Monday, October 12, 2009

Procrastination and me: I put off finishing this blog post, too

I love learning. All I do all day is learn, even—especially—on days I don't have class. I'm a knowledge sponge. My tumblr is called information addict for a reason.

But learning and school are not the same thing. I'm great at one, and terrible at the other.

Every semester I've been in grad school so far, the following has happened:
  1. I procrastinate.
  2. I get behind on my work.
  3. I get anxious about being behind on my work.
  4. The anxiety makes me procrastinate more.
  5. I get more behind.
  6. The anxiety becomes paralyzing.
  7. I get depressed.
  8. I fall behind on everything else. I'm late for work. I get yelled at for being late for work. I feel worse. My health gets worse. I'm constantly stressed. I stop doing anything fun. The homework, by now, seems utterly impossible.
Sometimes I manage to pull myself together and do the work, at the last minute possible. But spring semester of this year, there were some external circumstances that caused me to reach the "depression" point much earlier, and worse, than usual. I could barely function for a while. With help, I got an incomplete in both of my classes. I finished one—barely, and inadequately—over the summer. The other is still hanging over my head.

Right now I'm at the point where I wake up in the morning and all I can think about is how much homework I still haven't done, and how hard it's going to be to catch up. It lands on my shoulders as a weight as soon as I'm out of bed, and stays there all day. Of course, this feeling doesn't lend itself well to motivating myself to do homework.

I don't know how to break this cycle.

I'm a procrastinator. I'm not going to suddenly stop procrastinating. My shrink, Dr. M, tends to increase my medication around step 8, but it's becoming apparent that meds only go so far. I'm too old for all-night marathon homework sessions (I just fall asleep). I've tried ADD drugs and they mostly make me more anxious. I've tried time management techniques, and I have no idea how well they work, because I never stick to a schedule.

It sounds so easy when I'm at work, or in class, or doing something else. I can see myself sitting down and doing the work one piece at a time. But when I'm there and I actually have to do the work, I just freeze. I'll do something, anything, to avoid homework. I'll fall asleep. I'll rationalize a million reasons to not get started right now. I'll get started once I take a shower. Once I eat lunch. Once my cat gets off my lap. Once I'm done checking my email. I'll start at nine. At ten. I'll start when I feel more awake. When I have more energy. When I don't feel so anxious.

This usually lasts all day.

In the evening, I am near tears from frustration with myself. I start arguing with the past. Why didn't you start right away? You had all these hours, and you wasted them. Why do you always do this? Why don't you ever do what's best for me? Don't you know there are twenty-four usable hours in every day?

I've struggled with procrastination for as long as I can remember. The cycle has just become more pronounced, more deeply entrenched, over the years. It's not just about the one assignment anymore; it's about every assignment I've ever turned in late, every teacher I've ever disappointed, every frown on my mother's face when she finds my homework undone or my grades slipping. The weight gets a little bit heavier every time.

I hope I can salvage a decent grade from the class I'm behind in, while keeping on top of things for the other class. I might be able to do that, but then I also have to do my incomplete from last semester, and do it well enough to get a B in the class, or it doesn't count towards my degree. This is the point at which I question why I'm in library school at all, and wonder if I'd even be a good librarian, and whether there's something else I could do that wouldn't make me so miserable, and whether dropping out now would just make me feel like a failure forever, not to mention wasting all the money my parents have given me for tuition, etc.

Grad school is stressful, sure. Everyone knows that. I'm just not sure it's worth all the stress, all the weight on my shoulders. These days a degree doesn't guarantee you anything.

But more than just this degree, this assignment, this class, I wish I could break the cycle for myself. Because there are always going to be things I want to get done, and I don't want to waste my life in a state of anxious paralysis. That's no way to live.

41 comments:

  1. 愛情不是慈善事業,不能隨便施捨。.........................

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  2. Drive carefully. It is not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.............................................

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  3. Unable to give you a heart. so have a reply to push up your post. ........................................

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  4. 唯有用熱情、用智慧去觀察事物,這事物才會把他的秘密,洩漏給我們......................................................

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  5. Nice Post~!!!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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  6. 很高興見到你哦!!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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  7. 每一個人無論怎樣渺小,在自己的眼中,都自有其份量 ..................................................

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  8. 我對自己的信心已超越別人對我的評價..............................

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  9. 生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。....................................................................

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  10. 在莫非定律中有項笨蛋定律:「一個組織中的笨蛋,恆大於等於三分之二。」.................................................................

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  11. 人生的「三部曲」應該是無愧的昨天,充實的今天,與充滿希望的明天。..................................................

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  12. 認識自己,是發現妳的真性格、掌握妳的命運、創照你前程的根源。............................................................

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  13. 人生有些波折,才能有些成長,所以不論順逆,凡是成長、成功的助緣,都應該心存感激。..................................................

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  14. 在莫非定律中有項笨蛋定律:「一個組織中的笨蛋,恆大於等於三分之二。」. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    ReplyDelete
  15. 與人相處不妨多用眼睛說話,多用嘴巴思考. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    ReplyDelete
  16. 生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。..................................................

    ReplyDelete