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.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

okay, got the birdseed... now, find dog biscuits....

Falcon bedtime CI

Hi all,

Procrastinating on going to bed!

To do:

  • Brush teeth
  • Put on pjs
  • Turn alarm clock OFF (sleeping in tomorrow!)
  • Go to bed, for pete's sake 

Good night! 


Recycler CI 7:45pm EST

Hi Woodstock & other Pro Buddies!

Thankfully no thunderstorm tonight, so I can do on-line communications at home while running clothes washer & dishwasher :)

Today: walk, stretching, training all day, e-mailed newsletter, staff lunch. While I am thankful to be able to do a financial errand, it is also scary, so taking a moment to turn over to HP.

After work: rode train, walked, fixed dinner, ran dishwasher, washed/dried/put away a load of clothes.

Tonight: check message boards, e-mail recovery friend, e-mail internatational friend, Floss Teeth, read recovery literature, go to bed at reasonable time.

Have a good night, everyone! :)


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

RitaE 6:30 p.m.

Yuck I'm stuck. Still in early stages of a client project that was due an hour ago. I emailed apologies and promised it yet tonight. I feel like I'm letting my client down.

My exercise place closes in 30 minutes and I have not exercised in 3 days, which is letting myself and my HP down. I am hungry and don't have time for a decent dinner.

I told a sponsee I would call right after my webinar ended at 3 p.m. but then more work came up and I have not called yet. She's one who gets mad when I let her down so that's got fear added to the dismay. I told another sponsee I would take her daughter to an Alateen meeting but didn't commit; tonight is the night but I am probably not going to be able to do this and that makes me feel bad even though I did not commit that one.

Usually I see my sponsor at a Thursday meeting, which starts in 1 hour, a 30-minute drive away. The dog has not been walked in 3 days and my unemployed dry-drunk, TV-addicted husband doesn't like the way I've lead-trained the dog so he is refusing to help with this. The diabetic cat is crying for dinner. I literally cannot decide what to do next; frozen. I am going to go in the closet and pray. Which will automatically rule out several options because then it will be too late for them. Aaaaaaggh. I hate this.

Hey Rita,

Hey Rita,
that sucks. I know how it feels to get frozen like that.

It almost helps me if I can imagine I'm someone else, and re-evaluate my commitments. Most of my frazzle and deer-in-the-headlights frozen-ness, is from the emotional content of the should do/have to do, and my rational brain has entirely left me - or I'd realise that I logically CAN'T do all the things I'm trying to do. I can't get a document done in the next 5 minutes AND still get the last bus home, and if I don't get that bus, then I'm going to miss-out on say, meeting a friend, getting to somewhere I'm supposed to be, getting dinner, etc etc etc.
If I realised that, I'd be able to realise that the document is less important than catching the bus and I need to put it down right now.

Ergh, probably all familiar to you, but just wanted to let you know that you're not the only one - I really sympathise with the stress you must be under.

Looking at it from an outside perspective (if that's ok with you) -
the exercise is place is nearly closed. You can let that one go.
Can you see your sponsor and still do any of the other things you really need to do? Would you be able to get dinner maybe? If not, let that one go. Ring or email your sponsor and say you can't make it.

* Feeding the cat...
Ummm. I'd feed the cat if it's crying. But that's just me, because it would distract me.

* Feeding yourself
If you're quite stressed, is any of it hunger? Is there something with protein or carbohydrates you could have as a snack?

* Work for client. See next point, because yeah, ouch. If you need to do work, try taking some breaks every 30 minutes?

* Ringing sponsee. Ouch. Ok, I'm possibly over-empathising here. I get so tense when I feel I'm letting people down and do EVERYTHING I can to avoid [edit: face up to] it. Eeek. How does the Sponsor/sponsee thing work? I don't suppose you can hook them up with each other? ;P
Could you maybe tell her you've only got 5-10 minutes to talk with her (maybe while having that snack?), but that you want to listen to what she's up to?

* Maybe walk the dog on another break? Maybe don't worry about the exercising until you've walked the dog. Hey, that IS exercise, right? Two birds, one dog!

