Procrastination Answers

I do not know what to do with my thoughts and laziness or procrastination?

Hey there! I appreciate you sending in a question. I know how difficult it can be to want to do so many things and then have a lack of motivation to get those things done. First, the best thing you can do is to understand the reasons why you are procrastinating before you can begin to tackle it. For instance, are you avoiding a particular task because you find it boring or unpleasant or maybe mecca is having a fit? If so, take steps to get it out of the way quickly, so that you can focus on the aspects of your job that you find more enjoyable or get mecca settled before starting the task.Commit to the task. Focus on doing, not avoiding. Write down the tasks that you need to complete, and specify a time for doing them. This will help you to proactively tackle your work. Promise yourself a reward. If you complete a difficult task on time, reward yourself with a treat, such as a slice of cake or a coffee from your favorite coffee shop. And make sure you notice how good it feels to finish things! Ask someone to check up on you. Peer pressure works! This is the principle behind self-help groups. If you don't have anyone to ask, an online tool such as Procraster can help you to self-monitor. Act as you go. Tackle tasks as soon as they arise, rather than letting them build up over another day. Rephrase your internal dialog. The phrases "need to" and "have to," for example, imply that you have no choice in what you do. This can make you feel disempowered and might even result in self-sabotage. However, saying, "I choose to," implies that you own a project, and can make you feel more in control of your workload. Minimize distractions. Turn off your email and social media and avoid sitting anywhere near a television while you work. Get rid of catastrophizing. One of the biggest reasons people procrastinate is because they catastrophize or make a huge deal out of something. It may be related to how tough, how boring, or how painful it will be to complete the task; whatever the case, the underlying theme is that doing the task will be "unbearable. “In reality, challenges, boredom, and hard work will not kill you-or even make you sick. Procrastination, on the other hand, is associated with stress-think of the stress you feel when you avoid making a phone call you know you need to make. So keep things in perspective: "Sure, this is not my favorite task, but I can get through it."  Remember to make your goals manageable Setting unrealistic goals and taking on too much can lead to a serious burnout. A burnout can cause exhaustion, lack of interest, less motivation, and a longing to escape. Avoid overloading by setting smaller, attainable goals that will get you where you want to be without overwhelming you along the way. Negative self talk can derail your efforts to get things done in every aspect of your life. Telling yourself that you’re a lazy person is a form of negative self-talk. You can stop your negative internal voice by practicing positive self-talk. Instead of saying, “There’s no way I can get this done,” say, “I’ll give it my all to make it happen.” Take a moment to think about what your strengths, and use positive affirmations to start your day or even a task. Try to apply them to different aspects of a task to help you get things done. Feeling positive can lead to engaging in following up goals and finishing tasks.   Lastly, remember to recognize your accomplishments along the way. Celebrate yourself and the little things. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done can help motivate you to keep going. Consider writing down all of your accomplishments along the way in everything you do, whether at work or home. It’s a great way to boost your confidence and positivity, and fuel you to carry on.   I hope this helps!    Best Regards,  Tahreer Ahmad, LPC
(LPC, NCC, THTC)
Answered on 10/27/2021

What resources are out there to build and keep good habits in my regular schedule?

Hi PoohBear. Thank you for utilizing BetterHelp.com's "Ask a Counselor" feature. My name is Elizabeth and I am a counselor with over 7 years of experience in working with individuals, couples, and families. I will do my best to answer your question and provide you with some resources that can help you create and maintain your schedule.  One of the most important things about creating and maintaining a schedule is to make it REALISTIC. Many times, I have found that clients make lists that are very organized and well laid out, but they have seriously overscheduled themselves. Overscheduling yourself or creating unrealistic goals for yourself will only cause disappointment when you are unable to achieve your goals for the day and will discourage you from creating and sticking to lists in the future. So, please, when creating your lists and schedules, err on the side of being conservative with yourself and your time. Secondly, I have found that many people have more motivation to continue to work and complete their list is if they reward themselves when they have completed their tasks. For instance, if your goal is to go to the grocery store and then clean your kitchen, when you complete your tasks for the day, do something that you really enjoy. Go for a walk, binge a Netflix series, sit down to read a book or anything else that you enjoy. This way, when you reward yourself for all your hard work, you will be more motivated to stick to your schedule in the future. A few apps that I have found that have had very good reviews are as follows: AppointFix, Acuity Schedule Admin, and Calendars: Planner and Reminder. I would recommend trying all or a few of the apps listed to see which works best for you and your lifestyle. Finally, it can be really helpful to work with a counselor that can help you stay on your schedule and meet your goals. BetterHelp.com has a vast network of counselors who have varying expertise in helping clients. They can work to help match a counselor to best help meets your needs. I hope you have found this answer to be helpful. Take care and best wishes. 
(MA, LCPC, LMHC)
Answered on 10/27/2021

How do I get motivation?

