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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you get yourself to do stuff you don't really like doing an awfull lot, but that you know you just have to do, it has got to be done. Like say washing the dishes. Cleaning the house.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
My traditional technique has been to break down the task, if necessary, into pieces that each take an hour or so to do; describe the task, step by step, in writing; think of some food I really would enjoy devouring; start the job of preparing the food; and then refuse to allow myself to enjoy eating it until after I have finished a specifically identified, in my written list, hour-or-so long task or task-portion.<br><br><br><br>
I will even talk to my self, saying, "soilman, you can't eat that delicious crusty pizza you have all prepared, and ready to go into the oven, until after you complete task A."<br><br><br><br>
This usually works quite well.<br><br><br><br>
However, because of my recent stomach problems, food has cease becoming a reward for good behavior. I still have a rapacious desire to consume everything, but I know I can't eat too much, or I'll unhappily experience nasty gastro-intestinal pain or discomfort.<br><br><br><br>
Perhaps I need some other kind of reward to look forward too, that can work out from a practical point of view. There are only so many hot baths I can take a day, besides, they are more time-consuming than enjoying a delightful little snack.<br><br><br><br>
Anyone have any ideas. Again, they can't be too time-consuming, and they have to be something that I really like. Or maybe there is some other way I could motivate myself to do those "don't-wannas." I don't think negative re-enforcement would work. It is already there, that's why the emotional "don't-wannas" are reasoned "wannas." But because the negative reenforcement for not doing the tasks are delayed, they don't motivate me to do the task when it needs to be done. In other words, the knowledge that I won't be able to have any pots to cook in tomorrow, if I don't clean them before tomorrow, is not sufficient motivation to get me to clean them now, when I have the time.<br><br><br><br>
Or maybe there is some way I can convince myself to clean the bathroom, without needing a food-reward? A clean bathroom is not in itself enough of a reward for me, to get me to clean the bathroom.
 

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Doing stuff you don't like to do, but have to?<br><br>
like, getting up in the morning?<br><br><br><br>
sorry to say I cant help you. I just dont have the problem. If it must be done. I get up and do it. unless I forget. which i do a lot of. hmmmm . . .
 

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Soilman,<br><br>
Perhaps your reward could be posting on VB?
 

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I usually clean as I make the mess, so there is no mess afterwards. Eg, wipe the sink as I'm brushing my teeth, or wash out the measuring cup before I put the next ingredient in the bowl. That way there is not a HUGE mess after.<br><br><br><br>
I tend to leave the don't-wanna jobs to the last minute, then work my ass off. The last minute panic seems to be motivation enuf. eg. writing an essay the night before it's due.<br><br><br><br>
The best way for me to get motivated is to think how other people would feel if I did or did not do my tasks/chores. I would feel bad if my roommate had to put up with a mess, but it feels good if they say, "thanks for being such a clean roommate..."<br><br>
therefore, if I live alone, nothing gets done.<br><br><br><br>
maybe your reward could be phoning a friend, or spending time on veggieboards, or putting on your favourite CD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
skylark writes:<br><br>
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Soilman,<br><br>
Perhaps your reward could be posting on VB?<br><br>
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basicly a good idea. Or even refusing to let myself even read any vb msgs until i finish a blocked-out task. However the problem is that once I get started I get hooked in, and have trouble stopping, then I spend too much time on vb. I don't have that problem with using food as a reward -- i just prepare 1 portion. When I'm finished, there is nothing in left anywhere in my house that is ready to eat (I never buy ready-to-eat foods in larger than single-portion-size), that I would enjoy eating. So I'm not tempted to spend lots of time eating and eating and eating, instead of doing work that needs to be done. So I have to try and think of what I could enjoy eating <b>later,</b> and use as a reward for doing some more tasks right away.<br><br><br><br>
There is also the problem that I don't feel guaranteed that reading vb messages will be an enjoyable rewarding task. Sometimes I return to vb after being away a few hours, and I don't find any messages that I enjoy reading, or that suggest a response that I would enjoy writing.<br><br><br><br>
Same problem with listening to my "favorite" cd. Once I hear one track, I'll want to hear another, until I've spent hours listening, instead of working.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
alpaca guy writes:<br><br>
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If it must be done. I get up and do it. unless I forget.<br><br>
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I've tried that angle, and found it absolutely agonizing. If I try washing my dishes without having something in mind I can eat when I am finishe, I'll get a few dishes done, then start to almost become paralyzed. I'll say to myself "do one more dish; do one more dish" and like one of those nightmares where something awful happens and you need to scream in response to it, but you can't get your voice to come out -- I just can't make myself do another dish. If I keep standing there and trying, eventually I'll start losing my ability to stay awake. I'll get an overwhelming urge to "lie down right away before I fall down." Kind of like how i feel when driving on a highway and being tired and having trouble keeping my eyes open and needing to pull off to the side and rest lest i fall asleep at the wheel. If I try to ignore it, I'll start accidentally dropping dishes, having them just slide-fly out of my hand -- like it was a living thing trying to escape. If I try coffee tea or caffeine pills, I'll get a headache.
 

