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TaDa! 03-05-2010 06:03 AM

Procrastination Paralysis .. Do You Have It?
 
They say:
Do not Put off For Tomorrow What You Can Do Today ..

Boring, right? Stressful even. It shouldn't be, but it is.

I think in our quest for perfection, the perfect food plan, that hard killer exercise dvd that lays at the bottom of the underwear drawer, we become overwhelmed and do nothing, or worse we do nothing AND berate ourselves day after day for the things we did not do..

Have you ever considered that your "procrastination" about "doing the right thing" for this WOL is more about the definition of "the right thing" than it is about you being lazy?

If you opened the door and took a 30-40 minute walk today instead of telling yourself all day that you are going to open up that DVD, or take the storage boxes off of the treadmill .. and not doing it, wouldn't today have been a success in that regard?

If you simply continued a reasonable lowcarb menu today without overthinking it and without worrying about the scale for a bit, mightn't you give the science a chance to work .. and be that much closer to your goals?

If you are in a period of really bad eating, instead of telling yourself all day that you are going to be "good" and eat nothing - or close to nothing - today and then disappointing yourself, if you just changed one thing today, something that will move you toward your ultimate lowcarb menu one step at a time, instead of demanding things so unreasonably of yourself that you are bound to respond by self-sabotage, wouldn't you be that much closer to that "good eating place" of yours?

I am not saying that there is no place for killer workouts, highly virtuous menu choices, and tweaking as necessary, just that if you find yourself not measuring up to your ideals, maybe it is time to be kind to yourself and allow yourself to "ramp up" to them ...

I propose we change that old saw about Procrastination and putting off for tomorrow what you can do today, to:

The thing you CAN do today to progress toward your goal
Is much more important than the one you can't!


Sometimes it is necessary to take baby steps. Just a thought.

TerriG 03-05-2010 06:10 AM

Very well said.... :)

LaurieKeren 03-05-2010 06:25 AM

I have procrastination paralysis. If there were two words that describe me perfectly as a person, it would have to be procrastination paralysis. It affects every aspect of my life.

Jess70 03-05-2010 06:55 AM

This has been my mantra since my restart of low carbing. I only weigh once a month. I am trying to do what ever I can to stay on plan. If I don't excersize today no biggie, there is still tomorrow. If I eat a little off plan, no biggie - right on track with my next meal. I don't plan meals so I don't dissapoint myself if I don't stick to it...just eat on plan. I try my best with water...keeping my water bottle with me or a tea cup at all times but not focusing on the # of oz's. I am changing my eating habits for life , not stressing over every detail has allowed me to lose weight, drop inches and MOST of my procrastinating ways. I feel great, my appetite is in check, I have energy so I am glad my approach has become a easy breezy feeling. I am loving it and hope you all can too.

ViolaVixen 03-05-2010 06:59 AM

This is a VERY good post! That which often keeps us from our goals are our own expectations. If we set the bar too high right away, it can be paralyzingly (good word you chose there!) intimidating. It's good to have lofty goals for the future, but it's also good to be realistic in what can be accomplished in the short term, hour-by-hour, day-to-day basis. "Rome wasn't built in a day" another cliche but true :)

sugarless4life 03-05-2010 07:14 AM

:clap::clap:

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Betty

shirlc 03-05-2010 07:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TaDa! (Post 13215459)
They say:
Do not Put off For Tomorrow What You Can Do Today ..

Boring, right? Stressful even. It shouldn't be, but it is.

I think in our quest for perfection, the perfect food plan, that hard killer exercise dvd that lays at the bottom of the underwear drawer, we become overwhelmed and do nothing, or worse we do nothing AND berate ourselves day after day for the things we did not do..

Have you ever considered that your "procrastination" about "doing the right thing" for this WOL is more about the definition of "the right thing" than it is about you being lazy.

Procrastination is an issue I deal with alot. I've got several exercise DVDs that I've never tried at all...and only one that I've done a few times. I see DVDs advertised and I just have to order them. With eating, I really need to focus on jumping right back in to healthy eating when I slip up. Making "to do" lists and checking things off helps me a lot and makes me feel better about myself. The last few days I've been writing down everything I eat and I find that really helpful.:)

Blondie Baby 03-05-2010 08:53 AM

:kicking::kicking::kicking: You're awesome!

TaDa! 03-05-2010 09:57 AM

Thank you TerriG, BlondieBaby, and everyone :) Glad you liked the thread.

Quote:

Originally Posted by LaurieKeren (Post 13215553)
I have procrastination paralysis. If there were two words that describe me perfectly as a person, it would have to be procrastination paralysis. It affects every aspect of my life.

I had it too and from time to time it creeps up on me again and I realized, for myself, the only way to confront it, is to ease up on myself and to start just doing things without getting obsessive and letting routines and habits build, not trying to switch a light on overnight ... until I got myself used to the idea that i was going to change things for myself ... and now, THAT is my habit, to think about something for a month or two, ease into it, until whammo, suddenly I have this great habit and I barely know how it arrived ...

