How can I kick this procrastination habit once and for all?
May 24, 2012 12:34 PM Subscribe
I am at wits end with myself. How can I kick this procrastination habit once and for all (despite many failures)?
posted by anonymous to Education (22 answers total) 48 users marked this as a favorite
I am a junior in college (I'm going to be a senior next semester). Since high school, I've always had this nasty habit of procrastination. However, it was manageable back then, and I was able to maintain an A average through it all. The first two years of college were similar--I could wake up at 3AM, write essays in 3 hours, and still manage to get very high scores (my gpa is nearly a 4.0...despite one A minus). But ever since I went a severe depressive episode earlier this year, I have really fallen off. I can't scrounge up the motivation to finish anything, and the procrastination and 3am writing binges have really taken their toll. My body (and my brain) refuses to take the strain of it any longer, and would much rather be lying on the couch or inanely scrolling through Tumblr. I'm unable to concentrate in class, I become stir-crazy when I have to sit through anything. Without external motivation (which involves avoiding imminent failure), there is really nothing that can force me to do it anymore. Now, I just resign myself to watching the deadlines pass by. The work has slowly piled up, and here I am--I've managed to dig a hole so deep I can't vision a way out of it.
I can't help but think about how my depression plays into this. I've been on medication (Wellbutrin) for the past 6 weeks, but the medication is taking a while to work. Even now, I still can't even force myself to get up and do the most menial tasks. Since that depressive episode, every attempt at last-minute work has failed, triggering even more anxiety and worsening my depression--a vicious cycle. After getting a letter from my psychiatrist, I managed to haggle with some of my professors to allow for some incompletes so I can slowly try to make my way through all the work that has piled up. But, since I'm a senior next year, I cannot afford to stick with this toxic habit anymore. I've tried some techniques to help with procrastination (e.g. using a timer, offering an award at the end of a task), but these methods have not worked for me. I feel like my habit has been so ingrained into me, and so difficult to break, it's as if I'm hard-wired to be a self-saboteur. And I really, really cannot afford to do it anymore, especially with the crazy workload I have senior year (which includes fellowship activities, a research job, and too many seminars to count). Quick fixes don't seem to cut it anymore, so what I'm asking is: how can I slowly start "de-programming" myself (which I want to do over the summer), so I can beat this thing?
In short, I hate the way I am & I hate the way I do things, so...help?
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