Personal Productivity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people wanting to improve their personal productivity. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am an addicted computer programmer. I am doing my Engineering. I am extremely obsessive about things. I am soo much obsessive that people tell me that I work really slow. I feel that I am unable to concentrate or remember anything. I tried a lot to stay in the present but I can't help myself.

Is there anything I should do with it?

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Who say you "You work slowly" ? Is your manager, other employee in the same department with you? If it is, they are probably right. Try to listen them and compare your work speed with other employees. Of course everybody has a personal pace of work. Analyze how many day takes finishing some kind of a task between you and another person. If there is a very big difference (like JB King says not 2 days, like a motnh) you should ask yourself "what is wrong with me". "Do I worked always like this or this happening just in these days?" But If they are not in your department who did say that, mostly try to not listen them. They can't know exactly your pace of work.

In any case, here is some how can you prevent to obsessive topics;

  • Try to find the source of distortion
  • When you get an obsession, you can simply tell yourself, like “Sorry, it’s not time for that. You’ll have to wait until 8 in the evening, when I give you, My Head, 15 minutes to obsess your heart out.”
  • Learn how you can laugh at some of them.
  • If you obsess about your mistakes, learn the lesson
  • Forgiving yourself provides concentrating on the insights gained from mistakes, and to let go of the rest.
  • Sometimes you are obsession's real cause is deeper in your mind. Dig for the cause. (Because we’re too afraid to face)
share|improve this answer
Very nice answer. Thanks :) – Fahad Uddin Oct 30 '11 at 7:29

I'm sorry, but maybe are you trying to say "I'm obsessed about having sex and I can't concentrate at all"?

This may be embarassing to say it "clearly", and maybe you won't check my answer as a good one, even though you think it's the right one.

If that's your case, I perfectly understand that it's both very frustrating and hard to avoid. "Hard" is the right word for the right situation (just kidding).

So let's suppose this is your case. Let's suppose you're single, or just frustrated, and in both cases the result is the same: you can't concentrate, you can't do your job properly. (Nice girls/men around? I got it.)

Here's what I did: put your job aside, because you know you will come back later and do it well, but once your main problem is solved.

How to solve it? If you're not in position to have "it": try to concentrate on yourself to make yourself feel better:

  • learn simple things at night like cooking, piano,
  • do your housework (I'm not kidding at all, this is very effective): it may sound stupid, but if your appartment/house is clean, it kinddof makes your mind "clean" and helps you feeling better
  • do some sport: run. Run, run, run, run, run. This was my most effective solution (before I found my wife and got married)

Last but not least: keep in mind that sport is a part of meditation. When you run it both makes you feel better, but you think about nothing (if you really run) and you do some meditation (without knowing it). And this is how you may be better at work: feel good = change your mind, do some sport. Maybe that will help you to feel better in your private life as well.

Hope this helps

share|improve this answer
No its not that ;) but the points that you mentioned are really good. Actually I get to inspired by other people like Steve Jobs etc who were really awesome. I keep on thinking about such people ... – Fahad Uddin Oct 27 '11 at 14:10
Think twice when you say "awesome". When one guy visits a firm where there has been more than 10 suicides recently because of horrible working conditions and says "Everything's fine here", I would never ever think he's "awesome". – Olivier Pons Oct 28 '11 at 7:29
I did not had an idea about the working conditions there. Thanks for letting me know :) – Fahad Uddin Oct 30 '11 at 7:35
I would say Gandhi was "awesome". Steve Jobs had just great ideas, and made a lot of money with them, that's why the whole society say he was "awesome". That's not my point of view. A man who doesn't care at all one's fellow man will never be awesome to me whatever the amount of money he/she has in the bank. – Olivier Pons Oct 30 '11 at 9:17

I agree partially with @JB King's answer. On the one hand, if there's something in particular that is making you feel uncomfortable and thus the tasks take you longer to perform because there's too much to look at, then you probably should check it and speak to whoever is expecting you to have stuff in time.

On the other hand, it is true that some people are more detailed than others and some people are just more fast than others. I think that can be trained and changed (we all want to be detailed and fast at the same time), but in general, people is different. Part of a good managing is being able to measure velocity of each person correctly and expect based on that.

But assuming that it would be your problem (let's assume that you're really too obsessive and you need to change that), I suggest that you try to write down your tasks in not less than a sentence (and no cheating, the sentence has to be simple). No details. No "buts". That should make you think about the big picture.

Then, go and execute that big picture of what you're trying to do. You'll find lots of details that need to be taken care of. Don't do them, just write them down, your mission is the big picture task.

When done, check your time. If you have time left, go for the details (even better, you can take it as a personal challenge or game to get as much detailed tasks as possible in that time left). If not, bring that to your boss' attention, and say that those things need to be taken care of.

share|improve this answer
Thankyou for the answer :) – Fahad Uddin Oct 30 '11 at 7:29
@Akito No problem. :) – Alpha Oct 31 '11 at 12:10

Are there any other complaints about your work? Do you enjoy the work you do? If there aren't other complaints and you enjoy what you do, then the question merely becomes whether or not your employer can accept what others consider to be your slowness. While there is nothing wrong with being thorough, there can be issues if people expect you to operate on a very different timeline than you do. Are you promising something to be done in 2 days but it takes 2 months instead? That would be an example of where you are really giving poor estimates and could cause some friction.

I'd be tempted to look at what strengths do you have and see if any of those could be used to try to be faster in your work. That may or may not be useful of course.

share|improve this answer
I enjoy the work I do but I am really slow at doing it just because I go blank while performing a task. For example I am doing something and I get a thought about something else then even if I recover from the fast I go blank about what I was doing. As if I am talking to someone, then he asks me, "Excuse me! You were saying something to me." and I feel really ashamed after that :( – Fahad Uddin Oct 30 '11 at 7:33

Seems I just found my twin. I am the same exact way. I have a diagnosis of OCD/ADD etc and I am also addicted to programming. You need to learn to realize your obsessions tag them as such and them simply move on. When they pop back up, and they inevitably will you continue to do the same things. Eventually the frequency and intensity of the obsessions will fade. Perfectionism isn't the great thing people think it is. If you are like me, I wouldn't start doing anything unless I knew it would be absolutely perfect and world changing. I had to realize bad code that does something is better than the most perfect code that I can't ever achieve.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.