|09-23-2011, 12:55 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2011
Am I too harsh on myself?
Yesterday was a bad day for me. The night before I went to bed with the idea that I had lots of stuff to do, knowing that if I would do them all at once it might take me 2 or 3 hours, but also assuming that it would not go that easily.
When I woke up, I made a list of things that needed to be done. I was free of 'work' that day btw, as I am a lot of the time.
Its a silly list, which means that I am at a low level of productivity at the moment, but still everything feels like a task for me.
Saving this music file correctly
Doing a 1000 catches juggling 5 balls
Doing the dishes
Putting together and organizing my new closet
Yes, that is the list of which I thought, geez that is long.
Even worse, I wake up with this list in my head and later in my hand, and I tell myself: Ok, ill check my email, and then start doing something. Ok, one more youtube video. Ok I will make some music first.
And at some point it flows into:
Aargh why cant I get myself to do even the simplest thing of this list? I am terrible, this way I am never going to improve myself, my life.
I end up feeling down/depressed the rest of the day.
Today I started working on some list items with more ease, I feel much better now. But also, the world did not end because I did not finish my list. Should I just tell myself that on such days I do not need to do anything at all?
I am afraid that I will become even lazier in the end. Most of the things on such lists are working towards goals I set myself. Things like: I want to become a better juggler, musician, visual artist, healthy and in the meanwhile sustain my life (cook, clean, get some friends).
Some days go flawless, I might have a full week of good days, but it is usually followed by a full week of bad days.
Okay, more information about my weird life will follow if neccecary. Does anyone have any tips on what to do in my situation?
How do I prevent extremely unproductive days / getting depressed from them?
|09-23-2011, 02:18 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Mississauga, On Canada
Sounds like you need to take bigger measures to knock the priority items into your head more. In your case, it appears your computer may be the culprit in luring you do unproductive things. So I would first ID the high priority items you need to do then make a commitment to yourself to do them.
To remind yourself even more, maybe try these drastic measures;
- unplug your computer the night before
- post reminders of your high priority items all over your computer screen
- post reminders of the above on your fridge, bathroom mirrors, etc.
- set out things you need to do the night before in advance so you see them (if applicable)
These are just little things which serve to keep the high priority items top of mind especially if you might venture near your computer. Hopefully they send a signal to your brain to do those high priority items before you can have fun online again.
If these fail, see if you can get other people involved to keep you accountable.
It's all about self discipline here. Do whatever necessary to keep reminding yourself about your priorities.
|09-24-2011, 02:27 AM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2011
I find that wearing shoes helps alot
When I'm wearing shoes it's really easy for me to transition to 'walking outside to the shop' which is usually the first step to doing mundane weekend stuff
That gives me some momentum, from there I find it easy to do other chores.
Getting some momentum is the key, otherwise you get all lethargic and everything seems impossibly hard
Also, don't go near your computer if you actually need to get anything done. It's a slippery slope as you're well aware.
|09-24-2011, 05:54 AM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2010
The first thing I would do is forget about the list.
If you're getting really upset just because you didn't do something you committed to, then there is a deeper emotional issue. Sure, it sucks to not get what you want to Don, and it sucks to lack self-discipline, but I don't think you should get depressed were so upset over it.
Give yourself permission to be a total lazy bum for a week. Become very aware and watch your thoughts that are creating the situation. Watch as you get upset yourself for not doing what you know you should.
And then release it.
After that, go back into your productivity and see if you have any blocks released.
|09-24-2011, 07:52 AM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2011
I used to have a lot of unproductive days and beat myself up afterwards. The problem I found was getting into this cycle, which was quite difficult to break and get into a productivity cycle. Well, regardless, of whether you are harsh or not harsh on yourself, your life is not moving forward when you are having unproductive days.
Action, action, and more action! I found that as long as I started moving, the day was productive. As a suggestion you can start with simple tasks first to build the momentum... brush teeth, shave, have a cup of coffee, go for a run... whatever moves your day along in the positive/productive direction.
Of course, now I don't have this problem as my two little monsters get me going whether I want it or not. (But I would not suggest it as a general solution.)
I find that the next step is not just running around spending time on errands, but maximizing your time to achieve positive life results.
@Fred Tracy. That's some good advice, too.
|09-24-2011, 11:16 AM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2009
I know a few people going through a period of intense lethargy and procrastination at the moment (including yours truly )
Anyway, after wasting a couple of hours reading blog posts and the like, your thread prompted me to actually put something into practice.
