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 Post subject: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:53 am 
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I am awful at... anything that requires doing. I procrastinate, I'm late, I waste time. I currently have a lot of unfinished homework assignments. I've neglected my blog. Hobbies I adore that I hope to turn into a profession even get pushed to the side in favor of laying around thinking about my life or dicking around on the internet. I navel gaze alot.

I think one problem is I have trouble living in the present. I think a lot about the past and future instead of doing things in the present. This is a big problem. I'm considering possibly even seeing some sort of therapist about it, but I don't know if that's something they'd be able to help me with?

In the mean time, before I take some weird drastic step, does anyone have any tips? I make lists and schedules but don't follow them. Waking up extra early doesn't really help - I woke up at 4:45, got out of bed at 5:30 and besides showering and eating haven't really done anything. I might still be late for class because I'm not ready (I'm typing this instead and was on the PPK and facebook instead of putting my school things together). I dunno. Is it just a matter of really kind of forcing myself? I can turn on a dime and go from committed belligerent omni to vegan of almost 5 years, but I can't find the will power to commit to other life changes. What's that about?

Anyone?

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 Post subject: Re: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:59 am 
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Is this a new thing (or newer thing)? Because if it is not who you have been in the past, I would suggest seeing someone. What you describe could easily describe depression as well.
But as far as sticking to a self made schedule... I got nothing

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 Post subject: Re: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:00 am 
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So I'm not the greatest person to give advice, because I struggle a lot as well. But some things I've tried that have worked are:

  • If you have a task that takes under 5 minutes, don't set it aside. Do it right away before you even have a chance to think about it.
  • Have to-do lists, lots of them. I have one for "next five days," one for "next month," and one for "someday."
  • Create a reward system for yourself. Maybe X amount of work before you come on here for Y amount of time. That sort of thing.
  • Self-discipline. Being productive takes practice, it's not something you can necessarily attain right away if you struggle with it. Don't beat yourself up when you mess up, just keep going.

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 Post subject: Re: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:02 am 
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Sometimes you just really have to force yourself. Turn off the wireless on your computer or unplug it or whatever. That's what I do when I can't keep myself off the internet by willpower alone.

Also though, are you stressed or anxious? Do you feel like you're juggling too many things? I found I got terrible with procrastination in the last weeks before I came to Japan. I couldn't seem to get up early enough, was late for everything, my brain felt like mush, I couldn't focus. My therapist said it might be a subconscious way of trying to get control when you don't feel like you have it elsewhere. It didn't really make much sense, but I think she was right - I was really stressed about going to Japan and I seemed to have an easier time focusing and not procrastinating once I got there.

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 Post subject: Re: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:02 am 
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I sound a lot like you, but I think I'm just lazy. The only thing Ive found that helps me get movin, is actually being motivated. So school the first time I did shitty and came out with a degree I dont care about, school the second time I dropped out because I didnt know what I was going for. School right now is going much better, because I know what I want and see my future. I still have many of the same laziness issues, so I'm trying to compensate by giving myself much more time. I'm pretending I need to start studying for things a week in advance, then it feels like I'm procrastinating for 5 days, but then I still have 2 days to study. Does that make any sense?


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 Post subject: Re: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:06 am 
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Change your routine. If you wake up first thing in the morning and go sit at your computer chair, do something else instead. Eat breakfast in a different seat or get out of the house immediately. I think a lot of time wasting is just habit and momentum.


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 Post subject: Re: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:36 am 
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Thank you for describing my life. I have missed class 2 days in a row now for no reason. I stayed up until 6am for no reason. I have not taken care of some major things that are coming up soon.

Things were MUCH better when I was seeing a therapist. I need to get that up and running again, but I have to figure out how it works in my new city.

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 Post subject: Re: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:49 am 
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I wanted to add that I also tend to daydream and not live in the present.

One thing that helps me get my butt in gear is envisioning the things I want in the future, then thinking about how I'll feel if I don't achieve them. Then I think about how if I don't do the necessary work to get things going now, that's the version of the future that will become a reality.

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 Post subject: Re: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:53 am 
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I've had this problem in the past too. The best way I found to combat it is through the use of timers and routines, and through minimizing clutter - both mental an physical. And they work well together. It sounds strict, but it's not. I like making systems to make things easier, so these methods work well with my personality.

So for example, I wanted to spend more time reading, so I just started setting a timer for 15 minutes and reading for pleasure, every day, no matter what. Once the habit was established, I could stop using the timer. Now I have to set it to be sure I don't read too long and miss other things. And I took this tip from here: http://jarkkolaine.com/2010/06/15/10-wa ... y-schedule. Actually, I think the structure of it has worked for so many other things for me.

