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.

Monday, July 10th, 2006

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It's 6 Am here in TX, USA.

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Kayaking at 7
clean house (maintenance is coming also) - for only 2 hrs
do hw for tomorrow
download CDs

TL - BE - 6:15 PM

good job Pro!!!

where's Normy???

Installed MathCAD

To Do

Where's Normy?

Here I am! :)

Got back from my course last night, been at work today until 8.30, ate and cleared up, checked Emails, got ready for work tomorrow and Wednesday, and now I'm here!

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TL - BE - 4:50

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wrote down hw problems

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start working problems
install MathCAD
get ink cartridge

hooray, tl - way to go!!

Congratulations, tl, you did it!!!!!!

Keep going!!!!!!!!!!!

And I just LOVE your graphics!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) I'm tempted to investigate this fun graphics myself, but right now it would definitely be procrastination in a major way.

How about if I do this:

Way to go, tl!!!!

It's not graphics, but it's better than nothing. :)

TL - BE - 3 PM

OK - I am setting timer for 30 min of picking up house :)

Yeah Julie - way to jump in and inspire ;)

Pro - have you STARTED consulting work? You know you committed to us - let us know of any success:)
We have faith in you :D

have I started?

"Pro - have you STARTED consulting work? You know you committed to us - let us know of any success:)"

Um, no, not yet. But I am off to command my muscles!!!!!! :)

pro's CI: I have "opened the book" (so to speak)

My favorite cartoon is an old Peanuts strip where Sally (Charlie Brown's younger sister) goes up to Charlie Brown and says, "I'm having trouble starting my homework." Charlie Brown says, "Sometimes you just have open the book." and Sally responds, "I hate opening the book." That's how I feel. But I have opened the book!

There's another procrastination cartoon that I love, but to tell you would be to procrastinate, so I'll leave that as a reward for after I get this done.

I will check in again soon to make sure I stay on track.

what I did and didn't do today

Well, I finally did manage to get that report done (miraculously), but what I didn't do (and it's bad) is take my d*mn medication. This is not something to fool around with. I have the hardest time remembering to take my pills. I'll take some now so I'm only missing one dose rather than two.

Gotta go to bed. It's 1:30am and I'm very tired.

Opening the book

That's on of the things I posted as what helps me when I'm stuck - I open the book, file, Email whatever. A couple of times recently I opened the file and was pleasantly surprised to find I'd already done the work and forgotton - duh! All that stress for nothing!

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I'm having too much fun here - gotta go. I'll be back!!!!

I'm starting to procrastinate on this forum. Somebody kick me outta here!!!!

Me too

I was here till 2am last night!

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TL - BE - 4 PM

cleaned for 30 min - yeah

write down hw problems for transportation

excellent, tl - keep going!!!!

Don't forget to check in again!!!! Let us know how you do.

Okay - I'm off to do my own work now. I don't want anybody to say I'm using this site to procrastinate!!!!

ah... more happy graphics in the bookending thread!!

tl - thanks for your happy graphics. Normy stopped coming around, and I've missed her cute pictures in the bookending threads.

Me, I've got to get serious today. It's 1:30pm, and although I've worked all morning, I haven't been doing the one thing I need to do most - my consulting work. So I will commit to this:

1. Get dressed. (::cough:: - I'm still in my jammies)
2. Make bed - involves converting futon from bed into couch, important for my state of mind when working, turns studio apartment from bedroom into office.
3. Take my vitamins and medication (still haven't done that), and have a bite to eat (it's past lunch time).

I will check in regularly to make sure I stay on track.

Normy stopped coming around

I'd better warn you now...I'm going to be away the next two weekends on my course too. Don't worry - I'll come back! I get too much help around here not to :)

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pro's CI: (also - realize I need new planning tools)

I realized after ordering the pizza that I didn't have any cash. That's bad. Pizza delivery people generally want to be paid, so I ran out to get cash, and while I was out I picked up my mail (or tried - there wasn't any).

I'm also realizing that one reason I have trouble meeting consulting commitments is that I have enough clients that I can't keep it all in my head. I need some sort of tool to keep track of when I owe who what. I have some software I can use for this, now that I think of it. I'll set this up - after responding to one particular client who is hopping on one foot waiting for my report.

Keep it simple

How about starting off with a simple piece of paper and a pen, or a simple Word document. I did that with my homework and with my invoice tracking so I could keep track until I had enough time to do it 'properly', and it turned out that it actually did the job perfectly as it was. So I was able to get on with work-work and leave the 'making it pretty' work for when I've got time to play.

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planning and tracking systems (Normy)

If you read down a few posts, you'll see I already have a very good system set up. I just haven't incorporated my consulting business into it yet. The consulting business is new.

Reading posts

I do read all the posts (I check the Recent Posts tabs to make sure I don't miss any when I realised I was missing some just looking at the front page), but I don't always see them in order, so sorry if I sometimes say something that anyone's already addressed elsewhere.