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jess70 (Post 13215712)
This has been my mantra since my restart of low carbing. I only weigh once a month. I am trying to do what ever I can to stay on plan. If I don't excersize today no biggie, there is still tomorrow. If I eat a little off plan, no biggie - right on track with my next meal. I don't plan meals so I don't disappoint myself if I don't stick to it...just eat on plan. I try my best with water...keeping my water bottle with me or a tea cup at all times but not focusing on the # of oz's. I am changing my eating habits for life , not stressing over every detail has allowed me to lose weight, drop inches and MOST of my procrastinating ways. I feel great, my appetite is in check, I have energy so I am glad my approach has become a easy breezy feeling. I am loving it and hope you all can too.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ViolaVixen (Post 13215729)
..... That which often keeps us from our goals are our own expectations. If we set the bar too high right away, it can be paralyzingly (good word you chose there!) intimidating. It's good to have lofty goals for the future, but it's also good to be realistic in what can be accomplished in the short term, hour-by-hour, day-to-day basis. "Rome wasn't built in a day" another cliche but true :)

:cool::cool::cool:

Exactly!!!!

Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarless4life (Post 13215788)
:clap::clap:

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Betty

Too funny --- as a teenager, I had this on a laminated poster in my bedroom ... took many years to get it into my head tho :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by shirlc (Post 13215951)
Procrastination is an issue I deal with alot. I've got several exercise DVDs that I've never tried at all...and only one that I've done a few times. I see DVDs advertised and I just have to order them. With eating, I really need to focus on jumping right back in to healthy eating when I slip up. Making "to do" lists and checking things off helps me a lot and makes me feel better about myself. The last few days I've been writing down everything I eat and I find that really helpful.:)

You know, maybe dvds just aren't the thing for you, lol!!!! Congratulations on making progress!!! Putting some thought into it - thought into why we procrastinate, and problem-solve the darn thing - is a huge part of it!!! At times, I become a list-maker too!!

Whatever works is the right plan .... and if we have to circumvent our brains to do it, so be it!!!

Stackdiesel 03-05-2010 10:07 AM

And its first cousin, Perfection Paralysis
 
Good post. This phenomenon can also be referred to as "Perfection Paralysis"

I'm generally not a big fan of quotes unless they're my own, but two that have stuck with me are:

"Perfection is the worst enemy of good enough."

"Eighty percent of something is infinitely preferable to one-hundred percent of nothing."

In this regard, I posted the following about a month ago in another thread (I'm copying the entire post for context, but the directly relevant part is toward the end of the post):

I'd been burning the candle at both ends and failed to execute my planned training session yesterday morning.

Thus, I did my one of my default training programs at the office. Throughout the day, I did all of Week 1 from the online 100 Push-Ups Program with at least 1 Chin-Up or Pull Up between each set. When I say all of Week 1, I mean the entire 45-set grid, starting at the top left corner and working my way across and down to the end: 2,6,10,3,6,12,2,4,7, etc.

By waving the "easy," "intermediate," and "hard" columns, you get a decent recovery, but it still gets pretty damn hard even with sets of 2 or 3 reps in the mix, especially because the most difficult sets are toward the end of the grid. I did them in three 15-set blocks (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3) in the late morning, early afternoon, and late afternoon, respectively. I rest just long enough between sets as I think I need to to be able to complete the next set, depending on the number of reps required. This produces 302 total reps.

One of my short-term goals is to do all of Week 2 (455 reps) in one Saturday or Sunday morning workout.

In the past, if I missed a planned training session, I would put it off to the next day. Which is a good thing in many cases, because an extra recovery day may be just what is needed to execute the plan, and a great session fuled by an extra rest day is often preferable to a half-assed session of going through the motions. This is particularly true with powerlifting where you are planning to do a certain number of reps with a certain percentage of your 1RM as part of a planned training cycle.

However, my experience has been that whatever non-training factors (work, kids, etc., as opposed to being sore and not recovered from your previous workout) cause you to miss the planned session often bleed over into more than one day. Psychologically, the training session becomes an "event" as opposed to something you are supposed to do that day and approach in a workmanlike manner, and you keep putting it off until your rest, nutrition, or whatever create the optimal or perfect set of conditions for the workout. For me, this mindset often resulted in a 2-week hiatus and regression.
Since I've been focusing on BW exercises that can be done anywhere, I've been better about performing a default training session as opposed to skipping a day, unless I'm genuinely not recovered from the previous one. This seems to be working well for my current goals.

Amazonmagic 03-05-2010 10:07 AM

You are an inspiration Ta Da! I needed something to kick me out of my funk, couldn't find it till I read your post. Thank You so much!

TaDa! 03-05-2010 10:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stackdiesel (Post 13216632)
......"Eighty percent of something is infinitely preferable to one-hundred percent of nothing." ......

Ohmigosh Yes!!!!!!!!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stackdiesel (Post 13216632)
....... However, my experience has been that whatever non-training factors (work, kids, etc., as opposed to being sore and not recovered from your previous workout) cause you to miss the planned session often bleed over into more than one day. Psychologically, the training session becomes an "event" as opposed to something you are supposed to do that day and approach in a workmanlike manner, and you keep putting it off until your rest, nutrition, or whatever create the optimal or perfect set of conditions for the workout. For me, this mindset often resulted in a 2-week hiatus and regression ........

