The Forums Forums Tools, Techniques & Treatments Procrastination? Removed My Lynchpin!

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    #94799 |

    Hi! This is my VERY 1rst. post ever on the computer!! The last few years I have felt like the hamster on the wheel going round

    and round and round and not getting anything accomplished, not moving forward with my life; hey; my house is always in disarray .

    Too overwhelming, and I am too tired. Unpleasant tasks can literately paralysis me. I live alone. so there is no one to help out.

    I am a listaholic. Just recently I have been working on strategies by myself. Just found out about this website last week.

    I try to give myself pep talks and break down into tiny steps what I need to do to get something done. By the way, I am female,

    Do you all find other people judge you for being disorganized?

    #94800 |

    I have always been a procrastinator, and feel as though I always will be. I own my own business and I have to flier to get new business.. I hate it, that much time and nothing to keep my brain occupied kills me so I hate doing it, and it just never gets done. The thought of even doing it bring on fear and loathing that can bring on what feels like the blues, and not doing it brings on the self loathing.

    I have had this problem since moving to my new city, I have done it here to get started but no matter how hard I try, it is next to impossible for me to get motivated to do this chore.

    I have a phone that I can listen to podcasts on, but that still doesn’t take away the absolute dread of doing the fliering that I need to do to keep my business going.

    any suggestions

    #94801 |

    I’ve found a website called very helpful with breaking things down to Babysteps…. She never talks about ADHD but rather SHE’s (Sidetracked Home Executives). She does sell stuff she has found helpful in the FLYshop, but all of the services are free. And what does FLY stand for? Well she first got the name because she taught flyfishing so that was her email name… but it has come to stand for Finally Loving Yourself. IE accept the way you are, love yourself and then take baby steps to do what you have to do… AND make it fun!!! Many of her things seem silly because she knows that for folks like herself (and us)

    “If it isn’t fun, it won’t get done.” She also gets you to develop routines (gasp!!! I HATE that word) but routines let you do the boring stuff with out having to think about it so you can use your creative energies the way you were designed to.


    #94802 |

    KellyinVT, I am so glad I read to the bottom of this post list. I too ‘startede…” Fly Lady a couple years ago, but I got overwhelmed with the plethora of email messages that i apparently asked for. How long have you been following her, and how “deep” do you go into her methods? Is anyone on meds, and how do they make you feel? I have tried several of them, but they made me come out of my skin. I’m a single homeowner-procrastinating housekeeper as well. I’m in out sales, and have recently been given a multitude of new things that have to be sold/offered. I get paralyzed and just sit sometimes… Anyone else?

    #94803 |

    oh man, tough! tough to read about, too. I hate that all you guys are going through this same shitty stuff. starting is the hardest part of ANYthing! once I start, I’m usually okay and keep going until I’m distracted by another task or interruption. but wow. mental energy; no one can tell me that it’s merely a queston of willpower. I mean, this is why all of us here are big caffeine junkies, am I right?

    TIM: nice explanation, makes lots of sense. how did that grad school app go??

    PICKY PARENT and BILLD: I hate the phone too! especially with people I don’t know, like to make appointments or deal with some issue or other. pretty much never do it until it’s an emergency.

    SNAZZY SPAZ: good name, first of all! and very good advice, too. I theoretically know that breaking tasks down will make a difference, but tend to forget to apply this in actuality. it’s definitely true that washing 3-6 dishes at a time (I set a specific number before starting) clears the sink much faster than procrastinating for weeks, literally, to get the mountain all done in one go. (effing dishes!! the worst!)

    SHOOSH: laziness is rare! all of us here are struggling with guilt and shame and anxiety. try not to be so hard on yourself….

    good luck everybody. and my advice would be to stay away from this FLYLADY business. I took one look at that site and kind of freaked out and that was that. honestly, who wants to spend any chunk of their day cleaning their kitchen sink…?

    oh yeah, and I am procrastinating as we speak. or, write/read. okay.