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Schedules and procrastination

Pro, it sounds like you have some of the same problem I have had with what I call my "open schedule." If you don't have things that break up your days, you always have time to do something procrastinatory "before" getting things really done. I'm not suggesting that procrastinators have time management problems, but that open schedules make our bad habits so much easier.

I came to focus on my procrastination after applying David Allen's "Getting Things Done" method to get myself organized. Even if you just use aspects of GTD to keep track of things, I think you'll get some real benefit from it.

To keep track of who you owe what, I think you should start with a calendar and a project list. Those would give you a way to keep track of what you have going on and how much time you really have to get the work done.


David Allen's "Getting Things Done"

Hi flexiblefine,

Yes, David Allen's GTD is great. I have the book both in paper and audio form, and I also downloaded his ebook on using Outlook to implement his method.

I tried the Outlook plug-in for the GTD method and didn't like it, so I ended up writing my own plug-in (now there is a great procrastination tactic!). I used my plug-in for a while (it added a "Projects" level to Outlook Tasks), and then went back to the native Outlook version of Tasks after a while.

I now use another utility called Pocket Thinker, which can be used as an add-in to Outlook and can be synched with the Pocket PC, for all list type stuff (like to-do and to-bring lists, or my client list). It's got a lot of great features that would take me forever to add into Outlook with my add-in. Now I only use the Outlook Tasks for items with deadlines, like paying bills.

I also rely very heavily on the Outlook calendar and I use Allen's recommendations for clearing out my Inbox and categorizing my work into "Action", "Waiting for", and "Deferred". In fact, I've implemented all of Allen's recommendations except tabs on folders and the weekly review. I don't feel a need for tabs, but a weekly review would be very helpful!

The GTD method has helped me enormously. Before GTD, I often didn't do things simply because I forgot! At least now I know what I should be doing, even if I'm not doing it. I just hadn't integrated the client stuff into my system yet because it's fairly new.

Allen doesn't address the problem of procrastination except when it takes the form of feeling overwhelmed because you haven't broken the task into small enough pieces.

set up tracking system for consulting clients

I'm not sure whether it's a procrastination or not (lie - pro, you know it's a procrastination), but I set up a tracking system for my consulting clients.

It's 9:30pm and I never did finish that report. (pro - stop lying. You never even started that report.) And now I'm feeling tired - great excuse to go to bed and blow it off completely, right?

But I'm not going to let myself get away with that!!!! I am going to honor my commitment to myself, my client, and my fellow procrastinators to finish this report today if it kills me!!!! (pro, I know you mean it - let's see if you do it.)

Aaaaauuuugh!! Why was I never able to start this report today?

I'm still procrastinating - this time by entering the due dates for responding to each of my clients into my new tracking system.

It's almost 10pm. I'm tired and I'm mad at myself. I don't know why I couldn't get myself to do this report today, but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't get myself to start. I almost started (whatever that means), but in the end I didn't.

What drives me the most crazy is that I don't know why I couldn't do it. Procrastination drives me completely insane - it really does. I hate this problem more than I hate any other problem in my life. Procrastination is the worst problem in my life. It makes me miserable. So why do I do it??????? :(

It's not like I wasn't working today - I was. But I wasn't doing things in priority order. I did everything but what I needed to do most.

Now I've f*'d up with this client, broken my promise, and I despise myself for it. I'll probably lose this client like I've lost so many others by the same brilliant strategy. I hate myself. :sick:

I couldn't stand it - I finally started the report

I just felt too crappy not getting this done today. I couldn't live with that, and I finally did open the file and start the report. Now it's late and I'm tired, but I'm determined to finish it before midnight (hopefully a lot sooner!!).


This is great news! Second wind is a beautiful thing. Hang in there and just think of many others burning the midnight oil with you (my husband just got home...Deadline tomorrow).

- Julia

I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks, Julia. It's nice to think I'm not the only one burning the midnight oil.

It's 1:15am - ridiculous time to be up and working - but I finally finished that report! I have other consulting clients who I owe work to. Maybe tomorrow I can start the next one earlier in the day. :P


I downloaded the guide to using Outlook and just did as it said - didn't use an add-in or anything - and it works great. I used the Weekly Review for a while and it was fantastic - such a sense of relief that nothing was going to jump out at me unexpectedly, and it really helped me plan my days because I'd looked ahead. Knowing how much time I ~really~ had rather than thinking - 'oh it's not for three days yet' really did help me with the procrastination.

And I think the 'breaking a task into small enough pieces' helps me with procrastination as well. If I'd put an item on my to-do list 'Do consulting work' I'd probably procraste too, but if I'd written 'jot down list of clients and due dates' I'd more likely think 'well I can do that much', and one step leads to the next. When things get really tough I have to break them down into even smaller parts 'find paper' etc, and when I'm on a roll it can be much broader.
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Just eat and work!

