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.

12-Step Literature from various sources

12-Step Literature from various sources


There are many 12-step groups that work on recovery from many types of unrelated addictions/compulsions.

Some of their websites have material that could possibly be applicable to the topic of chronic procrastination.

Some examples:

The "Promises" of recovery
from Alcoholics Anonymous

Most 12-Step meetings (of all types) conclude with these promises, or similar ones.

"When evening comes, just before falling asleep" and "When we retire at night"

Both of these passages ("When evening comes" and "When we retire") talk about reviewing what you did all day and honestly acknowledging your errors -- but not beating yourself up -- or falling into worry or morbid remorse. And remembering to see what you DID accomplish

I find them useful when looking over whether or not I got stuff on my to-do list done, what my attitudes were, and reframing my attitude as I go to sleep, in order to prepare for the following day.

"On awakening"
This is also in the chapter "Into Action"
in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
It is at the top of page 86 of the actual book.
To read it online, go here
and scroll to page 15 of the .pdf file

Scroll to the paragraph that starts with "On awakening" -- and read all the way through to the end of the chapter. In the last paragraph, you can substitute the words "We procrastinators" for the words "We alcoholics".

This is a great tool for reflection/meditation when planning one's to-do list for the day.

Note that in any of these readings, you can substitute the words "procrastinator/procrastination/distraction" for the words "alcoholic/alcoholism/bottle". Etc., etc., etc.

If you are uncomfortable with the word "God", you can substitute "Higher Power"

You could use the "Collective Wisdom of All Those Who Have Recovered From This Addiction" as your Higher Power.

From Chapter One of the Big Book of A.A. :

{begin quote} The word God still aroused a certain antipathy. When the thought was expressed that there might be a God personal to me this feeling was intensified. I didn't like the idea. I could go for such conceptions as Creative Intelligence, Universal Mind or Spirit of Nature but I resisted the thought of a Czar of the Heavens, however loving His sway might be. I have since talked with scores of men who felt the same way.

My friend suggested what then seemed a novel idea. He said, "Why don't you choose your own conception of God?"

That statement hit me hard. It melted the icy intellectual mountain in whose shadow I had lived and shivered many years. I stood in the sunlight at last.

It was only a matter of being willing to believe in a Power greater than myself. Nothing more was required of me to make my beginning. {end quote}

If you find anybody's references to religious clerics are not relevant to you, you could choose to substitute "philosopher/organizational-consultant/psychologist" or "wise mentor" -- for their "priest/minister/rabbi". Whatever works for you.

Editing to add: Since I first posted this, I discovered that some atheists who practice the twelve steps use "G.O.D." as an acronym that stands for a "Good Orderly Direction" -- which is what they're seeking in their lives.

"Time Clutter" ... as contrasted with "Spiritual Timing"

From Clutterers Anonymous

This is quite profound ! It's about re-prioritizing our time and letting go of trying to do too many activities in one day.

"Signs of Compulsive Time Debting"

An adaptation from Debtors Anonymous "12 Signs of Compulsive Debting"

Our Procrastinators Anonymous member Gwen D took that Debtors Anonymous material and and adapted it to create document called "Signs of Compulsive Time-Debting".

She originally posted this on 12 December 2005 on the thread here

Here is what Gwen D originally posted:

Anyway, I just drafted this little thing based on the Debtors Anonymous literature. Maybe someone else can relate.

Signs of Compulsive Time Debting

1. Being unclear about your time situation. Not knowing number of days till deadline, materials needed, what kind of problems need to be solved, whether it can be done without help from others. Not having a schedule, or maybe making a schedule but abandoning it and not looking at it. Not listening to yourself when you feel the need to work or pay attention. Actively turning your attention off.

2. Frequently "borrowing" time from friends (asking them to help you through a crisis, asking them to cover for you, demanding they endure a crisis with you when you need one to take the space of doing the work), from coworkers (asking them to understand or forgive you for having loaded them with extra work), and clients (asking them to hire you again, expecting it, and being personally offended when it doesn't happen, but often sliding by again on good graces).

3. Poor behavior around time. Not planning for mistakes or technical difficulty or other not-recurring but predictable conditions, and then feeling surprised when the problems play out and foil the carefully subconsciously mapped out schedule of "remaining minutes"; simply not thinking about the job at hand, a "live for today, don't worry about tomorrow" attitude."