So, I made a 'power hour' and I just finished it 20 minutes ago - actually it took 50 minutes
(1) 5 minutes arabic (reviewing vocab on mnemosyne)
(2) 5 minutes piano
(3) 5 minutes reading a novel (new one just started today)
(4) 1 item from my 'cert work' (stuff I have to do everyday list) - I did a personal care item
(5) 1 item from my 'circle of things' (list of 1 thing in each room in my home that needs fixing and doesn't require outside help) - I fixed a cupboard door which had come off its hinge
(6) deal with 5 items in my office (which I am sorting out as I had new shelving put in so it's chaotic at the moment) - I moved 5 carpets from the heap and sponge mopped where necessary.
Before starting, I prepared by
- plugging in and booting the piano (it's a Roland digital piano) and set up the chair,
- setting up the Mnemosyne with the database I wanted to use and activated the categories I wanted to review -
- got out the ladder and screwdrivers to do the cupboard door (it's high up).
- chose a new novel to read "The Mulberry Empire" estimated roughly how much I might get read in 5 mins (I normally estimate a page a minute to start with) and put a book mark in there
- set up my computer countdown timer since the battery on my hand timer died and I can't get a new one to fit in this country (for 5 minute tasks, I generally set it for 5mins and 20 seconds to give me time to 'adjust')
I feel quite different to how I did 1.5 hours ago and am thinking I will do another 3 of these today. (afterall 5 minutes x 4 times a day x 5 days a week x 42 weeks a year = 70 hours - approx 2 whole 'work weeks' in a regular office).
It might seem inefficient, but the last few days I'm finding even 5 minutes concentrating hard - right now I have an ebook and 8 - yes 8 - blog posts open in tabs and I'm reading a bit of each before getting bored and flicking through to the next - circulating round them.
So - I think the 'power hour' has sort of shaken me out of the unproductive loop I was in. Also I agree with what Fred said. I have been 'over achieving' for about 6 months now and I reckon my brain is just saying 'enough of targets and goals and tick sheets'!
|09-26-2011, 08:44 PM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2011
Thanks for all the great replies!
A good weekend fixed me up completely, and I am up and running as usual.
Yes, aside from a self-discipline problem there is an underlying emotional issue, which translates into the non-productiveness which then completes the circle of feeling bad again. To prevent myself from slipping in the circle I set myself the rule, that if I am bored and do nothing I have to put an alarm, 30 minutes and then do something creative. (Juggling, making music, painting, things I find important.)
Wearing shoes: I agree, it is just hard to tell myself to put them on at such moments. But yes, wearing shoes (and clothes, no pyjamas) are important things.
About the computer drawing me in: It should not be turned on all the time, I realize that. One of the problems is is that it is also my music station, which is a bit important to me..
Having two little monsters, or a house mate can make a difference I can imagine! Just like having a job forces me out of bed on good & bad days, and is therefor even able to turn a bad day into a good one, just by doing 'things'. But if you don't want a daily job, you have no kids or partner living with you, are there any other suggestions, external things that get you moving for sure?
The power hour is a great idea. To be able to have some list of things ready that will work in any case. The problem might be to start doing it, but once you get going...
Thanks again, ill keep on working on myself!
|09-27-2011, 10:15 PM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Toledo, OH
Sometimes I have one of those days where for no identifiable reason I become extremely uncomfortable at work. Since I'm self-employed, I have the luxury of taking time off when I need it. But the feelings of anger and depression for not doing anything remains.
On those days, when you feel you can't do anything, just det dressed and go out in nature. You don't have to walk or run or anything, just go to a local park and sit on a bench. Sit there as long as you can. I gaurantee you'll feel a lot better and reenergized for the tasks in front of you.
|10-02-2011, 05:28 AM||#10 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2011
Anger directed at self is unproductive in that it creates a backlash. The shame and guilt that it creates just slows the self down. Instead of getting some strength out of it, it just weakens us.
Then the question is, well how can I move forward without being allowed to get angry at myself.
The answer is: Your love, your interest, the awe that you feel.
|10-02-2011, 01:03 PM||#12 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2011
Are you excited about your day? I think if your dreading it its 60 % of the problem
Sometimes though to get the focus train started you need to scrap all your plans and do something exciting and fun productive, if you can attain these fun goals it might make your mind and body get into the rthym. For example , I have a lot to do today and just thinking about it is making me exhausted! So I plan to relax and then instead of going straight into tidying and organising , I'm going to do something creative and fun which will ease me into tidying and organising. Maybe do some crafts and make something pretty for my room? hmmm.
so yeah I'm thinking maybe If I take this approach it will create good habits, that way its a lot easier to begin to build on self discipline
|10-03-2011, 09:31 PM||#13 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2011
But on such days it is hard to start or finish something. The early stages after starting something go smooth, but of course when I am in the middle of something exciting I don't get dragged into days like this
Thanks for all the advices again!
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