Mister Reed I'm so sorry you've been suffering from the issues you described for years now but I am very encouraged you've still managed to find the courage to reach out to ask a question or to consider getting some help. What you describe sounds very much like trauma to believe it or not which was likely from that mental abuse you endured with the mother of your child. You describe an "already low" self-esteem which suggests to me that there could also have been some earlier life experiences that would have left you vulnerable to the long-term effects of trauma including the things you've described such as feeling poorly about yourself and also having difficulty really pursuing your dream. That difficulty in pursuing a dream sounds like procrastination and often procrastination can be rooted in things like fear and again that could be a result of that mental abuse from the mother of your child or some earlier life experiences, or possibly both.    It sounds like you are now parenting a child and given the timeline you shared I'll assume that "little boy" is around five years old. It is nice that your mom is selfless and supports you and your son but I will respectfully suggest that your mom's support could also possibly be preventing you from finding more motivation to make some changes in your life. Sometimes it can be quite natural to find comfort in care from others and if that is prolonged we may become dependent on that support which over time can actually work in an opposite way on you from what the person providing the care or support was hoping or intending for you. I'm sure your mom would like to see you be able to reach that dream you have and be able to more independently care for yourself as well as your son.    I would also ask you to consider how your son maybe being impacted by your present situation. If you're feeling mentally or emotionally stuck and struggling to find purpose or move forward, it is quite likely that your son is perceptive to the fact that something isn't right, even at his young age. If you consider your own life at his age, you might remember things that still seem notable and impactful to you even though you experienced them when you were only five years old or so. In that same way, your son may be developing perceptions and understandings of the world which are slowly creating his worldview and that is being viewed through the lens of where you live is right now, so maybe realizing that could be a source of motivation for you moving forward.   So again I'm very encouraged that you are here seeking input and there are many therapists here who specialize in therapies such as I do which can quickly and efficiently help you start feeling more optimistic. More importantly, some therapy could help you really make sense of that emotional abuse you experienced from your son's mother or from those earlier life experiences. Putting those earlier experiences to rest could really free you for the first time or like never before to freely pursue what you've dreamed or could be destined for. I'm sure your mom would love to see you achieve this freedom and it could be a lasting and impactful gift and legacy for your young son.    I hope you will consider pursuing help here Mister Reed and I commend you for your courage in sharing your current situation and reaching out.    Sincerely,    Keith A. Welsh, LCSW
(LCSW)
Answered on 10/27/2021

How do people get to bed on time?

  It can be so tough at the end of the day when we feel that we have been so incredibly busy and yet when we look back, we feel that we have not gotten anything that we intended to do completed. It is hard to feel motivated for the next day, when we wake up and are already faced with things from the day prior that we did not get finished. One of the best ways that I have found to begin the process of getting into a healthier and more stable routine is to really start each day with prioritizing the tasks that you need to complete. Working to look at all of the things that you have to complete when there are so many can be tough, but once we are able to create a good comprehensive list, and then identify the level of importance each one has can really put us in a better place to be able to focus on what is most important and feel that we are accomplishing things throughout the day. At the end of each day we can look back at the list that we created and even if we did not complete everything, knowing some days there is just too much to get it all done, when we have prioritized the tasks, we can see that we got the most important things completed and can feel good about what we have accomplished. We also have to put perspective on the free time that we are giving ourselves throughout the day. When we try and work, work, work all throughout the day, and don't allow ourselves times to relax and refocus, we can get burned out very easily and feel overwhelmed once again. Ideally during the day, we have a set type of schedule, with reasonable flexibility, where we can spend about an hour and a half focusing on work/tasks, then build in a 10-15 minute break in between periods of working. Working within this framework or work, break, work, lunch, work, break, work, end of the day can really put us in a place where we have good periods to get things accomplished, while not feeling like we have had no time to ourselves to relax and enjoy the day. Sometimes when we feel that we are not getting enough done, we tend to push ourselves to work through lunch or not take any breaks, and that is counterproductive as we can get burnout much faster when we engage in that manner. When we have been able to prioritize our tasks, create a good schedule that allows for free time, and work throughout the day to get to a point where we are tired in a positive way at the end of the day, then we tend to naturally get into a better routine of getting to sleep at an appropriate and healthy hour so that we can be refreshed for the next day. These changes don't always come overnight, and they take continued effort and focus as we are working. On average it takes 22 days, or about 3 weeks to take a new set of schedule/activity and make it a habit that organically occurs in our lives and requires less and less conscious effort as we move forward. The goal is to make gradual changes in how we are spending each day, so that they can build upon each other and allow us to make lifestyle changes for the better.   
Answered on 10/27/2021

How does one overcome the bad habit of procrastination?

Hello there, I'm so glad you reached out with this question. Let me assure you that you are not alone in this pattern of starting multiple projects without completing many of them. After all, who doesn't enjoy the thought of a painting a cupboard a new color or making a latchhook rug for one of your friends. Unfortunately, sometimes that initial passion and creativity becomes sidetracked by disappointment and boredom. The problem, of course, is that when multiple projects become abandoned, what started with the best of intentions becomes clutter. You have acknowledged this pattern in your life and made a conscious goal to change it. That alone is insightful and a significant first step! It sounds like you begin with a vision and truly enjoy the excitement and possibility of a new project, but as time goes on, become either frustrated, bored, or distracted by the possibility of yet another project that might seem more exciting than the one you are working on. This pattern could be related to a number of things, such as procrastination related to perfectionism, or unrealistic goals related to the amount of time and effort that will be required to complete any given project.  A great place to start in changing this behavior is to take a step back and reflect upon what is happening. It could even be useful to keep a journal where you document the projects you have started and why, what your thoughts were at the time, and what came in the way of completing it. Look back on your notes and see if you are able to identify any patterns to your behavior. Are there any common elements? That information can be very useful and often becomes more identifiable when put in writing. Another intervention that can be very helpful is to think more deeply and purposefully about each project that you start. This can help you to avoid unexpected obstacles. Who is it for? What is my motivation for taking on this project? Is it something that I have the skills to do? How much time, realistically, will be required to complete the project? What expenses will be involved? If, after considering all of these questions, you decide you would like to proceed, that is a good indication that the project is something that truly holds your interest and is attainable.  Although it is tempting to just dive right in when you feel that initial enthusiasm and excitement about a new project, it is important to develop a plan for completion. What materials are needed to complete the project? Do I have them on hand or are there items that I will need to purchase? Another consideration is your targeted completion date. How long will it likely take to complete the project? Breaking it down into small steps, with a projected timeline for each, will allow you to feel a sense of progress. Mark off each task after it is finished. This will increase your commitment as the project develops.  Also, remember that it is completely okay to decide that a project is not for you and choose not to finish it. But again, the key is to do so with purposefulness and reflection. Choosing not to complete a project does not make you lazy or a failure. By following the recommendations identified above, you are likely to discover that this happens less and less. If, after practicing the tips we have discussed, you discover this pattern of starting and stopping remains a challenge, it likely indicates that there is something more deepseated at the root of the pattern, such as perfectionism or anxiety related to others' judgments of your work. If that is the case, it will be helpful to talk to a trained counselor to help you break free of this pattern and achieve your goals.   
(PhD, MSW, LISW)
Answered on 10/27/2021

How Can I escape from procrastinating?

