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Topic: Procrastination but worse.

17 posts, 0 answered
  1. Spl spl
    Spl spl avatar
    13 posts
    29 April 2018

    Hey, figured I'd post here since I just need some advice on this problem.

    So, in highschool I was your typical procrastinator. Just before a deadline, I got that sense of panic which would push me to work hard and finish an assignment. Only over time that really started to dim. That panic I felt at the deadline became less and less of a deal because every time without fail, I would get it done, so I started pushing things off later and later. And every time I would feel even less stress. So much that even if I failed one or two things, it really wasn't a big deal to me. Then Yr 12 rolled around and I was just ignoring semester-long assignments left and right, even if they were part of classes that were important/that I enjoyed, because the deadline wasn't a big deal to me anymore. I didn't care anymore. Not as a pessimistic attitude thing, the stress just stopped registering, so I felt no need to do it.

    This habit became natural to the point where if I saw that something huge was due, I knew that I would just fail it anyway, so I gave up before I even started. It wasn't even procrastination at that point I just straight up didn't do it. Which is a problem for me right now. Because now even if I desperately want to do something, I just can't do it. And if I need to do something I don't necessarily want to do, the stakes are even worse. And because if I get (or got) paid occasionally to do Things for people, and I don't do them by the deadline, then it kind of becomes an even bigger problem. Not even the law can stop me at this point. It's like my panic button is broken. I need advice on how to stop giving up before I even start.

    Anyway, reason I was motivated to post this is because there's this project Im doing due in about 5 hours and it's not done, and physically can't be finished in the next five hours. I'm pretty much doomed and it sucks since I really wanted to do this project since its something I'm personally interested in, and I cleared my whole schedule for this past week to complete it, and I made a schedule for it, and I was productive for about a day and then - bam. Flat out avoidance. Total apathy despite this literally being an opportunity I've waited for all year. I stopped feeling anything. Help would be appreciated.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Chloe_M
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    29 April 2018 in reply to Spl spl

    Hi spl spl,

    First, thank you for posting. We will try and help you as best we can 🙂

    So high school is not the be all or end all. It's important, yes, but not as important as other things. I think you were just getting too confident in your abilities. You may have been thinking, I do this every time, I'll be fine. Although for most people, they would have stopped come year 12 and the final exams.

    So soon after I see you have said you just gave up before you started. You're right that's not procrastinating. You didn't even make the effort. I'm sorry, I'm don't know why this is, but I think I know a way to at least improve your work ethic and getting things done in time.

    So, to prevent procrastination on my assignments, I set a specific date and time and time period I will do the work in. I then give myself little brain breaks of about 5mins every half hour or so. This keeps me on top of things and balanced.

    I reckon that would work, and I see that you tried something like that and it didn't work. That you just gave up. It's like you have no hope left. (Sorry if that was a bit blunt). Hmmm. I'll think on it.

    In the meantime, there is a great thread by romantic_thi3f about study tips. I can post the link to the thread if you'd like.

    I would also consider seeing a counsellor or something to help you get some study tips, and to learn how to manage your workload, also some professional guidance as we can't give you that here.

    Take care of yourself and enjoy the weekend x

    Chloe 🙋🏽

  3. Spl spl
    Spl spl avatar
    13 posts
    29 April 2018 in reply to Chloe_M

    Hey Chloe, thanks for the reply :)

    I feel like I wasn't clear enough with the high school thing sorry, I'm saying that in high school is where I picked up the habit, and now that I'm out of high school it's become a problem with work & other opportunities. It's almost like I'm sabotaging my life now which is what made me post.

    You're right, I have tried a lot of techniques like that in the past, but I really can't gather up the energy for any kind of incentive. I'm kind of at my wits end here. Yes I have seen my psychologist with this problem and she gave me a schedule, which didn't work out. I just flat out avoided it even though I wanted to do it. I didn't feel any kind of panic or disappointment after I didn't do what I was meant to do. So I'm seeking any other kind of advice.

    I wouldn't mind seeing link to romantic_thi3f's study tips, it could be helpful :) Thanks.

    Take care of yourself as well, cheers.

    -Spl

  4. quirkywords
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    29 April 2018 in reply to Spl spl

    Spl spl,

    Welcome the forum.

    hanks for explaining things.

    This is the link. If it doesn't work just type in study tips into the search box on the website.

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/permalink/qnWDpnHzvGGEbv8AAOnT_A

    I can relate to procrastinating and avoidance but I tend to thrive under pressure and I do care if I don't finish something on time.