My house is a mess, and a huge job to tackle, but it's been getting better since every day I put on the coffee to brew, set a timer for 10 mins and clean something. It doesn't sound like much, but it's amazing how fast it all adds up.

I was also watching too much TV. I don't mind watching new things and shows I really like, but I would flip on the TV for noise and next thing you know I'm watching 6 hours of NCIS reruns or Lifetime movies. I got rid of cable. I still watch the shows I love on Hulu and Netflix, but only when I choose to - I no longer lose time to shows that I've seen or are junky.

So I had to go through, decided what was important and valuable, and decide what was hindering me. I got rid of the other stuff. I still procrastinate school work at times (in fact writing this post is keeping me from it) but I knew it wouldn't change overnight.

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 Post subject: Re: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:04 pm 
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you pretty much describe what I am like! this makes for stressful times when I have deadlines looming and too much to do, so when I am being 'lazy' (it's not quite the right idea to describe it) I try to remember what the stress is like at those times and get stuff done to stop feeling that way. It doesn't always work and I have no good reason for being like it! it drives my partner mad.


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 Post subject: Re: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:16 pm 
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Grump. I just lost a post that was pretty long and thorough, so I'll summarize:

-therapy is good if you feel you need it. My counselor is very open to working on meditation and mindfulness, and I've found it helpful. also, she's got a sliding scale, which is key.
-try programs like leechblock and freedom for cutting down on computer time-wasting. again, worked well for me.
-the timer thing is great. big time +1.
-I've also found that working away from my kitchen (so I can't make snacks all the time) and going somewhere without credit and debit cards cuts down my distraction options. I then forget that I don't have them, but that's its own issue.

I have a lot of the same struggles you've described, and I hope this helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:02 pm 
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You've basically described my life too, especially when I'm depressed. The only way I can get up and moving in the morning is by setting multiple alarms on my phone. I have several alarms just to get up and then another at 7:00 telling me I need to get ready for work now. Even this strategy is starting to slip, but it worked for a while. I just get used to whatever system I set up and have to try something new.

I have also noticed that it's harder for me to do things when I'm bored by them (surprise, surprise). So if I need to clean, I'll listen to an audiobook while I'm doing it. If I can find something that I actually want to get up for, then it makes getting out of bed easier. Again, for me, these things don't last forever. But they might be worth trying for you.

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 Post subject: Re: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:09 pm 
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I am the hugest procrastinator in the world. What helps me is lists. I can't remember who...maybe Seitanicverses...mentioned keeping a small notebook around at all times. I started doing that.

I write down ten goals I'd like to accomplish in the day and mark them all off. Some days I'll do 10, others I might only get to 1. But it gives me something to strive for and I'm getting a whole lot more done now than before I started doing this.

Also, this might sound insane but if I'm just being lazy or unfocused I go to the nearest mirror and yell at myself. Not in a degrading way. I just try to get amped/energized and tell myself to get focused.

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 Post subject: Re: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:32 pm 
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CandyBeans wrote:
I've had this problem in the past too. The best way I found to combat it is through the use of timers


This is really good advice. I have several timers and automatic reminders at work and they've helped me keep on top of daily and weekly tasks that I would have otherwised pushed aside until the last minute. I've integrated timing my computer and television usage at home and it's working really well.

I also listen to symphonic metal when I need motivation. It's fast yet melodic and it makes me want to move around, but it isn't very mentally distracting.

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 Post subject: Re: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:54 pm 
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I started using this at work and it's been really helpful: http://www.pomodorotechnique.com/
I have been really distracted in the last couple of weeks and haven't been following it as much though. Also, when I'm at home I don't do much of anything and it's become a really shitty routine. But yeah, using the pomodoro technique at work was helpful and I should probably start doing it again.

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 Post subject: Re: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:01 pm 
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cakenstein wrote:
I also listen to symphonic metal when I need motivation. It's fast yet melodic and it makes me want to move around, but it isn't very mentally distracting.


I do this too, but right now I've only got music from one band (and I'm not even sure they count). Do you have any band or song recommendations?

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 Post subject: Re: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:18 pm 
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This sounds familiar to me. I am 20 minutes late to everything, even if it's something I really, really want to do. And I look back and usually can't find any reason why I am late.

As for getting things done, I try and do things I don't want to do (like chores) in between other things, so I'll wash up whilst I'm running a bath or come home to clean my flat in my lunch break. I suppose it's similar to using a timer. It feels like if I have to do something in a large space of time I just don't do it. But, this technique also adds to problem number one- I'll think 'Ooh! I'll just do X before I go out' and then I'm late.


