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Procrastination is ruining my life. Why do I do this?

(389 Posts)
Procrastinatia Mon 07-Nov-16 13:42:13

I have been like this since school. I just lack the ability to get on with stuff. I've never learned good study habits. I've always done everything the night before and scraped through. Never done my best.

I am currently taking a course I completed, and passed, many years ago. I am taking it again, because it is a subject I am interested in and I knew I hadn't done my best before. I am taking this as a way of challenging myself to throw myself into the work. The course is costing me a lot more now too!

Except I'm doing nothing. Nothing. I've been doing housework all day, and I never do housework. If I was supposed to be doing housework I would find something else to do.

It isn't just study, it is everything. Every aspect of my life.

Is this my personality or can I change it? I think I am just a lazy arse but I don't want to be like this.

mikeyssister Mon 07-Nov-16 13:43:39

I'd love to know the answer to this question.

aintnothinbutagstring Mon 07-Nov-16 13:53:10

Google 'wait but why procrastination', it's so funny, but of course that would be making you procrastinate more grin

facebookrecruit Mon 07-Nov-16 13:53:47

Following with interest!

Eolian Mon 07-Nov-16 13:54:20

here and here

These links are really helpful in understanding why you procrastinate and how to stop doing it. Plus they're hilarious grin . I'm a procrastinator too (hemce why I've been arsing about on MN for the last hour instead of doing any of the umpteen things I should be doing.

I also find using a Bullet Journal helps.

Eolian Mon 07-Nov-16 13:54:52

Cross posted with aintnothin!

Procrastinatia Mon 07-Nov-16 16:03:26

Thanks. I will work my way through the links when I get around to it wink

Good to know I'm not the only one!

JennyOnAPlate Mon 07-Nov-16 16:09:33

You are absolutely not the only one. I need to invoice clients so I can actually get paid but I've been avoiding it for a week now confused

LittleStripyBee Mon 07-Nov-16 16:15:19

I'm with you, I am self destructive with it, I always have been, I cause myself more stress by not doing the things I need to do until I have absolutely no other option (why ring and pay a bill when I can wait for them to chase me eh?). See those links above, I started reading them one time, realised they could be useful, so of course got distracted!

greatpumpkin Mon 07-Nov-16 16:28:19

Eolian thank you for posting those links. Dd learned about that in school recently so I hope she will not grow up like me.

When I think of all the interesting things I could have accomplished in my life if I'd bothered, it's heartbreaking.

TheFreaksShallInheritTheEarth Mon 07-Nov-16 16:41:28

I have found my people! I too will be back to this thread later to look for some hints/ ideas.
In the meantime, I'm off to think about, but probably not get around to doing other things.

JenLindleyShitMom Mon 07-Nov-16 16:47:10


You are not alone!

MsVanRein Mon 07-Nov-16 16:57:51

Oh god this is me too. I'm trying so hard to change but I'm constantly side tracked.

Lucked Mon 07-Nov-16 17:05:57

Yes me to. This bit from the links above really resonates with me.

Even if the procrastinator is in the type of career where the Panic Monster is regularly present and he’s able to be fulfilled at work, the other things in life that are important to him—getting in shape, cooking elaborate meals, learning to play the guitar, writing a book, reading, or even making a bold career switch—never happen because the Panic Monster doesn’t usually get involved with those things. Undertakings like those expand our experiences, make our lives richer, and bring us a lot of happiness—and for most procrastinators, they get left in the dust.

My work has to be done almost as soon as it is available and I have a very successful career but nothing else is where I want it to be.

Eolian Mon 07-Nov-16 17:43:51

I can't recommend those articles highly enough. Even if they only help your productivity a bit, they at the very least make you go "Yes! I thought it was just me!" The first article is hilarious and makes you recongise all the hallmarks of a procrastinator. The second one has some useful tips about planning.

The other thing I find really useful for getting things done during the day is the pomodoro technique.

Mynestisfullofempty Mon 07-Nov-16 17:51:07

I'm sorry, OP but when I read the thread title I was dying to reply "I'll tell you tomorrow". blush
I'm the same though, I put off things all the time and then feel guilty, instead of just getting on with whatever it is and having peace of mind. In my case though I think it's probably because I'm as daft as a brush (hence the first part of this post).

mikeyssister Mon 07-Nov-16 18:19:14

Loved those articles and halfway through the second one I made a phone call I've been putting off for days because it meant admitting to the other person I'd been procrastinating. And the funny thing is that the other person didn't care because they could sort out the problem very easily once they knew about it.

