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Severe Procrastination

Sorta sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? "Severe procrastination". Everyone goes through that yet can make it through simply with their own will power to work hard. I can't though. 

 

I'm in first-year college already, but I've been a procrastinator since I was 10. I always hand in work late, due to lack of motivation. The consequences weren't so bad then, but in the last few years they've affected the use of my time (because I would use time meant to study for gaming), my grades, my relationships with friends and family (I lost a best friend to it), and how I view myself in the worst negative light: a burden, a wasted life.

 

I write this after spending the last 24 hours online despite the exam tomorrow that determines whether or not I fail the course, because I'm an idiot and handed in a 35% assignment three weeks late, time I was using isolated in my room playing stupid games. This isn't a rare occurrence. Procrastination messes up my sleep patterns, and, because I live alone, I end up not having time to eat because I feel like I'll waste study time if I do anything productive. To do anything but study is such a strong feeling, I can't tell if people don't understand how hard it is for me or if I'm wrong and people feel it too but push through it easily, so I never really talk about it with anyone. It does seem ridiculous, but it's affected my life detrimentally in more than significant ways. It is laziness, but that doesn't mean it's easy.

 

Even if it's happened so many times, and I always tell myself I wouldn't do it again, I always do. I don't know how to fix this, but I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read this. 

Re: Severe Procrastination

Hi @BlueGreen 

 

Welcome to the forums. Thank you for taking the massive step and sharing what you have been going through. That takes a lot of courage Heart There will be people here that may have felt the same way at some point, we are here to listen.  

 

It sounds really tough how you are feeling right now. You spoke about how this has been affecting your life and you haven't really spoken to anyone about it, if you felt comfortable to do so is there someone that you could share your worries with? Does your college provide any supports?

 

I did have to edit your post as it had some triggering content in relation to eating, you can check out community guidelines here 

 

You are not alone Heart

 

Re: Severe Procrastination

Hi,
Thank you so much for everything; I only realize now that there is one close person I can talk to that I've been reserved to in the past. I also apologize for what I wrote and didn't realize it would be harmful!
Truly, thank you for all that you do for everyone here

Re: Severe Procrastination

@BlueGreen I don't think it sounds ridiculous, honestly my first thought reading the title was "same".

 

People often assume that my own procrastination is laziness, but 99% of the time it's actually because of an anxiety attack, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, or not having a clue where to start.

Sometimes I simply cannot summon the motivation to do the thing, but I don't really think that's laziness either. To "borrow" some words:

Often there's a lot more behind "laziness" than people assume. For me it turned out I have autism, ADD, anxiety, and a whole heap of other stuff that just makes productivity a lot harder than it is for most people. Some people don't have a specific diagnosis, and just happen to struggle a lot with productivity, but that doesn't make it any easier, or mean that it's because of laziness.

 

Anyway, there are lots of ideas out there on how to improve procrastination, but different ones work in different ways, and for different people.

Do you know what causes your procrastination/ lack of motivation, or what makes the games more attractive/ easier for you to do?

Re: Severe Procrastination

Hi @Tiny_leaf,

Thank you so much! It means the world knowing I'm not alone (and that quote is crazy insightful).

As for games... I honestly don't know. Studying for an exam isn't actually difficult or loathsome, but games are so much fun that if I intend for 15 minutes, I get 6 hours; It's multiple games or Youtube, so it's quite easy to fall into. I don't practice hobbies either because I game in my free time. My mind keeps thinking of excuses, but I think this is the logical reality. 

I also read your latest post before I wrote this, which inspired me; You wrote it even though you didn't know what you would gain from it. I realized sorting your thoughts and expressing yourself somewhere is, in itself, something to gain over nothing. I truly hope, even if you're still struggling, that you are in a better place than you were then, because that in itself is a great feat. 

 

Re: Severe Procrastination

@BlueGreen thank you. Smiley Happy

 

Do the games that you play have interruptions in them like autosaves, level changes or add breaks?

I use these to sort of.. break the game into chunks, otherwise I get too absorbed and play forever.

Normally it'll go something like this for me:

•Play game

•Get interrupted by ad

•Check anxiety levels (I personally have to do this before even thinking about work, but others can apparently skip this step)

•While waiting for ad to finish, I check what I have to do and start working on it

•When I start to lose focus, get stuck or my anxiety starts getting bad, I go back to the game and repeat 

You could also use this as a type of reward system - after you've done a certain amount of work, you get to play your favorite game until the next autosave/ ad.

Re: Severe Procrastination

Hey there @BlueGreen

 

You are definitely not alone with this! I myself struggle with the sort of procrastination that you are experiencing, so I know how you feel. I often find myself putting things off until the last minute, then everything I need to do just piles up and becomes so overwhelming that I'm too anxious to get anything done! 

 

When I am experiencing these feelings, I like to make a list of little things I can do each day (e.g. spend 1 hour working on an assignment, or read 1 paper) and just get it done before playing games or watching TV. Try to do just a little bit everyday (nothing too strenuous) and then before you know it, all the little things you have done throughout the week have added up to a pretty substantial amount of work done. Have you tried to do anything like this? 

 

I hope this helps! Heart

Re: Severe Procrastination

That's an incredible yet easy system,

I always say "after this amount of time, I'll start work" which is difficult because I'm still absorbed, and when I work, I try to go long without breaks which makes the image of work strenuous. 

I suppose there is one fps game where rounds are only 8 minutes long with 30-second intermissions. I never thought about breaking away with closure instead of time limits, so thank you!

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Re: Severe Procrastination

I really appreciate you sharing your experience <3

I can't believe I'm saying this, but never in my life have I ever functioned that way when it comes to assignments or work; I always try to compress my time instead of taking a bit each day. When it comes to readings, I always save them for one day on the weekend, which is overwhelming if I don't follow through. 

I'm gonna try to divide hours studying throughout my week. I suppose the thing I was missing was just routine, a strict list, which I honestly wasn't sure about until I read your comment. 

Thanks so much for your advice ^^

Re: Severe Procrastination

You're welcome Smiley Happy

 

I used to be the same! I always tried to squeeze in all my uni work into one day and try to get it all done. I found when I worked this way it got too overwhelming and I became annoyed with myself for not getting enough done. Obviously everyone is different and we all have different ways of doing things, but you just have to find what works best for you and find a your ideal balance between work/play.  I hope this advice works out well for you, let me know how you go! Smiley Happy