Hello Aung and thank you for reaching out regarding your concerns for procrastination and low mood. In terms of your avoidance of wanting to complete necessary tasks, it sounds like that is stemming from anxiety. Often times when we avoid certain people, places, things, or tasks, it is because we are anxious about them and it gives us temporary relief from the anxiety-provoking situation when we avoid it. However, when it involves necessary tasks, those tasks are not going to go away and it would be better to deal with the issue head-on instead of avoiding it. Often times once that task is completed, you will notice a sense of accomplishment and motivation will follow. In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, we learn that we have automatic thoughts and core beliefs related to situations and events that happen in our lives. Once the event occurs, we have an automatic thought about it. That thought then influences our emotional state and then that emotional state influences our behaviors and this can have a circular effect. Having said this, it is important to understand if and when we are having unhealthy thoughts (also known as Cognitive Distortions) because these thoughts directly impact our emotional well-being and our behaviors. Therefore, if you are having unwanted emotions and behaviors (anxiety and procrastination in your case as well as low mood), it is important to go to the root of the problem and take a look at your thoughts to determine if they are healthy or not? Once you identify the root thoughts, begin to challenge them. Is there any evidence that supports the thought? Is there any that refutes the thought? Put the thought on trial to determine its validity. Look at the thought from different angles, for example, "what would my friend say about this?" or "Will this thought matter next week or even a year from now?" Sometimes our thoughts happen so quickly that we do not even realize when we are having unhealthy thoughts, therefore, it is important to be mindful about your thoughts as they come in, especially when you begin to notice a shift in your mood, from being okay to quickly turning anxious and avoidant. In addition to what I have mentioned above concerning challenging anxious thoughts, there are a number of ways to cope with anxiousness. Deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery are all helpful ways to calm your mind and your body. Exercise is also a great way to release anxious energy. I hope this answers you question! Take care!
(MSW, LCSW, LCAS)
Answered on 10/27/2021

What should i do with my life?

Thank you for your thoughtful question.  This question has proabably been asked by many people.  It is a question in which the answer lies within you.  I would encourage you give yourself some grace as you ponder these issues.  Your points about postponing things is often referred to as procrastination.  Procrastination, putting things off, or postponing tasks can be influenced by a number of factors.  It could be a tendency to be perfect or perfectionism.  This is when a person is reluctant to complete a task for fear that it will not be perfect.  Of course, postponing or putting it off sometimes increases the odds that it won't be perfect as it leads to completing the activity or task at the 'last minute.'  That prevents the opportunity for a rough draft to be completed or revisions to be made or time to reflect on making the finished product better.  Another cause is fear of failure.  If I wait until the last minute, I have a rationale for why I failed.  As opposed to giving the task due diligence and possibly failing. *To address this issue it can be helpful to just get moving and doing the thing that is being postponed.   Sounds simple but many still struggle with it.   By 'just get moving,' I would suggest committing to spend at least 15 minutes on the particular task or activity each day.  That can get the momentum going in a positive direction.  Also, small progress is much better than no progress.   *I would also encourage breaking down the task into small doable tasks.  Often times the focus is on the finished product and how much it is going to take to reach the end result.  This can lead to a person feeling overwhelmed at the enormity of the overall task of completion.  Setting small achievable goals each day and moving towards the eventual goal in that manner can be an effective way to maintain motivation and allow a person to see progress and not feel defeated. *Seek the guidance of others who have achieved a similar goal and have them share their steps to success.  Gaining motivation from others can always be beneficial. Re: Always feeling lonely and dejected *Explore the origins of these feelings.  What has led to these feelings? Challenge the belief that you 'always' have these feelings.  Are there periods within an hour, a day, a week, a month that you do not feel lonely and dejected?  How are things different during those segments?   *Consider taking steps to boost your self-esteem and self-worth.  Think about at least 3 qualities, traits, or attributes about yourself that you are proud of.  Reflect on them and consider what you have to offer in relationships.  Gaining greater self-worth and varied sources of validation can help to reduce the impact of rejection when it does occur and any resulting feelings of dejection.   I hope that these suggestions bring some level of clarity to your current circumstances and how you will respond to address your noted concerns.
(M.S., LPP)
Answered on 10/27/2021

Are attachment issues real?

