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.

Tuesday 29 April 2008

            Tuesday !

       "There's no time to lose"
       I heard her say
       Catch your dreams before they slip away

            — Ruby Tuesday by the Rolling Stones

Recycler CI 9:30pm EST


Today: walked, gym, stretched, work, volunteer project during lunchtime, walked home, other support group, brushed teeth.

Tonight: read a little recovery literature, stretch/use massage tool.

Have a great night, everyone! :)


Thank you, gals & guys, for being here! :)

Getting back to doing the RIGHT things!

Thing 1: I am doing seemingly “important” tasks, but I cannot sleep at night for worrying about several “CRUCIAL” tasks that I am avoiding.

Today, I decided to address the things that keep me awake at night:

- 3 Financial documents that I need to prepare which are extremely important
- An extremely urgent doctor appt. I need to make
- Send off deposit for vacation reservations

I have done amazing things to avoid doing these – cleaned grout, volunteered to babysit, redecorated a room – unbelievable!! But the ramifications of not doing these 23 pieces of paper and emailing them off are financially severe! Finally I just spent that hour and got these off my shoulders! I feel sooooo relieved.

Thing 2. I am so anxious, and I think it's because I am doing busy-work and am avoiding the heavy lifting. I will have an item at the top of my list for months sometimes until I just don't even see it any more. Ugh!! Double Ugh!!!

Anyway, I FINISHED the FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS and emailed them off. YEA!!

I'm off to do the next 2.

3 cheers for peg!


peg you sound like a cronic procrastinator that has taken a step in recovery today. (Welcome to the club! :) )

go peg!

THANKS! Yes, I'll remember this feeling...

I must find something physical to do to associate with this wonderful feeling of success, snapping my fingers or something. Getting those Financial Statements done gave me a boost of energy and I zipped through the rest of my list with no problem.

I feel 50 pounds lighter.

Way to go!

Congratulations peggasue! Let yourself enjoy that good feeling, and remember it for the next time you feel you're avoiding such tasks. Then, try not to remember the difficult work it took you, but focus on the joy of getting it off your list, to-do pile, and out of your head (and dreams!!).

movingalong's Ruby Tuesday -- thoughts on Sunday, etc.

On Sunday, I attended the PA meeting in the chatbox here.   We all had tried out the new chatbox at some time before the meeting and  worked out the mechanics of the chatbox ahead of time -- so when it was time for the meeting, we were just able to just arrive, meet, and have a flow.

We had a full meeting in that we took exactly one hour, we typed in the Serenity Prayer, we took turns pasting in all the PA meeting materials, and several of us took some turns to do personal "shares" while the rest of us listened to each sharer without interrupting.  I won't disclose anything else, due to respect for privacy/anonymity.

There was something very deep about this meeting.  I looked at the PA meeting materials in a way that I hadn't before.  Somehow, reading them together helped me feel/understand at a much deeper level.

I am really starting to see my life patterns in a new way.  I am beginning to feel hope about recovery.

Sorry to ramble on... but I have felt the impact of these feelings/insights ever since the meeting.   Yesterday (Monday) was framed by this new way of looking at life.

I hope that today (Tuesday) will be just as amazing as Monday was.

What I choose to do today:
Arrive at work on time.
Get most imporant tasks done there.
Leave early enough to arrive at medical appointment on time.
Give myself a block of time today for spiritual time.
Some quality time with my pets.
Some household chores.
Some healthy eating.

pa mtg gd 4 me 2

yeah, i also found more insight and depth in the pa meeting materials on sunday. I was, again, very moving. I highly recommend them.

Sharing and listening to sharing without comment is somehow very powerful. I'm mystified. And joyful.

Now i have to get back to my MIT. By folks.

Lark, 9:19am

Hi everyone. Gosh, I think I need to find some inspiriation. I have more work than I can do, lots of inquiries, nice weather, good relationships with most folks around, but have been having a difficult time getting and keeping moving. Does anyone have any suggestions on this? One thing I've noticed is it works better for me if I break things way down into little bitty tasks. For now I'm going to get moving, put some things away, sweep the workshop, make some calls, and probably check back here in an hour or two. Blah.


Nice weather is perfect for getting yourself motivated and moving :-D If I were you I'd push the curtains open all the way, open the window, put on some good music \m/ and start on those broken down tasks :) I bet the more you finish the more positive you'll feel :grin: Sending hugs and positive energy your way, Lark!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action - Walter Anderson

Thanks Edge

I appreciate your kind support. Getting started is often half the battle. Although things aren't going like gangbusters, I'm nibbling away at things. A friend loaned me a modern cd of a French singer. Very well done, and sort of techno, but we don't know here name. He thought it was one of those one-word names. Anyone know who she is? Anyway, I'm set to finish one project really soon, for a good (paying) client. Thanks.

pro's CI - 8:45am

I've been sitting at the computer long enough - need to move!!

