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  • PRocrastination and actual treatment.
  • Premier Icon joshvegas
    Subscriber

    I am a procrastinator big time its cost my christ knows how much in terms of where I could be right now but it definitely killed one degree attempt and has caused heeps of stress at various times. I did pretty well at school but never had to try.

    I’m talking real precrastination where even simple things won’t get done not just the stuff I don’t want to do it took me 3 months to cancel the car tax ffs and thats 30 seconds on the phone! I miss bike rides because I put off getting ready until its too late. I’m no to bad if i surprise myself and start something but can procrastinate finishing it indefinitely.

    “just **** do it”
    “be organised” etc are all well and good but just leave me looking at the list and not doing it

    … Can you get counselling for procrastination? A pill would be even better!

    There are plenty of people in worse situations than I am but I would like to be better for my own well being and I would love to better to be around!

    Share your own procrastination pain. Give me your own special brew hot tips etc.

    tdog
    Member

    Yes the one thing that pisses me off is time taken getting suited & booted for a ride

    I feel like it takes me longer than my crazy ex took to look presentable 🤣

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    You sound like me. Not found a solution other than head clearing and concentrating.

    Premier Icon joshvegas
    Subscriber

    Concentration Molgrips?!

    My other weakness. Honestly put my in a room with nothing but a simple task and I’ll put it off by studying the walls!

    Premier Icon riklegge
    Subscriber

    I’ve always been quite bad for procrastinating. I found that achieving some small tasks helped, as I enjoyed the feeling of ticking something off the list which made me want to keep doing things.

    I also find deadlines help, so give myself deadlines to achieve things, then make sure there’s some reward for having hit the deadline.

    Riding wise, it can be tricky to motivate yourself sometimes, but if your bag is kept packed, bike always clean and ready to go, and riding kit kept together and easy to find then at least when you fancy a ride there’s less faff.

    Premier Icon colournoise
    Subscriber

    I’ve convinced myself it’s a positive thing. I’m not totally convinced that’s healthy though.

    I put pretty much everything (personal and professional) off until absolutely necessary, but I recognise that and now accept that most things will be a last minute rush to get done, and (rightly or wrongly) now kind of enjoy the rush.

    If stuff gets done by the point it needs to, does it really matter if it’s done early or at the last minute?

    involver
    Member

    I found this useful:

    Longer version:

    Why Procrastinators Procrastinate

    How to Beat Procrastination

    The Procrastination Matrix

    The ideas of The Dark Playground and The Panic Monster resonate with me in particular.

    Premier Icon feed
    Subscriber

    Maybe you’re just lazy, no harm in that 🙂

    Though seriously, the ride one is easy, get everything ready the night before, and by everything I mean everything. So you just have to put your helmet on and cycle or hop in the car and drive.

    Similar to yourself I find it really hard to do stuff such as mundane clerical tasks, car tax, tax returns etc. In all fairness , who the hell wants to do stuff like that.

    I have to do probate for my parents’ estate, the thoughts of the paper work drudgery !!!!

    The only way I can do it is to put a date on it. As in, I’m doing it this Saturday and consciously deny myself all distractions (such as mtb forums etc) until it’s done. I remind myself that even though it’d painful to do it there is a sense of satisfaction to having completed the task.

    For me lists help, tasks to do, satisfaction from crossing them off the list.

    involver
    Member

    Maybe you’re just lazy, no harm in that 🙂

    In my experience it’s often much more complicated than that. It’s not actually fun being a procrastinator. It’s stressful, frustrating and can have very real impact on your life.

    tdog
    Member

    Rick’s right, small tasks such as being tickled and tickling helps no end to relax …

    Premier Icon csb
    Subscriber

    Try to focus on the outcome rather than the task, envision the future state if you like. Then treat the journey as a set of tasks to be ticked off.

    Ever been tested for adhd? Some pretty classic symptoms there.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    Interesting thread, definitely an issue I have and I’d love to improve how I deal with it.

    Been easy to blame it on kids and other family priorities, but the amount of time I waste online….

    Premier Icon joshvegas
    Subscriber

    Some good stuff folks!

    Re laziness…. I am aware that was tongue in cheek! I have been honest with myself and never come to the conclusion that I am infacet probably the opposite. I genuinely want to be doing stuff always!

    Ever been tested for adhd?

    No I’ve not, not even sure how you do! It is something I’ve considered.

    neilco
    Member

    Try Kanban lists on something like float.com

    twinw4ll
    Member

    How long before you wrote this thread?

