Efficient or lazy?
April 27, 2011 10:58 AM   Subscribe

I wait until, I think a task needs to be done ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY or NO MORE DELAY possible to do anything.

Whether it is bathing or cleaning dishes or organizing or laundry or doing exercise only when I go over my threshold weight I start taking steps and I usually bring it back, even at work I get by the same way, you would not believe how abnormal these are.

I have a good paying job, live in a nice neighbourhood. I have no friends(real ones), no gf, no one visits my place. I am lonely. Only people I meet are from work and from gym.

I think I am very lazy or very efficient for my situation.

I order food for delivery, dont cook, eat unhealthy most of the time.

I think I have no real reason to belong in this world( but I want to), I cant seemed to figure this out. I get active for a day in a two weeks and accomplish things. I feel like I live by plucking low lying apple. My parents dont live in this country, even they stopped talking to me, they dont know how to help me. I am very dissapointed in myself.

My accountability is at this time to only myself, nobody else would care or even know I am alive. I cant seem to last 2 days with my steps to correct the situation and it takes me months to restart the process.

why, why, why
posted by daveg02 to Health & Fitness (23 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Please Dont Suggest me to go to a Counsellor or Take pills

Please Dont Suggest me to go to a Counsellor or Take pills
posted by daveg02 at 11:06 AM on April 27, 2011

What's the question here? Your post doesn't make it clear what you're looking for from Ask MeFi.
posted by griseus at 11:07 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I cant seem to last 2 days with my steps to correct the situation and it takes me months to restart the process.

what should I do?
posted by daveg02 at 11:11 AM on April 27, 2011

So... are you asking how to stop procrastinating, in general? Are you asking for help dealing with depression? Are you asking for advice on how to make friends?
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:13 AM on April 27, 2011

Why are you resistant to talking to someone about this? You're admitting yourself that you're no longer capable of correcting the situation on your own, why not ask for help?
posted by Phire at 11:14 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

Please Dont Suggest me to go to a Counsellor or Take pills

Why not?

I don't recommend pills, but talking to someone about this might be helpful.

The thing about good advice is that it doesn't tell you what you want to hear, it tells you what you need to hear. By saying you don't want to hear certain things you are saying you don't want good advice.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 11:19 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]

I understand you to have described the following: you aren't able to motivate yourself to do the things you want to do until the clock is really ticking down; you're unhappy with your lack of social ties; you don't take care of yourself as well as you'd like to (eating well, keeping yourself clean and fresh, exercising); you lack respect for yourself because of your perception that you are lazy; your relationship with your family has seriously deteriorated; you've been unable to improve this situation despite trying for a long time.

It sounds like you feel unhappy with every aspect of your life: your work, your body, your relationships with others. You've done your best to fix what you think is broken, but it hasn't worked. There are a few possible reasons for your inability to solve these problems on your own:

1. you're wrong about what the problem is. You seem to think it's laziness, but it might be something else. For example, you might have an illness which saps your energy. There are some physical illnesses that manifest by making you tired. Depression also often shows up as a subtle lack of energy or enthusiasm. It feels like your will is weak and you just can't maintain a lot of drive or hope or effort. Both physical and mental illnesses are treatable. Therefore, one possible solution would be to see your primary care doctor and also to see a psychiatrist.

2. you're right about what the problem is, but you need help in order to overcome it. If your task was to lift a 100 pound slab of concrete, you wouldn't even think about doing it alone. You'd ask for help or pay for help. Somehow, when it comes to projects that don't take physical form, we tend to assume that if it's "my" problem, "I" should be able to solve it completely alone. This is absolutely ridiculous. Some seemingly "personal" problems are beyond the strength of one person. That's not a character failing, it's a reality, and it's true of everyone. Therefore, another possible solution would be for you to find a friend, coach, mentor, support group, advisor - any human being who can help you think about your problem and support you as you work through it. This is what some people use therapists for.

Perhaps you can say more about why you're reluctant to see a counselor?
posted by prefpara at 11:19 AM on April 27, 2011 [13 favorites]

I think the issue might be bigger than a book can solve, but since you've ruled out two things I think might help, you might get something out of reading The Now Habit by Neil Fiore. It does a good job of answering the why of procrastination.
posted by backwards guitar at 11:20 AM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]

This question is virtually identical to your last question. Did you try any of the advice you received there? What worked? What didn't work?

What is your resistance to talking to a counselor or therapist? It sounds like you have some rather overwhelming hurdles -- a therapist or counselor might help you get over them.
posted by Felicity Rilke at 11:21 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]

Were the answers to your previous question at all helpful? If not, why didn't they work? This question seems to be basically the same thing with somewhat different wording.