4. Compulsive procrastinating: Being unable to pass up a "good movie" or a social opportunity; making impulsive projects for yourself that aren't related to the task at hand, like Google searches or cleaning your house; things that seem good uses of time, but are not; leaving signs and signals of the job you need to do around the house, visible, as a way of proving that it's still on your plate, yet not starting it. Doing other work, less important work, when the pressure of the task at hand is too much, to relieve the feeling of unaccomplishment. Only finishing things when they are second to last on the list.

5. Difficulty in meeting basic work or personal obligations, and/or an inordinate sense of accomplishment when such obligations are met. Discomfort when people comment on your difficulty.

6. A different feeling when accomplishing something under pressure, or meeting deadlines satisfactorily after working in a frenzy of deprivation, a feeling of being in the club, of being accepted, of being grown up. A feeling of anxiety when meeting deadlines easily after working efficiently, of your work not being real or worthy.

7. Living in chaos and drama around time: Making amends for missed appointments or obligations; making do with your lack of practice; using the time needed for one job to complete another; lying to coworkers to make excuses for having messed up a job because of bad time management; always having a time crisis to contend with. Frequently turning an activity that was leisure or fun into work or crisis, once it needs to be scheduled or requires any time obligations, like practicing music.

8. A tendency to live on the edge: Always meeting deadlines at the last minute, or with an accompanying drama of some sort. Living in a constant state of deadline and imperative; taking risks with your reputation for honesty and responsibility; working inefficiently hoping the job will suddenly reveal itself to be easy and able to be completed without effort. Not communicating with coworkers or people depending on you and thereby making other people anxious about your progress.

9. Unwarranted inhibition and confusion, maybe embarrassment, in what should be a normal discussion of how much time something should take.

10. Overworking or underearning: Working extra hours just to meet basic obligations; using time inefficiently; taking jobs below your skill and education level and drawing them out.

11. An unwillingness to care for and value yourself: Living in self-imposed deprivation of time; denying your basic needs like your sleep or meals, (or even your need for love and company), in order to do penance for having missed an obligation.

12. A feeling or hope that someone will take care of you if necessary, so that you won't really get into serious trouble from your missed obligations, that there will always be someone you can turn to. A feeling that there will always be enough time.

Created for Procrastinators Anonymous by Gwen D on 12 December 2005

"Making and Keeping Commitments"

From Overeaters Anonymous
Book titled "Voices of Recovery: A Daily Reader"

(from the reading for July 15 -- on page 197 in current edition)

[begin quote]

I would avoid making commitments because I could not count on myself to deliver. Or I would quickly make promises, force myself to keep them, but hate "being used."

I need to make plans and commitments, and I need to do it carefully. Then I need to do what I said that I would do. When I began committing my food to an O.A. sponsor and sticking to the commitment, a first benefit was greater confidence that I could make and keep commitments, such as completing a task at work.

[end quote]

My thoughts:

Notice how the first paragraph relates to Demand Resistance, as well as relating to over-committing, people-pleasing, and impulsivity.

We can see that there is more success when we carefully think things through, and come up with a reasonable "doable" plan.

When we commit our reasonable plans here -- to our peers --
on the bookending/check-in forums,
or on the PA phonebridge,
we can choose to follow through and develop patterns of success.

Also, when we learn to make and keep well-thought-out commitments in one area of our lives, we can learn to do it in other areas of our lives.

The bottom line is that you can read 12-Step Literature from all sorts of programs, and observe the correlations between other addictions and chronic procrastination. Regardless of the substance or behavior, the common goal is recovery from compulsivity.

I wanted to put in a few

I wanted to put in a few links about procration that appear in Hazelden books but the Board doesn't allow me to 'copy and paste', says it's due to the fact that I am using Firefox.  I don't understand this because I have never had this problem with any other Board ???





Copy/paste in Firefox

Hi Amy,

I sometimes run into copy/paste problems with Firefox, too -- in other places as well as this site.  As a work-around, I usually paste using the keyboard (CTRL + v)


"on awakening" and "when evening comes"

Bumping this up for the people who asked.

RE: 12-Step Literature from various sources

Now that I am re-reading this thread, I see my own need to re-read some of these books!   I am reminded that I don't need to read the whole book at once.  I can read one paragraph a day, and still learn something.

nice work

I'll be revisiting these readings. Thanks, moving!

Gnothi Seauton ~ Know Thyself

great stuff

wow, this is great stuff. I mean pro's earliest post states that all the addictions are the same, and i believed that, but reading these excerpts really puts some detail on that idea. I can see the common thread.

Thanks moving!