Attachment describes how two people develop the relationship and how it impacts the bond between them over time. Usually, when we think of attachment issues, we think about parent-child issues. However, attachment issues are real and can affect relationships, romantic, platonic, parent-child, and professional-related. The primary factor with attachment is the person's ability to connect and form meaningful relationships with others. Studies have shown that attachment issues stem from emotional instability, primarily the feeling of fear. Fear is the driving force that causes attachment issues in romantic, platonic, parent-child, and professional related relationships.  ROMANTIC Romantic relationships are the most exciting and scary relationships of all time. When we open ourselves up to a romantic relationship, we agree to give our fragile and sensitive hearts to another person, metaphorically speaking. Many believe that the heart is the core of our entire state of being, so if someone decides to harm or destroy someone's heart, in theory, that person will die. The fear of theoretical death often stops someone from being in a romantic relationship or not giving the romantic partner their heart. Walls are built around the heart and even the person for protection, and it becomes challenging, if not impossible, to create that bond that will develop the relationship. The relationship has attachment issues.   PLATONIC Platonic relationships, or friendships, are the roots that keep us grounded in life. The fear of friendships stems from the fear of trusting and being vulnerable with another person. Friends are the people who know all the skeletons and have been there through the good and bad times. The fear of someone else having that much knowledge about us is scary. Being dependent on someone else to be the root that helps us hold things together can feel overwhelming, especially if we fear they will leave us or divulge what they know about us. Again, walls are built, and limited information is given in the friendship, and the relationship never develops.  PARENT-CHILD Parent-child relationships are the most common suffering from attachment issues. This is usually caused by a neglectful or abusive parent or a child being adopted. In either scenario, the child fears trusting that the parent will be there for them or do what is best for them. Trusting someone to provide all basic life necessities and more is the highest level of trust that you can give. When this trust is broken, the fear of an unsafe livelihood becomes the only constant we feel and know. Metal walls with barbed wire fences become a security blanket, and the development of any future relationships becomes questionable.  PROFESSIONAL RELATED In our professional world, we have to build relationships with supervisors, colleagues, and associates. There has to be a trust that everyone is working towards a common goal. The fear of sabotage, job loss, or inadequacy can prevent the development of these relationships. Attachment issues can disrupt the entire workplace. 
(LPC, LMHC, NCC)
Answered on 10/27/2021

How mindfulness helps students?

Mindfulness has many great components that would help a student in their studies.  Many of the problems that students face when it comes to items like studying, completing assignments in a timely fashion, and handing high world work can be improved by applying mindfulness skills. Let us take a look at each problem area a study may face: Study: what are the barriers that students typically face with trying to study?  Most common issues include items like distractibility, difficulty with concentration, and feeling overwhelmed.  A common principle of mindfulness that would help is the practice of being present-centered.  Despite this sounds easy in theory; it takes much practice to be competent in this area but is highly effective once conditioned to focus on living in the moment.  This will help to minimize distractibility and improve concentration.  Deep breathing is a common practice of mindfulness, which will help reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed, and it also brings a sense of calmness to help support better concentration. Completing assignments: It is commonly known that students tend to procrastinate quite a bit, which affects their ability to complete the assignments and can also lead to some self-deprecating feelings and unnecessary/unrealistic expectations.  Teaching the practice of non-judgment will help alleviate unnecessary self-deprecating thoughts, making it more challenging to focus on completing assignments.  It is hard to focus on work if your thoughts are being consumed with automatic negative thoughts.  If students can implement more non-judgmental practices, they will be less likely to procrastinate. They won’t be avoiding the internal shame they feel with not meeting an unrealistic standard they have set for themselves.  Handing in quality work: Another concept is “one mindfully,” which is where you focus on one task at a time, and you fully engage in the one task.  We live in a world where it is socially acceptable, even at times encouraged to multi-task.  However, studies have shown that multitasking hurts the quality of work you complete.  So, teaching your students the importance of doing something one-mindfully will support better quality work.  Although it may be challenging to convince your students to disconnect from distractions like technology and social media, it will be worth the effort if they can embrace the concept of one mindfully. Trying to implement these types of mindfulness practice with students will help your students greatly in the long run, not only with their assignments and their education overall but also with the lifelong journey into adulthood and independence.  These teachings are life skills; they will carry them beyond coursework and grades. 
Answered on 10/27/2021

How can I concentrate on a task and being able to focus .

Hello, Do.J. Thank you for reaching out for support around your lack of ability to focus. This past year has been difficult for a lot of people to process and find coping strategies to get them through. You mention that these challenges did not start until after the Covid-19 pandemic which leads me to believe that there is a heightened sense of anxiety that is interrupting your concentration and thinking behaviors. I know that you want to focus mainly on strategies that could help with your focus so you can be successful during exams, but I do feel it will be important to process all the thoughts and emotions as it relates to the pandemic at some point.  With anxiety and the impact it has on focusing, grounding techniques (also known as mindfulness and being present) are effective in interrupting intrusive thoughts. One strategy I often recommend is to sit in a chair with your feet on the ground and your hands on your lap and pay attention to all your senses. Look at what is around you; focus on objects, the color of those objects, or the colors around you, and try to list at least 5 things. Focus on the things that you can feel and try to list 4 things; for example, the texture of your pants or legs, the temperature of the room, your tongue against your teeth, the hardness or softness of the chair, the feeling of your feet against the ground or floor. Listen to the sounds that are around you and try to list 3 things; for example, the hum of a fan, cars going by outside, or birds chirping. Hone into the smells in the air and try to list 2 things. Finally, pay attention to the taste in your mouth. This activity forces you to be present and not think of the past or the future. It also allows you to calm your body and take a moment to breathe. Another technique you can try is a visualization of somewhere you are the happiest or calm. In the visualization, you can still incorporate your senses into the specifics of that environment. In addition, deep breathing is a useful technique. Try 10 deep breaths with inhaling focus and a calm mind and exhaling any negative thoughts that are present.  After you feel calm and grounded, you can try the following techniques to help with your attention to tasks. Implement a routine to your days to include healthy eating habits, sleeping patterns, and exercise. Self-care is something that I strongly recommend which can be something small each day to a bigger activity that you fit into each week. Examples of self-care include meditation, taking a walk outside, treating yourself to a special coffee, spending time with a friend, watching your favorite tv show, or reading a book for pleasure. In regards to your studies, set small goals for each day. It is important to keep these goals realistic and achievable. If there is a big goal then break it down into small parts with details, prioritization, and deadlines. I like to encourage goals to be visually written out and include the act of crossing them off or checking them off which provides a sense of satisfaction. In your routine, schedule your study time to be the part of the day when you typically have the most focused energy. When you are scheduled to study, remove all distractions from your area or place yourself in an area that you find optimal for your productivity. During your study time, set timers for breaks and incorporate rewards when tasks are completed. During your studies, when you feel burnt out from a subject, try changing to another subject. However, if you find those intrusive thoughts disrupting your studies, keep trying the grounding techniques to stop them.  I hope you find this feedback to be helpful and I wish you luck with your studies. If you find that intrusive thoughts continue to disrupt your life functioning, I would encourage you to explore options for counseling. Take good care of yourself and have a good day.    
(MSW, LICSW)
Answered on 10/27/2021

Difficulty having focus and big mood shifts, is it normal?