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What is it about the task that makes you resist doing it in the first place? Do you feel overwhelmed by it? Is it a conditioned reponse from your childhood? When you brake it down, is really as horrible as you think it is before you begin it?<br><br>
For me a burnt pan will have me procrastinate for hours, sometimes over night, but the feeling of waking up the next morning to see it still sitting in the sink depresses the hell out<br><br>
of me. It all goes back tomy childhood and having to wash the dishes for twelve people on Wdenesday nights. Oh, how I resented that!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Baby, I don't know. It may be different things for different tasks. I think a lot of it has to do with the time it takes me to complete the task, and the fact that after I spend all that time, I am often exhausted and must take a nap, and that there are all kinds of vital tasks that I have to do, even tho I'm not looking forward to doing them either -- like say getting identification so I can go to Canada -- and that the everyday mundane tasks like washing dishes have to be completed first, even tho they seem to be so really unimportant in the whole scheme of things -- <b>getting food</b> is more important, for example, as is doing preparatory work for my hernia operation, like getting id needed to cross the border, calling doctors and having them send records. But I can't do anything more complex like learning what ID i need and how to get it and going about doing the stuff I learn I need to do, in order to get it, unless I am getting well-fed every day, and getting enough sleep, and getting well-fed every day means not letting dishes and utensils pile up to the point that I won't be able to eat until after I do hours of washing, because there are none of the clean utensils and dishes I need to prepare the food, and then all the stuff like find out about ID, will have to be delayed, since by time I clean the dishes, and make something to eat, and then clean the dishes resulting from that -- it will be bed time.
 

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They were talking about this on the radio the other day. About what guy's wives made them do that they didn't want to do. This one guy called in and said his wife makes him pee while sitting on the toilet. She won't let him stand cause it splatters on the rim. He said she even listens to make sure he's doing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
"When you brake it down, is really as horrible as you think it is before you begin it?"<br><br><br><br>
No. I don't actually hate washing dishes. I have no reason to hate it. But I know that once I start doing it, it will take a long time, and that I will, for some unexplainable reason, have trouble staying awake during the completion of the task, much the way I'd have trouble staying awake on a long boring stretch of highway. My eyelids will feel heavy, just keeping them open will require all the strength I have. Things like reading and writing on veggieboards awaken me. Washing dishes lulls me to sleep.
 

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How often do you do the dishes, once a week? I think whatever schedule you presently have is overwhelming you. You need to ask yourself how being overwhelmed is serving you. You have to be getting something from it or you wouldn't do it habitually. Are you frightened by having to go to Canada., or your hernia operation?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Huh? I eat every day and do dishes every day. One generally has to.<br><br><br><br>
I am overwhelmed by the lightest schedule imaginable. I find just preparing food, eating, washing dishes, bathing, cutting my hair, and doing a few tasks a day, like washing clothes, paying my bills, to be exhausting. There is no way I can lighten my schedule. I am overwhelmed by poverty, and physical disability (hernia) and work is the only way i know out. I have to take care of myself; I can't attempt to lighten my schedule by eating less, or bathing less, or neglecting to wash my clothes. I tend to be "anal-rententive" about wanting to live in clean surroundings, but already I am letting houscleaning slip; I'm not able to keep up with vacuuming, dusting, floor-cleaning. There is no way to lighten my schedule.<br><br><br><br>
If i were to ask myself what would be a more overwhelming task, washing my kitchen floor, or filling out an applicaiton form to get help from social services with washing my floor -- I would say filling out the forms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I am concerned about the possiblity of not being able to find enough vegan food to eat during a six-day stay in an unfamiliar place, and being unable to leave the hospital during that time, and suffering agonizing neuropathic facial pain which tends to pop up during stressful periods like this, where I am simultaneously having to deal with medical choices, unfamiliar conditions, no personal kitchen facilities, etcetera.<br><br><br><br>
But life is a series of probleme like that. This particular one isn't particularly relevant to the problem of how to motivate myself to do necessary daily chores, in the absence of my usual motivation technique, which always worked well in the past -- before I got gastric ulcers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I am not at all afraid of the hernia surgery per se, provided it gets done by a surgeon who I have researched and know about, as having a good record. But if I can't afford or find such a physician, I would be afraid. I have found one, but am having trouble coming up with the money. Only surgeon who I know do inferior work, or about whose work I am unable to find credible published informaiton about, are willing to accept my insurance as full payment. I <b>am</b> afraid of being away from my kitchen and not having kitchen facilities, plus simultaneously being confined to the hospital grounds (can't go to markets to find my own fruit) for 6 days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If i don't get the surgery done soon, emergency surgery may become necessary, and not only won't i have much choice as to whom, but it may also result in permanent damage no matter who does the surgery, if i let it go that long -- like needing a stoma or whatever, if not death.
 