Divorcingjack Mon 07-Nov-16 18:30:31

Hi all, I don't post much, but recently got diagnosed with ADD (new name for ADHD) at the age of 35! I could have written the OP, my procrastination was severely affecting my life, along with numerous other things. The guy that diagnosed me said there is a lost generation of my age and older (especially women) because ADHD was classed as "bad behaviour" or "daydreaming and scatty" when we were at school.

I recommend you all look up Russell Barkley on YouTube - he is the leader in the field. When I watched his lectures before I got diagnosed, I cried for hours with relief that it wasn't my fault and I wasn't just a rubbish human being. It's genuinely changed my life.

Okkitokkiunga Mon 07-Nov-16 18:38:30

Procrastinatia I think you might be me. I could have written that post. I have an assignment due in 2 weeks and I've done no work. I have a garage full of stuff to get rid of and I haven't even done The housework. I did rescue a hedgehog today though, so that was good.

paxillin Mon 07-Nov-16 19:00:43

Split things down into tiny tasks.

Not: -write cookery book, but:

-Decide title
-Start word document, save it
-Decide on chapter headings
-Write list of puddings
-Add recipe for double choc muffin
-Add recipe for vanilla ice cream
-Add recipe for spotted dick

Sammysquiz Mon 07-Nov-16 19:14:37

Me too. I work from home & leave it all to do in the evenings, despite having childfree time during the day which I pay for. I'd love to change!

Procrastinatia Mon 07-Nov-16 19:25:41

How did you go about getting diagnosed Divorcingjack? I have long suspected I have ADD. I can't follow anything through to completion. I can't finish a book, even if it is a real pageturner. Can read for a couple of hours, then the next day I think I will go and settle down and read but I just can't do it. Can't watch a tv programme. I will be on my phone on MN or texting someone. Even if I sat down and tried to concentrate on a programme I wouldn't be able to follow the plot.

Sorry there are so many people with this problem. I have always been like this and although I am not exactly thick I have never achieved my potential and it feels like such a waste.

highlandcoo Mon 07-Nov-16 19:49:12

OP thanks for posting this and Eolian thanks for the links. Very helpful!

I am a procrastinator and I think part of my problem is that I'm afraid of making a wrong decision. I want to make the perfect choice .. and I'm so keen to avoid making a choice I'll regret that I put off indefinitely making any choice at all.

For example - a trivial but frustrating example - at the moment I'd like to buy a Magimix. I can't decide what size to get. I've been to John Lewis at least three times and come home without buying one as I can't decide which one to buy.

Does anyone else identify with this aspect of procrastination?

Divorcingjack Mon 07-Nov-16 20:08:38

Procrastinata, it depends very much on whereabouts in the country you are. My GP was excellent and referred me to the local mental health team, but they don't have an ADHD specialist.

It is very often co-morbid with depression, anxiety, physical issues (back and neck pain), dyslexia, dyspraxia and a heap of other things. Anti-depressant and some anxiety meds will make ADHD symptoms considerably worse, so you have to be extremely careful with assessment and diagnosis.

Ironically, the local team sent me paper forms to fill out and return, needless to say those never got done! I found a private specialist who does all the forms online and email you nagging until you do it!! Experienced with ADD ;)

He wrote my GP a letter with his findings and my GP agreed to a shared care agreement, where medication is prescribed by my specialist, but funded by the NHS. It can also be bought on private prescription if your local NHS won't agree. Outcomes vary and the availability of specialists is limited. I had to travel over 2 hours to see my guy.

There is a brilliant forum called something like UK ADHD - they have lots of info on getting diagnosed and I also found the subreddit on ADHD very useful. Russell Barkley is the place to start though.

I wish you all the best, feel free to drop me a message if you want to chat.


Eolian Mon 07-Nov-16 20:12:38

I'm definitely not ADD - I have no mitigating reasons for my procrastinating, I'm just a procrastinator! I'm a slave to the instant gratification monkey!

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