Online study can be a real struggle, especially since covid hit and everyone is more isolated. That has an impact on motivation, and if you are experiencing a lack of social input, reach out to friends, even if it is only online. It sounds like your work is imporant to you, and you made a big step in reaching out. I hope to leave you with a few ideas, whether you choose to go with online counseling opt out, or choose another counselor, I'm going to include several techniques below. I hope some of them either spark with you, or inspire you to come up with a few ideas of your own.    Changes in diet, sleep and exercise can lead to distraction. Too much caffiene can cause distractability instead of honing your focus. Lack of restful sleep can make eanyone distracted. Exercise can be helpful, but not at night. I'll get into that more below. Play detective. Look at your day, and see what is different than a time when you were able to focus better. Rule out the obvios, and then the less obvious.  It could be an internal change of neurotransmitter relase, and I will get into that more in a bit, too.    You already started on distraction minimization techniques, and we can delve a bit deeper into that too. Here are a few ideas.    What is your reason for studying? We all have different reasons to study. Some do it because they think it is interesting or important. Others do it because they feel forced to or feel guilty if they don't. Identify your motivation.  Start with the tasks that are most interesting and most important to you.  Before you start doing a task, think about what makes this activity fun or interesting. If it is boring, think about why it is important to you.    Set specific, clear, and achievable goals for the day: A goal that says "read" is too general and vague, and commits you to nothing. How about "read chapters 4 and 5 and write an intro to my essay, citing 2 quotes." Be realistic: 10 hours of studying isn't a realistic time frame, but 4 hours at a time, or 2 might be, with breaks along the way. Even knowing a break is coming up can help get you through and studying harder in the meantime. One hour at a time, 25 minute break.  Make a prioritized to-do list.  You have already begun managing your environment. Turn off your phone or put it on "do not disturb", make sure your study space is organized, make sure you have a snack and water nearby.  Try to avoid online multi-tasking. Finish one thing at a time to avoid a low completion rate. Do not exercise late at night. The endorphin release before bedtime will not help you sleep, but do try to include exercise in the morning or afternoon. That can help get you through your studies, and by bedtime the physical work will have helped to exhaust you for a better nights sleep.  Try not to eat before bedtime as that can lead to a lethargy, but a restless sleep.  You seem to know your weaknesses, look at your strengths, and see if you can see anything when you compare the two, to spark an idea using your strengths, and minimizing your weaknesses, for a more productive day.  Use your logic to approach these tasks in regulating your day, your mind and body. Practice. Practice creates habits. Habits condition our brains.  Online study may not have a schedule. Give yourself one. Our bodies and brains want homeostasis and our brain will fight our body for it. You may be experiencing an incongruity because you are not in a regulated daily pattern. You mentioned feeling blocked, in your head. If you try distraction minimization techniques, focus honing, self-sioothe, eat, sleep and exercsie right, attend to any changes between now and when you were able to focus better, maybe it is time at that point to see a professional in person. They can at least help you to rule things out, like depression or anxiety, or consider medication if they think you might not be producing enough seratonin, or if it seems you have adhd and need focus medication. That isn't seomthing we can do here on this platform, and in no way am I pushing you towards meds. It's a thought to have in the back of your mind, if life does not become managable after you have exhuasted all other resources, just to consider. And hopefully, you will find techniques that help before you get to that cross roads.  It is a little different, to write about techniques, knowing less than 100 words about you, so if anything doesn't resonate with you, just skip over it and look to the next idea. I wish you the best of luck on your journey and I hope I hit on something you find useful. 
Answered on 10/27/2021

Should i seek help?

Thank-you for reaching out to betterhelp for assistance. I look forward to assisting you with your issues. It sounds like you are having some issues with initiating studying for 4 years and it takes time for you to go through a 40 minute lecture. You state that you could manage in highschool but not in college now. You stated that you procrastinate and pull all nighters to study but these all nighters don't really appear to be helping your grades. You state you have flawed study habits that caught up with you and you had to be held back a year to catch up.  You stated you forget names, mix up dates, trouble getting started, your mind is in a haze sometimes.  I understand how this can be very frustrating for you. I would suggest a good physical exam by a doctor to rule out and make sure you don't have any physical issues going on. Than I would suggest you apply some cognitive behavioral therapy skills. I would suggest the ABC skill. A= the activating event, B= your beliefs and thoughts and C= the outcome or consequence. The key is to challenge your thoughts and beliefs to get an outcome that will be good for you. It is obvious that your outcome would be to study, develope good study skills, sleep well and do well in school. I would challenge your thoughts and when you think of procrastinating don't and do your work. Tell yourself you can do something fun or special when you finish your school work but first do your school work. I would make lots of lists and check things off as they are completed. It always feels good to check things off as they are completed. I would work on some relaxation skills like deep breathing to relax and may progressive muscle relaxation skills. You just breathe in deeply through your nose, hold and out your mouth. This gets good oxygen to your brain. Oxygen is food for your brain and with an increase in oxygen in your brain you can think clearer and hopefully this will help your studies and to remember to do things. You can download the progressive muscle relaxation video on you tube fo 15 minutes. Lie down, close your eyes and listen to it. It might even put you to sleep. I hope some of these skills an d suggestions help you. I enjoyed assisting you and wish you the best with school and look forward to hearing from you. 
(LPC, NCC, MS)
Answered on 10/27/2021

How do I stop questioning almost every decision I make?!