    Are you lacking motivation. I am wondering is there any negative consequence if you don't finish /start a project or an assignment? Or if you could give yourself a reward for tackling an assignment , would that help.

    I know if I can't see a reason to do something I will avoid. I am thinking if you are studying or at work if you avoid doing projects etc wouldn't that effect your studied or your work? I may be confused here, just trying to help.

    Quirky

  5. Spl spl
    Spl spl avatar
    13 posts
    29 April 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky, thanks for the link! Overall it wasn't anything I hadn't heard before but very good things to keep in mind.

    Sorry for being vague about what I'm doing, I understand your confusion. Basically I'm at uni, doing some commissions on the side (particularly with this project which is right down the line of my interests and something I wanted to do) yet can't bring myself to do anything. Yes, that has affected my study and work but no major consequences yet. I did avoid a lot of things back in high school since I didn't find a reason they were important, and I think that's the same thing going on here, while logically I understand the importance of study and work, my brain is just not registering the things I need/want to do, so it doesn't get done.

    Thanks for the tip on rewards, I have tried that in the past however it just wasn't enough of a push for me unfortunately.

    Yeah, there are negative consequences for not finishing these things, things like not getting the money, letting people down, letting my reputation suffer, the 'public embarrassment' kind of side to it all, since people know I was meant to do this. However while I would logically care about that, and know that other people's time is important, inside I'm just ignoring that and do not care. Not to be mean or rude, more that it's just not registering as something I ever needed to do.

    I wouldn't say it's a motivation thing..? It's more like you could have my family at gunpoint, tell me you'll give me a million bucks and have the task itself be the easiest, most interesting thing to do in the world and I still wouldn't do it. Not in a passive aggressive attitude way, but more in a "I'm not finding this to be important, so I'm not putting my time into this" sort of way. Even if I actively want to do the task it's stupidly hard. Overall I'm more prepared to deal with the consequences of failing, in fact I expect myself to fail, instead of doing the task itself.

    I keep forgetting to mention this but I do have anxiety so that's why this total lack of stress is so alienating to me. I have depression as well so this is probably that but I still need advice. Thanks for the help so far.

    -Spl

  6. Chloe_M
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    29 April 2018 in reply to Spl spl

    Spl,

    As expected, it would have affected your work and study, but I'm glad it hasn't affected anything majorly. This may mean that we have more of a chance at turning this around than you might have thought.

    You weren't being rude; I understand what you mean. it was important but your brain didn't actually register it as such. I also get what you say with the 'whole family at gunpoint' analogy. You feel as if the task isn't worth your time. So you're not going to do it and you can't actually change that way of thinking.

    i have anxiety and depression too, and I reckon that having anxiety but not actually being stressed by the prospect of failure and deadlines and assignments would be super weird.

    I may have mentioned this in my previous post, but have you considered seeing a professional? Not a psych, but maybe your gp or a counsellor?

    x hope you had a good weekend,

    chloe

  7. quirkywords
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    30 April 2018 in reply to Spl spl

    Spl,

    THanks for your detailed response. Sometimes it is hard on here to understand the full story so it is helpful to have more information.

    It must be frustrating for you because you do want to change as you have asked for help.

    You can rationally explain how you feel and your thought processes .

    THe not feeling and not caring can be part of the depression.

    I am interested in what happened with the project that was due in.

    I am wondering how long has this not caring feeling been part of your life.

    Quirky

    I can see you care or would not have posted here.

  8. Emily2018
    Emily2018 avatar
    1 posts
    1 May 2018 in reply to Spl spl

    Hi Spl spl,

    I just signed up to BeyondBlue and this is the first post I've read and I can honestly say I've never related to anything so much in my life. I'm smart. Like really smart. Because of this I was able to get away with putting absolutely no effort in at school, handing things in late or unfinished or even not at all, but I still got away with decent grades.

    I'm in my second year of uni now (I dropped out of my first year in a different degree) and even though I'm now doing a degree that I'm interested in and that could lead to a career that I want, I find myself doing the same thing as at school. I'm also a competitive horse rider and I've competed at national level. I love it so much but for the past three years I've barely trained and I just don't go to competitions that I've been looking forward to, even though I've already paid hundreds of dollars to enter.

    I've been accepted to study overseas which I want to do more than anything in the world but I still haven't organised anything (passport, visa, flights). Even though I know I need to do it, it's like I'm numb and no matter how much I try to motivate myself I just don't do it.

