Need tips, need to change, need to finally find a way to deal with this :(
I've signed up here 2 years ago, posted a few times in the daily check-ins, but overall haven't done much. :/
I try getting more organized, try setting up schedules, try staying away from the internet at work, but whatever I do, I still fail over and over again.
I try to set up rules like not staying up all night, but in moments like right now, when I have to finish something (or feel like I have to finish something), I bend them and try to force myself to get things done, despite it rarely working and me ending up either not doing the job or doing it last minute or late again...
I tell myself I can't do this or that, because I have to do this first and end up doing nothing at all.
I tell myself I can't go to sleep before finishing this and end up not sleeping at all and not having done anything.
I spend way too much time on the internet. And if I try not to use the internet, I will do other things on my PC, always avoiding work.
If I'm lucky, it's a task which doesn't require me to use the PC. Then I can try avoiding using the PC, but sometimes still manage to find something else to do.
And even if I try to avoid almost anything, I sometimes still just end up lying on my bed, trying to figure out how to get myself to work, lamenting my having to do this or thinking of other things, daydreaming, whatever. This is ridiculous, pathetic.
Anyway, overall, my current main time-waster is the internet. And if I can at least get that under control, I feel like I will have made much progress.
I'm not quite sure how efficient this site will be, but in my internet-centric world, this seems to be the best thing I could find... :/
Any tips are welcome.
The main thing here seems to be daily check-ins, but I don't really like exposing my tasks publically, so it's a bit of a problem for me.
Here are my own current attempts (applied more or less successfully depending on the days :/ ):
-avoid internet at work unless necessary (not easy)
-give up non-essential websites completely (getting better at it)
-separate firefox profiles restricted to "necessary activities" (mail, banking, etc)
-online TODO list (keeps things more organized for me)
-online calendar (same)
-when at work, add any tasks I come up with to the TODO list instead of doing them while at work
-avoid adding non-essential tasks (I still add too many unnecessary ones)
-do tasks which can be completed immediately, immediately
-start working because once started things usually go quite well (why is this so difficult?)
-set attainable daily goals (too often not done)
-reach them (fails too often)
-regular sleeping, eating times (fails too often)
-daily routine, better hygiene
-daily sport (complete failure so far, never made it more than 1-2 days I think)
-stop posting on forums, websites, etc, unless it's necessary (getting better at it)
-productive procrastination: complete other tasks when avoiding one unpleasant task (could work better, dificult to apply in case of high-priority urgent tasks)
-clean up and organize my room (still a mess since days, and whenever I clean it up, it doesn't last more than a few days).
Basically overall, at the moment, I'm hoping that being more organized will help me (without spending too much time on organization of course), as well as reducing my internet usage as much as possible.
But one of my main problems is finding and deciding a few clear rules to which I can stick, forever (i.e. no exceptions). Does that make sense or should rules always be flexible? I'm afraid of bending them too often if they are not clear.
About my online TODO list: it keeps growing, but doesn't really get smaller.
Cleaning it up and doing a certain number of tasks in it every day is part of my tasks. ^^'
I am perhaps now wasting time by posting here, but I really, really, really need to do something about it.
If I could give up the internet entirely, if it was something I despised, I would. But I have to learn to live with it.
I also tried RSS readers to avoid having to check websites over and over. But it didn't work at all. I kept adding more and more RSS feeds instead to still my hunger for something new... Or simply kept checking the RSS-reader.
The worst part about the "internet drug" is that the smallest "relapse" usually equals several hours or the whole day wasted. :(
It has an exponential effect due to all the links on each website. And even if I decide to not follow them, I will remember them and keep thinking about them until I eventually look at them at a later point anyway. And if I don't, just thinking about them or other things can prevent me from working. I have difficulties focusing on work, so I can't get started or get distracted from the work I already started and need to get back in again.
So, what are others experiences? Any success stories?
I'm listening. :)
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How have things been going?
How have things been going? Well, good and not so good.