    #94804 |

    I’m new here and was just blown away by this thread. I have always had this problem. I do make the ‘to do’ lists and I really try to prioritize. Then I break the jobs into little steps — and then ONE LITTLE THING will hold me up, just flat out stop me from doing anything. Why? It is almost always some problem that I cannot solve, some tool I cannot locate (today I am hoping to find the screwdriver– HA!) Then I feel bad about myself because I have made lists upon lists (feels like homework) and what did it get me? Well, not the screwdriver! So I am stuck. I am stuck often.

    I do not have trouble doing the dishes, or dusting or vacuuming….I have trouble allowing myself to do those things while the screwdriver has gone missing. (I am married and it is not my fault that tools go missing.)

    The things like the dishes are tedious but there is something freeing about doing something that I actually CAN do. The stuff that is most problematic is stuff that requires a decision – – like where should I put this? Keep this or throw it out? Call the bank or the dentist first? I feel like I have to have a plan and that I have to have my priorities in proper order and then when something goes wrong I am just stuck and I just sit and play computer games feeling like a loser.

    I have known this about myself for years, but it feels like a huge relief to know that others have this problem and that it has a name: Lynchpin. I feel better just knowing that.

    Thanks for identifying it.

    #94805 |

    Yes, It’s so weird, Bobbie40N…

    It’s almost like there is this pyramid of things to do or chores and that one thing at the top,,,if something goes wrong and you can’t do it, then you can’t get past it to get to the other things. You’re blocked!

    For some reason, that top thing in the pyramid has become the key to everything else getting done.

    If that doesn’t get done, then you’re unable to do anything else.

    Damn the lynchpin!

    #94806 |

    MerryMac, I just want to thank you for pointing it out and giving it a name. At least now I don’t feel so frustrated. It just is what it is. I can sometimes figure things out when I write about it. So when I am having trouble I just write down: Why can’t I get this done? What’s the problem? And then I go do something else and when I get back to my questions, sometimes I have an answer and from that I can make a list of steps to get somethig done.

    I do that for Big things but I never thought to do it for the little stuff and the little stuff turns into Big stuff sometimes. Now I feel like I can recognize what is holding me up — a Lynchpin — and then set about figuring out what the real problem is.

    I do hate that I spend so much time trying to figure out How to do regular stuff and there is the temptation to believe all the BS I heard growing up, but I am too old to believe it so I don’t dwell on it much anymore…but it still comes back.

    Anyway, it is great to be able to call it the Lynchpin and know that whatever is holding me up is not going to be solved without some effort to figure out the real problem. Maybe I will (someday) learn to just move onto the next thing….maybe….

    Maybe we should start sharing our Lynchpins …. but I am busy now engaging in avoidance behavior by wirting this post and not doing anything about the clutter…oh well…

    I like the cat picture!

    #94807 |

    I’ve been working on a web site – i take that back – i’ve been thinking about working on web site with SBI! for 1 and 1/2 years. There is a 10 day plan of development that is so complex that I can’t get beyond day 3 of figuring out how to do it. I’ve spent over $400 for the site building tools and server space and can’t get it going. I hate it! I also dread calling friends or family bc I fear I will be trapped on the phone for hours and miss opportunities to get other things done – which I never actually attend to. Well, sometimes they call when I am actually doing things, so I don’t pick up. Tunnel vision. I find ringing phones quite annoying. It’s amazing that I have any friends at all. Thank God my Mom calls persistently or I’d probably never talk to anyone. Most people think I am just selfish. But, I am actually quite generous if we actually connect, by chance.

    #94808 |

    Soemtimes when I notice that I’m letting the ‘lynchpin’ get in my way I have to give myself a virtual slap in the face to get the job done.

    I get real firm with myself (telling myself “NO excuses!) and bluntly say that I just have to do it.

    “Have to do it?” What? Yes, that good old Nike slogan of “Just do it!” will work for me. As soon as I begin the ‘I can’ts’ or ‘I will do it later’ dialogues I burst in with the “JUST DO IT!”.

    I tell myself that over and over until I get it done. No other dialogue is allowed in my head except the “Stop that talk. Just do it.” I find it amazing how actual little effort is really needed to get those jobs done. To think that I had procrastinated on them for so long. It just makes me want to shake my head.

