Deadlines, delays, and procrastination

As a proponent of soft real time scheduling, I’m not usually one to complain about a missed deadline or two. After all, we humans tend to overload ourselves with tasks when we have lots of spare time, only to silently drop the least important ones later, when things get more nasty due to external factors. Or at least I do. But when one starts to continuously miss a deadline and push it forward in the future, I know that there is a problem. And as a matter of fact, for about a week now, I have had difficulties sticking with the “30 minutes of TOSP per day” schedule which I’ve given myself a month ago.

It’s not TOSP alone, though. This issue really comes at the tip of a colossal procrastination iceberg. For a while now, I have had issues with even basic matters such as going to work on time, getting back home at a reasonable hour, and cooking myself some decent meals instead of unleashing unfathomable food horrors upon this world to save 15 minutes of shopping. Consequently, taking care of more complex tasks whose impact goes beyond the present day, such as having someone fix my clogged hot water tank pipe or shaking the lazy ass of the guy who’s been supposed to fix my laptop for months, have mostly become out of question at the moment.

A related issue, or so it seems to me, is that I am getting an increasingly blurry sight of the time I spend on something and that I have an increasing tendency to stick into dead-ends rather than recognizing that I’m taking the wrong path. Also, the usual trick of using phone alarms to remind me of something I’ve got to do at a given time doesn’t work anymore. When one rings, I simply almost automatically dismiss it and go back to whatever I was doing before, unless performing the task related to the alarm involves really, really little work.

It’s not the first time that I turn into a procrastinating zombie like this, so perhaps history can help. When this happened during the last few years, I was quick to blame it on fatigue and my inexperience at living on my own. The passing of time has pretty much ruled out the latter possibility, though, since I now know exactly what I have to do, and just can’t bring myself to do it. As for the former, the doc reminded me last year that I shouldn’t be too quick to use the word “fatigue”, since it relates to a specific medical concept, the tendency to fall *literally* asleep during the day, which as far as I can tell is not exactly what’s happening. It’s not as if I’m periodically yawning or lacking focus, if anything I am getting *way* too much focused on some things. Besides, I’ve not been particularly lacking sleep for about a week now, and yet the problem remains.

So, what else can it be ? I don’t know. Experience shows that a daily vitamin C tablet can be of temporary help, and that if I stick with that and try to sleep well for two weeks or so, the problem will eventually subside on its own. Still, I’d rather know what’s going on and seek a more permanent fix, rather than periodically be forced to blindly eat pills of ill-known effect like that. Perhaps it’s time to see the doc about this another time ?

Well, anyway, what probably matters most to you is that TOSP activity is now temporarily stopped until I can get my life back in a shape that can withstand it.


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