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.

One down, a dozen to go.

I don't really feel like writing this right now.  But once upon a time and for a brief (very brief) period, I saw a therapist who advised me that the best time to get things done is when you least feel like it.  Of course she was only saying this because I told her I didn't feel like going to therapy anymore but still, I always thought it was wise because it was something my father confirmed with me.  And ever since I was a kid I have looked up to him.

This might be an awkward entry.  I'd rather wait until I feel like writing this entry, until I can get into the perfect writing mood so I can win over everyone with my story and story-telling ability.  But lately I'm realizing that almost never happens.

So here it goes.

I don't know when I started procrastinating.  There was a time I was very active, esp. creatively.  I can't remember at time when I couldn't read, I used to devour books.  At 10 I was reading seven books a week.  At age 12 I started writing my own stories and drawing prolifically.  In junior high for two years in a row I won the Academic Achievement Award for Art.  In high school I started photography and won the Academic Achivement Award for Art twice again, although I was never there to accept my award my last year because by then I had quit high school.  I was three courses shy of getting my diploma because I had basically skipped my final exams for those courses.  If I had shown up I could have passed and been accepted into any art school of my choice.

I don't even remember what I did that day, probably went to the mall and had a yogurt.  I just didn't feel like going.

I've been told I'm smart, I have great talent in art, and that if I applied myself, I could really be something.  I was 17 and now I'm turning 23 this year.

It just feels like everytime I try something, I really get into it, but then slowly fall out of getting into it.  I picked up the guitar when I was thirteen and finished a beginner booklet my mom had lying around in one month.  But it's taking me 10 years to finish half the intermediate booklet.

When I quit school, my parents made me get a job.  And I had it for five months, but was fired because of lack of hours.  Later, they wanted me back but I really didn't feel like working anymore.  i had other job offers but I turned them all down.  I eventually did get another job, but I held it for only five months before I unofficially quit.  I just stopped showing up, the same way I kept doing to all my jobs afterwards.  I'm a great employee, always the most trusted, the most hard-working, the most dependable.  Maybe not the most punctual but I can be relied upon to always show up.  But after a time i start to lose interest.  I never quit, I just stop showing and after a long period in which I feel guilty, I pick myself up and get another job, always resolving to do better.

I tried going back to school.  Every year I would enroll into a high school or online course, and after the first three months in which I study hard, become one of the top students, pass quizzes with flying colours and get all my homework handed in, I just stop.  I lose interest again and I stop showing up.  THen I get a job and after five months at the most, I quit that too and the cycle continues.

For a while I was depressed.  A therapist I saw briefly thought I had Seasonal Affected Disorder which could account for me always gettind depressed as winter set in and I would quit school and start working but after five months, when spring came along, I'd lose all interest in work and in the highs of my emotion 'quit'.

Last year a friend of my mom's hooked me up with a job at an art gallery.  I always thought that the real reason I quit all my previous jobs was because they were meaningless.  But if I could somehow work with art, I would be happy.  So I was hired and for a time I was happy.  I started another online course and everything seemed good.

But the inevitable happened.  I stopped doing my online course after a few weeks, and I started to show up to my job less and less.  I'm not sure why my boss didn't just fire me then.  It probably had to do with the fact I went on vacation after my fifth month at my job and when I came back the gallery was in the middle of relocating.  Turns out I was the only one she could rely on to show up and help out.

So I did that.  I found that the irregular hours i had to work kept things interesting.  And even after we relocated I had to help set the store up, which was fun and new.  And even after that, with fewer employees my boss was relying heavily on me and I found myself doing a lot of overtime.  I was late all the time but doing so much overtime, it was overlooked.  But when things settled and new employees were hired and I went back to regular hours, I was continued to be late and my boss finally put her foot down.  I was either going to show up on time or not to bother to show up at all.

I knew better than anyone how unqualified I was for a job that paid better.  It was either shape up or go back to cleaning rooms or making sandwiches for a living.  No more dealing with art.  So I started trying to become a better employee.  I figured, I have to start improving somewhere, right?  At first,  I did things to make myself earlier, then later, to be a better employee.  i got my boyfriend to argue with me about showing up.  Whenever I say "I dont' really feel like working today" he'll say "that's what gets you fired" or "guess it's just better to clean dingy hotel rooms."