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    CBT is good for procrastination.  In an extreme referred to as “intolerance of uncertainty” once you realise you cannot control everything, you are not in control of everything and you cannot predict everything life does become more bearable.  Also, see a removal of “what if?” Type questions.

    Nothing can’t be un-done.  Sometimes it can’t be put back the way it was but you need to accept that the risk of taking a leap to a decision may also lead to a really happy experience / outcome rather than a negative one.

    If you are just a bit lazy then this is a good, quick read (it is pretty short):

    But what you describe does sound more like ADHD due to your concentration comment so is worth speaking to the doctor about as it sounds like it affects your life (not completing a degree) and they can send you to get tested

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    I recognise what Kryton refers to. I’ve mentioned my “organisational anxiety” already on another thread and this fear of “what if” is what leads me to procrastinate. As a very basic/common example, many of us suffer from a weather/conditions related doubt about going riding, imagining all sorts of suffering if the weather is shit. Being out riding is rarely (if ever) as bad as we imagine, but it’s hard to reconcile that each time. Now imagine that sort of thought process throughout your daily life, it would affect your work, all of your shopping, travel etc. You try to compensate by over-organising, trying to forsee every possible scenario and coming up with a plan to deal with it but that takes forever and there is always a nagging doubt.

    Premier Icon Rich_s
    Subscriber

    I found this useful:

    Looks good – I’ll watch that later.

    konagirl
    Member

    Yes you can get counselling for procrastination. Also CBT, mindfulness etc as well as planning tools like mind mapping and breaking up tasks. But what you’ve said sounds more like avoidance. In many development disorders e.g. high functioning autism or ADHD, there are a range of both social and executive function issues that look like procrastination. See this nice read describing one example: musingsofanaspie

    Not necessarily to get a diagnosis, but it might be helpful to read up about adhd, autism and other conditions. If you recognise a lot of the traits in yourself, it at least focuses what tools or approaches work for that condition, and it gives you precise search terms (e.g. executive function or social anxiety rather than procrastination). And if you did go for a diagnosis it helps occupational therapists identify things that might work for you.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    OP – I recognise those symptoms to a certain extent in myself and more so in somebody in my family.

    I would second the ADHD suggestion, though don’t expect the process of getting a diagnosis as an adult to be quick.

    Personally I don’t have any problem getting out riding, on the contrary I think I use that a means of procrastinating over less appealing life tasks (he types, while sat on a MTB forum in work time in his untidy home office).

    faerie
    Member

    I find that there’s just so much that needs to be done that I don’t know where to start, so I don’t. It’s worse when I have a busy schedule and missing a chore or two a day can build into what looks like a full time job to sort. I often feel overwhelmed by even the simplest of tasks, like doing the laundry from basket to wardrobe. My biggest motivation to get out on the bike is when I have the opportunity to do the tasks, they are often my best rides and by the time I get back it’s too late to start. Then they build up and I don’t know what to prioritise, I can’t do the laundry because there’s some on the dryer, more in the machine and some ready to go in in front of it, so I can’t do the floor. I can’t hoover the kids room because toys are on the floor but I can’t put them away because they broke the shelves using them as ladders playing Lava.
    So.
    I start with the dishes. Just a drainer full, then maybe a coffee. Then take the cup back, put away the now dry dishes and wash the rest. 1 job done.
    As I take the clothes out of the machine, I put clothes on hangers which can sometimes even dry in the wardrobe, if not then it saves space on the airer for the stuff that needs to go in drawers as I just hang them from the top rail.
    Then I start on the living room, just piling up papers, books, remotes… Another coffee compliments this task, before the piles get deposited near to where they are supposed to be. Then I can hoover and begin on the bathrooms, all just one little step at a time.
    I get more motivated by seeing the visible results and it helps to then clear my mind to be able to focus on the bigger issues that need addressing.
    Of course, I’m sitting writing this instead of doing any of the above… But I have piled all the Christmas artwork on the coffee table and I’m going to do the dishes when I finish this cup. Oh! Look, there’s a bird in the garden 🤣
    Just start with what you can do, don’t beat yourself up as it’s just wasting energy that you could be using to be happier

    I also suffer hugely with this. I managed to fudge a couple of degrees and a reasonable career without doing much work at all.

    However, when I had my mid life crisis and went back to uni (med school) it became apparent that something wasn’t quite right.