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

Ye can do it, Pro!

When I get stuck on the PC or watching TV because I don't feel like starting on my to do list I force myself to rationalize why I don't feel like doing the first task. Once I face it that way it becomes easier for me to stop what I'm messing around with and get up to finish my task :-)

I'm rootin' for ya!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action - Walter Anderson

finally dressed

It took me two hours so now I'm late, but I'm finally dressed and ready to leave for work. Maybe I'll take a cab.

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

Journey 8:40

Early to work again, traffic was light. I've been to the gym and skimmed email. Now for coffee and then read and process email, make my plan for the day, and set my MITs.
Back by 9:30


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

Journey 10

email read and processed GTD style - my MITs are set for the day. I have a meeting at 10:30 and before that I will straighten my desk and get back to work on OPM. See you guys after lunch.


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

Journey 1 pm

working on OPM, slowly but steadily. It's a big scary project but taking it one step at a time.

I'm not hungry yet but I'm going to take a short break, and check back in 10 minutes.


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

journey 1:20

ok, it was a 20 minute break but I'm back. Now I'm hungry but I'm going to work 15 minutes on OPM before I eat my yummy clif bar.


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

journey 2:20

frustrated . . . getting an error that I can't resolve. Instead of getting off track I'm going to go ask my coworker what she thinks.


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

kromer 8:15 CI

I've been making some progress on gathering data for my senior thesis, but I really need to move on to other tasks now.

Next up:
*Take notes from yesterdays meetings (before I *completely* forget what  was talked about)

*Work on slides for presentation

*Leave for class at 9:30 

kromer 4:10 CI

OK, a kind of yucky day, but I think I can get back on track:

 I finished the rough slides for the presentation, and went over them with my prof/took notes on how to improve them. There's not too much to change, so that's good. 

I also went to Spanish class.

Then I got off track and was feeling really blue, so I took a walk, had some healthy food, and am now back and ready to work.

I'm going to aim for focused work until 7, then take a break and go to Bible study, that usually makes me feel better.

I'm going to start by making the stoopid error bars for my data and emailing out the results...this will take about 15 minutes and I've been putting it off for weeks! (The problem is that I don't want to see how messy my data really is...)

I'll check back again when that's done.  

kromer 5:50 CI

Took a lot longer than 15 minutes LOL (though I think I was concentrating pretty well), but the results are posted (and my data wasn't even that messy :) ).

Next up, I'm going to take notes from my meetings yesterday. That's not scary at all, I don't know why I've been putting this off.

That should take about 20 minutes, then I'll work on getting data for my thesis 

kromer 9:50 CI

Took notes from my mtg, worked on getting data, went to Bible study, went home, called my friend, then took an unintended break for about an hour...back now, though.

 Next up, I want to:
*Finish getting data for thesis
*Start calculation
*Read chpts. 15 and 16

kaoba 7:30am

So far:

(X) weigh
(X) groom and dress

( ) make and have breakfast
( ) clean up kitchen
( ) check back in

Edge's CI - 2:45PM

Hello :-)

Was supposed to go to class this morning but I canceled with my tutor because I'm not feeling very well. Not sure what I want to do today. I'll add to my list later on, but my priorities for now are my Ar. paper and that finance chapter, which is already half done.

What I did today:
x morning med

What I would like to do today:
- finish Ar paper
- finish finance chapter
- laundry
- dishes
- evening med

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action - Walter Anderson

Edge's CI - 4:21PM

My Ar. paper is half done :) Thinking I should start working on Ice's project as well - I promised her I'd do it, so it wouldn't be good if I have nothing to show for the past week if she asks me about it.

I bought a new PC game a few days ago (Fable The Lost Chapters - seriously good!) because I stopped playing WoW (my account ran out on the 5th of April and I've resolutely been avoiding renewing it) and I needed something to fill the void :rolleyes: But now I've a strong urge to play it.

So far I've been able to limit my use of the game - it's not as insanely addictive as WoW, so it's not too difficult, but it's almost always on my mind. I really do want to get my life in order though, so I guess the game can wait for when I have a bit more time on my hands. I'm not losing anything by waiting; it's not like I have to play before my subscription runs out :p I have it for forever to play with as long as I want and whenever I please. It can wait.