Lately, not so good, which is why I am back here. :/
But I do have this interesting quote to share (found while wasting time surfing obviously...):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4H0JDomv8ac#t=30s <- some inspirational music. While studying psychology I worked as a therapist (yes we like starcraft too) and I had guests just like you. I don't like to tell them that they are weak, spoiled or take things for granted. Perhaps they do, perhaps they dont. There are a lot of issues that plauge them, but there is one thing they all have in common; Regret. Thinking about the past is one of the easiest ways to bring yourself down, because it is always the horrible stuff we remember the most(stupid brain). I used to work part time in a kindergarten, and one of the most valueable lessons I found was the total bliss and lust for life that small children have. THAT is what I taught my clients; To take back their lust for life, not by forcing themselves to live up to other rolemodels, but to look forward to their own adventure. You are not Day9, you are not HuK, you are not IdrA. You will never be. And thats an amazing thought! You are your own master, and you can walk down any road you like! Ask yourself: "What keeps me from doing exacly what I want to?" The most likely answer is: "Myself." What you have done in the past will only hurt you if you do it again. Make sure to tell yourself what you will never do again, and then tell yourself what you WILL do. Form your resolve, but base it upon your own courage and independence. Be honest with both yourself and those you love.
Don't try to live up to others, but make your own adventure. Regret is only good for telling yourself what you will never do again. Once you know which things you will never do again, regret turns into wisdom, and wisdom builds character.
Not posting a link to it to avoid wasting other's time, but it's not hard to find. ;)
procrastinating, task conflict again.
Anyway, was just reading this article: http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/09/overcoming-news-addiction/
Not my only source of time-wasting on the net, but one of them.
wasting time on the net again, always getting to work late :(
I really need to be stricter about not even touching the computer in the morning. Maybe in the evening during the week too...
Holidays are starting soon, but that's no reason to stop working now. :/
i am using what's called a "time timer" and it's a red pie that keeps shrinking telling me when i have to leave. that's one tool.
i also have a very hard time transitioning from one topic to another.
in the "P.A. Meeting Materials" link in the upper left there is "PA Tools for Recovery"
these help many people here, including me.
the ones that work best for me are "break it down".
well, that's it. time is up.
fall down seven times, get up eight - japanese proverb
Thanks and congratulations
Thanks and congratulations on respecting your time limit. :)
I'm pretty sure I've seen this list before, but I will now make the effort to quickly comment my experience with each of those tips:
1) Break It Down: I do it sometimes, but often too late and when under pressure. I should do it sooner. I also need to find a better task manager where I can do something like that quickly for simple tasks and with ordered subtasks (not alphabetically ordered like some task managers do it)
2) Visualization: Same, tend to do it at the last minute, when unable to tackle a task
3) Ask Yourself Why: Quite often, it is simple demand-resistance. Apparently I simply need to rethink things, see them as a privilege instead of an obligation. I always ask myself why, but I always fail at seeing things differently, of getting rid of my frustration, my rebellion.
4) Focus on Long-Term Consequences: Also need to get better at that. The bad news is I stopped being afraid, stopped caring. (which should be good news against the feeling of obligation: I know I don't have to do anything, the problem is part of me still has a feeling of duty, of having to do things, even if I don't fear the consequences of failure)
5) Avoid Time Bingeing: One reason procrastinators dread starting is that once they start they don't let themselves stop: Mmh, no, not really for me. I do sometimes get into workaholicmode, where I just can't stop working on something. But I don't dread it. In fact I would like to be in it more often, because it is very effective. What I fear more is indulging in pleasure sometimes, because I have the feeling that once I start, I won't be able to stop and waste a lot of time. So I try to stay away from games, movies, favorite sites, the internet, etc. So I keep denying more and more to myself.
6) Use Small Blocks of Time: Procrastinators often have trouble doing tasks in incremental steps, and wait for big blocks of time that never come. When you have small blocks of time, use them to work on the task at hand.: Yes, I do have that problem.
7) Avoid Perfectionism: Also have this problem. And am also very bad at estimating the time necessary to complete a task or doing tasks within a certain time-limit.
8 ) Keep a Time Log: Started doing that with some automatic logging software, but then I don't look at the logs and it doesn't change anything. I should log what I did during the day manually in my diary. Started it, but lack the discipline to do it daily. Same as with daily planning.
9) Develop Routines: To help structure your day and make a habit of things you always need to do, develop routines for what you do when you wake up, regular tasks of your workday, and what you need to do before going to bed.: I want to do it, but can't decide on a list of things to do. Also lack discipline to go through with it. Flexible working hours, variable workloads and social life don't help. My daily hygiene is a mess.
