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Forums / Depression / Overcoming established procrastination habits with long term depression (trd)

Topic: Overcoming established procrastination habits with long term depression (trd)

7 posts, 0 answered
  1. Anusari1
    Anusari1 avatar
    2 posts
    8 October 2021

    Hi all,

    I'm really hoping some of you might be able to give me some advice on this topic that I'm sure we can all relate to. I haven't tried outsourcing like this before but I've decided to do it because I'm so desperate to get better. The pattern I've been stuck in for the past 4 years is inconsistently breaking/not breaking through the time barrier that initiates consecutive advancements. For me it's the 2-3 week mark (mostly 3). It's different for everyone but I'm wondering how do you persevere with the anti-procrastination tools/behaviours long enough to start feeling better. I should clarify its more avoidance behaviours here, my 3 are daydreaming, reading, and history documentaries, all of which are done on the sofa. Over the years we've worked out the magic number for daily action items seems to be 3. If they are small enough (i.e load of washing, having a meal or showering) and at least 1 of them involves me leaving the house for 15mins, than motivation isn't a problem & they are manageable. The problem is getting past the 2 week mark which is when they begin to feel beneficial or at least no longer uncomfortable. I know from countless times in the past that once I approach roughly the 3 week mark of doing the 3 action items of min 5 days a week, then the accumulative effect starts. I'm then able to gradually increase the amount, as the positive effects build on from one another.

    I guess what I'm asking for is ways to persevere with the 1st 2 weeks where you have to fake it til you make it. I seem mostly to do it for a a week before giving into temptation. We've tried dropping back to 2, then 1, action item after the 1st week but it doesn't seem to make a difference, I find for some reason it takes the same amount of perseverance/effort to maintain three 3 items as 1. In the 1st 2 weeks it feels like the urge to engage in my avoidance behaviours is 10x stronger than my foresight into the long term benefits, even though the long term is only 3 weeks. This makes me wonder if its like an addiction.. not sure if that's true or not but it definitely feels like the hold it has is stronger than my cognitive capabilities. I'd like to know if anyone has advice on perseverance while depressed, doesn't have to be regarding procrastination. I don't think medication changes will do anything as it really seems like a behavioural pattern that's so entrenched I'm unable to outgrow it.

    Would greatly appreciate any tips or experiences...

    2 people found this helpful
  2. topsy_
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    topsy_ avatar
    1091 posts
    8 October 2021 in reply to Anusari1
    I’m experiencing a similar predicament so will be interested to see what ideas come in.
  3. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    2180 posts
    9 October 2021 in reply to Anusari1

    Hi Anusari1

    I feel your frustration and can relate to it. I actually have a bit of a rep when it comes to not sticking to things, not being impressively self disciplined. While having a job, it's my boss who dictates part of my routine in life - my time, my duties or actions and so on, for a period of the week. Technically, she's one of my disciplinarians in life.

    Self discipline is definitely a tough one. Self discipline means we're the boss (of our self). For me, what helps at times involves me asking 'Who's in charge?'. If 'The go get 'em Commander of solid direction' aspect of self is in charge, not a problem. I can stick to just about anything. If 'The Wonderer' in me is in charge, you can bet there are going to be problems. If you trigger the Wonderer in me, to wonder about anything even remotely fascinating, bamm, I'm in. The house can remain an incredible mess while I'm researching stuff on my laptop or wondering about what new additions are on Netflix or wondering about what there is to do outside the house. If you keep me wondering all day or all week, the house will stay a mess for that day or that week. I just love wondering and researching. It's a bit of an addiction :)

    If you trigger 'The Visionary' in me, it's kind of the same story. Using the messy house scenario again, once I'm in my imagination I can easily see the kind of house I'd actually love to live in. I can see a lap pool, a home gym, split level flooring, incredibly colourful walls and so on. It can get to the point where I don't even want to clean the house I'm in because, basically, I'd much prefer to clean the one I imagine :) So, there goes my housework routine out the window.

    Now, after all this, that Commander aspect of self (the one that keeps us on track) might chime in. If I had to sum it up, I'd say it sounds a little like 'What are you doing?! You're bloody hopeless. Get it together. You're a loser; you're losing time, momentum, direction, self-discipline...'. While the Commander is harsh and sometimes a little depressing, this aspect of self remains incredibly important. I believe it's the Commander who demands the need for a solid plan, a need for focus/refocus and routine as well. At the same time, I believe it's important to listen to 'The sage' in us who might be saying 'This is tough, be kind to yourself in the process of reformation. Reforming your self is an art, it requires skill and sometimes a lot of practice'. Can be tough to channel the Sage at times :)

    4 people found this helpful
  4. Anusari1
    Anusari1 avatar
    2 posts
    11 October 2021 in reply to therising

    Great Insight, really appreciate the response. I will definitely try to apply the to my week.

    Cheers

  5. gucia6
    gucia6 avatar
    84 posts
    11 October 2021 in reply to Anusari1

    Hi Anusari,

    procrastination is a biggie for me. And it can involve activities that I like and don't like. And my huge problem is that I get easily distracted (even my psychologist asked me if I was ever assessed on ADD or autism). Also there are times that I can focus well and do what I need to do, but there are times that I stray of the way, for whatever reasons. After all, life is not a straight line, there are ups and downs, bumps and loops 😉

    One of things that help me is planning. When I am doing not too great, I need to break it down to really small chunks. So basically I first create a rough overview plan of what has to be done. E.g. When I have to write a new document, I list stuff like: document template, rough content plan, information gathering, writing, proofreading. Then I break it down further and say for the document template: do i need cover page table, or image, what are the fonts, colours, styles, etc. And so, every day I write in bullet points what I need to do on this day. Then at the end of the day, I reassess what I did, see if I finished everything, or is there something I will need to do next day. Having that, I create a check list for the following day.

    With stuff at home I often do similarly. First I look at a big picture, then I break it down again. E.g. when I think of laundry it is broken down to: load and start machine, hang it to dry, collect down after it is dry, fold the foldable, iron what needs ironing, put in where it belongs. And whenever I do any of those, I can check the box. It feels satisfying, and I do not feel overwhelmed to remember all the things I need to do, because it is on paper and in approachable steps.

    Hopefully this helps

  6. Succulent Queen
    Succulent Queen avatar
    39 posts
    12 October 2021 in reply to Anusari1

    Ive begun to get on top of this same issue by reading Atomic Habits by James Clear.

    Would recommend reading the introduction and first chapter, if you dont connect by then no need to read further.

    One of my fave things he says is on page 18 "Time magnifies the margin between success and failure. Time will multiply whatever you feed it".

    Love to know what you think if you do pick it up.

  7. Succulent Queen
    Succulent Queen avatar
    39 posts
    12 October 2021 in reply to Anusari1
    You can dload 1st chapter free @ jamesclear.com

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