I also take showers before I go to bed so I only have to style my hair in the mornings and cuts my time by half.  I clean out my containers in the evenings so in the morning I can take porridge and OJ with me to work so that I can have breakfast during my break.  That's also when I take my multivitamin because my doctor has warned me that my iron levels are dangerously low.  I'm very close to become anemic.  For a while I procrastinated on eating healthy, taking multivitamins.  I fear taking so long to smarten up about my health may have costed me.  But I'm trying now.  Hopefully it's not too late.

When I'm at work I make sure I get all my work done and when I have finished a particularly long and mentally grueling task, I award myself with a few minutes time on the computer.  Then I get back to work.

I have been at my job for one year and two months and it has been the longest job I have ever had to date.  Even my SAD has gone away.  I have not been depressed in one year.  I am the best employee.  i am so good I have been given manager status on the retail program we use at my work.  I have also been given the duty to write up the employee work schedules every week.  If I had more schooling and training, I've been told I could easily become the manager.  Unfortunately, I just don't have any of that.

And this makes me evaluate my life and my procrastinating ways.

I would love more than anything to go to art school and study business.  I would need to finish my high school before I could apply to college.  i would also need to develop a portfolio.

But for all the progress I have made at work, my personal life hasn't improved very much.  I am in a loving relationship and if it weren't for him and his support I would never be the employee I am today.  But I still never fulfill promises most times, I am always late for lunches or dinners or movies.  I always promise my brother I will babysit my nephews so he and my sister-in-law can have some time for themselves but I never do, even tho I would luve to spend time with them before they grow up into men.  My room is a constant mess and my laundry never gets done.  I find I'm buying clean underwear just so I can have some to wear.  I have a dozen sketch books that are barely filled.  I have been enrolled in an online high school course for nearly a year now and haven't finished half of it yet.  Because of my years of enrolling in school, quitting, getting a job, quitting, and continuing the cycle, I have racked up a $4500 debt on my VISA.  I'm living with my boyfriend and his family because I can't keep track of my money anymore and pay rent for my own place.  For a month I was walking to work because I never got around to getting my car battery fixed.

I would luve to turn the rest of my life outside of work around.  I would luve to become debt free, finish my high school and get into college or university somewhere south.  I would luve to get an apartment with my boyfriend and keep it clean and maintained.  I would luve to put my key into the ignition of my car and hear it start and know the tire isn't low, the oil has been changed and the battery has been replaced.  Finally, I would luve to be able to call up my brother and say "I will babysit my adorable nephews tonight!"

And I would luve to come home, dinner in hand the way I promised my boyfriend when he said he was too tired to cook anything that one time but I never did.  That one I feel more guilty about than all the jobs I ever quit, than all the times I ever disappointed my mother and all the times I ever disappointed myself.

*sigh* I just have to figure out where to start and I thought I would start here, by accepting who I am.  I am a procrastinator and I need to stop.  For those who actually finished reading this particularly long entry, thank you.

I can relate...

There's quite a few things I can relate too here...

Like, you talking about how you're "Maybe not the most punctual but I can be relied upon to always show up." - until, you don't show up. I think most people wouldn't understand how you can think of yourself as 'always showing up' if you then hit a point where you just don't, but I had the same thing as a value. Other kids would skip a day of highschool here and there, but I wouldn't take a day off unless I was really *really* sick, not because I was that good, but because I had this belief that if I skipped a day, or started skipping days, I just wouldn't go back.
Sure enough, that's what I did in my last year of high-school. :P

I'm not sure, but... I think I've changed a little. I think it's the guilt that turns just one, what a friend calls a 'mental health day', into this big issue that means I can't go back. I couldn't face how employers would look at me. Or something.
But, it turns out, they don't. It was mostly in my head. They're disappointed, but it's not soul crushing, it's not, lose a job over (the regular stuff, like being late is what does that :P ). ESPECIALLY if I just ring them in the morning and say I'm not feeling well. I'm not! Mentally.
Except, I hardly ever take them for that, I've realised the days I didn't want to go - I really did have a reason. :(
I was like, sick with a cold or something, I just hadn't thought it was important enough to skip work for (it's just a runny nose and a headache, etc), but actually, I fel like crap. D'uh.

