Thursday, July 5, 2007



First, I want to say welcome to all of you who are visiting via the fantabulous Michele. I am honored to be the Site of the Day over at her place.

Now, back to our session:

Stephanie asks:

"I have an extremely hard time getting motivated, and to have any sense of self-discipline. It seems like I never get the things done that I want/need to get done (such as cleaning house, doing writing work - my job - , watering plants, cutting the lawn, etc.), and I procrastinate until things become total wrecks. How can I instill more of a sense of self-discipline in myself? I really WANT to be more motivated, and accomplish more, but it seems like even wanting isn't enough :( "

For some people, resolving this issue is a matter of focusing on only one thing rather than thinking about the five million unfinished projects that need attention. It's the old "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." theory.

However, for others, this problem can be a signpost of a bigger issue: depression or adult ADHD. Having been married to someone with adult ADD (believe me, no "H" was involved) I know what this looks like. In his case, it was accompanied by self-medication (coffee addiction, pot smoking, mandatory beer or wine with dinner) but what he really needed was Ritalin.

Try the one-small-step-for-Stephanie approach. If that really doesn't work, consider seeing someone who can determine whether you can be helped by medication.

OK, we have to stop now.

18 comments:

Bev Sykes said...

Hi from Michele's site! Interesting idea you have here.

Finn said...

I agree -- small bites make the work seem more manageable rather than overwhelming. I'm not a procrastinator but I do this because I'm usually overwhelmed with stuff to do.

Excellent advice.

Hi -- Michele sent me today!

shoeaddict said...

I often have the same problem. I am a procrastinator. I letsomethings get so bad and then they just completly overwhelm me. I'm working on it.
Michele sent me to tell you that.

Bob-kat said...

I know just how Stephanie feels. I can't realx until I have things done either and so it can spiral out of control quickly! The one small step at a time thing really does work but beware of making lists - they often turn into a nother task to be done!

Great idea for a blog :)

Here from Michele's!

rosemary said...

Hi Panthergirl...here from Michele's...and to think I was your first client! Such a great blog!

utenzi said...

I'm so glad that Michele profiled your new blog, Marian. I had no idea you'd put up a new one. I love the concept and think you're quite well qualified to be giving out advice. Lord knows, I need plenty!

McIrish Annie said...

small bites the way i get through my boring day at work... life begins at 5 when i can take BIG BITES!

BTW, michelle sent me. and we visited earlier this week!! your blog is great. my next big problem, i'm coming to you!@!

leslie said...

Hello, Michele sent me

Great blog! I have the same problem as Stephanie. Sometimes I just can't get off the couch....

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Hey, panthergirl! I'd never known about this site until Michele sent me. Or is this your usual one? I'm exhausted from last night's fireworks and sleepover and not thinking clearly.

For me, it's a sense of being overwhelmed that makes me procrastinate. I have to constantly remind myself that it's okay and if I just give it the two minutes it needs, it'll be done and out of my life.

Speaking of which, I've got books to pack up... Thanks for the kick in the pants!

Jennie said...

Hi again Panthergirl, congratulations! Michele sent me. Ugh, procrastination. The one bite at a time idea is a good one. I find it makes me get interested in a task and end up doing more than I had set out to do.

Stephanie Davies said...

Wow!! Thanks for answering my question so fast!! I'm honored it got put up there. And thank you for the wonderful advice also. You are right I do tend to get very overwhelmed, and I also have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew also...I feel the need to do more, be more, earn more, etc. I'm surprised at all the responses saying "me too"!

Thanks for the great advice...I'm going to try the "small bites" approach and if that doesn't seem to work, I'll talk to my therapist about possibly changing my medications to assist with this.

AWESOME blog :)

Theo said...

my son said it best:

Question: How many ADD kids does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer: Wanna go ride bikes?

Michele sent me. I believe our paths have crossed before.

Namaste'

kwrenb said...

Hello, Michelle sent me.
And I can see already that this will be a site that I visit often!
(I've put a couple of therapist's kids through at least a really good summer camp myself. Now I'm working on the funding of the college education of my pulmonary specialist...)

Janet said...

I could've asked this question LOL! Hi, Michele sent me :-)

Becky68 said...

Hi Panthergirl,
congrats on being Micheles Site of the Day, really good idea for your new blog & good advice, Since I have the same type of problem, the only things that get done, other than my job, are dinner, books I'm reading & my blog.

laane said...

The ADD male in the house here doesn't procratinate... he just does it... and goes on focusses on the first thing that comes into mind.

Ugh!!

Hockey Rocker said...

Great Blog. Procrastination is an addiction that I kicked some years ago and it has made a huge difference in the quality of my life. First of all, I had it bad. Suffice it to say that procrastination cost me big-time in my early adulthood.

I broke out of it by making massive change. This was primarily the result of me changing my thinking about my own desire to procrastinate. I believe that I do things either to gain pleasure or avoid pain, and the desire to avoid pain is much greater than the desire to achieve pleasure. By linking horrible and realistically nightmarish consequences to my procrastination via the “Dickens Effect” I was able to realize that the long term pain caused by procrastination far outweighed any instantaneous pleasure.

That’s why many kids do their homework at the last minute. The pain of walking into school empty-handed finally outweighs the pleasure of goofing off sometime around 11PM on Sunday night.

The Dickens thing is cool. You imagine the three spirits, procrastination past, present and future and you envision how procrastination has hurt you in the past, present and what it will cost you in the future. I made it so intense that I was actually crying after the exercise, as I strongly envisioned myself being stepped over in a cold, dark, urine-smelling subway tunnel, penniless, without family and friends and without hope. That’s what my procrastination, had it continued and escalated, would do to me. I believed it, so it was true.

It worked for me. Now the closest I come to procrastination is this, typing as I field business phone calls during one of the slowest days of the year at the office.

Sorry for the long post. Again, this is a great blog Marian. Very cool.

aka_Monty said...

OH that was just one of the questions on my mind!! I do the same thing--I get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things to be done, and as a result NOTHING gets done. It sucks because a large part of my work is done from home and some days it's REALLY difficult to get motivated.

Excellent advice!!!