10) Bookend Tasks and Time: Use the Bookending board on the P.A. Web site to check in throughout the day, or at the beginning or end of specific tasks you are dreading. Details are at the top of the Bookending board (www.procrastinators-anonymous.org).
Huh, where is the "Bookending board"? Is that the daily-checkins section?
Hah, now I successfully completed some of my procrastination tackling over the last hour! I did something "productive". :)
one more thing. i am not aware of a bookending board. people bookend in my experience by posting to the daily check-in thread,
time: starting this
time: finished this
or something like that.
you can edit your own post until someone replies to it. so we try not to reply to other people's posts in daily checkin. But if someone does reply, you can reply to your own post and cut-n-paste and continue updating.
or the site chat which is on a tab at the top.
fall down seven times, get up eight - japanese proverb
breaking down tasks, etc
prokrastemulo, it does seem like you are on your way to recovery!
one of the magical things about AA and our PA and all the *A 12 step forums is that they are built on the premise that if each person shares their particular story, everyone will recover. Even tho no two people are the same, somehow, we all benefit from merging bits and pieces of everyone's sturggle into our own recovery. I love that about this place.
So, for me, i wanted to zero in on the most beneficial pieces of those tools.
and it is the idea of breaking every task up into small bits. This helps in several ways.
1. when i can't get myself started, i can usually break off some small part, even some extremely small part, and do that. When we break things into extremely small parts we call that "microbursting." Like "get out the file" or "log into the banking website." Eg, I cannot face this whole banking issue, but i can face just logging into the website. Then, if i'm still ok, i can navigate to the first place. And i can keep doing very small parts until i get overwhelmed. At the end, at least i have made a little progress, and sometimes i find i could do the whole thing, one small step at a time.
2. Second, i do tend to time binge. I think of tasks in the whole entirety, done to a very high level, and so they are multi-hour blocks of time that i need to allocate, and i never get started.
But, if i break the task up into many parts, then i can do a part with some spare 5 min in my days activities. I have completed whole multi-hour tasks by doing them literatlly no more than 15 min at at time, in say 20 pieces. This is so new for me. maybe only 2 or 3 tasks i've done this, but it's a start.
so those are the big helps for me.
fall down seven times, get up eight - japanese proverb
Glad to talk!
I relate SO much and have so many things to share that I thought maybe a phone call would be nice if you're up for it - wasting time on the internet has become a huge issue for me, too, and I get overwhelmed by email sometimes, or spend time responding at quite the wrong hour (e.g. now at 2:49am), so taking things offline is a nice way for me to invest in my recovery... in daylight hours, when it's a manageable, set aside time to do so!
I'm still working on my recovery, myself, but there are some things that have been working for me lately and I'd be very glad to share them.
Please let me know if you'd like to talk. Or if you're uncomfortable speaking, I can find some time to post additional thoughts in a comment to your thread, which in all honestly I want to procrastinate doing because there is SO much I want to say that it feels overwhelming (yet I'm forcing myself to start and it's coming out!). This is my perfectionism and it's a microcosm of what gets in my way in a million places in my life. Though it may sound counterintuitive, I highly recommend checking out some of the Workaholics Anonymous literature -- they actually have a whole part of their book dedicated to procrastination/"work aversion"/"work anorexia"/"time bingeing" (in a few fellowships people sometimes talk about "time vagueness" or even "time drunkenness"....), and I've found that although my behavior doesn't necessarily manifest in unstoppable productivity, the procrastination is just the flipside of my addiction to binge working, perfectionism, and gradiose thinking. Of course I don't start - I want every project to be the Eiffel Tower with no steps in between, and when I do start I try to build the Eiffel Tower overnight, which exhausts me completely and makes it all the more undesirable and overwhelming to do the next time a project comes around! It's a cycle, and the only way to break it is to start to take one small action to do things differently. In other 12-Step programs I'm in we call this, "contrary action" -- taking the action that's totally contrary to what my mind full of fear wants me to do. And it always gives me momentum to take the next action that leads toward the next and the next, in the direction I want to go. It can feel impossible to start sometimes, but that's where a spiritual solution and the presence of others for support come in.