    I’d also echo the adhd assessment but have a think about what you want from it. Also be aware that an educational assessment is very different to a medical assessment. I’ve had both… feel free to PM me if you want any more info.

    I’m not sure there are any easy answers – it affects my studies massively and I literally don’t ride or do any exercise unless I know I’ve got to meet someone at a specific time.

    Planning your day the night before (In detail) and using the pomodoro technique can be useful. Also, just being aware that you can be distracted can help in the midst of an “episode”.
    I’ve had started reflecting on things I’ve done and asked whether it was the right use of my time – I’ve tried to start to identify when I have that feeling of the “dark playground” as per the links above.

    My most impressive procrastination has been deciding that the drive needed jet washing urgently on the day of an assessment :-/

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    As a very basic/common example, many of us suffer from a weather/conditions related doubt about going riding, imagining all sorts of suffering if the weather is shit. Being out riding is rarely (if ever) as bad as we imagine, but it’s hard to reconcile that each time.

    Scotroute posts a very first world example – this is a positive thing bear with me – but it basically comes down to this;

    As cavemen we were design to think “What if there’s and angry Bear outside”?    As modern Human Being’s we multiply that by the many thousands more tasks, opportunties and decisions we have on a daily basis.

    So next time ask your self the proverbial “What if there isn’t an angry Bear outside?”  Because you don’t really know that there is…  right?

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    My most impressive procrastination has been deciding that the drive needed jet washing urgently on the day of an assessment :-/

    Haha. I bought a jet washer about 3 years ago, have only done about 5 sq m of the drive so far.

    philjunior
    Member

    I’ve always been a procrastinator. I think a lot of it comes from the uncertainty of whatever task you are about to undertake. If it’s a routine task there is the uncertainty of whether the boredom can be tolerated!

    I am better now, and can limit my procrastination to a tolerable degree. But sometimes it’s needed just to mull things over in my subconscious, I’m not going to get too upset about it.

    Ways in which I’ve got better:

    – Started riding more as a grad in London. Had to get up even if I had a hangover or I’d miss the day’s ride. Obviously worth it, got me drinking a bit less too which was no bad thing.

    – Final year of uni, first semester I left everything until the last minute and had a very stressful Christmas. Got what I needed done (I’m pretty determined once I get stuck into things). Made sure I did a bit every day in the final semester, only had to work one weekend and even then only due to servers being struck by lightning.

    – Kids coming along. You don’t **** about when you’re about to go for a ride once you have kids waiting about. When the opportunity shows its head, you chuck some clothes on and go. And you don’t worry about the weather. I’ve had some hilarious descents in pouring rain!

    – Oh, and, after getting a load of shit from the kids’ mum whenever doing up the house, I’m starting to get back on with that sort of thing 2 years after she moved out. I genuinely do still have bad feelings about it (maybe not a bear lurking in the paint tin, but a lot of resentment about the hostility I got for trying to provide a nice house for the ex and the kids), but the new gf is generally better about these things.

    – And finally… I’ve had enough bike rides missed due to grabbing a bike and finding it doesn’t work to know that cleaning and maintaining are activities you do *as soon as you get back home*, or as soon as you notice a problem.

    So, as it’s Christmas I thought I’d share some of my most epic procrastinations/distractions ..

    Trying to revise for critical exams at home… notice a massive bag of socks…
    1hr 15 mins spent pairing socks. Exam failed

    Working from home, thinking about procrastination- 1hr Googling procrastination, 1.5hrs reading an academic paper on inattentive type ADHD. Ohhh the irony. Ended up failing that exam too :-/

    Driving home from dropping kids off at school/nursery – desperately needed to study but my brain said “noooo going on a tour of Derbyshire scrapyards for a new rear boot lid badge for car is more important”

    Washing machine died whilst working from home. Instead of paying AO to deliver one and take old one I decided it was best to spend 4 hrs removing old machine, finding a scrap yard I could take it to, then wandering around currys until I found a new machine I could squeeze into my car to take home and install… course work ended up being done 10 mins before deadline.

    At uni – spent four weeks trying to make appointments with multiple tutors (6+) in order to figure out how to study, rather than actually do any studying.

    I’m now sat on the bed half dressed, typing this when Mrs RRR took the kids out so I can do some work :-/ no work has been done.

    My brain will try to find ANYTHING to do to avoid work and it’s so odd how it’s only afterwards I see how ridiculous it is…

    No I’ve not, not even sure how you do! It is something I’ve considered.