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 Post subject: Re: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:29 pm 
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I used to be a late type. Then I saw a Dr. Phil episode where he said being late was about having a big ego and where I don't entirely agree with that theory, I dunno, I stopped wanting to be late anymore (not that I ever wanted to in the first place) or more accurately, evaluated the underlying reasons why I, personally, tend to be late for things. It's some part a minor social anxiety, I guess, not wanting to leave the comfort zone of my home and getting out in the world. Understanding that much helped me a lot.

Also, take the pressure off. Just begin. Sometimes, I put writing off because ZOMG, I have to fix this disaster I've written, whip it into shape, and it seems insurmountable but then I remind myself that today, I only have to fix a few things, look it over, see what I can do. That's all that's required of me, I don't have to fix the whole sinking ship today, just maybe put on a few patches. Just pick it up and look at it. Next thing you know, I've got my pen in my hand and I'm working on it and progress is being made.

Mostly, it's just a matter of forcing yourself, I've found but taking the pressure off really helps turn forcing yourself into gentler prodding, which is easier to live with. <3

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 Post subject: Re: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:20 pm 
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holylopez wrote:
This sounds familiar to me. I am 20 minutes late to everything, even if it's something I really, really want to do. And I look back and usually can't find any reason why I am late.


Yep.

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 Post subject: Re: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:25 pm 
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i'm pretty much the same way. i spend too much time worrying about all the things i need to get done instead of actually doing them. i just try to do one small thing and go from there. even if i don't get everything done, at least i managed to do something with my day. building motivation takes time.


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 Post subject: Re: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:32 pm 
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I set deadlines for things, then mini deadlines within those. And then mini-mini deadlines. I find that it helps keep me accountable to myself. For example, when I was at uni writing essays all the time, early on in the semester I would have a look at how many I had due and at what time, and would then schedule the time to work on them. I would usually give myself two weeks for each one- one week for research and essay planning, and one week for writing. Giving myself that much time meant I also had heaps left over to relax and do other things.

Then within that, I would set smaller deadlines, like 'I will have x paragraphs written today'. Then I would break it down again- 'I will get this paragraph done before lunch, so I can eat and fork around online then'. It gave me something to work towards if I knew I couldn't eat lunch until it was done. Of course, this can work for other things. Stuff like cleaning the house or whatever.

But I've always been pretty structured in that sense, so it's always been easy for me to plan like this. I don't know, you might find that it makes tasks seem less daunting when they're broken down. Embrace your love of time wasting and use it as a reward for getting things done!

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 Post subject: Re: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:34 pm 
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I sympathise, I'm absolutely terrible when it comes to time-management and procrastination. I make a to do list everyday, with 4 or 5 things listed, and I'm lucky if I get two of those things done. Lists don't really work for me.

I waste a lot of time just daydreaming, or watching shows online. It's pretty bad. Unless I have a morning class the next day (and, sometimes, even if I do), I'll stay up until 5am for no particular reason, and then not get out of bed until 3pm the following day. I wish I could be more motivated/productive.


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 Post subject: Re: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:01 pm 
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I remember going through a similar funk when I was in school, and I didn't handle it well--I almost lost my scholarship.

For me, inertia can easily take over, plus I get easily overwhelmed when I have a lot to do, so I try to do a little bit every day. I don't get a lot done, but something is better than nothing.

For example, I HATE doing housework, so I deal with it by making a deal with myself that I will clean for x number of minutes (usually 30) as soon as I get home from work. That way I get a little done every day, and the place isn't a complete mess.

Also, I have a running to-do list & every day I try to take care of at least one thing on the list. That way I get stuff done, but I don't get overwhelmed.

Basically I chip away at the mountain ever day.

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 Post subject: Re: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:26 pm 
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This is what I do to manage my time.

1) Make lists. I have a weekly and daily list.
2) Create a reward system for yourself. Say if I get "X" done I get to do "Y."
3) Impose internet/TV free time.
4) Imagine what your life will be like if you don't handle business. IF I don't get my paper written, I will fail the class. IF I don't develop "whatever skill you wish to develop," I won't reach my goal of "insert goal here."
5) Take mini-breaks. If needed, set a timer.
6) Break-down tasks you do not like to do. For example, I don't like to clean. If I'm faced with cleaning my entire house at one time, I won't clean anything. If I break my cleaning down into smaller chunks throughout the week, my house stays somewhat clean.


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 Post subject: Re: Time Management!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:42 pm 
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I procrastinate a whole lot, but I always get things done that *need* to be done. Although some things (like being on time for 8:30am classes) are a lost cause no matter how hard I try.

Lists help a lot. I use http://teuxdeux.com/list . You also just need to find the motivation to do it. If you don't want to do something and you don't see the reason why you have to do it then of course it's going to be impossible to get anything done. Set clear goals and mentally acknowledge the benefits of accomplishing them (and the bad things that will happen if you don't). Staying motivated is really half the battle.


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