I guess I've said a lot and it didn't take all that long, so here's to the contrary action of deciding that it didn't have to be perfect and I could type some things out here even if it's not EVERYTHING I think I wanted it to say, or perfectly crafted as I perhaps would have imagined it had I spent an hour writing it out at 3pm.
Please do still feel free to contact me to set up a time to talk. It really helps me to be of service -- reminds me of the things that work and that there REALLY is a solution, even when I forgot and lose touch.
Lots of Love,
Thanks for the offer. Yes, I
Thanks for the offer. Yes, I am a bit uncomfortable speaking. :/
I think I am slightly perfectionist too, but what often happens when I do last minute work, is that I just stop caring and then manage to get "something" done, far from perfect, but something "finished" I can hand in (unless it gets really bad and I just say sorry, couldn't finish it).
If only I could think that way earlier, not care about making things perfect.
I often clearly feel that what makes me procrastinate most is the feeling of obligation.
As soon as I have to do something, no matter how simple/easy/short it is, I avoid it. I hate being forced to do something. My whole body rebels against it. I want to be free.
This led me to find this interesting text today:
I will try to apply some of those suggestions and eventually look at all other tips I can find.
I do it from time to time, and while it is in itself also a form of procrastination, I hope that it will eventually help me find the right method.
Now to finish writing a very simple email and then a work-related task.
Those two tasks, while being urgent in time (if I do them too late, it's too late and I can strike them off anyway), are also not life/job-threatening, so why make such a big deal out of them? Why feel obliged to do them?
I also hate the feeling of "looking for what to do on the net", when I am fully aware that I've only opened my browser because I want to escape reality.
I try to avoid certain sites and then just think of various others I could go to, explore my history/bookmarks or think of something to google for.
Just happened again today. I urgently need a better coping mechanism.
As for the timer, I tried things like leechblock, reminders, etc, which block pages after a certain time or put a countdown on my screen, but it didn't really help so far.
I need to deal with the problem from within. Not excluding new outside tools, but I feel that they alone can't help.
Really related to needing
Really related to needing to solve the problem from within (with the help of tools, but not tools alone...). That's why the 12 steps offer a spiritual solution (spiritual being different than religious, luckily, or all of these programs would have argued and dissolved a long time ago!).
Sounds like you've taken Step One (Admitted we were powerless and that our lives had become unmanageable) and are now taking Step Two (Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity) -- they say this step is hope and I see it in your post! ("I will try to apply some of those suggestions and eventually look at all other tips I can find.I do it from time to time, and while it is in itself also a form of procrastination, I hope that it will eventually help me find the right method.")
Step Three is trust -- they say we can get there by "acting as if". We can act as if we believe these tools and our new attitude (whatever you find that helps, whatever definition of "a Power greater than yourself" works) are truly helping us, even if we don't today. That's the leap of faith we take. I would say I'm on this step in my procrastination recovery and it's WORKING. It's amazing. I'm still stressed and challenged and new at it, but it's working. Will take a look at your wonderwoman link - looks interesting!
RE: the perfectionism, that's the irony of us procrastinators -- we often delay starting so heavily (partly due to perfectionism) that by the time we actually start, we only have time to hand in something that is far less than our capacity had we started earlier. I do it almost every time. Just barely get in something (usually now with many extensions) that feels totally mediocre compared to what I wanted, without even having it reviewed it fully before submitting because I haven't slept and am too tired. I've read that this is actually a tactic of the procrastinator -- that if we postpone like this, we can avoid the risk of experiencing failure by saying that (no matter what we hand in) it could have been better if only we had started earlier and given ourselves time to do our actual best. So, for me, the point of perfectionism is not that my work is perfect -- it's that the intention of perfectionism leads to my acting in ways that are below mediocre - including being late all the time - because I refuse to get a start on something that could just be "good enough".
Hope to keep seeing you here :)
Lots of Love,
Very true about perfectionism
I fully agree about perfectionism, slowpoke. Having the excuse of too little time or effort is always comforting compared to the horror of having tried hard and producing a mediocre result. It's about being hung up on the result of being perfect and not the process of improving. Of course, there's nothing new about my take on the subject.
