You know, it's difficult to do productive work when you're feeling ill and painful. It's like having constant pain, but trying to focus on doing work, rather than letting the pain distract you. If you try not to focus on the pain, the pain will creep behind you. Trying to get haunt you. Trying to nag you. Trying to get your attention, rather than paying attention to the work itself.
It's difficult to do work, efficiently and effectively. If your work is a tedious and laborious job, and you know that you will be rewarded after, then you probably will do it. It's risk free.
But things are not the same if you do open-ended tasks. Tasks which involve creativity. Tasks which involve randomness, ingenuity, and preservation. Tasks without a deadline, which can be completed in any time, depending how creative you are. How determined you are. And how passionate you are.
These open-ended tasks are a difficult challenge. They are so difficult to complete when you're stressed. In fact, a researcher named Chris Masterjohn has explored this kind of procrastination. He had seen rats which are stressed. Stressed rats have a difficult time exploring new things. Stressed rats will stay in their cage.
In addition, there's another thing called "time preference." Time preference is how you prioritize getting rewards sooner rather than later. If you have "low time preference", you like to postpone rewards into the future. If you have "high time preference", however, you like to receive immediate short-term rewards. So if you're investing, then it's good to have a low time-preference, since you sacrifice short-term pain for long-term pleasure.
Stressed rats have a higher time preference. So they have a tendency to procrastinate and receive instant gratification, rather than work and delaying their gratification.
Another researcher named Ray Peat has also explored this phenomenon. He showed studies in which serotonin causes rats to hide rather than explore. This is known as "learned helplessness."
Personally, I procrastinate a lot. As you have seen, I write in my blog that I don't feel well a lot of times. But still I post nonsensical comments on other people's blogs. Why do I do that? This is because I check my email, read my newsfeeds, and check my read the news EVERY FIVE MINUTES. Yes, every five minutes, I do this rather than working. So this is a major distraction from my work.
Why do I do that? I do that I don't feel well at that time, and don't expect to feel well in the future. I sometimes remain very thirsty, but drinking water will not help, because I just urinate it all out. But eating fruit while drinking water sometimes help to keep me hydrated, for some reason.
Coupled with the pain of doing the work, along with the thirst that I expect to feel while doing that work, I somehow "predicted" that I will experience both of these pains during the entire duration of my work. I added up the pain from doing work, and the pain from experiencing thirsty while doing the work. As I evaluated the "sum" of those pains, it came out horrible. I just cannot imagine the thought of doing work while remaining thirsty for the whole time. So then my brain tells me that it's "not worth it" to experience that large amount of pain while doing the work. So I gave up and did some short-term gratification like reading my newsfeeds, rather than working.
So I must figure out that the only way to restrict procrastination is to convince myself that I will not experience any additional stressors for the whole time while working. The only way to convince myself that this will be the case is if I can figure out a method to keep me feeling hydrated rather than frequently feeling thirsty. So then I will not give up working because I know that the only pain is working and there will not be additional pain of thirtiness while working.
Other stressors include muscle cramps, shakiness two hours after meals, and feeling tense two hours after meals. I improved it by eating less starch during my meals, and by eating fruits when I feel these sensations of shakiness. I still will work on it and see if there's a solution...