This is a very personal post and something I have really struggled all my 38 years of life. As I finally unravel all the complexities, I figured out solution to the problems that plagued me for all the best part of my life.
Well begun is half done. Identifying a problem statement is 90 percent of the job done. Most of the people dont know what shit they are in. At least I know. I acknowledge. What’s left is to execute and have an iron will to do it.
I’ve two versions to my character – a confident, extroverted version. A depressed version.
Also, I have two people who live under me –
- A Strict task master who wants every single thing on the list to be completed.
- A hyperactive inner kid who wants to try and do everything in this world, while alive.
So, I basically live in this loop all the time –
a) The inner kid starts playing around. Ever curious. Creative and optimistic. Always want to try new things. Gets bored by routine. Want to try out the most riskiest and adventurous stuff out there. So, everything it sees – it wants to make a list and start doing it. But, it’s so distracted all the time – all it does is gather information and add to the list. So, the list just keeps getting longer, this inner kid doesn’t get anything done. His job is to just curiously roam around the garden of life.
In this aspect, I am at my bubbly best and am open to new experiences and people in my life. I stay here 50% of my life.
b) As the tasks list gets longer and longer, the task master gets jittery. He does not have a track record of finishing things, and the longer the list – the more tensed about completing it. So, he glances through the list and cannot decide which one to finish. Picks up something to do, does it midway and then thinks “Oh, I should have done the other one first”. But, when he takes over – I am at my efficient best. I finish activities one by one, and tirelessly. Often, I do things for long time.. It still stresses me out, but I keep going. Because, I want to finish things when I am in the flow. Once I rest, i know i get nothing done.
When I am doing tasks, my heart is beating very fast and my mood is very serious. Because, now I have the task of finishing stuff before the kid takes over. And I start to get frustrated at the kid for making such a huge list in the first place.
And then, when I realize what I have accomplished is not even 5% compared to the list I have maintained in life – I get depressed. Life doesn’t make any sense. I feel like shit.
I stay here 50% of my life.
And, I abandon everything and every effort I put so far. Stay absolutely blank for some time. And then, my inner child kicks in – fuck all, let me enjoy life. And he plays until the strict task master takes over again.
Because of this, I am mentally tired all the time, and do not go anywhere close to my goals in life.
Analysis on some fundamental questions I have always had in my life –
Why do I start the habits and stop them again?
I start the habit after reading a lot. There is no conviction in my heart when I try to start anything. My mind is blank and doesn’t think anything. I make some plans – get up at a time, do something and blah blah. Since, I did not want to do anything from the bottom of my heart – I dont feel any pinch when I try to push the time or abandon it altogether.
Why can’t I finish the simplest of the tasks like cleaning combs?
I have this task in my to-do list : clean combs. It takes exactly two minutes. Every single time I think of it, I am stressed. But, somehow inside me – there is extreme resistance in my brain. I can actually feel the physical resistance inside my brain. I see the combs, and I put them back. And at that moment, I get stressed out that I am not doing it. And I am really stressed out, my heart aches and my head hurts. I still dont clean the combs. I am okay to deal with the stress and pain, but still not do the action that is needed. And it just takes two minutes.
Why does any kind of action makes me anxious?
Its nothing to do with personal work. Even at work, any small work that is given to me creates extreme anxiety, and I push it off until I can really push it off. when I must do it now, or face the consequences, that’s when I pick up stuff and start doing. Only when the time is completely running out, do I pick up pace and finish a mediocre version of the work. Then, I curse myself for not starting things early. Now, this is very perfectly percolated into my routine with kids. I start their projects or preparations for anything very late, and it stresses everyone out. Its just an extension of who I am, nothing to do with neglecting anyone or anything.
Why do I have so many unfinished courses on udemy, and elsewhere?
Because I never really wanted to do them in the first place. I just get fancy looking at stuff and reading them over the Internet, but generally I have no intentions or plans of finishing the courses. I’ve brought countless courses and books that way, but they do not relate to the world I am in. And I abandon it very quickly.
I can’t relax. Anytime I sit idle for 5 minutes, I feel extremely anxious and un productive.
Every time I relax, I feel that I am a stupid idiot who is wasting time when she should be finishing off the lengthy list that i have created for myself. I start fidgeting because the time is well spent on activity. What were you doing all the other time,I ask myself.
I cant sleep for long hours.
The first thought that comes to my mind when I have little extended sleep or elaborate sleep is this – all the pending work that I have, all the unfinished tasks and how I’ve been sleeping. For me, sleeping is being lazy. I feel people should be up all the time, reading, writing or roaming around. So, while I get nothing done by being up drowsy all the time, I do certainly am mindlessly busy and so am not sleeping.
I will first list down all the problems I think I have –
- Thinking that doing house hold chores is really waste of time. I cant get my head around doing something on time. Simple regular stuff really scared to do. I just dont do it.
- The very act of doing even a small thing creates immense tension inside my body. My head starts to buzz and I feel fainted. Even a small activity like cleaning combs.
- I make lists and then get stressed looking at them. I do not complete one item from the list also, I just keep getting stressed. I do not allocate any time to do an item.
- Making endless lists of really disparate items. Anything that catches my fancy really goes to the list, and does its bit in stressing me out.
- With lot of hungama, I start a habit and then leave it in between. And I never pursue it again, and it adds a lot to the stress I already have due to incomplete tasks at hand.
- I want to do million things at the same time. Cannot pick top two or three. Everything in the world – I want to try. And then, I do not pick up anything. And then, I feel I am not learning anything.
- I feel I dont know anything. And I go into obsessive mode of reading about it. or listening about it. Then, i dont do anything for a while.
- Not sleeping enough
- Not eating enough healthy food
- Not eating on time
- Eating junk without any self control
- Holding onto anger for a very long time.
- Just argue for the sake of arguing, even when there is no logic
- Crave for adventure every single day or minute of my life. Cant sit still for a while, life starts to feel pointless.
- Extreme resistance to action of any kind. I prefer to sit, think or read. Getting up and doing anything is very very hard for me, unless there is a trainer sitting on my head or I have my ego or job at stake.
After Introspecting a lot and and re-confirming with mom, here are the solutions I figured –
- Not everything should get added to the list.
- 30 minutes or 1 hour have to make progress on the list.
- Start only two things and do next things only after they are done. Unreasonable expectations are the problem. There is only so much only I can do.
- 45 minutes exercise mandatory
- Six hours sleep mandatory
- Any small things – 2 days SLA to finish the work.
I have to use my intelligence to work for me, and not against me. I am quite confident these solutions will make my general living much more tolerable and happy.
Have a good day and keep rocking!