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Can't seem to beat procrastination

Motivation and drive
  • I keep procrastinating about everything in my life, from school to going to the gym, to even making food. Every time I procrastinate I just end up feeling bad afterwards, but I can't get myself to just do the things I'm supposed to be doing. It's like a never ending cycle.

    Has anyone beat their procrastination problems and if so, how did you do it?

  • I really haven't been able to beat procrastination, Emotion. Especially when it comes to working out.

    However, I try to think about the consequences of not doing what I have to do on time and then, I feel I must do it, no matter what.

    I've tried to think about the roots of procrastination and maybe they're related to depression, sadness and lack of motivation. I might be wrong, though. But once you've found out what makes you procrastinate, you can beat it more easily.

  • Yeah, you're absolutely right about that last point. I found out the reason I was procrastinating from making food is because I'm not confident in my cooking skills. I only know how to make basic foods, like chicken. I guess the more I learn and practice cooking the less likely I'll procrastinate making food.

  • [quote='Emotion' pid='384' dateline='1396925679']
    Yeah, you're absolutely right about that last point. I found out the reason I was procrastinating from making food is because I'm not confident in my cooking skills. I only know how to make basic foods, like chicken. I guess the more I learn and practice cooking the less likely I'll procrastinate making food.
    [/quote]

    And why aren't you confident when it comes to cooking??? Are you also insecure in some other aspects of your life???

    At least, you know how to cook something....

  • Yeah I am insecure about other aspects in my life, but who isn't? Well I just know how to make two things, chili chicken and buttermilk biscuits. They're my favorite foods so I thought why not learn how to make them. Unfortunately they didn't turn out nearly as well as I imagined.

    Cooking is really easy to learn, but very hard to master. I just Googled the instructions for those two foods I like and followed them. You should also try it, I bet you'll find it easy.

  • You just have to practice more. That way, you'll learn.
    Also, watching videos and chefs cooking might give you ideas.

  • Yeah I've been getting much better at making stir-fry chicken, and last time I got just a little bit scared of the oil instead of my usual panicky reaction. 😄

  • Hey, I read both your posts and would like to make two comments:

    1. Using those liquid backing things (that have a mixture of fat and water) are less scary than oil for cooking. It reacts less with 'exploding splashes' than oil. By the way, it could also help (when using oil) to use less oil, let the oil not get too hot, and to pay attention that the food you put in the pan is not too wet. (so let washed vegetables leak / drain a little bit before putting it in the pan) This also decreases 'exploding splashes'.

    2. Finding out the reasons of procrastinating was also helpful for me.
      The theory '16 desires' (by Steven Reiss) has helped me understand my personal motives much more. Steven distinguishes the following 16 psychological drives:
      acceptance, curiosity, eating, honor, independence, idealism, order, power, physical activity, romance, tranquility, vengeance, familiy, saving, social contact, and social status.
      This theory made it easier for me to accept myself and to cope with jealousy to others. I am for example very curious. I enjoy learning and understanding how the world works. When I am jealous at popular people I say to myself: popularity is for people who have a high need for social contact and/or social status (maybe some power too) and since I don't have those needs, I wouldn't be as happy in their shoes as I think I would. I'm jealous at the fantasy, but in reality I would prefer a silent, undisturbed place to learn more than being being in a room with talking people all day.
      Before I continue my monologue: are you still following me? Are you interested in this?

  • Yes, please continue, I'm very interested in that theory.

  • THE 16 DESIRES (Steven Reiss)

    Acceptance - the need to be appreciated
    Curiosity, the need to gain knowledge
    Eating, the need for food
    Family, the need to take care of one’s offspring
    Honor, the need to be faithful to the customary values of an individual’s ethnic group, family or clan
    Idealism, the need for social justice
    Independence, the need to be distinct and self-reliant
    Order, the need for prepared, established, and conventional environments
    Physical activity, the need for work out of the body
    Power, the need for control of will
    Romance, the need for mating or sex
    Saving, the need to accumulate something
    Social contact, the need for relationship with others
    Social status, the need for social significance
    Tranquility, the need to be secure and protected
    Vengeance, the need to strike back against another person

    A slightly bigger explanation of each of the 16 desires can be found here:

    http://www.reissprofile.eu/basicdesire

    I have the book but since I can't send the book, this link may also be interesting for you is you want to read more about it:

    http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/whoami.htm

    I will now explain more on how this theory has shaped my thinking regarding my personal motivations and drives.
    While I was observing my behaviours and feelings, I tried to figure out what motivated me do do some things I did. For example when I was making myself pretty (nails, clothes, hair, etc). The first reason that came to mind was: making myself pretty for potential suiters. (romance) Thinking more about it, I discovered that I also pay a lot of attention to my look when I'm meeting with new female friends. So maybe I want to impress? (Social status) Maybe I'm affraid that they will reject me as a friend if I dissapoint them somehow so I do my best in every way to (acceptance)?
    I think now that it's a certain mixture of reasons and, depending on the situation, other motivations plays a bigger part. After analyzing much more bahaviours like this over time of myself and others, I came to the conclusion that someones behaviour may be an indicator of his/her motivations but the true motivations can sometimes be different than what you expect.
    For example: excercizing. Some people love to excercize. They score higher on the need for 'physical activity' than couch potato's. But not everyone who sports had a high need for excercise. Some do it to be more attractive to romantic suitors (romance), some do it for a good health, because it's fun to do team sport (social contact), to win and be the best, (social status/power?) etc.

    After analyzing myself like that I discovered that I was doing some things trying to fulfil certain needs, while I could be doing other (more direct or pleasant) things that fulfilled the same needs.

    Do you understand what I'm trying to say?

  • Thank you, that was very helpful.

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    Well, it's certainly a different approach from the one I've been taking. I was trying to motivate myself through discipline, but my willpower isn't very strong. My mind likes to wander a lot. 😊

    The idea of building motivation up like exercising your body to become fit was an intriguing idea. I hadn't thought of it like that before, and I want to try motivating myself like this article explains. It's worth a try at least, and I'm hoping that it will work. 🙂

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    [quote='Azra' pid='34' dateline='1355340077']
    Do you work out? If so, what motivates you keep going?

    I starting working out a few years ago because I was tired all the time, my pant size was getting bigger, and I felt really self conscious. That motivated me to get in better shape and maintain it.
    [/quote]

    There came a specific time in my life, when I really needed a new way around. It all started at Christmas this year. There has been lots of changes in my life, new way of thinking and what I wanted was to get more out of life. First principle was to simply start doing more. Charity, new major, meeting new people. And also new me. I started to work out every day, for about an hour. And it was amazing. I felt better and, what was especially significant for me, was that I had more control of my own body. And as it was, it made me even more enthustiastic person than I was. For now I stopped my training, but I still maintain good eating habits. I always eat regularly and even though I don't work out, I don't gain weight. So it was an important aspect of my new life. And I'm planning to take up a sport again 🙂