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Okay, this all sounds very important and I totally understand your concerns, but you're going to have to decide to focus on what needs to get done, and be prepared to somewhat flexible in order to get better.<br><br>
I'll write you more later, I have someone hanging over my shoulder right now waiting for me.<br><br>
BTW, I think you might get sleepy as way of shutting off your fears. Boredom is passive anger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
"BTW, I think you might get sleepy as way of shutting off your fears. Boredom is passive anger."<br><br><br><br>
I know that happens; but it isn't a problem at the moment. Many years ago I learned about that, and made a vigorous effort to avoid getting into that type of pattern, to stay out of that type of pattern, and eventually I succeeded at it. At the moment it is simply "driving on a highway" eyelid heavyness that occurs when I do a tedious task for too long. I don't sleep to avoid conflicts and problems. I learned many years ago not to do that and how not to do that. It is a bee-line to depression.<br><br><br><br>
I am not really afraid, i am just busy organizing how to minimize potential problems.<br><br><br><br>
I have <b>never in my life</b> been able to complete any task worth doing, without constantly prodding myself with various carrots and sticks. That is the key to my successful completion of any worthwhile project. The problem as I see it now is that my major carrot has been taken away from me. I am unable to conceive of completing any mundane task just to complete it. Yes, an exciting new task -- that I could do. But the mundane daily stuff -- i need all these little rewards to be able to do them. I have always found this method of functioning to be highly successfull.<br><br><br><br>
Besides food, I might do something like buy a new scanner for my computer -- setting it up would be something i would look forward to -- so I would delay setting it up, not let myself do the enjoyable task until i first did a "difficult" chore. But there are only so many new toys I could buy, even if I had unlimited funds. Food was <b>always</b> available as a carrot. I just love food a lot. I have rarely over-eaten. I generally know when to stop. This helps maintain the rewarding qualities of a wide variety of healthy foods.
 

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I seriously need to not do anything this weekend til I get the dishes done...reward myself when I'm done by going out but not go out til then...lets see if it works. (hey I can hope!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Seadolphin, there is no way I can feel comfortable leaving my house with more than 1 or 2 dirty dishes sitting around needing to be washed. I may be ravenously hungry when I get home, from my trips into the the bizarre, violent, barnum-and-baily-just-as-phony-as-it-can-be, exotic, alien-inhabited, round-the-clock industrial-scale-animal-slaughtering and flesh-eating world -- and a bunch of dishes clogging up the sink and the fact that handy pots and bowls may not be ready for me to use, would seriously delay how soon I could have something to eat as soon as I got back to my home. I'd be too exhausted from my trip to start cleaning dishes <b>and</b> making something to eat. Sometimes I even make something to eat before I leave, as an incentive to inspect my weapons and put on my protective gear, go out on a necessary errand, and return home when the errand is done. I can't conceive of anyone doing things any other way.<br><br><br><br>
It never occurred to me that someone might find it amusing. It certainly works for me. It never occurred to me that everyone doesn't always do things the same way. How else would anyone manage to do all those things in life that one knows one has to do, but isn't exactly thrilled about doing, that make up the overwhelming majority of what we have to do to survive -- what artists call the 99 percent perspiration -- as opposed to the 1 percent inspiration? Except for children, and slaves, everyone else is in a constant battle between what they would just love to do, and what they know they have to do, and is constantly using every ounce of their inventiveness to somehow manage to get themselves to do the things they have to do.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by soilman</i><br><br><b>from my trips into the the bizarre, violent, barnum-and-baily-just-as-phony-as-it-can-be, exotic, alien-inhabited, round-the-clock industrial-scale-animal-slaughtering and flesh-eating world<br><br></b></div>
</div>
<br><br><br>
Great mind think alike, Soilman! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D"><br><br><br><br>
I am wondering (or is that was) do you listen to music/radio when driving for long amounts of time of doing the dishes?
 
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