drained from going through/being in the middle of a procrastination attack? If i am forced to make an appointment that I need to show up for, it will usually slowly paralyze me for 3-4 days before the appointment. My sleep will be weird patterns and anything work related will suffer from me stressing. I will probably have a super clean house and lots of home baked goodies though.
I always procrastinated, for as long as I remember. Things took a sharp turn for the worse 10 years ago, when i ended almost 2 entire years in stress hell, after loosing a large amount on a business venture, then working 16 hour days to pay it back. But my personal economy was left in complete ruins, a depression took hold, and saving myself wasnt a strong enough motivator to keep me going. So I gave up and pretty much cut ties with the outside world. Nothing was worth the effort.
When giving up, i kinda expected to hit rock bottom, but i didnt. i just kept falling, once less than 25 minutes away from being thrown on the street. Here my perfectionism, creativity + lack of respect for time once again saved me, as i for the fourth time managed to turn another hobby into paying work. By being my obsessive self, spending eternal moments on menial details, starting from scratch for the twentieth time to optimize another 2%, my output was groundbreaking, and word of mouth built into the way I make my money now, selling niche software, getting by ok.
So i have a solution where i am appreciated enough to be forgiven when I lack. I do something I am good at, something where obsessing is a plus. A solution that doesn't require me to understand time. I just have to check twice a day for inquiries as a minimum, to keep everybody happy. 1 minute if there aren't any, seldom more than 45 minutes. So I can keep things going without much effort. Not forever, but my needs are 1-4 days a few times a month and a longer break about quarterly. None of which I will see coming. If I can make a new addition about every 2 weeks, my business will probably keep growing.
So i am heading towards a bright enough future. Not awesome, but much better than what i had hoped for. So why do i have this need to gamble with it?
Several times i have let my procrastinating ways put all this on the line. I gamble my entire solution, my hard earned reputation, and there is no way to win this bet. At best, i don't loose. So why is it, that some days a simple copy/paste answer job can put me so far out of orbit, that i need 2-3 days to shame myself back to a task that was never hard? In the process, making the people who supports me wait needlessly for me to snap out of it
I have tried a lot of things, made a lot of progress, but i have also taken a lot of steps backwards. So it is a slow process, and i am not out of the danger zone. 5 days off with bad timing could set me always back to square one. Bad place!
Thats why I'm here. I found this site while looking for answers, found a good bunch of clues, views and interesting techniques. I especially took one technique to heart: try to keep my internal dialogue positive. Reminding myself about the good things that will come from doing the tasks, reminding myself that I provide great solutions, fair prices, good customer service and that there is undeniable proof: I have extremely happy customers, that i can keep happy by just doing what I want to be doing, and have been able to do for a while now. That seems to help take that 1 needed first step.
Microburts seems to be helping too when it is a bigger development.
Another small thing that seems to have benefited: I have "Procrastinating hurts" written on my desktop. No exclamation point. Just the fact.
But procrastinating lead to another danger lurking. My current business grew from nothing quite unexpected, and I never got everything sorted with the tax people. I have just been told that they will soon go through everything with a fine comb, and I know there are plenty of issues. Lots of issues. This is a first for me, so dont know how things will work out. I do worry about it. I been taking steps to fix everything in the last 8 months, each time getting closer before being scared off by the massive bureaucracy involved. "I'll fix it soon" Now I will be forced through it, with an angry tax person watching. Good times. I think my issues will get me fined, maybe something that really hurts, but my operation is small so I hope there is leniency. First time for everything, eh? Hoping!
But it will be taken care of and hopefully I will emerge with a sound business model, that can help me climb whatever financial hole I might end up in. Rather that than the void of not knowing. One less thing to stress about in the long run.
So i hope this can help me stay on the right path. Keeping my dream job going and hopefully working things out with tax people, will not allow a lot of time spent on torturing myself, so:
NightOwl reporting in, glad to be here. You now know my faults, I hope to improve, I hope you got room for one more.