    I'm at an absolute loss but I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone. Your example about having your family held at gunpoint and still not doing anything is exactly how I feel. I would love to hear if you find anything that helps :)

    1 person found this helpful
  9. Chloe_M
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    1 May 2018 in reply to Emily2018

    Good evening Emily and welcome to the BB forums! Glad to have you around, I hope you find friends, support and comfort here :)

    As a new poster, have a wonder around the different forums, you will meet some wonderful, beautiful souls here willing to help you. There are many threads also where we talk about light, fluffy stuff to take our minds off of our MH (mental health) issues and get to know each other.

    Another thing- as well as posting here, it would be beneficial to start your own thread if you want to, as it would draw the attention of more people as they would see its a new thread with a possibly new poster.

    I'm glad you're able to relate to Spl here, I hope you 2 are able to talk and find ways to help each other as your experiences with high school and uni sound similar.

    xx take care of yourself and be kind

    Chloe

    Spl hey, how's it going? How has today treated you? Here to talk if you need me x

  10. quirkywords
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    1 May 2018 in reply to Chloe_M

    Spl spl,

    It is interesting to read Emily's post. Iam thinking there maybe be quite a few people who relate to you.

    Emily,

    what a wonderful supportive first post. I too want to welcome you the forum.

    Chloe has written a very friendly and supportive reply.

    I really just wanted to welcome you and thank you fro your post.

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  11. Spl spl
    Spl spl avatar
    13 posts
    15 October 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hello again! It has been quite a while since I've last posted on here but I'd like to keep this thread ongoing.

    I'm unsure if some people will see this or not but anyway I'm so glad I'm not alone Emily, thanks for sharing your experience it helps a ton, honestly. Thank you Quirky and Chloe for the replies.

    And now let's continue, because over these past months... this problem has actually gotten a lot worse. I need to talk to someone about it and I've kind of run out of people so BeyondBlue is the way to go. I'm in uni now and I've failed about 4 assignments (and 1 class) just from this 'lack of stress'. Today was sort of a breaking point-- I woke up and realised that I had completely forgotten about an assignment that was due 3 days ago.

    This year I have talked to uni counsellors, my doctor, my psychologist and my parents about this- which first resulted in uni counsellors thinking I might have undiagnosed ADHD, and then my doctor & psychologist saying I don't have ADHD and my parents are kind of tired with dealing with me. They said I just needed to grow up, become mature and learn consequences for my actions by being in the real world. Like this would all change if I just became more mature....

    I'm just really really lost right now. I don't understand how to make myself just do things like everyone else seems to have such an easy time doing. It seems like a lot of the people I was talking to they just... straight up did not compute what I was saying. Fact of the matter is I'm trying my best, writing schedules, putting up notifications, going to uni even when I don't have class, getting extensions, having friends that are nerds and remind me of assignments, even sitting down to actually do the assignments and breaking it up into little pieces--- and yet I STILL have this problem. What the heck! I'm studying my favourite subject here! How??

    Each time I try to complete an assignment, I just get this overwhelming feeling of guilt and I get all dizzy and my hand gets too weak to hold the pen and I have to lie down for a bit to catch my breath. Each time I think about it I don't even stress it like everyone else seems to do with school, so can I barely focus on what I'm doing. It's very easy to forget it and I've forgotten assignments before. My brain gets all fuzzy and its a real struggle to think clearly. Its easier to just avoid doing it altogether.

    Sorry for the long read but thanks for reading if you read it :)
    TL;DR: Brain can't study? ADHD? Help..?

  12. Steveb3
    Steveb3 avatar
    2 posts
    15 October 2018 in reply to Spl spl

    Hey Spl

    I too have been through a similar situation as yourself, and tried everything from counselling, doctors and even put on special diets.

    I found when it came to completing assignments, Homework and in class i had absolutely no initiative.

    but when it came to work i enjoy (the actual work, not the boring study part) my motivation kicked in.

    May i ask what is your favourite subject?

    1 person found this helpful
  13. Spl spl
    Spl spl avatar
    13 posts
    15 October 2018 in reply to Steveb3

    Heya Steve

    Thanks for the understanding! It's really good to know it's not just me who is having this problem. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Yeah that is true for me as well for the most part. My favourite subject is art, and it's what I'm studying at the moment. I'm actually drawing right now instead of doing work.