So so dead on!!! I missed a training session last week on Friday -- we had a town-wide blackout, kids' school was cancelled, yada yada. To top it all off, we ate out that day becasue to eat in the house would have been cold, lol! and I just know they had snuck some mashed potato in my dish at the Indian .... rather than stressing myself out over making it up over the weekend, or going crazy over the obvious carb infusion, I did what I could do and just carried on with regular good eating and my usual training schedule on Monday as if nothing ever happened ... I did not punish myself, I did not start to try and restrict food and the world did not end, I did not gain weight, and I maintained my commitment to my wol .... Great post Stack!!!!!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amazonmagic (Post 13216635)
.... I needed something to kick me out of my funk, couldn't find it till I read your post. Thank You so much!

You are so welcome!!! Whatever you CAN do today is a good thing and you deserve to be pleased with yourself that you did do IT, whatever IT is, lol!

Amazonmagic 03-05-2010 10:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TaDa! (Post 13216699)
You are so welcome!!! Whatever you CAN do today is a good thing and you deserve to be pleased with yourself that you did do IT, whatever IT is, lol!

HMMM, having dirty thoughts about DH now, oh the possiblities:rolleyes:

jaels 03-05-2010 10:35 AM

This is the downside of being a perfectionist. I hire people to work on my team. I am always looking for that balance of perfectionism with a dash of 'cavalier' which enables someone to do a good job and actually 'get it done'!

To some extent a person is at their most effective when they are willing to acknowledge and give up a bit of their planning to a combination of fate and free will. This person keeps their direction even when steered a little off course by a high wind rather than being disastrously derailed by a slight deviation from plan.

I totally get this. Always trying not to let my desire for control corner me into procrastination.:laugh:

Stackdiesel 03-05-2010 11:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jaels (Post 13216768)
This is the downside of being a perfectionist. I hire people to work on my team. I am always looking for that balance of perfectionism with a dash of 'cavalier' which enables someone to do a good job and actually 'get it done'!

To some extent a person is at their most effective when they are willing to acknowledge and give up a bit of their planning to a combination of fate and free will. This person keeps their direction even when steered a little off course by a high wind rather than being disastrously derailed by a slight deviation from plan.

I totally get this. Always trying not to let my desire for control corner me into procrastination.

I so hear you, jaels. I've gotten myself jammed up with deadlines at work because of my inability to delegate tasks to junior attorneys. It just seems so futile sometimes to wait for a draft of something I'm just going to end up rewriting anyway. The problem, though, is that I end up with too many things on my plate at one time. When the old adage "if you want something done right, do it yourself" is borne out enough times by experience, you almost can't help becoming a control freak. (Apparently I am a bigger fan of cliches/quotes than I thought I was.) I'm working on it too.

mayleesa 03-05-2010 11:19 AM

that was so inspirational i felt like you were talking directly to me....as i sit here surrounded by chores of a not so clean house....a woe RUT....feeling like i'm in a pit of despair....there is this amazing light that just went off in my head that you seemed to turn on that just made me feel better about ME right now.....THANKs so much....i really needed to hear that right now!

BigRunner 02-27-2013 06:02 AM

My "worry" about being perfect these days has brought my progress to a halt.

Need to work on "good enough" being good enough.

Bobbin 02-27-2013 06:14 AM

Great post, thanks for bumping this!! I always take baby steps to "get going" back on plan when I'm feeling down and weak. I'll choose just 1 or 2 things I KNOW I can stick to for a few weeks, then I feel stronger and can really rev up the process after that....Ta Da you are always such a huge inspiration!!! :love:

LowCarbine 02-27-2013 06:30 AM

Procrastination is a sickness. It is such an easy habit to make, but what people don't realize is that it is also an easy habit to break. The key to anything in your life is to focus on it and take steps towards it. Once you get in a habit of moving towards your goal, you will perpetually succeed in the things you put your mind to.

creseis 02-27-2013 08:53 AM

I have a combination of "get it done/impulsive/cavalier" personality and perfection paralysis. The former with exercise and WOE, the latter with finances and medical issues. I tend to be able to get myself up and do a really tough workout just by saying to myself DO IT NOW, but with financial stuff, I am completely paralyzed, which is why I have every bill pay automated. I would never be able to pay bills by check. I also have a hard time going to the doctor when I think something is wrong.

Jbinme 02-27-2013 09:25 AM

I needed to read this today.

jijane21 02-27-2013 11:06 AM

My new mantra for procrastination is that Today is yesterday's tomorrow. It doesn't make my procrastination choices perfect, but better. I struggle with the whole, if I'm not going to finish then why start, but if you never start, you never finish, or give yourself the chance to succeed.
Anyway, I'm procrastinating right now, I have a house that needs to be cleaned!

mainemom 02-28-2013 07:41 AM

Thanks, Ta Da.


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