As far as specific advice, I would say: take pride in your work. Hold yourself to a higher standard. If you leave things to the last minute, it's a foregone conclusion that your work won't meet your full potential, since you'll have to rush.

I don't know you or what your actual life is like, but based on reading your posts on AskMetafilter, I see you use erratic punctuation and capitalization (for instance, not using apostrophes in contractions). You've been living in the US for 10 years, so even if English isn't your native language, surely you've picked up on basic points like writing don't instead of dont. Starting today, write carefully and properly. This takes a bit of extra effort, but real benefits can flow from it.

Try to narrow down your issue more. Based on your last question, it sounds like you have a job and you're reasonably satisfied with that aspect of life. Great! So, don't tell yourself you're a "failure." You've succeeded at some things. So many people wish they had that. If your issues are more about relationships with people, focus on that. Don't blow up your problems in that area out of proportion so that you start thinking of your whole life as "useless."

Frankly, I'm not a therapist, and the issues you're raising would probably be best dealt with in therapy. I'm not clear on why you're ruling out that option.
posted by John Cohen at 11:27 AM on April 27, 2011

OK. I'm going to tell you everything else to do *except* go to therapy.

1. Go visit FlyLady. Try to ignore that it's a little bit annoying and follow this chart to start cleaning your house. Read as much as you need to on her site until you understand that habits (of all kinds) take a long time to form. For example, she starts with cleaning your sink. That's it. Don't even sweep the floor, just clean the sink. You have to take little bitty steps to change anything into a new habit. (Apply this principle to everything in your life that you would like to change.)

2. Learn how to cook. Poke around on this website for similar questions about teaching ones' self to cook. You will start to feel better when you start putting healthy food in your body.

3. Go make some friends. Also use this site as a resource to find out how. Where do you work? Make an effort to get to know some of your coworkers. What do you like to do? Lots of newspaper websites have calendars of weekly events for public participation. In my town, there are classes for cooking or crafting, live music and farmers markets. Go to these things regularly so you can get to know other people who like the things you like.

Lots of cities, even small ones, have game nights and book clubs. These are GREAT ways to meet people; if you don't like them you never have to go back, but if it turns out you do it's a easy way to start friendships.

4. After following the above steps for several months, start dating. Once you have established your own routines for taking care of yourself and keeping yourself entertained, you can start to look specifically for a lady-friend to join in on the fun. Match, plentyoffish, whatever. But, don't start dating until you feel better about yourself or else I promise it will be counter-productive.

I sort of did things things (in no particular order) after my divorce two years ago. I felt like you feel now -- lower than low, with no friends and no prospects and nothing to offer anyone, even myself. With the help of therapy (which I needed, in my case), I started to see that I *did* have friends and I *was* actually more efficient and productive than I thought. I bet there are a lot of great things about yourself that you neglected to mention in your post -- where you work, where you went to school, where you grew up, and so on. Reflect on those things and pull out the positives to remind yourself of whenever you start mentally beating down on yourself. And eventually, I got around to doing things that I thought before were way too scary -- going to concerts alone, joining a book club -- and now those things really enrich my life and make me happy.

No one can do this stuff for you, but you totally have what it takes. Good luck.
posted by motsque at 11:52 AM on April 27, 2011 [9 favorites]

Decouple your sense of self worth from whether or not you wash the dishes. Of course it's demoralizing and exhausting when every little task turns you into your own judge and jury! You have every right to be here; that's not something you earn by being productive. Don't make every chore a referendum on your worthiness. If you really get that you are fine however you are and whatever you do, you can be much freer in your choice to do something or not.
posted by Wordwoman at 12:14 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

Take cooking classes. You will learn to cook healthily for yourself and meet people. You will also be learning a new skill, which may help your self esteem- which you seem to be greatly lacking.
posted by TheBones at 1:01 PM on April 27, 2011

Know what's wrong? Cause, sure, I'll take stab.

You're all ID. You do what you want, when you want - except the things you feel you're forced to do, and then you hold those off until there is literally no other choice.

Get out of your shell. Go join a book club, volunteer, go for some afternoon sport with strangers - get the f*** out of your own head. Sooner or later, you'll have a reason to get something done earlier.

You're withdrawn - and you're actively saying "I don't want therapy or drugs." Because, it's likely, those might solve the problem and put the ID back in the box.

The fact you say "My accountability is at this time to only myself, nobody else would care or even know I am alive" means you're craving change, craving to be involved with people.

And your ID monster showed up 5 minutes later to say "Don't suggest things that might fix it."

My question to you: Are you so afraid of change? Cause change is scary.
posted by filmgeek at 1:19 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

Dave, it's interesting that you say "don't suggest a counselor." Because a counselor would, just as MeFites are doing, ask you questions that you need to answer IF you want improvement in your life.