On the being late...
I've got a 2 hour window in which I can go to work - between 7.30am and 9.30am, preferably before 9am. That of course means I don't try and get there til 9.30. That means I often don't get there til 10.30.
And if I'm having a day where I realise I won't get there til 10.30, sometimes I just do my anti-panic thing, and freeze up. Sit somewhere, thinking about nothing, or how much I suck, but more likely anything except work, or even, have started going to work, and just start wandering through town... stopping in a bookshop etc, in this curiously detached space, (just waiting for the hammer to fall).
Until someone at work calls some hours later, or people are wondering why I never showed up the next day. Going back the next day is the hardest.
I've gotten better now. I text at 9.30 if I'm going to be late (because I got asked to). I've got a txt template :P - It just says I'm running late, I'll be there soon/ in X amount of an hour, and I fill it in.
And somehow, just having let them *know* I'll be late reduces the anti-panic thing. I at least stop making myself *later*, I stop wandering off into town because I can't face walking in late. I only realise this in retrospect of course.
And, I've been trying to get there by 8.30. God I hate getting up in the morning. But I have to resist the urge to set the alarm later the night before when I'm tired and I know I don't *HAVE* to be there til 9.30, because honestly, the extra sleep doesn't help that much, I just end up being late, I'm going to be tired anyway regardless, so I may as well be tired and try and get an earlier night the next night.
Luckily, I do get up when alarms go off - part of it is, after having a bf who kept hitting the #$@%#$ sleep button on a really loud alarm for months when *I* didn't have to get up, I got really sensitised to waking up, and turning the damn things off. It got to the point where I'd get up, and make him breakfast, just so he'd get up and go to work, and I could sleep for the next couple of hours, rather than have him hit the sleep button for an hour or two. And boom, cured me of my own hitting sleep button (somehow it's 1/10th as annoying if you're hitting the sleep button).
The other thing is, I downloaded an alarm clock for my computer, Banshee Screamer Alarm, but despite the name, I've actually set it to playing a really slow, mellow, morning kind of track (Trinity Roots - True, it's got acoustic guitar, and birdsong in it), which gently wakes me up, but it's really short, and I don't like listening to it on repeat, and my computer is across the room so I have to get up, and if I've got the motivation that if get up to that, then I don't have my freaking horrible loud alarm going 10 minutes later.
Sorry for the long explanation, it's just what's kind of working for me.
I'm trying to roll back to say, trying to get there at 8, which means I'd actually get there 8.30 or so, and then really have a margin of error if I screw up.

With fixed hours, it's not quite the same, but is there any chance you could actually go into work early? Anything you could do in town before work, or gallery set-up you could do before your shift?

Or even read a book?

But I'm a total bookworm too - or rather I was, and then realised I'd almost entirely stopped reading since I'd been a teenager, in favour of internet and things, and that sucked. :(
So, I've been making a note of carrying round nice, easy fiction - often YA type stuff, because that's like popcorn, only a hour or so's reading (I realised that's why I thought I sucked at reading as an adult - Adult fiction is seriously 3-4 hours, versus 1-2 for YA, which means you can suck through so many YA in a day... as a kid, I was staggering them with Adult fiction, and didn't realise that was upping my numbers. I just looked back and went, hey, I was reading all the adult stuff then, what was my problem now?
I'd often manage 2 books a day on my good days as a kid - and that was around school (before school, between classes, while waiting for the teacher, at every break, all afternoon afterschool - no friends at the time, obviously ;P). It was crushing to feel like I'd fallen so far. But, duh. Some of them were only an hour or two's reading.
Anyway, other point is, I realised I hated waiting. I'd head for the bus stop at last minute, rather than get there early, and so often, I actually would get there just as the bus was arriving! Man, I was so lucky, right?
Except, not - because there was a large chunk of time I'd miss the bus and have to wait ages for the next one. Dammit, why not just go earlier, and not miss it? Why not go early, and not hold my friends up? Or be late for appointments?
I just couldn't do that. I still have trouble. But now I've been carrying round nice simple fiction and, da-daaa! Wow. That's helped.
(Oh, and if you've been carrying it round for more than a week and haven't been reading it - throw it out of your bag and get something shorter and sweet! I realised my bookworm ways had become a habit I'd carried over from when I was reading, and I'd just been automatically throwing say, non-fiction that I wasn't reading into my bag for several months at a time. Find stuff you will read. Short stories even, trash, pulp, YA).
Now, I'm able to tell myself, I'll get to the bus stop 10 minutes before it goes, and then I can sit and read my book then, and on the bus, and it's not nearly so bad.
If you're doing that, being late for things because you're avoiding waiting times, that might help.