What I did today:
x morning med
x dishes

What I would like to do today:
- finish Ar paper
- finish finance chapter
- laundry
- work on newsletter
- evening med

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action - Walter Anderson

Edge's CI - 5:07PM

Ar paper is almost done :) One last question remaining. Went better than I thought it would :) Feeling good about it, heh :grin:

What I did today:
x morning med
x dishes
x tidy room
x laundry

What I would like to do today:
- finish Ar paper
- finish finance chapter
- work on newsletter
- Tune R's guitar
- evening med

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action - Walter Anderson

Edge's CI - 1:50AM (Wednesday)

...Ok, so I did not finish the finance chapter, even though I haven't much left to go over...and I didn't finish that last paper question, because I got carried away with the guitar tuning and ended up messing around with the guitar for a few hours..and I did not work on the newsletter because, well, it's difficult to figure out and I have no clue what I'm doing and I'm afraid of discovering that I've bitten off more than I can chew.

But it's almost 2am now and I need to sleep so I can wake up early in the morning and finish that last paper question before class.

And as soon as I get back from class I'm going to finish that finance chapter and start on marketing, and after that I'm going to call my knowledgeable friend and ask what I need for the newsletter, and I will not back down nor will I give up. I will own this, oh yes I shall, because I can.

And with that I'm going to head to bed.
Night everyone.

What I did today:
x morning med
x dishes
x tidy room
x laundry
x Tune R's guitar
x evening med

Left undone:
- finish Ar paper
- finish finance chapter
- work on newsletter

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action - Walter Anderson


That's a good game. I don't play it anymore because I'm into WoW now but I liked it a lot. It takes a little more skill - you actually have to aim - so it's more fun in a way. Enjoy - but don't overdo it lol!


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

re: Fable

Aye, it involves less dexterity than WoW, but it still manages to be entertaining :-) Don't worry, I'll keep my addiction in check, hehe. Thanks Journey :D

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action - Walter Anderson


Actually, I think Fable is harder . . . but both are way too much fun!


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

kaoba 7am

Good morning!

Yesterday I didn't manage to check in again. Today I have a report due that I haven't even *started* working on. So that's today's most pressing task. For now:

( ) weigh
( ) groom and dress
( ) make and have breakfast
( ) clean up kitchen
( ) check back in

Anti-procrastination vibes to all!

Good morning everyone!

Good morning everyone!

Today I have a meeting with my prof at 1pm, which I have to prepare.

  • Call W
  • Email T

And maybe some work on Q.

Oh, right!

So, checking out for today... I have not called W nor emailed T, and I have procrastinated working on Q until now.

Better luck(pro) tomorrow(crastinus).


1 hour of zero productivity. Maybe the pressure is off, because I already sent my report to my prof, so I let myself procrastinate.

I guess I "should" try to "want" to work on my study more. Alright, next attempt... 

I choose to do this thesis and graduate!

Thanks all for the reactions! You are right in making yourself 'wanting' to do the dishes or some other task that feels like a 'must to' is not going to work, and I agree that you should rather make yourself 'choose to'. Better yet, take time to consider why you would want to do it.

In my case, it means thinking about why I still keep holding on to my study, while I have big work opportunities waiting for me, so enough job security even without a MSc degree. Everytime I do that, I realise that I like and enjoy my study, as long as I view it as my personal thing, and not as some assignment. After all, I chose my thesis subject, so through that choice, I choose to work on my report every day.

Interestingly, part of my thesis concerns Speech-act theory (Austin, Searle), in which performatives are defined as illocutionary verbs that, by uttering them, make the named act true, such as requesting, promising, etc. In the sense of this discussion - so specifically for procrastinators - 'choosing' is also a performative :), since by saying "I choose to do the dishes", you have actually chosen! A ;-) is in order here, though.

But maybe it is relevant in that uttering (either out loud, on paper or here ;)) a resolution or a self-motivating directive or assertion has more effect than just thinking "oh yeah, I should actually choose to do this, well, all right then...". Thinking is too slippery, too easy to abandon and 'rubber-band' back, like clement said.

right demand resistance tricks

as edge said, everyone has to find their right balance of tricks.

The have-to want-to switch never worked for me. I would change my have-tos into want-tos and they would just slip back to have-tos, like a rubber band.

What works for me is surrendering to HiPo. In a step 3 sort of way. In a way, that's like yielding to the have-to, but i doubt i could have ever done that directly w/o surrendering to HiPo first.

There's a similar transition here, tho, from some task i resent having been placed on me, to a task that i willingly accept from a loving HiPo. Is it the "right thing" to do the dishes? Yes. But it also happens to benefit me by keeping my kitchen clean (and, if i'm honest, not smelly).