Go back to the last 3 questions you posted here, write down the questions that were asked, and think hard about the answers. Write down the suggestions that were given. Think about why you haven't implemented them.

I'd love nothing better than to see you posting here a year from now with a "my fiancee and I need suggestions for wedding bands" question, or something similar. But that isn't going to happen if you don't take responsibility for making the changes that, according to you, you really need to make in your life.

So start thinking, and start making them, and very best of luck to you.
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet at 1:32 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

You seem to think you should be able to change your life without assistance. Therapy helps. I think of it as I do changing the oil in my car; sure, I could do it myself, but it's more efficient to take it to the quickie oil change shop. My therapist acts as a life coach, similar to a trainer at a gym; making sure I show up, do what I need to do, and helping me plan. It's really helpful. It can be hard to find a good therapist, though.

You sound depressed. Make 1 change. Making all the needed changes is overwhelming, so start in 1 place, even if it's not the perfect place. I love the book, Playing Ball on Running Water. When I'm overwhelmed, I re-read it, and follow that path.

Get outdoors. Fresh air, exercise and sunshine are always a good place to start. Even 1 walk around the block is a help.

Get connected to some people. Join some kind of activity - book club, softball team, trivia group at a bar, whatever.. That's how people make friends.
posted by theora55 at 1:52 PM on April 27, 2011

This is how nearly everyone behaves and feels. I don't really have an answer, but you are not in any way alone.
posted by Bachsir at 2:32 PM on April 27, 2011

Flylady.net is what I always recommend for these types of questions. The site looks like it's about housekeeping, but it's really about getting off your butt and doing all of the things that need to get done to function in life.

Bonus: it's Wednesday, and Wednesday is always Anti-Procrastination Day at Flylady!
posted by selfmedicating at 3:07 PM on April 27, 2011

There's a lot of great advice above. Is any of it helpful to you? Can you talk more about specific things that have been addressed?
posted by cyndigo at 4:29 PM on April 27, 2011

The answer to that question ("efficient or lazy?") is almost always ADHD with co-morbid depression (*). What were you like in grade school? Did you complete your homework without too much trouble? What happens when you sit down to do a task that isn't an emergency? What do you do when you are at boring meetings at work?

There are a number of details missing. Why do you say your friends aren't "real" ones? Why aren't your parents talking to you?

Why are you averse to talking to a counselor?

(*) Is what a counselor would say if you were so inclined.

(*) Especially with adults. People with untreated ADHD can be plenty successful, by running on adrenalin. They are skilled at creating emergencies at the right time so they can get their stuff done. But at some point for many of us, we get burnt out from the constant crisis mode, and depression sets in.
posted by gjc at 5:16 PM on April 27, 2011

This article on You Are Not So Smart goes into the psychological aspects of chronic procrastination, but I'm not sure it actually offers any advice how to tackle it.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 12:07 AM on April 28, 2011

This is pretty much the textbook definition of a depressed person. And thats okay! There are lots of depressed people out there who don't take the time to reach out and ask for help.

There are thoughts in your brain telling you that nothing is going to help you, and that going to a therapist is a wimpy move and probably wouldn't help anyway, because theres no way they could understand your particular kind of laziness or hurt or suffering. This is also okay. That's what your brain does when its depressed. And it also makes it really difficult to get past those thoughts.

But they are JUST THOUGHTS. And you can get out of this headspace. It is possible. I know the world seems gray and like theres nothing to do but show others your pain and ask for sympathy, but there is lots.

My suggestion is to do your best to DO something each day. The temptation to stay in bed is very strong. I understand. But DO something. It doesn't have to be a lot. Go out for a walk. You don't have to have a destination, or something to do. Just do it. Every day. Go sit in a Starbucks or something. Being around other people seems like it'd just reinforce your mood, but in fact the energy of others around you will help.

My ultimate recommendation is to do enough that it gets to the point where talking to a therapist once seems like a goal you can do. It will never seem easy or like an awesome idea, when you're depressed. At some point, though, you will work up the courage (And yes, when you're depressed, talking to someone is a courageous act) from within you to STOP THINKING AND JUST GO.

Try not to think of it as a big commitment. Talking to someone once does not commit you to a lifelong weekly appointment delving into your past, etc. It's one conversation, and most therapists will see you for free.

Perhaps one of your friends can recommend one, since it's probably hard for you to take the action of looking for one on your own behalf, since everything seems pointless.

The short version is: The smallest bit of love you can let peek through, the faster this illusion can start to crack for you.

Good luck!
posted by softlord at 8:40 AM on April 29, 2011

Is the OP still around? Be interested in your thoughts....
posted by cyndigo at 7:21 PM on April 30, 2011

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