rivka: (her majesty)
[personal profile] rivka
I just made a sign on a post-it note and taped it to the bottom of my monitor.

PROCRASTINATING MAKES ME FEEL:

- sluggish
- tired
- guilty
- anxious
- fraudulent
- hunted
- ashamed
- trapped


I've dug myself into a pretty deep procrastination/avoidance hole here at work. Today, for the first time in a while, I'm feeling as if I may be able to dig myself out. I'm trying a new strategy that involves a blank sheet of paper numbered 1 to 5. Making a to-do list is intensely anxiety-provoking because of the sheer weight of things to be done. This is a list that asks me to fill it up with things that are finished. That seems to be working better.

I'm trying not to think about what a drop in the bucket each set of five things is. Step by step.

Date: 2011-11-30 08:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nelc.livejournal.com
I think I resemble this post. The 'Done' list sounds such a good idea, though, I must do it. I'll put it on my 'To do' list... oh....

Date: 2011-11-30 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] janetmiles.livejournal.com
That's a really excellent idea, and I am glad it's working for you.

Date: 2011-11-30 08:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] johnpalmer.livejournal.com
Oof. I hope things get better for you; I understand that trap all too well.

One thing that helps me is to do something - *anything* - that I know I can do. It does have to be relevant. I mean, maybe I need to clear my desk and make coffee or tea, but that kind of thing might get me moving, but it's not what I mean.

I was working on a big project to set up database restores. I was futzing with it, and not moving on it, and I finally stopped trying to *design* the solution, and said "I know I need a small script to build the restore command and run it." So I did just that.

That was a huge bit of logjam breaking for me. My lack of progress was hampering my confidence, and doing something that restored my confidence started me making progress.

Not sure if that helps, but I did want to share.

Date: 2011-11-30 09:16 pm (UTC)
platypus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] platypus
I could have written that very same list, and I feel equally overwhelmed. I may adopt your done-things list as well.

Date: 2011-11-30 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rivka.livejournal.com
I could have written that very same list

In my head, I think that actually tackling the work will be stressful and awful, and that procrastination is giving me a break or a reprieve. Multiple instances of evidence to the contrary aren't sinking in, so I'm hoping that reading the list several times per workday will help.

Date: 2011-11-30 09:19 pm (UTC)
ext_6418: (Default)
From: [identity profile] elusis.livejournal.com
Oy, I need to take this whole post to heart.

Date: 2011-11-30 09:20 pm (UTC)
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
From: [personal profile] brainwane (from livejournal.com)
I'm with you -- good luck.

Date: 2011-11-30 09:33 pm (UTC)
ailbhe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ailbhe
That's exactly why I always start my to-do lists with the things I have already done! I do hope it works for you.

I also write out to do lists so that I can identify the easiest, quickest things and knock those off the list first, and I KEEP the list of crossed-off things around, to remind myself that I DO things.

You've been having quite a time lately. Here's wishing you strength and perseverance to get you through.

Date: 2011-12-01 01:13 am (UTC)
eeyorerin: A Lego minifigure of a person wearing a penguin suit. (weeprofessor)
From: [personal profile] eeyorerin
Oh I hear you.

I am okay with to-do lists sometimes as long as I break each task down into tiny increments so that I have things to cross off. (Like part of my "revise article" checklist included tasks like "find the draft of the article in the disorganized folder of research writing on your network drive" and "Open the file and verify that it's the final version you created" and "Make a list of content that needs to be added to the article" as opposed to just "Revise article.")

Date: 2011-12-01 07:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tassie-gal.livejournal.com
Sigh - I can relate so much. My cope strategy? Pomodoro timers. Seriously its amazing how much you can do in 25 minutes concerted effort when you know you are allowed 5 minutes at the end to futz, and after every 4 you get a longer break.

What has changed?

Date: 2011-12-05 05:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bosssio.livejournal.com
Question: what has changed from before? You were remarkably productive before your move/being under Lydia's thumb.

I suspect (because I can be like this too) that some of your productivity before was being told you CAN'T or you SHOULDN'T- that self-righteous anger and desire to prove yourself against the naysayers is incredibly powerful. It also allows you to take risks, because the expectations for your performance are so low, anything you do is an improvement.

It is different when everyone is saying how wonderful you are and how they expect great things from you. Then the stakes are so damned high - it feels like nothing you can do is good enough. Fear of failure becomes enormously overwhelming, especially when the core reasons for failure are solely your own ability.

This is a trap a lot of women especially fall into. We are not used to being supported and promoted and it feels terrifying, rather than exhilarating. We suddenly feel like frauds and everyone will figure out how stupid/incompetent/useless we really are. Procrastination is a common form of self-protection - because if you screw up it is because of the procrastination, not because of your efforts. Procrastination has the added benefit of feeling bad.

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