So the have-to want-to switch and the surrendering to HiPo might be the same on some level.

WDV: "Should" and "must"

Hi WDV! Welcome to PA :-D

What movingalong said about demand resistance is very true. Though from my experience I find it difficult to convince myself that I "want" to do a task which I've been procrastinating on, and it makes me feel like I'm failing myself if I don't do it. So instead I usually say that I "would like to" do certain tasks today, but I don't put any pressure on myself. Instead of forcing myself to finish them because I don't want to feel bad if I don't complete them, I push myself to finish them because I enjoy the satisfaction I get from seeing them get done.

I think in your battle against demand resistance you will have to find your own methods depending on what works best for you :-) It's a matter of trial and error until you find the right combination of tricks :-) Or at least so I've found ;-)

Good luck today with your professor!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action - Walter Anderson

The idea of wanting to do

The idea of wanting to do things to enjoy the satisfaction of seeing them done is indeed a good motivator, however I think that only applies to relatively simple tasks. When I try to get myself to write on my report, which I find hard to do anyway, I don't have a near goal to reach. Sure, I could strive for finishing a page, but then I would not be finished.

The point is that in this case, I don't choose to do some bounded task of which I can expect completion-satisfaction in the near future. I choose to continue to work on my report. There is satisfaction in every completed paragraph or page, but I can't "go for it".

Oh and the meeting with the prof was okish, he did comment on the lack of page count-increase, but I didn't let that influence my feelings about my progress. I take my own steps and respect those in my own way.

to WDV re: "should"


One thing that helps me is getting rid of the word "should".  Because I tend to resist feeling obligated to do something.

I resist myself when I say "I have to" or "I ought to" or "I should".

Have you seen the article on Demand Sensitivity and Demand Resistance?

What helps me is to change my wording to "I choose to".

If I tell myself: "I have to wash the dishes", then I react by feeling resentful, and the dishes don't get washed.

If I tell myself: "I choose to do the dishes", then I feel empowered somehow, and am more willing to actually wash them.

"choose to" instead of "want to"

What I was trying to say is that "I choose to" is empowering for me.

The trick of saying "I want to" never worked for me. 

"I want to" never worked -- because I really didn't want to do the dishes, and saying "I want to to do the dishes" seemed like B.S. to me.  It felt like I was lying to myself to get things done, and I didn't believe it.   It was like trying to manipulate myself, and that felt inauthentic.

Another thought is that if I wait until I really do want to do something -- that would take forever.   It doesn't work to just sit around waiting for motivation to arrive.

What I have learned is that "Motivation follows action".   So if I start doing, the flow begins, and then the motivation comes.

So how do I "start doing"?

I say "I chose to".    Choosing is an action verb.  And it feels real to me.  I can choose to do something, whether I want to do it or not.   I can choose to wash those dishes.   Choosing feels empowering to me.

I don't always have control over my "wants".  But I can guide my "choices".  And when I allow HiPo (Higher Power) to work in my life, I am helped with choices.

"choose to"

ah... "choose to". Yeah that does feel better than "want to". I felt the same way as you--lying to myself that i wanted to, because i didnt. trying to manipulate myself. inauthentic. Yep, same here.

Yes i can choose to do the things that i'm "supposed to". Or i can choose not to. I can choose to surrender to HiPo.

I think i may have been thinking "want to" always as the opposite of "have to", even if i was actually reading "choose to". but now "choose to" and "want to" seem very different to me.

I have..

Ironically, reading that article was exactly my procratinatory act that made me lose that hour :P. Well, actually, that article made me emphasize the words should and want, which in turn probably made you mention it :).

So in that respect I didn't waste that hour, because I've learnt something. But then again, reading about and researching procrastination is a well-known form of procrastination! At least for me.

So, now that I have another mug of coffee, I choose to use the coming hour till lunch to review my own paper and prepare some questions for my prof. 

lol wdv

> reading about and researching procrastination is a well-known form of procrastination!

lol lol :) :) he he

oh, the irony...

procrastination by reading about procrastination lol

For those of you who haven't seen this before, here's a great anti-productivity quote by Steve Pavlina. BTW, Steve Pavlina has a great productivity site but don't read it unless you are on a designated break!

"Instead of doing your actual work, spend most of your time reading productivity blogs. Within a few months, you’ll have acquired enough knowledge to start your own. Eventually you’ll realize that 50% of the web consists of productivity tips written by chronic procrastinators. The other 50% is porn."

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


So true...

Though I did have some thoughts about sharing my thoughts and experiences in real life by maybe attending anti-procrastination group meetings organised by the university. Maybe I could help others become aware of their subconcious procrastination habits.