    #94809 |

    I’ve found that making a list of things to do (without priorities), then crossing off any item when completed helps. If something doesn’t get done, I add it to the next list. If it still doesn’t get done, then it goes on the next list with an exclaimation mark. By the third list, I am able to accomplish the task knowing that I have had plenty of time to avoid it and still accomplish something.

    And if all else fails, bribery (like new shoes) still works.

    #94810 |

    It’s so weird, zsazsa…the things we get stuck avoiding…

    They are always really small things, but for some reason they get us stuck!

    And thanks Bobbie40N! I like your cat pic too! Have you seen Nora the piano playing cat??

    #94811 |

    I think when something isn’t getting done that we need to find the reason. Sometimes it is just avoiding a mind-numbing chore. But sometimes there is another reason that for whatever reason we just can’t identify it right away. I think of these as my Lynchpins.

    Why can’t I get the dresser cleared off? Because I can’t figure out where to put stuff. Why? I have too much stuff and there’s no more room. Why do I have so much stuff? I can’t decide what to keep and what to toss.

    And so it goes. The problem isn’t that I can’t clean off the dresser, the problem is that I need to make room for the stuff I use regularly and pack or pitch the stuff that is filling the drawers and closets, etc.

    The thing is that I beat myself up over not cleaning off the dresser and that isn’t the real problem. I would do it if I could figure out how to make room for it, but that comes with a bunch of baggage.

    I think sometimes it is all about finding the root of the real problem. Maybe there is a root to my reluctance to do the mind-numbing chores….

    No, MerryMac, I have not seen Nora the piano playing cat but I did see some cute video of cat bowling. Pretty funny.

    #94812 |

    I don’t like cleaning off the dining table because I know it will only be a matter of a few days until it looks exactly as it does right now. Why bother making the bed when you’re just going to mess it up again, in other words.

    My thought process usually goes something like this:

    I need to clean off the table and do the dishes and clean the litter boxes and do the laundry and take out the recycling and by now my head is spinning and I’m thinking of just going back to bed.

    So I tell myself to be a big girl and break it down into smaller tasks. So I usually choose one thing, like cardboard boxes, for example, and I collect them and break them down so that they are flat and ready to go out to be recycled. I set them in a corner out of the way.

    Then I realize it’s lunchtime. So I make a sandwich and sit down at my desk to eat it (remember, my table is covered by a mountain of crap). While I’m at the computer, I might as well check Facebook, email, my bank account balance, that website that sells shoes that a friend told me about but I kept forgetting the name of, then Facebook again, play a few rounds of Bejeweled.

    Now it’s dinnertime. Soon it will be 8pm when my favorite TV shows come on. The cleaning can wait. And it does. And here I am, sitting in my cluttered cave.

    I do manage to get the litter boxes cleaned regularly, because I’m not actually a dirty slob and the smell of that motivates me to do something about it. I also manage to do laundry on a regular basis, but that’s only because I have a washer and dryer in my apartment; when I had to go to the laundromat to do it, it was another story altogether.

    La la la…oh, there’s that thing I was looking for last week.

    #94813 |


    thanks for posting that, it sounds exactly like my day.

    I feel so depressed right now because I’ve been putting off chores for a few days now – some for a few weeks/months – and the longer I wait, the more builds up to get done and the worse I feel about myself and just kind of want to run away.

    I feel really silly, because I KNOW without a doubt that as soon as I am actually ACTING and DOING, it will be easy and I will feel better.

    What keeps us from starting? Anxiety? Feeling overwhelmed?

    Bejeweled is my favourite game, actually, ha ha. and my laptop, I love it, but at the same time I know I am kind of addicted to it/ the internet. does anybody else turn their computer on as soon as they wake up?

    anybody else can’t eat a meal alone without watching TV or going on your computer? I always either have my computer on or the radio in the background.

    I found out about 2 months ago now about the ADHD and the initial relief and excitement has worn off. do you guys find this has happened to you? you hit kind of a plateau once you realize how hard it is to form new habits and deal with this, and how slowly change comes?

    thanks again, everybody, for posting. this site always helps when I am down on myself.

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