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Old 01-10-2011, 02:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Do you have trouble finishing things?

It is a common trait of ACA's to have difficulty finishing or following through with projects. It's been very true of me and has affected my reputation very negatively. It's been the worst in the last couple of years.
If there are any other's with this problem, what strategies or tools do you use to keep yourself on track?

Penny
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Penny,

My dad was an alcoholic. He had trouble finishing things as so do I. I dont know if it is common with ACAs, but rather an attention deficit thing atleast with me. I do have some tools that I use to help accomplish things.

If it is a large project I break it down to smaller parts giving myself a time limit in doing each part. I make a list, and check off each item after it is completed. I try the start with the things that take the longest time first. This sometimes helps just doing one small thing at a time. I always make a list every morning taking time to write down what I need to do starting with the things I did not complete the day before prioritizing what is most important.

Sometimes when I cannot get on track, and procrastination sets in I find what may help best is to do the parts I like to do the most. Or maybe just taking a break. But it is very important to limit breaks as it is very important to push onesself to get on the ball (to fight the procrastination.) And dont beat yourself up if you cannot accomplish everything as fast as you think you should.

When I accomplish something that was rather difficult to want to complete I reward myself.

It's nice to have a list that is all checked off.

I hope any of this will help you...
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Old 01-10-2011, 05:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I think it more a human trait than anything. Many are plagued by not finishing things. I think one way to keep on track is to divide any project or task into a series of sequential mini-tasks or goals. Work on these one at a time and check them off as completed. Try and not get bogged down in the larger task which may seem overwhelming. Instead concentrate on the smaller tasks leading up to it. One thing we have to do is force ourselves to walk through any fear or discomfort and face these tasks. Making them smaller makes it a bit easier as opposed to looking at the "BIG" picture. After we have done these individual tasked and finished the project, we will find that it just wasn't that big a deal.
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Old 01-10-2011, 05:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have a problem starting things.
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Old 01-21-2011, 04:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes I do and I know that it has to so with trying to please my mom and nothing ever being Good enough........
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Old 01-21-2011, 04:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I do because I get tired, distracted and demotivated.

(like being on a forum)
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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There are certain things I can't because like someguy above said, I get tired, distracted, or demotivated. But then there are other things where if I don't finish it, it's kind of like OCD and I just don't feel "right" until I do...and I don't have OCD as far as I know.
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Old 01-22-2011, 07:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Under the "13 common characteristics of ACoAs" in the stickies at the top of this forum, one of them is that ACoAs are either hyper-responsible or hyper-irresponsible. Difficulty finishing tasks is its own line item, but I think the root cause is the same as the root cause for the hyper-irresponsible.

I'm the hyper-responsible one, and while it's been good for my career, it has, at times, made my life horrible. But I've spent a lot of time thinking about the root cause of the inability to finish tasks or the irresponsible trait. My husband (who comes from a relatively healthy family) has difficulty finishing or starting tasks. He's afraid of failure. If you never finished the thing, you can't be judged on your performance, right? (Yes, the logic is skewed. Isn't most of our logic skewed?)

I do believe that the perpetual putting down and negating of our efforts and achievements is the root cause of the inability to get things done (or the need to be hyper-responsible, which is just the other edge of the same sword - maybe if I do everything they want and do it perfectly, I will get the props I so desperately need).

With the caveat that I don't have my own hyper-responsibility under control entirely (I'm workin' on it still!), have you tried praising yourself when you do complete a task? Any task? It sounds silly, but the idea of re-parenting should work here. You get up, take a shower and head to work - congratulate yourself on getting to work on time, tell yourself how proud you are that you didn't hit snooze 18 times and end up late. If you were late, tell yourself how proud you are that you didn't decide to call in sick, but went to work anyway, knowing you were going to be late. Start with the little things, the things you do daily that you know you can do.

The praise should be in the form of what a parent would say to a child of, say, 8 years old - because usually that's near the age at which your emotional development got stuck. Imagine that you are an adult (which you are) and that the person who performed the action was a child, and praise appropriately. Say it out loud.

I know this sounds totally goofy. I have used this "self-parenting" trick on myself, and goofy as it sounds (and feels, initially) it works. Remember to start small with things you KNOW you can accomplish and things you manage to accomplish every day. Then praise yourself and give that inner child what they were looking for so many years ago - affirmation.
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