Just eat and work! How about creating a fun deadline atmosphere, some music, coffee? It's not a long-term solution to a less stressed existence but might help you tonight. Pizza for dinner & mid-night snack?

I forced myself to get some stuff started... Calls, emails, projects tasks. A really lame lunch today to not get sidetracked. Still got sidetracked - there are several large blanks on the time sheet I keep in my planner...

Now, it's time for outside errands before I turn into a mother. Deposit a check from client so it can clear in time to pay bills. Pick up meds, diapers. And go interview a potential nanny at the other family's house (with the high turnover, it's like a part time job for me...)

- Julia

keep getting sidetracked (bad!!)

Basically I'm trying to do what you suggest (eat and work), but I keep doing other little things in between so I'm not making much progress - well, no progress at all on the consulting report yet.

The pizza finally arrived at 4pm, and thank goodness because I was dizzy with hunger (that's a late lunch). I ate the pizza, and then somehow got distracted by email again. That is a very big danger for me, and I can't turn it off because I need to refer to information in my email client. Okay - that's a lie. I could turn off the automatic email check, and maybe I should.

I just made some tea. Maybe I'll play a Mozard CD. I've heard that listening to Mozart makes you smarter.

I think I need to make a commitment to myself (and this board) that I'm not going to do anything else now except work on this report. That means turning OFF the automatic send and receive function within Outlook!!!!

Mozart causing procrastination...

I have to admit that I love Mozart's Mass in C Major so much that putting it on is causing me to listen to that instead of work. :O

Not only that, I took time to clean the CD player, which was starting to skip.

Alright - I should have known better than to put on music. I'm playing games with myself. I know very well that I can't work with music on. I have ADD, and everything distracts me. I'd better turn it off and use it as a reward instead.

What I think I will try is moving to another part of my apartment with my computer. Often changing my environment helps jolt me into working.

Music and work

I can't do desk work with music on either (housework, yes - it helps). DSO finds music helps him, so when we're working at home at the same time he has his headphones on (that's another thing that helps BTW - roping someone else in to work in the same space as you - I've had friends come over and I've been to theirs - no chat, just work).

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Command your muscles

Sounds weird - but literally you can command your muscles to move and that will start changing your thinking. Tell yout hands to just open up the consulting job file. Then write/type one thing. Then give yourself credit for starting.

Movement of the muscles overcomes the defeatist babble of the brain :)

tl, this is really helpful - it worked for me.

tl - thanks very much for this post. It worked for me. Getting started is the hump. Once I start, I keep going. I think I want to print this out so I don't forget it.

Make sure

Make sure to give yourself credit :)
It's called 'Endorsing'.

Here's a few more sayings that get me going.

Endorse yourself for the effort, not the outcome.

A firm decision steadies me.

Do things in part-acts.

Lower my standards and my performance will rise.

Here's an affirmation I have on my wall...

This one has always helped me:

"Most jobs need completion, not perfection."

In fact, just reading that makes me feel less like procrastinating on my report (which I'm still doing).

tl - these are helpful affirmations!

I like these, but I'm confused about one of them. what does "Do things in part-acts" mean? What are "part-acts"?

Where does the term "Endorsing" come from? Also, where do these affirmations come from?

I just took care of some accounting things that were fairly urgent, and now I need to get back to the report I'm writing. Transitions are always difficult for me.

"Command my muscles" - I like that! :)

That's great - "Movement of the muscles overcomes the defeatist babble of the brain."

What's coming out of my brain right now certainly is babble!

Off to command my muscles... (I will report back.)

This was what allowed me to

This was what allowed me to do the ironing yesterday. I had set up the work station (ironing board, iron, pile of clothes) but I was actually sitting across the room watching TV when it occurred to me I could do both. So I got my muscles going. And what d'ya know?

I really like that one.

That and "Persistent Starting" from flexible fine, I think.

Okay -- back to it.

Gnothi Seauton ~ Know Thyself

Persistant Starting

Is a Neil Fiore thing I think - I still haven't managed to get through that book second time round.

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pro's CI: dressed at long last!

Finally, I'm showered and dressed. I did the abbreviated version. I'm not going anywhere and it doesn't matter how I look. What matters is that I do this work.

I'm going to order some pizza before I make up my bed. I was thinking about making lunch instead of ordering it (save money, blah, blah), but right now, saving TIME is the most important thing.

I will be back!

already veering off-track - help!

Did you see that nice list I made of what I was about to do? That is not what I did. What I did instead was to answer two email messages. Now I'm getting hungry, and I also need to make a phone call shortly. But I MUST GET THE CONSULTING DONE!!

I'm going to make another effort to get back on track, and if I continue to screw up I'll just keep telling on myself. ;)

Be Nice to Pro!

Poor Pro! You're being very harsh with yourself - SHOUTING; using the 'M' word (must); talking about 'screwing up' and 'telling on' yourself.

How about a bit of positive self-talk? You told me and Anouk that it worked well for you. Maybe you could write the same post again in positive terms?

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