Work standard "dysmorphia"
Thanks, Vaskaat. What's so funny is that even the stuff I hand in late, or at the last minute that has been slopped together under pressure with no final review, etc., is often seen as high quality work by others. Somehow, this doesn't register in my head as evidence that even a "good enough" job will be good enough the next time. I am taken aback every time I get a great review of my work, or a grade of excellence, and yet I get this feedback almost every time (although at a 9-5 the one critique is always that I arrive late!), and still the next time a difficult task comes up, I can't seem to really put into practice the belief that I can just start out with something simple - just meet the requirements and leave it there, which would allow me to get started and finish more quickly and with a whole lot less anxiety. Actually, without the hurricane of chaos that my life becomes in these moments.
As I see this pattern over and over again, I've come to believe that no amount of positive affirmation from the outside will convince me that my standards for myself are higher than the standards the outside world holds (it's like having a body dysmorphia only with my work output) - I now believe that the faith to let go of the grandiosity that fuels my procrastination really must come from an inner source, a higher power, whatever we want to call it - needs to be a spiritual shift.
Thanks for relating and listening! It's really been helping to write these things on here because in doing the service to share, I get the gift of writing an affirmation for myself, and I get the gift of hearing your shares in response and learning about myself, my disease, and the solution.
Adding in a few
Adding in a few links:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1WC6hNTONg (I wish this were available in text form for faster going-through, because it sounds interesting. Listening to it on the side now)
I think I will be making this my journal and keep posting here.
Maybe I will use the daily-checkins as well eventually. Will see.
I am procrastinating right now obviously, but I from experience, I know that I would probably not be getting things done during this time anyway, so I might as well do something which might help me in the long-term now.
there are many people here who fully understand and believe they suffer from "demand resistance" which is what it sounded like you described for yourself.
it just happened to me 10 min go. I have to clean up from my workout. It's on my schedule. Now was the time (10min ago, that is). But every fiber of my body wanted to resist. Why? I still do not understand this. It's as if i fear some great harm will come to me if i do this thing. But what harm? My mind (my wise self) knows that it is a good thing to do. So even in all the anxiety and stress, i just did it.
This is why i NEED the spiritual component, as slowpoke mentions. I have to have the FAITH to believe what my MIND is telling me, contrary to the overwhelming FEELING i have.
Actually, i just realized i didnt finish that task. I've been distracted today. But still able to focus here and there. Grateful for small miracles.
And that's another thing that's helped me. To accept my repeated failures and still be able to move on. Another reason why i need GOD in the program, so i can receive his forgiveness and be restored so i can try again with no baggage from past failures. That's HUGE for me.
fall down seven times, get up eight - japanese proverb
Yea for faith as we each understand it, and for acceptance!
Hi Clement. Awesome to hear from you and to hear how we all express and practice our faith and relationship with our Higher Powers of our own understanding. I love it.
You were the first person to ever respond to me on this forum a couple of years ago and I really appreciate it!
For me (and my perspective is always evolving), I think the reason I stop in my tracks when that moment comes up when it's the time for me to clean up, or wash the dishes, or get out of bed to shower, or fill-in-the-blank, it's because I think the task has to be so damn big. I'm so thorough and - the P word - PERFECTIONISTIC - in all of my tasks that they become overwhelming and I don't want to do them, OR, my mind makes them look so big (for me, I use "mind" as the word for my neanderthal-level brain that functions at the level of reaction to craving and fear) that of COURSE I don't want to do them! I really think that THAT is my disease -- a brain that's wired in such a way that it thinks small things are actually 50x their size. That is what I'm coming to believe I am powerless over; what I do believe I have power over is the choice to meditate and to build awareness of my thoughts - an opportunity to literally rewire my brain - and the choice to surround myself with others who are healing and on a path of self-awareness and willingness to change.
I have the choice to set an intention to be open to new behaviors -- I'm finally finding after a fair number of years in these programs that when I tell myself I "must not" do something for x amount of time, it's too overwhelming and the first thing I want to do is DO them, or in our case, we tell ourselves we MUST do something and then the first thing we want to do is NOT do them! So now I'm being careful to use the word "intention" -- for me, it feels meaningful but gentle and takes off so much of the pressure that makes me crazy.
