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BAKICIDW/LJ: Refocusing

Are there any books, web sites, communities, or apps for this? --> "Getting things done when you're depressed, easily fatigued, easily distracted, virtually unable to prioritize, and tending to have a problem with authority, including your own."

Are there any for this? --> "Relearning how to set and follow through with goals when you've forgotten how and have the issues mentioned above."

In the past I've tried and failed to be inspired by Flylady, Unfuck Your Habitat, Getting Things Done, TiddlyWiki, and various others. But if you have issues similar to mine and use them effectively, feel free to explain how.

I keep on top of small tasks using a reminder app (*and I need to remember that I used to have trouble with that, so my current state of frustration is actually a little distance down the road of where I think I want to go, so yay?*) but so far I haven't figured out how to make it work for bigger projects.

ETA: I'm mainly seeking recs for tools/books/communities that you have worked with. I know the guidelines (such as "break down the task" and "designate x minutes to work on the task") but I get into states where I have a hard time putting the guidelines into practice.

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/815039.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. I prefer that you comment on Dreamwidth, but it's also OK to comment here.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 4th, 2013 03:20 am (UTC)

And googling [getting things done when you're depressed] turns up a bunch more.

Edited at 2013-07-04 03:20 am (UTC)
Jul. 4th, 2013 04:48 am (UTC)
Thanks! Have you used that one?
Jul. 4th, 2013 07:56 am (UTC)
I'm a list-worker. Bigger projects turn into nested lists, aka outlines. Checking things off is its own reward when I'm doing well, and when I'm doing less well a check = an actual reward of some sort.

In terms of habitat, I hired a house cleaner to make sure the base line is always there. I would sink without that.
Jul. 4th, 2013 08:43 am (UTC)

We hire a house cleaner because that is cheaper than relationship therapy.

I make lists and then, more often than not, studiously ignore them or look at them and feel overwhelmed.
Jul. 4th, 2013 06:34 pm (UTC)
I hired a house cleaner as roach insurance (turns out that roaches aren't as much of an issue in the PNW, but the principle remains). I knew I could want to clean as much as I wanted to, but if I was too tired, it just wouldn't happen.
Jul. 4th, 2013 03:03 pm (UTC)
The website "Unfuck Your Habitat" is a judgement-free zone (comments like "How did you allow your house to get so filthy!" are NOT allowed, for instance) and there are tags devoted especially to trying to clean and organize when you're depressed or ill. I really like it tons.


Jul. 4th, 2013 09:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I haven't been able to work with UYH in the past but the tags look helpful.
Jul. 4th, 2013 07:18 pm (UTC)
bigger tasks
I no longer have the reference, but the key to getting larger tasks done is to break them down into smaller tasks and then schedule the smaller tasks. So "Write syllabus for new course" is useless to me, but "review book," "seek other books," "seek articles," "review book1," "review book2," "review article1" (etc), "develop assignments" all get plugged in to my schedule and the syllabus gets done. "Break down and schedule JobX" is also a mindable task.
Jul. 4th, 2013 09:53 pm (UTC)
Re: bigger tasks
Thanks. For me there's some kind of disconnect between the theory of that and the practice.
Jul. 5th, 2013 02:43 am (UTC)
Re: bigger tasks
I find I can only do it for one large task at a time. Otherwise I get overwhelmed and stuck. I can stick small things in, but I can't manage multiple broken down large tasks. :-(
Jul. 5th, 2013 05:34 pm (UTC)
Re: bigger tasks
That's helpful to know. I can do one at a time. Maybe right now I'm trying to do too many at once.
Jul. 5th, 2013 06:40 pm (UTC)
Re: bigger tasks
If I have too much going at once I get paralyzed. What I do then is write everything down (so I know where it all is, because I might lose it if it's not written down, you know?) and pick one thing to do. Usually that helps.
Jul. 5th, 2013 12:03 am (UTC)
It's not specifically for depressed folks, but i found http://jenniferlouden.com/products/satisfaction-finder-buy/ very helpful.

Many of the concepts were fairly familiar, but the condition of enoughness has been helpful. I won't say it's made me rock and solved every task oriented issue, but it has made me very aware of both unrealistic expectations and honoring my energy levels.

Conditions of Enoughness (COE)

"This will be satisfying because i have declared it enough. It is my life, I get to decide"

1. name what is enough in simple facts [Specific Measurable Actionable]
3. insure they are achievable in an average day [Realistic]
2. include a time element [Timebound]
4. Declare yourself satisfied when your conditions are met -- even if you don't feel satisfied.

STOP when you have completed what you said what you said you would do. Declare it enough.

One of the complementary techniques i came up with is influenced by "pomodoro" techniques and the fact that part of my sense of overwhelm is that there are too many ought-to-dos that aren't critical or urgent. I'll make lists of things that need to be done, number them, roll 20d (or more often use a command line random number generator) , take the task and work on it for a set period of time. For some unending tasks, it's good enough to just do one lap and move on to something else. Sometimes i have two sets of things: things that will take me away from the desk, and then a major desk project, and i'll take breaks by randomly following the outcome of the random number.

For me, there's something about the randomness that breaks through a certain getting started inertia, and the practice of saying something's done when the clock says it's done has helped with my perfectionism.
Jul. 5th, 2013 05:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you, the "I get to stop" concept is what's missing from so many productivity systems.

I've also got a random creative idea picker, but I stopped using it. Maybe I'll try to pick it up again.
Jul. 5th, 2013 01:46 am (UTC)
I don't know if this is actually useful, but I have come to use Wunderlist for projects, not because it's that good, but because it sucks less and has a very low learning curve. When I check something off it feels good, and even the act of structuring something into a set of subtasks feels like I am not completely at sea.

(Also, shared lists so we don't mess up nearly as badly on the groceries.) And third or fourth the cleaning service.
Jul. 5th, 2013 05:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I like the "hidden subtasks" aspect.
Jul. 5th, 2013 06:42 pm (UTC)
Ohhh! I am gonna try that. Thanks.

Edited at 2013-07-05 06:44 pm (UTC)
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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