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jrjones9933
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31 May 2011, 9:07 am

I get very stressed when things change at the last minute, or when I haven't finished something at the last minute, but I keep finding myself in situations where other people put me in that position.

Does anyone else get anxious in these situations, or get angry at the people who impose this on them? Does anyone have any suggestions for managing the stress? Do I have to accept when people and institutions require me to wait until the last minute as a habit or policy? Does anyone understand why they do it?


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draelynn
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31 May 2011, 9:18 am

This used to throw me for a big loop. I finally realized people did this to me because I actually produce excellent results when working under pressure. I don't enjoy it but I am fairly good at it. I'm not bad with transitions at work though because I can reason that I am there to do what they ask me. If last minute projects are what my employeer asks of me then thats what I'm required to do. I have no personal investment in the work I do AT work so it's not a problem beyond some frustration. When I'm home and involved in my own projects though, transitions can be quite ugly.



arko5
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31 May 2011, 9:22 am

As someone who likes to plan every situation in intricate detail, I can say last minute changes do rather...irritate me. They make me feel completely out of depth, like a wheel spinning that can't touch the ground, not particularly fun. To manage stress I'd say if there is a last minute change, step back from it and count to ten. Sounds simple/stupid but it can give you a chance to collect your thoughts, and prepare to deal with it. If you have an official diagnosis, and are comfortable revealing it, then you should be able to request any changes are notified in advance, maybe even in writing (I find oral communication harder to interpret, writing is a big help for me). This is presuming they just aren't revealing the change until the last minute, rather than actually making the change at the last minute.



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31 May 2011, 10:19 am

I need to know our outings at least a day in advance, even simple trips to the mall. Otherwise, I do a lot of refusing when people ask me if I want to come along.



ToughDiamond
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31 May 2011, 10:41 am

I'm much happier knowing in advance what's going to be happening to me, especially in social terms, like who's going to be here and how long for. As a rule, sudden changes can throw me....I don't like throwing spanners into the works, so I tend to try and go along with whatever it is, and I can get quite stressed out like that, if the people involved get too carried away with their sudden changes.

I don't know many coping strategies apart from avoiding anything that looks like it'll turn into the above. It probably helps a little to assume anything that depends on other people is likely to turn out very different from what they first said it would be like. You have to be braced for pretty much anything, run various scenarios through your head (what if they're late, etc) then by the time it happens, it's less of a shock and your brain might have worked out some coping strategies all by itself in the meantime. I've been surprised at how flexible I can be, at least for a limited time, if my mood's right...it helps if the potential rewards of the social thing are perceived as being well worth the inconvenience.



jrjones9933
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31 May 2011, 10:44 am

Thanks for the replies so far. I feel far less alone in the world every time I join in a discussion here and find that other people have the same experiences I've had, which previously seemed unique to my experience.

arko5, stepping back and counting to ten sounds good.. I do tend to overestimate crises at first.

I've heard from third parties that some people enjoy working frantically at the last minute, or keep themselves in a crisis constantly to prove their value. I still find that hard to believe, but maybe they experience such events in a way I can't comprehend.

draelynn, I get very personally invested in my work. I guess I'll have to find situations where the owners share that feeling, or at least appreciate it. That, or I'll have to make myself the boss.

Ellytoad, I tend to refuse last minute invitations also, unless I have alcohol in my system already.

ToughDiamond, I wish I had even a little skill at predicting outcomes where people are involved.


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draelynn
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31 May 2011, 12:52 pm

jrjones9933 wrote:
draelynn, I get very personally invested in my work. I guess I'll have to find situations where the owners share that feeling, or at least appreciate it. That, or I'll have to make myself the boss.


When I realized that I care a whole lot more about the work I'm doing than my employers, it sort of changed my perspective. It is considered 'work ethic' which is a positive trait... until they need you to be 'flexible' which is where it gets sketchy.



ToughDiamond
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01 Jun 2011, 4:23 am

jrjones9933 wrote:
ToughDiamond, I wish I had even a little skill at predicting outcomes where people are involved.

That's largely because people are often unpredictable, and there are so many ways in which they can surprise.....e.g. if you set a simple meeting with somebody, they might simply turn up at the agreed time. Or they might be late, or early (to varying degrees), and they may or may not forewarn of this, or even acknowledge it when it's happened. They may turn up with one or more other people. They may arrive saying that they have to leave early, or they may hang on after the expected departure time, or both. That's all just from meeting one person.....if it's more than that, the possible complications are greater still.



OJani
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01 Jun 2011, 6:48 am

draelynn wrote:
This used to throw me for a big loop. I finally realized people did this to me because I actually produce excellent results when working under pressure. I don't enjoy it but I am fairly good at it. I'm not bad with transitions at work though because I can reason that I am there to do what they ask me. If last minute projects are what my employeer asks of me then thats what I'm required to do. I have no personal investment in the work I do AT work so it's not a problem beyond some frustration. When I'm home and involved in my own projects though, transitions can be quite ugly.

I also work better when there is a reasonable pressure. I don't like it though, I'd feel better if I could motivate myself to work better. Maybe some time I'll find an activity that actually satisfies me, putting my abilities to good use.

When there is a sudden change to a planned activity, usually I can cope with it, unless it's a pleasant one that I'd been looking forward or planned carefully. If this happens without reasonable excuse, I feel a bit upset, and unable to resist to comment on it a little harder.