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If only I could avoid noticing - Her Most Regal Majesty, the Queen of Snark
void where prohibited, except by law
If only I could avoid noticing
Now that the dust has settled from the move, avoidance is settling in with a vengeance again. I hate the fact that I just don't seem to be able to get stuff that is important to me done. There's finishing sorting out my room, and returning to Patchwork, preparation for Bladelands at Easter and free software work I want to be doing, not to mention other day to day admin tasks.

I know that the way to get past this is to just do stuff. I wish I could figure out how to get from that realisation to actually getting on with it. Sometimes I do get into this mode, and things go well for a while, but with my health the way it is, there will be a day of feeling below the weather sooner or later, and I just lose all momentum. Instead of getting easier to get back onto the horse, it just seems to get harder.

As far as I can tell I've gotten all the help I'm going to get from the NHS. It's up to me to work my way through this one, and the progress I've made in CBT has, I believe, at least made that possible. I'm just feeling overwhelmed at the moment, and could really do with some professional support. One has to chip away at problems like this. I'm not even sure where I should start chipping though.
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j4 From: j4 Date: April 4th, 2006 01:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
There's a big difference between stuff-you-want-to-do and stuff-you-want-to-get-done. Admin etc usually comes into the second category for me; I don't actually want to do it (which is why I avoid it), I just want it to have been done. Unfortunately the only way to get there (since I can't afford minions) is to do it. :-/

The guy who writes 43 Folders goes on a lot about to-do lists and how to write ones that work, and one of the things he always cautions against is including vague things and whole projects on a list of things that are supposed to be discrete tasks. He puts it better than I'm doing, though. 8-) But things like "sorting out my room" and "returning to Patchwork" are just the sort of vague thing that makes to-do lists unbearable, they're tasks that can't be finished and as a result it's really easy for them to come to seem overwhelming and impossible & therefore not worth starting. If you can break them down into single tasks like "take all dirty crockery out of bedroom" or "hang up clothes that are on the floor" or whatever (or maybe that's just my room...) then they become manageable things. Hopefully. Things that can be done in one go and then ticked off.

It sort of works for me, anyway. Though I still have a tendency to avoid doing stuff, and that's without having CFS as well, so I really do sympathise, and apologise if this sort of thing is as screamingly-obvious-and-no-bloody-use-anyway as telling somebody with depression to "have a cup of tea and a sit down and you'll feel all better". :-/ Um.

(Sorry for rambling on!)
From: rmc28 Date: April 4th, 2006 01:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's not just your room :)

I second the 'break it down' trick. Yesterday I originally wrote down 'vacuum' and then I thought "hang on, it takes ages to do the entire house, write down the rooms". I got three of the five done, over the day, so I got 3 ticks rather than none.

The other trick that I have found useful, especially for tasks I am badly procrastinating, is the 15-minute-timer. Yesterday, when I had a huge to-do list, I had the timer so I was doing 15 minutes 'on' to-do list tasks and 15 minutes 'off' doing just about anything else I'd rather do (like read LJ). 15 minutes is long enough to make some decent progress, and short enough that if it's an annoying job (like washing up or ironing are for me), it's survivable. And 15 minutes can make quite a difference to the washing up even if it doesn't finish it.
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: April 4th, 2006 05:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Often a problem is that I feel as though I want to get down to a task that needs serious thought. While housework can be attacked in 15 minute bursts, that's not so easy for prgramming and creative writing. I tend to feel as though I need a good run up at them, and since I often tend not to feel OK for more than an hour or two, it's hard to get that for them.
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: April 4th, 2006 05:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

My problem stems partly from the fact that things have got so bad that I'm even avoidant about things I *want* to do in that if anyone else is affected by them, they migrate into the "stuff you want to get done" category. Everything seems to become a source of enormous pressure, making me more unreliable.
rillaith From: rillaith Date: April 4th, 2006 05:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know how you feel about starting to chip - I look at things and feel overwhelmed more often than not. I think the only times I actually get started without fretting about where to start are when I'm not thinking about it!

Anyway, on a cheerier note, I've bumped into Patchwork from other sources altely, and am now curious... which is your patch or character on there? I'm intrigued as to whether you've bumped into others I know!
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: April 4th, 2006 05:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lady Violetta Kingsley and Aldersley.
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