Ugh field or Why can't you do this task?

How your emotions can stop you from doing your work.

I heard of the "Ugh Field" from ‘Ugh Fields', or why you can't even bear to think about that task by Robert Wiblin. But, to give you an idea of what's it's about, I prefer the Ugh fields by Roko on LessWrong:

Tl;Dr version: Pavlovian conditioning can cause humans to unconsciously flinch from even thinking about a serious personal problem they have, we call it an "Ugh Field". The Ugh Field forms a self-shadowing blind spot covering an area desperately in need of optimization, imposing huge costs.

It reminds me of a lot of tasks I embarrassingly flopped. But, there is a related concept that may be about the same thing to some extent.

"Wall of Awful" #

You might be interested in the Hacker News comments as I've found another related term by nullsense:

Most people experience this from time to time.

If you're unlucky enough to be at the tail end of the distribution where basic tasks make you feel this way every day it's no longer called an 'Ugh Field' instead it's called the "Wall of Awful"

https://youtu.be/Uo08uS904Rg

One of the absolute best techniques I've found for breaking it is a trick I learned from DBT called "Improve the moment" where you simply think about what pleasant sensory experience could you introduce right now to make you feel better and then you do that quickly. I find if I put on a song or smell the lemon scented dishwashing liquid or run my hand under warm water it helps me to get moving on a task. It's not fool proof but it's a good tool to have in the toolbox.

Dealing with "Wall of Awful" #

Youtube link leads to "Why Is It So Hard to Do Something That Should Be Easy?" from How to ADHD

I recommend watching it as it has some ways of dealing with it.

The metaphor of "Wall of Awful" is coming from Brendan Mahan "ADHD Essentials":

Everyone fails. Some, like those with executive function challenges, fail more than others.

Each failure brings negative emotions – guilt, disappointment. These smaller emotions become stronger feelings of anxiety, shame and even loneliness if one is repeatedly rejected because of their errors. Each time these negative emotions are experienced, another brick is placed into that person's Wall of Awful.

The Wall of Awful is the emotional barrier that prevents us from initiating tasks and taking the risks necessary to make reach our goals. It is the emotional consequence of having ADHD and it must be understood to be overcome.



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