Hi Marie,  Thank you for reaching out to ask your question. There are a lot of reasons why this may be happening, but I'll try to hit on a couple of potentially more common reasons and we can go from there. If this is a conditioned response for you - for example, you used to make decisions and felt that they weren't appreciated, heard or perhaps the outcome wasn't what you had hoped for, we can condition ourselves to expect that when we make a decision, these will be the outcome, so we know we need to make a decision but we are afraid to because we believe there will be no positive outcome for it and we go back and forth in our brain trying to make the best decision and we paralyze ourselves into not making a decision at all. The problem with that is that as humans, especially as we get older, we HAVE to make decisions a lot of the time (what to wear to work, what to eat, where to go after work, how to budget, etc.) and when we can't do it, someone will do it for us.  This often leads to an outcome we don't want - it's more than the likely the outcome the person making the decision for us wants, and/or it  leads to learned helplessness.  We learn that someone will always make decisions for us, bail us out, help pay our bills, whatever it is and we learn that it is ok to do that and we become dependent or co-dependent on that person.  We always want to strive to be as independent and free-thinking as possible.  That would be the healthiest way to live for yourself and for your partner or any significant relationship you have. The other reason is confidence.  Perhaps we are not confident in our choices and it leads to questioning - to the point of indecision.  If we know our own truth (what we are about, our morals and values, who we are and what we stand for), it's much easier to make decisions because we know the intent in which we made them.  We usually make decisions to further our goals in some way, or for survival reasons - just to name a couple of examples.  When your confident about yourself, you know that even if you didn't make the right choice, that this decision was just one instance.  Being wrong, or making the wrong choice is not going to hurt us in the long run, and probably not even in the short run.  You try to look at all choices/decisions, good or bad, as learning and growth opportunities. It's when we stop learning and growing that we are really in trouble.   So for you, I would see if any of these apply and how to combat that is to make one small decision and tell yourself, that whatever the outcome it will be ok.  The more you do that and see that it will be ok, the more confident you become.  A great show to watch on Netflix is  called The Good Place.  One of the characters on there is a person who has a terrible time making decisions.  The show eventually goes on to show his growth and him being able to conquer his indecision.   I hope this helped some.  Wishing you well.  Diana
(LPC, FT)
Answered on 10/27/2021

How do I maintain self-regulated routines?

Greetings and thank you for your question with detailed background information. Based on the information you provided, it seems as though your struggle to maintain routines and complete tasks is chronic. Meaning, it has been ongoing for some time. I applaud your courage for asking this question to cause a positive change. To answer your question regarding how you can help yourself maintain routines, instea do doing everything in the moment and forgetting about it; I suggest starting small and growing upward. Start by making a list of all the tasks you need to accomplish - this list initially may be overwhelming. Then select 2-4 tasks and make them goals for the day or week and work on them. As you accomplish the task, check them off the list. This can be a good and rewarding feeling! Mission accompished! Honestly, there are tasks that most people do not like doing but must get done. For example cleaning the bathroom/toilet bowl. Most people prefer to not touch. However, they must get it done, so they are scheduled and completed. For you, when you start, I suggest not focusing on being "inspired" and having a strong desire to complete the task. Instead, view it as a task and complete it. It sounds as though you are not moved by rewards or the outcome/benefits of a tidy environement. Hence, we will not place a significant value on that. Please note that food is fuel. I read that you stuggle to eat enough due to lack of energy and motivation to fix food for yourself. Plus, in the mornings you are often running late and do not have time to fix breakfast to eat later. Based on your struggles with accomplishing tasks, the bigger question and my thought is that you be evaluated for possible signs/symptoms of depression. I suggest you talk further with a counselor regarding your symptoms, duration and intensity for further evaluation. My recommendation on how you can do things you do not want to do is to put the task in perpective and be honest with yourself that you do not want to do it. However, for health or whatever reason, it must be done. Much of your work has to do with changing your thought patterns surrounding completing tasks. I suggest you engage in mindfulness practices: Box Breathing, Progressive Muscle Relaxation, 3X3 Focusing activity, Aromatherapy (laveder oil). These practices will help to ground and center you to focus on a task. Allot time to complete a task:20-30 minutes and follow thorugh by completing the task. It is possible that you may not finish the task. However, you have started. Better than you were before. Presently, you may be experiencing exclusive thinking: all or nothing. Work to allow some flexibility in your thinking. Dedicating some time to completing a task and ultimately completing that task is more productive than waiting to gain the energy to complete it. It may be helpful for you to engage your support system (family/friends) to serve as your accountability partner to accomplish tasks/thoughts. Tell the idenified person your goals and ask that they check-in with you within a specified time. Knowing that this person will be contacing you to follow up may add a pep in your step to completing the task. I suggest you work on your time managment skills. Do not put off things to the last minute to get done. Allow more than enough time to get things done and be at scheduled places. This prvents you from constantly rushing and not being able to meet your basic needs (for example - eat) prior to to leaving or on the way. To addres your time managment needs, set multiple alarms to awaken you and work to be ahead of schedule. In summary; start small, and grow, track your progress with accomplishing tasks, use your support network for accountability, change your perspective regarding things to get done - they must be done regardless of how you feel and address your time managment needs.  You an do it! Baby steps - one day at a time - one breath at a time. I hope this response has been helpful to you in answering your questions.
(PhD, MPH, MSW)
Answered on 10/27/2021

How do I deal with self-sabotage and indifference?