    You could start by googling self assessment tools, like the ASRS. Some are better than others but they’ll give you a bit of a guide. Then follow up with your GP, or better yet, see if there is a specialist in your area. Lots of non-specialist types still don’t believe it exists. The amount of ignorance around it is astounding.

    Premier Icon colournoise
    Subscriber

    cromolyolly
    You could start by googling self assessment tools, like the ASRS

    Not seen that before. Interesting. Scored a 7 with fairly conservative answers. Long before ADHD ‘existed’ I was labelled hyperactive as a kid by our GP.

    https://www.mdcalc.com/adult-self-report-scale-asrs-adhd

    When my SAD kicks in badly, I feel completely drained and when I’m exhausted, my stress management is even worse than normal.

    I went to bed on Saturday, knowing the weather looked like it was going to be dry, despite the weather warning… So I put all my cycling gear I’d probably need in the hall before going to bed, so I wouldn’t be rumaging around in the dark bedroom the next morning. But unusually for me, I slept in until ~0830 and felt no better for it!

    Chaining strong coffees one after another wasn’t waking me and I simply couldn’t decide on a route, got anxious about my lack of 30+ outdoor mile rides for months, my single sprocket and how my legs would cope tackling multiple cat4 hills etc. Then the odd shower erupted from near Winchester around 12ish and blew through, by the time they stopped it was gone 2 and that only left two hours before it would be pitch black.

    Didn’t seem worth the effort for one, maybe two cat4 hills at a push and then come home.

    Then beat myself up for the rest of the day for once again letting my anxieties get in the way of going out for a ride. 🙁

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    I’m the world’s worst for “I’ll just…”

    Yes, I’ll do the laundry. But first I’ll just check my email, hit refresh on STW and Facebook, catch up with the world a bit. Then I’ll just make a brew. Brew in hand, I’ll just check the Internet again. And round and round we go.

    At a conference I attended years ago they were selling assorted books and there was one entitled “Dealing with Procrastination.” I thought about buying it, then realised I’d probably never get around to actually reading it.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    In fact, I’ve got to get ready to go out tonight. First though I’ll just write this post here.

    michaelmcc
    Member

    Yes how long did you put off typing this thread for??

    There is also the WSR- II and WFIRS-S and SNAP-V-26

    Iirc one of the really good indicators is the test, I forget the name, where they flash the name of a colour in a colour, either matching the name or not. You have to identify the colour that is being named, not the colour the letters are written in. People with eg ADHD, don’t do well in that test because it requires well functioning inhibitory circuits, which they tend not to have..

    airvent
    Member

    I can identify with a huge amount of the above, sadly no real treatment I know of. To be honest writing this reply i nearly stopped bothering half way through typing it out.

    Steelfreak
    Member

    I am a massive procrastinator (motto: don’t do today what you can put off ’till tomorrow). Forget ‘medical’ diagnoses, it’s just part of the normal range of human character traits. (Not all of us are hyper-productive demi-gods!) Having said that, it does help to find a strategy that works for you.

    One key thing I found helpful was to understand what motivates me. My main driver is ‘fear of failure’ (rather that ‘desire for success’). This means I put off important tasks for fear of messing them up (rather than rushing to do them as ‘stepping stones’ to success). Leaving things until the last minute usually creates enough pressure to force me to act. When it works well, it turns a dull activity into an exciting challenge that helps me to focus on the task in hand. The risk is that the pressure can morph into stress, misery and depression.

    Boredom is another factor. Most ‘routine’ tasks of modern life are just plain dull, so it’s no wonder some of us indulge in displacement activities to distract ourselves from the crushing tedium of modern existence.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Is that you Marvin?

    UrbanHiker
    Member

    Reading this, I wonder if there would be much interest in a STW:ProcrastinationBeatingClub2020? Social contract is one of the things that apparently helps. Or should we just put it off till 2010?

    FWIW, on that test earlier in the thread I scored a probably unhealthy 8 with conservative answers!

    FWIW2, yes, I’m procrastinating. At the moment the job I’m putting off is to start wrapping Christmas presents!

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    For me, the issue is that I don’t really want to do stuff. It’s extremely difficult to make myself do something I don’t want to do. My brain is like a cat.

    My main motovation is doing stuff for other people – if someone else needs it, then I will do it. For riding, arranging with other people gives me this motivation. Likewise at work, if someone else needs something done then I will work ceaselessly. However if it’s for my own career progression or upskilling or something then my mind just wanders. There’s a reason I’m one of the biggest posters on here.

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