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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Procrastination: serious issue, or am I just lazy?

It’s the same every day.

I do exactly the opposite of my plans, of what I’m supposed to do.

I’m suppose to write a short story. I’m suppose to write on my story Whatever. I’m suppose to draw. I’m suppose to do chores. I’m suppose to write for this blog. I’m suppose to exercise. I’m suppose to work.

So at work I do my internet, I may or may not write something and  I might work.
At home I will sit down and watch tv (whether it’s from my cable or laptop, doesn’t matter).

I have alarms to remind me to do chores, else I probably wouldn’t do those at all. Which would result in not having clean clothes, dishes and a clean home. My life is full of reminders and this results in ignoring most. I’ll get to that later. I promise myself all kinds of things. Fine you’re not doing what you’re suppose to do now, but after Criminal Minds/Lunch/an hour/this one thing, you will do it! But when that moment arrives, I just make a new promise with myself.

As said it doesn’t matter if it’s a hobby or work or chores.

Am I lazy, undisciplined, not prioritized? As my mom likes to rub in. “You just need to kick yourself in the butt and do it!” “You just need to set your priorities straight.”
Or is this procrastination thing a whole other problem?

I could argue back and forth for both arguments really. My mom argued with me enough for that.
But what if I would say it’s both true? It’s an issue and it’s being lazy.

Yes kicking yourself in the butt and doing it works. Don’t think, just do. This works especially well with chores. Not a lot of thought need to go into those, you just need to do them. You don’t want to, so it’s more about being lazy. The other things in life need thought, inspiration and all that. And it’s really scary to suddenly have to invent things. It’s fear holding you back.

Then the argument “I will do it another day”, will become, “I will do it another day, I’m not very inspired, I’m drained from everything else”. You can add your own argument to that. And then maybe the underlying thought would be, “I’m afraid to screw up”, or your inner critique arguing, “you’ll never pull it off, so why bother?”, “It’ll be a disappointment anyway”.

The underlying messages are usually hard to hear. I mostly know because it sounds solid and logical, and maybe on occasion I hear those words. Most often I just cut off at, screw this, I don’t want to.

Sometime ago I read a guest post by Lisa Rivero on Courage 2 create called “Long Live The Introvert! Why Being “Anti-Social” Is Also A Skill“. It was as if the start of the post was about me. Yes I’m an introvert, I just never realized that all I do totally drains me (especially social media). So of course getting home from work leaves me in a state of “I don’t want to”, because every fiber in my body is screaming “I need energy”. I’m usually fittest for anything a few hours after waking up. I’m most likely to do anything productive around my house right after getting home (guess when I do my chores).

This information is vitally important for curing my procrastination. To cure yours, you need knowledge about yourself. When do you peak, when can you focus. Write down your daily schedule and how you feel at moments during the day. For me it was a matter of writing down tasks and scheduling those and then tweaking that. I’m still tweaking that. Do be careful not to plan your day too much/too full, this will make sure you’ll be overwhelmed with the day ahead and is a guarantee you’ll procrastinate. I’ve made that mistake often. I’m still making myself too overwhelmed, look at my “I should” list up there. Definitely don’t try to plan everything and focus on what’s important, or necessary.

Aside from chores and exercise, the most important things to do for me are weekly things:
Saturdays: publishing a short story.
Sundays: publishing a post on this blog.
Or monthly things:
The 18th of every month: publishing a chapter of Whatever.

I realized that a big part of my procrastination is due to a lack of a deadline. If I have forever to do something, I will take forever to do something.
The moment I committed myself to finish a chapter of my story each month, I suddenly started writing and working on it!

This post used to have my daily schedule as an example. As proof of how I keep tweaking it, it has changed about 3 times since I first wrote this post. Recently I have been changing it a lot.
I’ve been trying to find a balance between spreading things out and doing a lot at once.

Anyway I manage my schedule with alarms, using the Errands app on my iPod. I will forget them otherwise.

There’s a big trap to scheduling though: inflexibility!
No matter how you schedule and plan things, there’s always life to screw them up!
Prepare for that. Because most things happen suddenly on weekends, I have left those rather unplanned.
This also means that when I fail to do something during the week (for whatever reason), I have time to catch up in the weekends. I have this a lot with my laundry, I tend to forget to turn it on, despite the alarm.

All of this doesn’t cure my procrastination. Not the issue, nor my laziness. It does help. I procrastinate less, and when I do, I’ve rescheduled things.

Are you troubled by procrastination? How serious is the issue in your eyes? What are your methods to beat it? Share it in the comments below! I’m sure together, with some hard work, we can slim the procrastination monster.

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Writing

“Hey, I saw your other blog. Isn’t your passion writing?” – random stranger

If only people would ask me questions. So I’m just asking one myself, it means another blog post after all.

Let me start by defining passion, so we’re all on the same page.

