Procrastinate to the extreme

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Procrastinate to the extreme 2013-09-13T03:01:25+00:00

The Forums Forums Most X-treme! Is It Just Me? Procrastinate to the extreme

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  • #121715
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    ceit
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    Post count: 7

    I seem to have this terrible habit of pushing things beyond waiting til the last minute, but going beyond, sometimes just to see what will happen.

    For example, my driver’s license had to be renewed on my birthday and of course I couldn’t possibly do it ahead of time. Oh no, that would be smart. So I wait and then I get busy, so it gets past due. And then for some reason that is beyond me completely, I keep pushing it. It’s in the car. I just have to go do it. I swear, it’s like I was subconsciously trying to see how long I could go without a valid license. And it makes no sense to me. And this is not the first time I’ve done something like this.

    Does anyone else do things like this? Or anyone possibly have any ideas why I do this and maybe how I can stop because someday it’s going to bite me.

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    #121717
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    blackdog
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    Do I procrastinate? Um….let’s see…..I’ll get back to you on that…..Someday. 😉

    Okay, first of all, you are smart. Don’t beat yourself up so much. Procrastinating on important things is an ADD thing. It has nothing to do with your intelligence level.

    You think putting off getting your license renewed for a few weeks, or months, is bad? I haven’t filed an income tax return in so long I can’t remember when the last time was. I think it’s been about 11 years. And it’s not because I don’t know it needs to be done. I get several reminders every year  at income tax time when everybody and their uncle asks “So, have you got your taxes done yet?”

    I’ve been removed from the voters list because of it. My husband’s disability support could be cut off because of it. And now I am possibly going to need to apply for disability support myself and can’t get it until I do my taxes. And have I done them yet? Nope.

    My employer gave me notice almost two months ago and I haven’t applied for Employment Insurance yet.

    My dad died a year and a half ago and I haven’t finished switching things over into my mom’s name yet. He had it set up to be billed automatically for his antivirus software to be updated and I’ve had to pay that twice. And the computer doesn’t even work anymore. It crashed about 7 months ago and I haven’t got it in to get it fixed yet. And I also never got around to cancelling the Internet so I have been paying for Internet service that I am not actually using ever since it crashed……

    And that is just a few examples. I could go on but I’m sure you get the point.

     

    Now, as for the why, your guess is as good as mine. I don’t understand it either.

    I think what happens is that at first I just don’t want to do it. It’s something unpleasant that I don’t enjoy so I shove it from my mind. Then as time goes on it gets harder to do. I lose my T4, I lose the tax forms, I have other things to do, I don’t know how to do it now that I have lost those things….

    And then it just gets embarrassing. I don’t want to admit that I put it off for so long. I can’t explain why I did. I know people won’t understand. So again, it’s something unpleasant that I don’t want to deal with and I shove it from my mind.

    I also find I procrastinate more on things that have strong emotions attached to them, like dealing with my dad’s death.

    Part of it too is probably like you said, seeing how long you can get away with it. I know it sounds childish and silly but……that’s how our brains work. We like games, we like pushing limits, being daring, getting into mischief. Also, I find that leaving things until the last possible moment stimulates and motivates me more. I suddenly have a surge of energy and can get done in an hour what would normally take 3 hours.

    Anyway, you are certainly not alone in this. So don’t feel bad. And the only solution I know of is to do things just as soon as you think of them. So get that licence renewed! Today! Do it! Right now! 🙂

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    #121727
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    Wgreen
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    Here ya go: the three-minute explanation of why ADDers procrastinate, at least when it comes to things that don’t sit atop their hierarchy of interest.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3VuV5Jvazs

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    #121728
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    blackdog
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    Thanks Wgreen. 🙂

    That explains it from a more scientific view. Though I have to object to the fatalistic attitude of it. Saying that adults with ADHD will “never” achieve their goals is very negative and depressing. Not a healthy way of thinking. It’s also not quite that black and white.

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    #121750
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    Wgreen
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    Well, that’s true, rarely are things black and white. I suppose we can all agree that Ebola is categorically a bad bug to catch, but… your point is well taken. Still, the fact that some ADDers do extremely well in life, and others do well enough, doesn’t mean it’s not a serious problem for most who suffer from it. There’s just too much evidence to justify the label of “disorder.” Some people win jackpots playing the lottery, but that doesn’t mean that lottery tickets are, generally speaking, good investments. The fact that there are winners every week doesn’t change the sobering odds. I don’t think Barkley, or anybody else in the medical community, would call ADD a death sentence. But on the other hand, statistics show ADDers are in fact much more likely to die in car accidents and from drug and alcohol addiction than the general population—not to mention likely to suffer devastating consequences of other debilitations. Gray is not black, but it can still be a dangerous color. In my view, it would be inaccurate—not to mention unhelpful—to call it anything else.

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    #121752
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    blackdog
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    Well, I am currently trying to recover from a particularly bad episode of depression, so you’ll have to forgive for trying  to have a more positive outlook.

    Also, after 40 years of never reaching my potential, never achieving any of my goals, seeing almost every one of my dreams dead and buried, I have to believe that there is some hope for the next 40 years.

    Hope. It’s a very important thing to have. And telling people with ADHD that this is it, you’ll never achieve those goals, those dreams will never come true, you might as well just sit down where you are and give it all up, takes that hope away.

    I failed in my first attempt to go to college, before my ADD and depression were diagnosed. Does that mean that I should abandon my current plan to go back to college? That’s it, I’m doomed to spend the rest of my life working at Tim Horton’s, or Walmart? I’ll never go to college, never finish that course, never have the career I want to have, never earn a decent living?

    This brings up another interesting aspect of ADHD. The feedback loop. We carry all of this mental baggage around with us all the time and when a situation that had a negative outcome in the past arises again we instantly recall all those other times. The last time I did this it didn’t work, and the time before that, so it won’t work this time either.

    And you get used to certain thought patterns and they become comfortable for you. It’s like that song by Gotye says: “You can get addicted to a certain kind of sorrow”. This is how one of my friends described it:

    “…. sometimes to break myself out of these ‘negative patterns’ i try to figure out why my brain likes them. generally everything comes down to tweaking something good in your brain even if it’s a bad thing. For example i used to pick fights with my husband a lot, especially when things were going well, because that state (happy and normal) was totally alien to me and it made me panic. So picking a fight and having a lot of stress in our relationship actually made my brain happy….”

    It’s a subject we have spent a lot of time discussing as she tries to help me through my journey. Basically, it’s like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. What you think is how you feel and how you feel is how you act.

    Look at it this way. What if Stephen Hawking had just given up when his ALS was first diagnosed? What if Rick Hansen had said I’m in a wheelchair, how could I possibly run around the world? What if the therapist my friend goes to who has helped her and countless others to learn how to manage their disabilites and be successful in life had decided he could never do that because he has ADHD?

    ADHD is a disorder, not a death sentence. Yes it is a real disability. Yes it needs to be taken seriously. But it also needs to be, and can be, overcome.

    Okay, time to put the soap box away and get off my butt and stop procrastinating. I was originally only planning on typing the first sentence. But then my brain just ran away with me. You wouldn’t believe how long I can go on….

    Right. Getting off of buttocks now. Time to get to work on that to do list. Just one more thing first….;)

    Hate typos, had to fix them. I’m gonna go now.

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