    But it's really strange how I can draw carefree like I'm doing now when theres no assigned work or deadline - but as soon as the pressure comes on, I just shut it out. I had an art project due yesterday (not uni related) which is already done I just have to submit it... yet that's all I've been procrastinating on all day today.

    What I'm saying is if there's a deadline involved, I procrastinate regardless of if I enjoy what I'm doing or not...

  14. Chloe_M
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    17 October 2018 in reply to Spl spl

    Hi Spl Spl

    Welcome back, i must say its been a while since ive been here too, almost a month! Oops!

    A while back i was posting to another member struggling with something similar to you... ill have a little sticky beak for their thread and see if there was any useful advice from myself or other members and ill get back to you if i find anything :)

    Im sorry that its getting worse. I really am unsure how to help as i am unfamiliar with what you are going through, however, i will always be here to listen to your problems so to speak and i will try and reply as best i can. Just letting you know i will not be on here as much, being a principle (soloist) in my dance company with our annual performance coming up and still studying at high school (yay not) i am extremely busy lol. I will be on here when i can though.

    Take care,

    Chloe :D

  15. Steveb3
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    2 posts
    17 October 2018 in reply to Spl spl

    Hey Spl

    It's all good there's nothing wrong with you!

    Sounds to me like you have a creative mind and a free spirit which is great

    so deadlines probably aren't your thing naturally.

    The most famous artists don't work to deadlines for a reason

    There's many hobbies i love but if i had to do them i would hate it.

    e.g I love surfing, i surf 3+ times a week but if i joined a competition and had to train 3 times a week i would hate it and end up not going.

    This current way of life we are all living has only been around since the early 1900's up until then deadlines for the average person weren't really a thing.

    I guess what i'm saying is some souls are meant to be free.

    With the assignments would it help with the idea of starting slow?

    E.g only spend like a maximum of 3 minutes each day and trick the mind into getting them done.

    Day 1 -just headline

    Day 2 - Just draw the Boarder

    Day 3 just draw half a circle e.tc

    or just write 1 word today 1 sentence tomorrow e.t.c

    I know it sounds silly but by the end of the week you will start to see progress which might spur you on.

    I actually did this with a couple of my assignments they were late but i got a pass!

    hope this helps!

    Like

  16. itselsie
    itselsie avatar
    4 posts
    28 October 2018 in reply to Spl spl

    Hi Spl,

    I was diagnosed with ADHD at the start of this year- I'm 23 and a full time uni student in my last year of my masters. I originally self-diagnosed using online tests and then was officialy diagnosed and started treatment at the start of this year. I haven't read your entire thread but I would encourage you to ask your GP for a referral to a psychiatrist. Firstly because they're the experts in mental health and secondly because GPs and Psychologists cannot diagnose ADHD in adults anyway. A psychiatrist in my view is the best equipped person to help you resolve this.

    One of the things I have found to help me (pre-meds) was to go to the uni library and study- this forced me to be less distracted because I was worried about distracting other people. It didn't help me staying off things like social media or my mind wnadering but it was something! I also like to keep a separate notebook near me so that when I inevitably get distracted I can scribble on there instead of on my work. I also like to chew gum and have a water bottle and snacks- just other little things that help to keep me busy. Also when my mind wanders I find it easier to let it for a little bit then say 'okay enough' and bring my mind back- sometimes it works, sometimes it works for 15 seconds and sometimes it doesnt work at all but it is still soemthing I do. Also taking frequent breaks is key and when you take them try to stay off your phone- for me my phone is a downward spiral of procratination. Sometimes I will also not charge my phone overnight because I know I dont have the willpower to stay off it the next day.

    That said, for me a lot of my ADHD problems have now become ingrained habits and even though I am mediacted (and still fiddling with my dose), meds don't undo a lifetime of learned behaviour. As difficult as it is try to make amendements to your behaviour if you can.

    If you would like some more tips about how I managed pre-diagnosis, how I am going now, or how I got diagnosed feel free to reply to this post and I'd be more than happy to answer.

    All the best!

    Elsie

  17. nina12
    nina12 avatar
    2 posts
    8 November 2018

    Hey Spl,

    I've struggled more with procrastination than avoidance, but there's a really good podcast I found that helped with these called UnF*ck Your Brain. There's an episode on avoidance and an episode on procrastination, and she offers some concrete things. I like listening to it with a pen and paper so I remember the things I'm supposed to do.

    It hasn't fixed things for me, but I'll go back to it sometimes when I'm finding it particularly hard to do stuff and I find that it helps me feel a bit better.