Passion (from the Ancient Greek verb πάσχω (paskho) meaning to suffer) is a term applied to a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion compelling feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for something. (source: Wikipedia)

I don’t know if it’s because I suppress my feelings by default, or just because I haven’t found what I’m looking for yet, but I hardly ever feel passion. Above all, it doesn’t last. For me it’s a fleeting feeling I may have one moment, and which is gone the next. This is also one of the problems I’m facing on my journey. I’ll get into that in a later post.

So what’s the deal with writing? I like writing, I could say I love writing, but I’m not passionate about it. I can go days, weeks, maybe longer not feeling like writing at all. I’ve heard from plenty of other writers things like “if I don’t write I feel -insert negative emotion-“, or “I have to write every day to feel happy.” Not so much for me. Writing can feel like a drag, like a chore, even when I’m in full control of what I’m writing, where I’m writing, how long I’m writing.

Maybe it’s that I love procrastinating on almost everything. Maybe I’m not disciplined enough, not motivated enough. Mostly what I get is that I simply “don’t feel like doing it”. It’s feeling.

My life is a bit like this, I get enthusiastic about anything, do the effort for nothing and my enthusiasm is gone within a week of sparking. This means I never push through, maybe because I didn’t want to climb that hill, or because everything outside my comfort zone is scary. And many will say, it’s because it’s not what you truly want. If it’s something you truly want, you will go grab it.

I don’t believe it’s true. I think we humans are lazy and go the easy way. Whichever gives us a reward, some payoff as Dr. Phil would say, we keep doing that. Doesn’t matter if it’s a good habit or a bad habit. That’s why it’s so hard to change your life. If we figure out what we get from something, what our brain likes, we can look for alternatives.

Writing for me is a hobby. It’s not something I could do every day. It’s not something I could make a living out of. At least, as far as my view goes.
Why? Because I don’t want to write anything besides fiction and then I want to write my fiction, my stories. So unless I manage to write a book that would sell like crazy…

Can I make writing my passion? Perhaps. It just doesn’t seem like something I would like to pursue on a more serious basis.

Do you have something you wish you were more passionate about? What are ways you keep your enthusiasm/motivation going? Or do you struggle with that as well?

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Blogs, blogs, blogs

These days there’s something like blogs in existence. The internet is filled with all kinds of blogs, written by all kinds of people. In the category of blogs trying to help other people with their life, everyone claims to have the best answer. Whether explicit, or implicit.

Of course when searching for your passion it’s nice to turn to such blogs. I haven’t found any that are about finding your passion, but there are plenty of blogs I follow that sometimes delve on the subject in one way or another.

I once commented on a post about following your passion, that I didn’t know what my passion was and so it was hard to do what the post stated. Even though the post itself made me very excited. Another reader responded to my comment with some book recommendations.

– “I Could Do Anything, If Only I Knew What It Was,” by Barbara Sher
– “Finding Your Own North Star” by Martha Beck.

I bought the first one and I’m busy it. It really appealed to me and I’m truly trying to do all the exercises. (usually I just read self-help books without taking action, which totally doesn’t help) More on the book in later posts! After all this post was about blogs, not books. Here are two blogs I follow that have content that appeals to me.

Zen Habits
Leo promotes living a simpler life. Especially his clutter challenge appealed to me. I’ve been slowly getting rid of things in my home to find peace there. When I was unpacking my stuff I totally realized I had way too much clutter, things that I don’t actually need. I’ve thrown things out, making pictures before saying goodbye. It really helps lift my spirit. And a lifted spirit is more ready to take on big things like finding my passion. Out of the blogs I’m following, Zen Habits is probably the one I look most forward to a new post.

Courage 2 Create
This blog is more focused on writing. Ollin also talks about life and how to apply certain life lessons to writing. Since writing is one of my hobbies I really enjoy this blog. I learn things both for my life and for my writing specifically. This makes every post enjoyable on more than one level. I really like how there’s always humor in his posts, even though they are serious. It keeps things from getting too heavy.

Just a really short post this time, I really wanted to share my two favorite blogs with you. I really think blogs are a great way to read about other people’s experiences and learn from them.

I want to follow a blog about finding your passion, but I haven’t actually stumbled upon one. Do you know one? Do you write one? Let me know in the comments!

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Breaking down

I never really wrote much about this part of my life. Except for maybe a few private tweets or whatever. So let me try, now a year later to talk about these weeks. What went on, what I experienced.
The events in this posts are the trigger/catalyst for starting my journey to find my true passion.

I’m trying to reconstruct this based on memory. I didn’t keep a diary or anything. I try to look at my google calendar for clues really. Just so that’s out-of-the-way, let me start. Let me go back to March 2011.

