Breaking habit of laziness to get what we want
January 10, 2011 12:09 PM Subscribe
My cousin and I want to be better at managing time and focusing on things we want to do. But we have some unhelpful emotional obstacles that are in the way of being who we want to be.
posted by anniecat to Education (7 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
She is a college student studying for the MCATs who gets lonely at the idea of designating x hours a day for studying, I am a working adult who might be relieving stress by limiting my "must do" list and not being who I want to be.
My cousin is naturally very smart, which she says has led her to not working as hard as she probably could during college (a big state U five hours from her family). She has a competitive GPA in a major she didn't have to work hard at to understand or do well at, and could spend more time concentrating on her science courses. Now that she's prepping for the MCATs, she wants to do it right and wants very badly to not get sidetracked by the loneliness of studying.
We talked at length about this, and I honestly can say I had a similar problem when I was a student (which probably led to me pursuing a less rigorous career path) and have a similar problem as an adult. I want to be serious about learning various things that are interesting to me that I regret not having seriously pursued because I know it would be fun if I gave it an honest try, but no matter how many time budgets I've prepared in the past, I've gleefully ignored it and decided to be lazy instead.
We both want to improve ourselves and have a sort of pact about using our time as we truly want to, but we're trying to figure out how to get over the emotional obstacles sticking to a schedule presents.
We discussed it and realized we both feel stressed by designating time necessary to do things. Oddly enough, we aren't procrastinators so long as someone else is doing the assigning and giving us a due date. I have no problem getting to work on time or getting projects done. I'm not lazy when other people are counting on me. But when I see several days marked off for things I know I need to do, I start having an anxious feeling and worry I won't have enough time to....sit around doing nothing, I guess.
For me, it's as though I'm rebelling against myself when I'm telling myself to do something. I also have this feeling that if I schedule my free time to pursue extracurricular studying, then I might be missing out on something. Or perhaps it's that I like spontaneity or the idea that something fun might happen and I want to just wait around for it. Or perhaps I think I'm relaxing and I need a lot of time to unwind (though I generally never feel as relaxed as I really want to -- I think that might require a coma).
The weird thing is (for both of us) is that once we settle down into studying, we're fine and it even feel fun. But we forget that routinely so it ends up like a cycle.
How do we get over the emotional hump that comes when you're doing something that you know you have to do to be happy when you so consistently forget that it's what you want and it's okay after you start? Also, how do you get over the worry that you could be spending your time feeling pleasant and basking in the joy of doing nothing when you seriously want to pursue something that is important to you?
Also, how do you make a time budget and not feel anxious/depressed by all the time you designate to pursuing things you need to do (such as grocery shopping, getting something fixed, even going shopping for clothes you know you'd like to have) when they don't automatically feel energizing?