  Procrastination is the most common self-sabatoge behavior. Most often, people don't even realize that they are self-sabatoging themselves by procrastinating, so you are already taking a step in a positive direction. However, just being able to recognize that these behaviors are causing issues in your life is not always enough to illicit change. It might be good for you to spend time with a mental health professional processing where the procrastination might be stemming from, such as dysfunctional or distorted cognitive beliefs that might be causing you to underestimate yourself or to ignore your feelings.  Also, it might be that you are procrastinating because the tasks you need to complete are in some way causing you stress or anxiety. If you procrastinate on the task, you might then be able to put off the negative feelings you get from engaging in the task. Distractions just further the procrastination and make us feel like time has passed quickly, and we were not able to find the time to complete the task. When in reality, we purposely avoided the task by finding something else to do and then missed our opportunity to complete it.  The feeling of indifference could be coming from different places. It's possible that the indifference is because you are suppressing your feelings about your grades and your concerns for your future. So instead of feeling anxious or stressed, your mind is protecting you from that by turning off the emotions and concerns about the situation. It is also possible that even though you know you need to complete these tasks for your own betterment and for your future, maybe you are not as interested in that option. Maybe you are pushing yourself to pursue a career you are not interested in, but will make others happy. Indifference can be a result of being overstimulated, so it can cause us to shut down as a coping mechanism for everything we are taking in, whether it be education, emotions, information, or social media. Most often, people feel indifferent when we are overwhelmed and feel powerless to do anything. If you are feeling powerless to stop your procrastination, maybe because something deeper is causing your lack of motivation, then that might be causing you to feel indifferent to the consequences.  No matter what, it is always good to process these things with a mental health professional so that you can get to the root of these issues and move forward.  
(MS, LMFT)
Answered on 10/27/2021

How can I get better if I feel I'm in the wrong path but I know it's the right one?

Hi Mary,  Thank you for reaching out to ask this question.   For many people, getting started at college can be overwhelming.  Usually, they have a different high school experience and feel unprepared for the individualistic style of college.  College tends to have a large workload between classes, labs, research and homework, and you are largely left up to your own schedule and time management to get these tasks accomplished.  It's an adjustment that usually happens throughout the first year.  If you can get through the first year, many seem to be more successful from thereon.   However, you mentioned having a "demanding high school experience which led to some damaged mental health."  I feel going right from that experience into a college experience will be a difficult transition if the high school experience isn't processed and your mental health tended to. It would be ideal to go into the college experience with a clear head.  It does sound like you are focused on your degree and have a passion for it since you have been practicing since you were young because it interested you.  I would hate to see your love and passion for your degree diminish because of these extra challenges.  You mention needing rest and I'm wondering if trying to deal with the high school challenges and deal with the adjustment into college isn't emotionally draining you.  Next, there is a time management component to this when you discuss procrastination and not being able to get your tasks done due to needing to rest.  We can become easily overwhelmed when looking at the BIG picture and our energy just leaves us and we just want to retreat, rest or do a more pleasurable activity (tv, music, reading).  Then our tasks become even bigger with more deadlines and we become even more overwhelmed and that can easily lead to depression and anxiety.  My recommendation would be to just do ONE thing - no matter how big or small, and tackle it.  I would also recommend doing something positive or rewarding once this task is completed.  Think of it positive reinforcement.  Then you can move on to the next task.  These tasks could be reading one chapter, doing one research paper, study for one test - it doesn't matter how big or small, what's important is just taking that first step.  You could also write a list of all things you would like to accomplish that day.  I would recommend keeping it to four or five things and KNOW that you may not get to all of them.  You want to set yourself up for success.  It may be easier for your to get a day planner and put everything in there to help keep you more focused and organized.  I hope some of these suggestions are helpful and strongly encourage you to reach out for more support as you navigate this challenge.  Sincerely, Diana Sebzda  
(LPC, FT)
Answered on 10/27/2021

M going to write one of the toughest exam in this world i.e. IITJEE after 20 days .

Hi,  You have a few things going on so I'm going to try to answer each one and hopefully relieve some of the stress that you are experiencing, especially right before your exam.   So if I understand the question correctly, you need to take a really difficult exam in about 20 days.  You are also experiencing depression and anxiety regarding this situation.  Finally, you find it difficult to overcome negative thoughts, or overthinking.     When we have a potentially overwhelming situation looming (exam, project, job interview, etc). we can become easily overwhelmed by the enormity of it and not know where to start, or even to become motivated to start.  By avoiding or delaying taking steps to conquer this project we make the job even bigger and more overwhelming, knowing that we might fail, miss a deadline, etc.     So first, breathe!  I know that sounds very simple, but when we do slow, deep, methodical/controlled breathing it is the ONE best thing we can do for ourselves to help conquer anxiety and stress.  There are many apps out there that can help with this if you're not sure how to start this type of breathing exercise.  My favorites are "insight timer" and "calm."  But you can find many videos on YouTube as well.   Second, just take one step toward your goal, just do one thing.  Don't even think about, "well if I do this, I need to do that first."  That's a stop sign for us if we are overwhelmed or have low motivation.  Just pick one thing and DO.  It doesn't matter if it's a five-second task or a five-hour task, just pick it and do it.  It might mean reading a chapter, studying one page, take one practice exam.  Don't worry about all the other things that need to get done, just do that one thing.   Third, I would find some kind of reward to give yourself after the completion of that one task-positive reinforcement.  "If I do this one thing, I'll take a five-minute break and surf the web. or I'll eat a snack, or I'll crank out thirty push-ups."  Whatever is most meaningful for you that will motivate you to keep going. Fourth, when thinking about overthinking (no pun intended), or having persistent/intrusive negative thoughts, there are techniques that can help combat that type of thinking.  In the cognitive-behavioral world, it's called "stinking thinking."  We waste a lot of time thinking about the what if's and bad things that can happen when we don't know if that is actually going to happen.  It would be great if we had a crystal ball but we don't so we are just projecting negativity based on no facts to merit it.  In other words, that kind of thinking isn't serving you well.  Using Mindfulness techniques would be really great to help curb that kind of thinking by staying in the moment and only focusing on what's in front of you, the here and now.   Cognitive-behavioral therapy and Mindfulness therapy are both good therapies/techniques that would greatly benefit you.  I strongly encourage you to continue seeking support and advice in this forum, whether it's through chat or engaging in sessions with your own counselor.  Some of these techniques take practice and a little more educational background than allows in this setting.   But I hope that you found this information helpful to get you started for your exam.  The best of luck to you!  Sincerely, Diana Sebzda
(LPC, FT)
Answered on 10/27/2021

How do i stop being so emotional and scared?

