pteromys: Paint the fields where we wished we could fly (wish)
Pteromys ([personal profile] pteromys) wrote2011-08-24 09:47 am


"I should fix bug A before I look at bug B because bug A is more important" is a great way to make sure I don't get either fixed anytime soon.

I'm sure it's useful to figure out what prerequisites are, but too often I fail to weigh their difficulty (and remember to include procrastination and self-control difficulties) against how required they really are.

Maybe it's partly because of this that, when I heard "learn the rules so that you can break them effectively" as "learn the rules before you break them", I reacted so vehemently.

If I can predict when I'm about to stall this way, then I have a chance of escaping by telling myself, "Just DO something—anything!" In my more lucid moments, I might even get myself to plow through bug A first—by reminding myself that I can't count on bug A being any less of a problem or my motivation being any better once bug B is fixed.

...but that's all I've managed to figure out, and my self-control is apparently not enough to afford me escape reliably. Do any of you have this problem? How do you deal with it?

gwaihiril: "Gwaihiril, Lady of the Wind", photo of an eagle (Default)

[personal profile] gwaihiril 2011-08-25 01:27 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I do this often. I'm trying to get myself to not do it, but it's really difficult. Like you, saying "just DO something, anything" sometimes works. One thing that I tried a couple times was setting a timer: you set it for, say, 25 minutes and work that long, then take a 5 minute break, then repeat. The idea is to overcome paralysis of starting huge important things by just focusing on a short amount of time. I had reasonable success with it, though I think I really should try again, maybe varying the amount of time until I find something that works. Another idea someone suggested is that when I have things that absolutely must be done, to tell another person what I'm planning on doing when, as a way to hold myself accountable to doing what I said I would do because there's outside pressure. I think the success of that method will be highly dependent on who I tell, because there are definitely people who won't make me feel like I'm being held accountable, and others who would just irritate me, but I think that if I use this for urgent things, it will work.

If you think of anything else or want to toss ideas back and forth, I'm definitely interested in discussing this.