Oh, and I hope it doesn't come across like I'm trying to tell you what to do in any way, I was just thinking that maybe if you're to-do list got reframed it might not seem so bad - I wish someone could do it for me when I'm in a panic.

Best of luck Rita!

Rita E 7 pm

Once again HP sorts it out when I take time to seek Him out. I called sponsor, left message. I called sponsee; no answer, left msg. The dog can wait, or use the backyard. The husband can feed the cat or put up with his yowling. I will just have to live another day without exercise and ask God, myself and other human beings to forgive me for being imperfect!  I am going to a meeting. I'll do the client project when I get home.

rita & clement's HP

Rita, i can not tell you how familiar to me is your experience you report here. The overwhelmed feeling, the time alone with HP, the new perspective. I have traveled this path many, many times.

I could feel from your "after" post the weight that was lifted from you, taken away by HP.

The thing i can't figure out with me is why after having this happen to me, and having it happen to others (eg, you, here), why i cannot see it while in the midst of the overwhelmed state. It's like i have a learning disability. Many repetitions but still no learning. When i finally "give up" and go to HP, it's not because i know what kind of perspective change will happen to me, but rather out of mostly desperation with maybe a vague hope that some nebulous good will come of it. I just can't access my own experience of this transformation of perspective when i'm "in the moment" (the bad moment).

I get that!

One thing I have tried sometimes with success, is to ask in morning meditation for my HP to bring to my awareness quickly when I'm getting in that state.  But I don't remember to ask it very often. 

Also, just occurs to me that when I was getting sober, the oldtimers used to talk about "resist the beginning."  Today I'm going to ask in my morning meditation for my HP to catch me up short when I'm at the beginning of a procrastination binge, and to give me the awareness (honesty) and willingness to stop and ask for help right then.

Thanks for this discussion, clement - for today, I will ask for this grace!

good idea rita

yeah, asking HP to help in that first moment of temptation, to start the cycle. That makes so much sense. And asking when NOT in a moment of temptation, that makes sense too. It does feel like it would be for me another layer of acceptance of the problem. And another part of surrender to HP.

"Resist the beginning" very interesting. parallels what i found online and posted here Also is in line with what i've read about temptation in all forms. It's always easier to not start than stop.

Thanks for your wisdom.

Yay for HP! (sorry, missed

Yay for HP!

(sorry, missed reply)


RitaE 11:50 pm EST

Thanks for the encouraging words and helpful perspective, Grail. Everything worked out ... Used the drive time to munch cheese and carrots and talk to my sponsee. Saw my sponsor and had a good 12-Step meeting. Topic was One Day at a Time - how cool is that? Husband fed the cat and I walked the dog when I got home.

Still undone is the client project; I worked on it some tonight but can't keep my eyes open (only had 4 hours sleep last night due to a work deadline for another client!). I emailed this client with apologies but there's no escaping the fact I need another day. I'll just buck up and take the consequences.

This process (sharing with y'all here and reading the articles etc.) is really helping me see how I sabotage myself with overcommitement and unreal expectations. Thanks for everyone's contributions.


you said " I sabotage myself with overcommitement and unreal expectations." I totally identify with that. The other part that I don't know handle is getting my own needs met: when I put the needs of others before my own I feel shame when I cannot meet the expectations that I set for others. I have (until this past year) had a hard time saying no, and I am learning at the ripe old age of 47 that it is much simpler, mush less 'dread-ful', and much less anxiety driven to say it at the beginning instead of the end.

One aspect of this is reevaluating how long things will take realistically before I commit to them. When I put my recovery first, ie, meetings, I always find the willingness to do more. But, when I am people pleasing by taking on sponsees I don't have the time for or whose schedules do not mesh with my own, I find myself in that shameful: if I have the cojones to set firm limits around them I give myself the plausibility that I might actually meet my own deadlines: ie, be honest about how long something will take, or at least take the time to evaluate how long each step ought to take. My codependence issues are slipping away with this program, but reading literature such as The Language of Letting Go, (yep, it is a Hazledon publication) helps me to evaluate how to take care of myself.

