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  • Obsessive/Compulsive organizing and list making - Need Help



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    Old 06-22-2006, 09:16 AM   #1
    SophiaB
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    Obsessive/Compulsive organizing and list making - Need Help

    Hello all
    I have OCD, and recently my OCD flares up in the form of compulsive list making. this behavior totally affects my ability to be productive because i am constantly afraid of forgetting something and of spending time doing the wrong thing. Does anyone have any tips on how to break the cycle? or does anyone know of any good resources (books, internet sites) that address this specific form of OCD?
    I just want to learn how to approach my daily tasks in a more healthy productive way. for example, how do other people use to do lists?
    Many many thanks in advance

     
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    Old 06-22-2006, 10:43 AM   #2
    jen_thomson
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    Re: Obsessive/Compulsive organizing and list making - Need Help

    I'm a list maker. When it began affecting my life, my therapist gave me a suggestion. She told me to "schedule" time to work on my lists and to "schedule" time to NOT work on my lists. Since I'm also a "schedule" freak, this worked well for me. In the beginning, I spent my time scheduled to not make lists *thinking* about making lists, but that subsided after about a week. Eventually, my urge to continuously make lists went away.

     
    Old 06-22-2006, 01:43 PM   #3
    Eve_8
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    Re: Obsessive/Compulsive organizing and list making - Need Help

    I used to be obsessive about list making, lock checking, and light checking. I used to think that if I didn't do these things that something bad would happen. Then one day I decided to use my OCD to my advantage and told myself that if I continue to do these things something bad will happen. This stopped me from doing these things that were really quite time consuming. I'm sure that it is not the best way to go about it, but it did help.

    Now when I write lists it is more so I don't have to think about things. I find that when I get my worries down on paper, I obsess about them less. Once they are written down, I am able to relax.

     
    Old 06-23-2006, 06:41 AM   #4
    SophiaB
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    Re: Obsessive/Compulsive organizing and list making - Need Help

    Thank you Jen and Eve

    I have a couple follow up questions:

    Jen, when did you initially schedule time for working on your lists and how long did you give yourself to work on them? also, how did you handle the urge to write things down when it was not time to work on your lists?

    Eve, you mentioned that you used your OCD to help you stop checking and listmaking b/c you were afraid that if you didn't stop that something bad would happen. I like the way that sounds very much. What bad things were you afraid would happen if you didn't stop?

    Also, you talked about writing things down so you don't have to worry about them any more. that's exactly why i am constantly writing things down.....i am so afraid of forgetting even the smallest, most unimportant tasks. and that's precisely what's making me so frustrated and nonproductive.

    The other problem i have is productivity....i always feel like if i start working on some little nonroutine task or project that i will inevitably neglect something else and something bad will happen. or that if i start working on something, i will forget something else. so i spend all my time trying to keep up with all of my responsibilities but never actually getting anything accomplished. i'm trying to realize that these fears are unfounded and OCD based but its hard b/c i feel like i have to be afraid. i don't know what not being afraid feels like. its almost like i am afriad to let go of the fear. can anyone relate to that? any advice on that?

     
    Old 06-26-2006, 02:59 PM   #5
    jen_thomson
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    Re: Obsessive/Compulsive organizing and list making - Need Help

    The time I would give myself to work on my lists would change. When I had a strong urge to make a list, I might give myself ten minutes out of every hour. If it wasn't so so strong, it could be twenty minutes in the morning, twenty minutes in the evening. Thing is- I was also hooked on schedules! Once I wrote the schedule down, I had to stick to it There were times I *couldn't* keep myself from thinking about my lists. Now there are times I *can't* keep myself from thinking about other things. The good news is- between my shrink, my therapist, and my medication- I've learned ways to cope with what I feel. One of those ways is writing my fears down. For example: I don't update my list to include taking the payroll down to HR. The woman who works the desk at HR has a heart attack, but nobody sees it, and she dies...but if I had put taking the payroll to HR on my list, it could have been at that exact time I was taking it..and I could have saved her. Now...when I *think* that- it seems rational! When I write it down, it seems a bit silly! Maybe that's something you can try with your fears? You might feel more productive if you can find something like that to help you

     
    Old 06-28-2006, 11:40 AM   #6
    MizGarrett
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    Re: Obsessive/Compulsive organizing and list making - Need Help

    This is a very helpful thread for me. Thank you ladies.

    Last edited by MizGarrett; 08-16-2006 at 07:33 AM.

     
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