Procrastinators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.


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We talked on another thread about making a promise to ourselves and giving ourselves a reward if we follow through, and paying a penalty if we don't. I thought this would be a good place to start a new thread on the topic, so we can all Check In here and be accountable.

If you want to play, jut post your Vows here, and let's see if we can find something workable between us!

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kromer vow

So, my supervisor wasn't thrilled with how long I took on my senior thesis (I got it in on the due date, but I'd said I would get in in earlier).

I'm doing another project for him this summer, and I really don't want to disappoint him again.

I have some vows to help make this happen, two that I'll commit to for the whole summer and three that I'll commit to for the next 2 weeks:

For the whole summer:
1)Meet with supervisor *every* week--I can't get out of it even if I haven't gotten much done
2)Ask him to help me set deadlines...I think I work a lot better with hard deadlines, and he never ever asks for anything by a specific time.
I'm really scared about this one because it means admitting I have trouble keeping myself on task...but I've been working for him for 3 years, he probably knows that about me already ;)

For the next 2 weeks (that's manageable right):
1)Get at least 2 hours of focused work on new project*every day*
2)Set an MIT for the project *every day*
3)Keep a list of what I've accomplisehd on the project, post it above my desk.

UPDATE 5/16: Kept these vows for the first day!  Well, the work wasn't totally focused because I was pretty tired, but I did about 2.75 hrs to that makes up for it I think


For 2 weeks vows:
1)If I follow through, I get one of my weekend days where I do *no* work, chores etc.and don't feel guilty
2)If I don't follow through, I have to tell a very hardworking and successful friend that I'm not working as hard as I should on research

For whole summer vows:
1)If I ask supervisor to help me set deadlines, I get some new music...if not, I have to delete 10 of my favorite songs from my iPod
2)If I meet with supervisor every week I get to buy myself some new and pretty item of clothing...for every meeting I miss, I have to give $15 to charity

kromer vows update 5/19

I've kept my vows pretty well for the first 3 days. Yay me!

The thing I haven't done yet is ask my supervisor to help me set deadlines. I keep telling myself that it's b/c my new project is not very well established yet, but I think it's actually because I'm a wimp ;) So, I promise to talk about deadlines in next week's mtg with my supervisor, otherwise, I have to delete 5 songs.  


 I think you are amazing. I really get inspired reading your checkins: you don't seem to slip for more than an hour on a goal before you catch yourself and are right back on it. If you supervisor had unrealistic expectatations of anyone getting their work in EARLY at the end of their senior year he must be insane, even if you had intended to do so.

 His disappointment  reminds me that when I promise to meet a deadline that is not one I am setting it is usually because I am trying to people-please someone, or am trying to talk myself into agreeing to something I may not feel sure that I can or will do. I don't like disappointing people or saying no to them,  so it is hard for me to assert myself in supervisory situations and inform them of what is realistic. I feel 'afterburn' when I tell someone something they don't want to hear, but I am practicing doing it anyway.

I digress... in any case, Congratulations on doing a great job, Kromer!

thanks so much e!

I've been feeling really down on myself, and your encouragement really helps.

You are absolutely right, I do tend say yes to unrealistic requests, and then flake out on them when I realize for sure they're unrealistic. I'm going to practice not doing that. (First step: I'm going to tell my supervisor *Monday* that I'm going on vacation the week after graduation. I'm not going to wait until the week before to tell him, and I'm not going to pretend I'll do a lot of work remotely while on vacation.)

good for you

boundary setting is something very difficult for me - I am not sure I really understood what a boundary was until this year!

One book that really is helping me sort out what is best for me is The Language of Letting Go. Intended to help those with codependency issues, I think it has a lot to offer those of us who procrastinate (I think I often procrastinate because of my codependency/people pleasing stuff).

I have a student at the library this semester who agreed to certain hours even though she knew it would be tough to handle. She told the woman who hired her that she may not be able to see it through. When she came to tell her that she did need to change her hours after all, she was perceived as immature. I identify with this young woman, because I could tell she wanted to help, but in fact it would have been better for the library if she had stuck to her guns in the beginning, as it was impossible for them to find someone to take her shift.

No good deed goes unpunished. I am trying to remember that because I have disappointed so many people so many times in trying to meet their unrealistic expectations.

Journey vows

I think this is one of the old ones that resurfaced, but I like it.

I'm working on the ZTD program, and the habits I'm working on building are:

1. Set my MITs every day

2. Spend 1 hour a day processing ALL my inboxes to empty - that's work email, personal email, remember the milk, voice mail, snail mail, and notes to myself.  If I don't get them to empty in the time allotted, that's ok, as I have a backlog to work through. But my vow is to work on it each weekday.   

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” - Stephen Covey


gotta watch those dates!

journey, oh yeah, rewards and punishments

My OCD is going to show here, but I keep a list of daily todos.  If I do them, I get a check mark.  For every 30 check marks I get a treat.  Treat is determined at the time, but normally it's buying something that I want, up to 20 dollars.    

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” - Stephen Covey

e's (yeek!) vow

i don't know if this will work because I am highly demand resistant, but I will give this a whirl.

I vow to work on my practicum at least 15 minutes a day.

reward: getting to read the novel of my choice for an hour

punishment: having to do the ironing for my son....who will definately hold me to it!

Normy, I have not been around, but it is nice to see you posting again!