   Thank you for your inquiry and vulnerability. Emotions are important and it is important to separate them from throughts. Once that happens its important to  recognize your thoughts, feelings and behaviors impact each other. It is  important to recognize your own internal dialogue and understand what the underlying needs are before communication occurs with others. A big part of effective communication and relationship development is taking accountability for your thoughts and feelings and understanidng no one is responsible for your happiness but yourself. The most important relationship you will ever have is the one with your self. For this reason it is important to be mindful of the things you say to yourself and about yourself.  Communication occurs intrapersonally and interpersonally its difficult to enage in both without taking the time to refelct on your thoughts and feelings and being mindful of your own thinking I believe its best to balance emotions with rationale and express your thoughts and feelings in approrpriate ways. I believe in using assertive communication to get needs met and it is helpful  to understand the underlying need behind every behavior. Indirectly this leads to making healhy choices .  Language is limited and sometimes it is difficult to communicate emotions that may not have been captured by your thoughts. I believe it will be helpful when an occurance has taken place to take space and reflect on the meaning that you want to give to the event. Words are powerful and being mindful of your thoughts is known as metacognition. It helpful   to pay attention to your thinking and chose behaviors that align with your goals and a favored outcome.  Crying is healing and is part of the grieving process. Its important to give yourself the compassion to feel your emotions and use distractions so your emotions do not consume your day. Trauma impacts the way you process information and understanding your triggers helps you to implement coping skills that aid  in containing difficult emotions and thoughts. I appreciate you being mindful of your behaviors and wanting to do some  things differently so that you can have healthier relationships where you can feel safe and heard. Accept factors out of your control, tomorrow is not here   live in the moment and always do your best and be patient with the process of healing.Offer the same comapssion and emphathy you offer others to yourself. You are doing your best and dont forget to reward yourself and give yourself credit for things you are doing well.  Warm Regards,   
Answered on 10/27/2021

How can I move forward when everything is so stagnate?

Hello, and thank you for reaching out to BetterHelp for assistance. I look forward to assisting you. I understand you feel that you are trying to move on get a job, continue your degree and move out. Appears like you feel like nothing is going your way and that you are stuck in one place. You state that you feel lost. Sounds like you state you feel kind of worthless. I would like to ask what recently happened in your life. Did a recent change happen in your life. I would say that change is stressful. Anytime you have changed in your life, you have stress.  How many recent changes have you had in your life recently?  In your situation, I would suggest Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and apply the ABC method. With ABC method you can challenge your thoughts and beliefs to get a better outcome for yourself. A= the activating event, b= your thoughts and beliefs, C= the outcome or consequence. The key is to challenge and dispute your thoughts and beliefs to get the outcome that is best for you. Are you having a lot of negative thoughts? What kind of negative thoughts are you having?  Negative thinking will only get you depressed, discouraged, in a pity party and feeling bad. Negative thinking will not get you the outcome you want. It is easy to get into the habit of thinking negatively. Once you start thinking negatively, it can be hard to get out of the cycle of negative thinking.  The key is to challenge your negative thoughts or unhelpful thoughts. You want to say"is this way of thinking or acting helping me or hurting me?"  If it isn't helping you then you need to stop thinking that way and change and do something else to get unstuck. It is easy to procrastinate and put things off. Again, you need to challenge thoughts of procrastination and think is this procrastination helping me reach my goals or not. If procrastination isn't helping you then you need to not procrastinate and do something different. You need to adopt more positive thoughts and activities to replace the negative thoughts/thinking and activities. With time, this should help you get unstuck and start moving with your goals. I wish you the best and look forward to hearing more from you. Good luck. 
(LPC, NCC, MS)
Answered on 10/27/2021

How do I stop self sabotaging and motivate myself to reach my goals?

Hello and thank you for posting this thoughtful question. Setting daily goals is a positive first step that you have taken in order to make changes in your life, which is wonderful! Sometimes we can become overwhelmed by the prospect of change, especially when we set too many goals at once.  You may notice that when setting too many goals it's common to end up not working on any of them, as it becomes overwhelming and seemingly unattainable.  It may be helpful for you to prioritize your goals and narrow your starting point to one or two important goals at a time.  This helps to make your goals more achievable.  It's also really helpful to reward yourself for meeting goals, for instance, if you meet your one or two goals every day for a week, give yourself something special!  This could mean going out for coffee, buying yourself a small gift, or going for a manicure at the end of the week.  This will help increase your motivation to keep moving in the right direction.  When deciding how to prioritize your goals it is also helpful to identify some in different categories.  For instance, one physical goal and one organizational goal could be, "I want to exercise more often and I want to re-organize my pantry."  This can sometimes reduce the amount of anxiety you are having by not overwhelming yourself with multiple goals in the same category.  Additionally, keep in mind that you don't have to accomplish everything in one day.  If you're trying to reorganize the pantry, and this seems like an outrageous task, set yourself a time frame to do this.  For example, "I will work on the pantry for 1 hour, and then I will take a well-deserved break." From a holistic standpoint, it also makes sense to also explore physical reasons for your feelings of exhaustion.  Perhaps getting a routine physical and bloodwork will help to ascertain that there is nothing physical going on that may be preventing you from feeling your best.  I always like to rule out possible physiological issues first. Change is not easy.  Take it one day at a time, reward yourself for small accomplishments, and congratulate all of your efforts.  Good luck!
(MA, NCC, LPC)
Answered on 10/27/2021