Gah, I have so many *strategies* to try and compensate for my brain - but still, if I use them all, it does help.

I also had the same thing where everything went down the gurgler in spring, but, I definately didn't have more energy. I'd always joke that I *didn't* have SAD, because I was better in Autumn/Winter even when was horrible and cold, but early spring? Everything started to go downhill.

And I know this'll sound really stupid, but I think it was hayfever. o_O
There's an article on it here:
And I saw another article on someone who's only ragweed allergy symptom was depression - it went away after she got allergy shots for it.

Anyway, it was only *after* I'd been prescribed some antihistamines (cetirizine) by a doctor, and I'd been doing quite well, that a friend was talking about SAD, and I mentioned the "I don't have SAD" thing etc, and then they looked at me thoughtfully for a moment, and said "Hayfever".
Jesus. I wish someone had thought of it earlier. I'd even been prescribed anti-depressants for it in spring a few years earlier, that'd done sweet **** all.
Anyway, I think that's been helping with the worst of it - the absolutely, cannot do a thing, or get up, get out of my dressing gown, times of year. Thought I'd mention it, just in case it's relevent to you.


you struck a cord with your comment above: somehow, it reminded me of times in high school where I would just top showing up for work. I don't know why it happened, but it seemed easier than taking responsibility for not wanting to do it anymore. Shame-based behavior, but it got me off the hook from having to deal with a problem anymore. In any case, I realized I really screwed up around 3 part time jobs this way, and where the behavior sprung I don't know. One was a babysitting job for a woman who had baby twins who was a single mother in law school: could you imagine a worse situation for a teenager to simply stop showing up? Another was an office filing job that I just did not want to go to some days. In retrospect, I realize that I was immature, but it set the stage for many situations that followed as an adult. Somehow, having survived being irresponsible once gave me 'permission' to not act responsibly in the future. God did not strike me down dead for not following through on my commitments, and that was a BAD lesson to have learned for me.

Ethics: in order for me to act responsibly the only one who can get me going is HP (yep, Harry Potter, Edge). If I don't turn over my anxiety, say that I don't want to but I am going to do it anyhow, the procrastination road becomes a way to bow out.

For today, I will not go there.

"turn over my anxiety"

"turn over my anxiety"

that's the daily cross i bear.

anxiety and eft

I stumbled across a tool which I use whenever I begin to feel dread, whether it is something that I am worried about doing, something I feel ashamed of in the past, or fear of an individual, task or institution. It is not a 12 step thing, in fact it is rather odd, but I find great success with it. It is called eft, or, emotional freedom technique. It involves tapping on various acupuntcure points while repeating positive affirmations. I have managed to get through some pretty hellish scares this past 6 months with it, including a bad rift in my marriage, fear over tasks at my job, obsessive fears of health problems, clearing headaches and joint pain and a variety of ailments.  There is a free manual that can be downloaded from the website of the guy who developed this technique, although, of course, he also sells videos to train practitioners. I found clicking on the links to professional practitioners particularly helpful to view the technique in action, as it is remarkably simple, takes no time, and has almost immediate results. is the website, I hope this suggestion works for  you.

Welcome, Indiezee

You are in the right place. From what you have said in your entry, you have begun to develop tools to motivate you to work. You will discover many more here by reading the entries of check ins. There is a pretty cheezy but very effective tool that I might recommend to you for the housework issues: I despise house work and the fact that it must be done continually. Sign up on for daily reminders to do short sprints of work. I think that you may also benefit from learning about demand resistance, which I suffer from. Even if it is myself who is saying do it, I feel angry that I have to live by a schedule. However, life is getting better for me because of being here. Keep coming back!


I'm new here, too!  But I can relate to your story. 

I use Flylady, too.  I don't do everything she says (authority issues, I guess) like putting on tie shoes, but I am learning that routines help me keep from getting overwhelmed.  I'm working on cooking rather than going out to eat right now since we need to save money!!!!

I'm glad you're here and trying to improve yourself while you're still young.  Pat yourself on the back and give yourself a hug from ne.



Thanks for the welcome and the info, altho I probably won't check FlyLady until later.  I have time to do it but I'm feeling the strong resistance thing I'm reading about and know all too well.  Guess I'm being indulgent today because it's Monday, mondays are such a bore.

But I promise to check it out today, just to teach myself and let you know that I have ;)

I really do dislike housework.