 I have some shirts to iron due to not keeping my 15 minute vow yesterday. I wish I could work fromt he chatbox at work, but they monitor websites and I can only imagine the shockwaves of gossip reverberating around campus!

Anouk's Vow

Ok. This is hard but the graphics are cheering me on :-)

I will have a presentation on Thursday 4 o'clock. I haven't started yet (apart from a little bit of reading). I hate spending the night before a presentation being tired and exhausted.
So I make a vow that my presentation will be ready Wednesday 10 pm. The handout will be ready Tuesday 10 pm (it's only a very short one).

reward: I get 5 Euro for every 30 minutes I work on the paper. If the handout is ready tomorrow, I can use the money for some climbing shoes I want. If I am finished with the whole presentation on Wednesday 10 pm, I can use the earned money to buy some other climbing equipement I 've been wanting for ages.

penalty: I am not sure if I should give all the money that I earned to charity. Because that might make me want to work less. But I guess, I can realisticely work up to 5 hours each day. That makes a 100 Euro. That's a lot of money which would go to charity if I don't make it. But I guess I need a threat like this...

So this is my VOW!!!

you climb

that's awesome!
My husband and I started last year in California.

and I'm following your example for my vow - thanks:)

half the task achieved

Ok. I achieved half the task: my handout is ready. I might fill in some more information while reading more tomorrow and do some layout stuff but I could use it right now!!! Can't remember when I achieved that before - ever?!

So I don't need to pay 50 Euro today.
I am just not sure, if I will be able to finish tomorrow at 10 pm. I guess, I will have enough material in order to be able to do the presentation. Does that count?

I want to use little cards for the presentation and might have to do those on thursday...

We will see.

Not counting the time I spent on photocopying and doing research in the library, I earned 35 Euro today!

Sounds like it counts to me

Your handout is done, which was your first step, and you'll have enough material for the presentation by 10 tomorrow - well that sounds like the presentation will be ready to me! It may not be as 'perfect' as you'd like, but you didn't make a vow of perfection. Have a look back at your original criteria - I think if you've got enough stuff by 10 pm to be able to do the presentation then you've done it.

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100 Euros!

:jawdrop: That's a lot! I'd only go up that far if you can really afford it. My penalty would be about £11/16 Euros and I would feel the pinch.

Maybe you're well off, and it needs to be that high to make it motivational, but if not I wonder if you're making the penalties ~too~ threatening - to the point of being scary?

If the consequence of 'failure' is too scary procrastinators tend to put too much store by it and get paralysed into inaction (that's basically one of the things it says in The Now Habit, and from personal experience I agree).

Don't be too hard on yourself Anouk - the reward can outweigh the penalty!

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it IS a lot

I am not well off. But I tend not to take money too seriously. I mean I can get angry about 1 Euro lost but sometimes I just don't care.
But as I made the vow I can't break it know. But I know where I will give the money too. I am giving a certain amount of money to a SOS children's village every month. If I fail they will get this money. So I won't feel that bad about it...

Maybe I won't be as hard next time...

As they say...

...there's no failure, only feedback. We're still in the experimental stage, figuring out what works and what doesn't. It's good that you feel you can stick to your vow and that you're happy about what would happen to your money if you don't achieve your goal (obviously giving money to the opposition ~wasn't~ motivational, LOL!).

It's just occurred to me that we've both chosen financial penalties, but I didn't want people to think that it has to be financial (either the reward ~or~ the penalty). Rewards could be spending time playing a game, reading a book, phoning a friend etc. Penalties could be cleaning the bathroom (depending on your view of cleaning bathrooms, LOL! Hey! A good penalty for me would be to do the dusting. I hate dusting with a vengeance out of proportion to task, lol!)

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I hate dusting too. But with a dog, everything seems to get dusty even quicker. Luckily I can stand quite some dust before I get annoyed...

I chose the financial reward because I want the shoes etc anyway but can't really afford them and so I can earn them.
I guess dusting as a penalty wouldn't work because I simply wouldn't do it ;-)

Dusting as a penalty

LOL - I don't know if I would either. I'll have to try it for a mini-challenge and see whether or not it works for me (I can stand quite a bit of dust too!).

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Normy's Vow

I will work on my College work (planning and admin) for two hours or until it's done (whichever is sooner) by Tuesday 1pm (I was going to say 'lunchtime' but that's not specific enough for me - I'd cheat!).

Reward: The Rita Emmett Proc Handbook I keep hearing about

Penalty: The same amount of money goes to charity (I'm going to be spending it anyway!). If I do some work but don't complete it or do at least two hours I'll donate pro-rata.

There, I've said it. That means my last chance to start on this is 11.00 am tomorrow or I'll get a penalty!

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Mission Successful

Sort of anyway. I've done the two hours, but not feeling any sense of achievement because I don't feel I've got very far (when in actual fact I've got two hours further ahead than I was this morning - more in fact because I started earlier).

Maybe placing the book order will make me feel better, but I suspect the only thing that will is finishing the task, so I'm going to carry on after DDog walk.

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try to feel good!

Normy, try to celebrate your achievement! I guess the advice comes from the wrong person as I am very bad celebrating achievements. But you did what you planned to do so you really deserve the book!

Oh yeah - the book

I nearly forgot - what a muppet.

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great idea

I'll think of something also.

Ooh goody!

tl's coming to play too! :)

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