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Procrasturbation

Procrasturbation
December 19, 2012, 05:37:52 PM
I realize this isn't a self-help forum, but I've been beating my head against a wall for a while and figured the folks on here had some wisdom to divulge. How do you stay motivated for tasks with abstract, uncertain and unrewarding goals in the immediate future? Tasks which you know you must commit to but for the life of you, evade the dedication and discipline required to complete them.

Repeating mantras to oneself doesn't always work, especially if they're obvious: "Just do the damn thing" is probably the most sane and practical idea to ram into one's head, but doesn't seem to work. I expect that this is the type of advice many would give, but I was hoping somebody knew of a more systematic, rewarding method.

In light of that, this got me thinking: is chronic procrastination merely a product of modernity? I have a hard time believing that warrior societies had any time to bother with procrastinators, who out of necessity had to fight to survive on a regular basis. It seems that procrastination is partly a product of peace and plenty and other parts psychological dilemmas induced through modernity. So then, is chronic masturbation, like other addictions, a genetic weakness one is predisposed and condemned to dealing with? What is the nature of addictions? What way is there to explain believing in one thing and then avoiding it by doing something completely opposite to it?

ie.

1. Statement of goals: X must be done. X is necessary for ultimate goals Y and Z.
2. Avoidance through excuse giving: X is difficult/meticulous/unrewarding/time consuming/etc. Time to do A or B.
3. Results in even more unfavourable situation: *feelings of guilt/shame/regret/embarrassment/etc.*
4. Rinse and repeat. Eventually, no excuse is given for step 2. One knows the excuses are only lies to oneself. Bad habit becomes entrenched
5. Unfavourable situations turn even more unfavourable.

Some procrastinators enjoy the avoidance itself and/or the activities they do instead of tending to responsibilities. For others like me, I realize it's a distraction and as a result, it's not truly rewarding and instead soul-crushing.

Re: Procrasturbation
December 19, 2012, 05:47:58 PM
To get something done, you have to start doing it.
This is the one great value of tunnel-vision.
See only the area that involves the first step.
Give that first step all your attention.
You'll find the next step, and all the steps after that, will take care of themselves.
This sounds very obvious, which is why it gets so often overlooked.
Just start.

NHA

Re: Procrasturbation
December 19, 2012, 08:44:02 PM


People can procrastinate when they don't want to do something or are not convinced they can accomplish the task or that the cost outweighs the reward.

Bringing warrior societies and modernity into the equation seems like nonsense.

If you have a complex problem try to decompose it into smaller sub components and start chipping away at them. You can always delegate sub tasks that you aren't qualified to complete.

if you have a small task that you are given that you really don't want to do just do it immediately on the spot.

Re: Procrasturbation
December 19, 2012, 09:30:33 PM
Yes, that's the spirit :)

Re: Procrasturbation
December 19, 2012, 11:25:31 PM
I probably shouldn't even be giving advice, but here it goes: don't let another problem get in the way of the goals of getting rid of a totally different problem. You can be successful in other areas not affected by your big problem, and when you're done with them you can tackle your biggest problem.

Re: Procrasturbation
December 20, 2012, 02:37:06 AM
This issue drove me to alcoholism. Though the alcohol didn't help with procrastination it did help me stop stressing over it, and for once I was content to not do anything at all.

Quote from: Edgar Allan Poe
We have a task before us which must be speedily performed. We know that it will be ruinous to make delay. The most important crisis of our life calls, trumpet-tongued, for immediate energy and action. We glow, we are consumed with eagerness to commence the work, with the anticipation of whose glorious result our whole souls are on fire. It must, it shall be undertaken to-day, and yet we put it off until to-morrow, and why? There is no answer, except that we feel perverse, using the word with no comprehension of the principle. To-morrow arrives, and with it a more impatient anxiety to do our duty, but with this very increase of anxiety arrives, also, a nameless, a positively fearful, because unfathomable, craving for delay. This craving gathers strength as the moments fly. The last hour for action is at hand. We tremble with the violence of the conflict within us,–of the definite with the indefinite–of the substance with the shadow. But, if the contest have proceeded thus far, it is the shadow which prevails,–we struggle in vain. The clock strikes, and is the knell of our welfare. At the same time, it is the chanticleer- note to the ghost that has so long overawed us. It flies–it disappears–we are free. The old energy returns. We will labor now. Alas, it is too late!


Re: Procrasturbation
December 20, 2012, 07:39:17 AM
In light of that, this got me thinking: is chronic procrastination merely a product of modernity? I have a hard time believing that warrior societies had any time to bother with procrastinators, who out of necessity had to fight to survive on a regular basis. It seems that procrastination is partly a product of peace and plenty and other parts psychological dilemmas induced through modernity. So then, is chronic masturbation, like other addictions, a genetic weakness one is predisposed and condemned to dealing with? What is the nature of addictions? What way is there to explain believing in one thing and then avoiding it by doing something completely opposite to it?

Addiction is essentially a malfunctioning of your survival mechanism. It overpowers your logical brain which tells you goals X,Y and Z need to be achieved to fulfil your life-mission. So the maladaptive pattern of behaviour must be broken before you can do what needs to be done. Indeed goal X should be to overcome addiction/procrastination. Your will-power to do that could be intrinsically linked to your final destination.

Perhaps set aside a few days to do nothing you usually would. For dramatic effect, you might place a revolver down on the table after breakfast to remind yourself what matters.

Re: Procrasturbation
December 20, 2012, 05:38:10 PM
Try "Procrastination" by Burka and Yuen, and/or "Self-Discipline in 10 Days" by Bryant. For audio, there is "The Science of Self Discipline" by Kerry Johnson.

Re: Procrasturbation
December 21, 2012, 02:57:00 AM
a more interesting way to look at procrastination is to ask "what is worth doing?"