Anyhow, we all find the things that work for us, and for me, different things work at different times. I'm just grateful to be able to share here and to honor our accomplishments and take solace in our common struggles.
emily "slowpoke" (I am one and am starting to embrace that it's part of me :) )
thanks for that slowpoke
hi i did not remember that i had replied. Often people come, post, and someone replies, and they never come back. I am always praying and hoping that newcomers will stay, or at least find comfort and hope and recovery either here or somewhere else. As i'm praying for prokrastemulo who's thread we are borrowing ;) And it's SO encouraging to me when people do stay and recvoer. Like you, so, thanks for that encouragement!
i really dont think i know how my mind works totatlly yet. i am figuring it out over time and i know more than before. And, again, to find my mind working so strangely, and to find people here who are in the same boat, it's great blessing and great hope for me.
so i have to think about what you said. My mind also thinks things are way huge-er than they really are. But i think i have times when i resist even small tasks. Or maybe i am treating them like large tasks? that's what i have to go observe in myself.
in fact, that *same* task i was talking about earlier in this thread--i have to do that again. Putting away some clothes and hanging some stuff up. It does feel ominous, altho i KNOW it's small. hmmmm.
as for "intention" and "must do" and all that. i'm in even more of learning phase with all that. Today's a good day. I can make intentions and use the tools when i get stuck. But i have bad days when i dont seem to have any motivation to help myself. Those are the days where i feel like someone/thing/spirit has to help me. Those are days where "powerless" seems to fit so well. And those days never last. Something happens to pull me out of them. I attribute that to God and am grateful for being rescued. I dont know if everyone here has those abject hopeless days. That doesnt seem as common around here. We're all different, but as it says on the top of the home page:
"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."
fall down seven times, get up eight - japanese proverb
I'm still here. But haven't
I'm still here. But haven't made much progress so far.
I'm feeling a bit depressed at the moment, having no motivation for anything at all.
It's like a vicious cycle: getting nothing done depresses me and depression prevents me from getting anything done.
And I'm again faced with 2 important tasks, one of which requires me to make a choice, which I do not want to make, so I procrastinate it... But because the task with a choice feels more urgent, I get nothing done.
Attempting to do it now. It doesn't matter that much, so I should just get it over with.
If it's not done in the next 30 minutes, I should switch to the other work task and wait to get home to complete the other one.
Mission 1 complete. Now back
Mission 1 complete. Now back to work. Other non-work related tasks will have to wait.
I should try coming here more often when faced with tasks to complete. :)
re: depression and procrastination
boy do i know that feeling too. i am often too depressed to have motivation and i experience that very same vicious cycle. The putting things off depresses me more.
I currently have found no way out of the deepest blackest pit of depression and lack of motivation. There is an idea that i use at that time from my faith: "Wait on the Lord." The idea is there is, in fact, nothing i can do to help myself. A 3rd party has to let me down a rope before i can even start to pull myself out. And, so far, a rope of some kind has always been provided. Something has always happened to shed just a little light, to give me just a little hope, so that i can take a little step. And that step almost always prodces more hope and more motivation.
The things that happen are all over the map. Sometimes, unexplicably, a faint positive feeling goes thru my mind. Often i think to myeslf, "i know it won't help, but i could probably catch up at procrastinatorsanonymous.org." Sometimes it's breaking a task down to it's tiniest parts and doing the first one, with no hope of suceeding. But then i do get a slight bit done. Sometimes a friend contacts me, and it encourages me. Or a family member picks up my spirits. Or i hear a christian song that inspires me. Etc, etc. SOMETHING happens, and then i get on a positive track.
I would like to hear how it goes for you. It sounds like coming to this forum got you going this time?
btw i also relate to having to make a choice, and having that stop me.
Also, i am hear becuase i myself am stuck right now. A task is harder / more steps than i thot, and it's getting me down. I really dont want it to take that long, cuz i have something else i have to do also, and i get blocked. It's illogical (especially sounding that way to me as i write this out) but that's the way my brain works :P
And see i read the story of another struggler / recoverer and i feel encouraged. That's how this place works for many.
fall down seven times, get up eight - japanese proverb
It helps me too. Just coming here and posting that I am stuck gets me unstuck most of the time.
Be confident. Stay focused. One thing at a time.