On Monday March 7th 2011 I reported in ill. I had a headache, was feeling really dizzy and probably more. It seemed a bit like the flu. I slept tons, really tons. At first I thought I might have over-exhausted myself again. I have in the past and after a good day of sleeping I was usually back on my feet.
Nothing like that, I felt weird, I was restless and tired constantly. Since it didn’t get better I slowly started to suspect it wasn’t the flu or exhaustion. There was more going on.

On Thursday March 17th I went to the doctor. His immediate response to my miserable state was, “this is not you.” Then again from the moment I had sat down in the waiting room I felt horrible. My heart wouldn’t calm down, I was shaking. And when I was with the doctor I could barely tell what was going on, I was shaking and crying and still my heart was racing. Objectively, I was a mess.

The doctor quickly concluded I was stressed out and needed to calm the hell down. He said, “over the weekend I want you to relax. Take a walk on the beach or something, just unwind and get away from your day-to-day life.” I had to come back on Tuesday to see how it went.

Instantly things started to happen, mostly because my mom jumps right on something like this and wants it fixed. We had a good discussion. She sat down with me and asked me, if nothing in the world mattered, what do you want? If money, time and all that wasn’t an issue, what do you want?

Yeah, what did I want? I stared back at her. She assured me not to think about it and just blurt out the first thing that comes to my mind.

“I want to lay in bed all day.” Or something similar popped up. I want all my trouble to go away, I want to be me again. You can figure out the answers. It’s a good question, though it relies on knowing your dreams. On daring to have them.

I want to freaking just do what I’m doing without all these people chasing me! Yes it took a long discussion, but in the end I was just overwhelmed with my life. Everything. Not 1 cause was defining for my state.

You hear a lot when someone gets a burn out or something that this or that wasn’t working out for them. For me, everything was just slightly off course. The problem with that is finding a way to fix it.

I walked on the beach and relaxed as ordered. By the time Tuesday rolled in I was doing a lot better. At the doctor he advised me to tackle one problem at a time and start working half days starting the following week. And soon after that continue as I were.

Since by now I was more than two weeks out of the running, I needed to see the company doctor on Thursday. To address the work problem bit of my life, I was also seeing my manager the same day.
Because this world is all about being unclear, the company doctor totally and completely disagreed with my doctor. I was absolutely not going back to work. He heard me out even more than my doctor did. He explained about cortisol and adrenaline. And pretty much put together a schedule for me to get back to work. And he recommended coaching for me. To get my life straight on all levels.

Next up was the meeting with my manager. I was going to clearly explain to him I didn’t have ambitions and I just wanted to do what I’m doing and not grow to places the company seemed to set out for. And that’s exactly what I did. It meant that if this meeting wasn’t going to work out, I would need to find another job. It was pretty much at that point. It’s a company with pressure on growth and ambition. The meeting did go well. Apparently my perspective was not totally correct. I was probably growing just fine. And we made a deal that I could just stay where I was and when I was ready to go somewhere else I’d let him know.
I also talked to him about what the company doctor had said. Apparently my manager also had this idea to get coaching for me.

I was left with two options there, I could go with the in-house coach of the company, or a coach of some other company. I would have a meeting with both and then I could make my choice. Peachy.

At the same time, things in my personal situation where changing. I was living on my own just over a year. It was a bad neighborhood, I wasn’t ready and it was just plain out making me feel horrible and stressed. During that time I had already moved to living on an air-bed at my parents. I was taking a step back in my development and moving back home. I sold my house and thanks to a buy back guarantee I had my money in three months. Unfortunately I also lost a lot of money, since the house was worth less than when I bought it. However the move totally helped me to relax a lot more.

Still for weeks and weeks I kept having a spastic heart, who would leap into overdrive at its own will. I had trouble sleeping mostly, making me exhausted. Luckily my current client (same as back then), is not very stressful work, so I could slowly go back to work without much problems.

During my coaching sessions I realized a lot of things about myself and the situation I was in. Slowly my eyes opened. More things changed and on September 2nd I ended the relationship I was in. It was a manipulative and horrible relationship. My parents didn’t even tell anyone I was in that relationship, my mom was firmly against it actually. I don’t want to go into detail, let’s just say it was bad and I’m glad that it’s over. Ever since then I’m regaining the pieces of myself that I had lost.

Now that it’s all over, now a year later, I haven’t felt better! I recently moved out of my parents home again. And I am so excited about my new place, I absolutely love it! And I’m actually ready for it now!

I’ve met wonderful new people, strengthened bonds with others. Life’s been good. And you know what? I’m happy this all happened when it did. Why? Because I still have my whole life ahead of me! And now my number 1 goal is to figure out what I truly want.

Don’t get me wrong though, I now know I’m sensitive for this. I had times when I felt I was getting stressed out again. When things pile up and all that. However, now I realize the early symptoms (my dear spastic heart) and when to take a step back and relax.

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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