Hats off to you for having the courage, the willingness and the wisdom for today.

Cool e

Thanks for that. Codependency is major ish with me - I've been off-and-on Alanon for 20 years and recently returned to meetings with fervor - and the stuff I've uncovered there helped lead me here to PA. It's very cool to find so many kindred spritis here - though we may repesent a variety of other "isms" and qualify for a bnch of different 12 Step programs, we have the procrastination addiction in common and a common solution. No human power...

Journey 4 pm

stuck - need to do some security stuff which I really dislike.  Posting to get past the avoidance and get back to work.


"The sooner you get behind, the longer you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

journey 5 pm

Done!  going home.  I need to run 2 errands on the way home, dd is cooking so I'll do dishes.  see you tomorrow.


"The sooner you get behind, the longer you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

Joe Checking In

I've been procrastinating (surfing the web) for 3 days instead of writing a report. It is now 12:05 PM. I will work on the report until 2 PM and then check back in.


Hey, Joe, how's that report coming?

"The sooner you get behind, the longer you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

Kpoet CI 11:05 PDT

At the very least I will open up my assignment word document and start it today. All I need to do is type one sentence and I will have achieved a minor miracle. Smile


~You are only motivated to do what you feel is important to you.

Journey 1:45 why??? lol

Well, my 30 minute lunch break turned into an hour of avoiding writing a letter regarding a financial matter.  At the end of the hour I finally wrote the letter.  It took FOUR MINUTES.  It took longer to fax it than it did to write it.  Why, oh why, do we do these things to ourselves lol??

"The sooner you get behind, the longer you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

Journey 12:30 happy happy joy joy

I prepared for and attended my 11:30 meeting, kickoff of a new project which will reinvigorate my favorite operating system, Linux.  

30 min lunch break, then check in.  

"The sooner you get behind, the longer you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

Lark @ 11:00am, and 12:17am Fri.

Hi everyone. It's been a busy but frustrating week here. Way too many unfinished projects. I hired a part time empployee for two partial days, and while some stuff got done that I didn't feel like doing, things turned out about even. Gee, I needed someone to finish things, not to start more! Basically there's one project I should focus on today, with dabbles of various other things between times. Laundry is getting piled up, and there are errands to town becoming more important, but I think I'll make a "do not do" list for those things. Focus, focus, focus...
(X)spiritual period
(X)order supplies
(X)focus on project A
(X)one section of B
(Not ready yet)paint kitchen wall, and put range back

Journey 10:30

MITs are set, the day is planned, and I have processed all of the email that I didn't get to yesterday.  Two routine easy tasks now to start the day off on a successful note.   Back at 11.   

"The sooner you get behind, the longer you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

Journey 9:30

Happy Thursday!  Great thread starter e!

I'm still dragging a bit from my little illness, so getting off to a slow start this morning.  I did another short but slightly more intense workout this morning, and it felt good.  I've read email, and I'm going for coffee and getting those MITs set.  I've got an exciting day ahead of me, kicking off a new project and also starting cross training on something I've been wanting to learn to do.  It don't get no better than this! 

Have a great day!  Back at 10, caffeinated, with MITs set.   

"The sooner you get behind, the longer you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

please put your username in check-in subjects

Please put your username in the check-in subjects so the "Recent comments" list is scannable. Both Grail and sister had comments with the subject "Today". I edited them to add the user names.


Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

Re: username

D'oh. Sorry pro.
Thanks for the correction.
Just followed suit without thinking... :P

c bkend

bkending searching for something online. It's 8:05am. Worth 10-15 min, maybe.

...took 30 min. And i found something like what i was looking for. And i'm going to post it:   What to do when you get the urge to procrastinate...

Now back to work ;)

I'll have to read the fine posts here later on a designated break.

Grail - Today

* I've got 5 minutes to not miss the last bus home.

* I've got to send *something* off as work.

I try checking in tomorrow morning with what I have to do. I didn't think this was helping, but it was better over how I am now. So, I'm starting from scratch again. Something.

3 minutes.

Ok! I *don't* need to send something off for work, because even with timezone differences, anyone else will have finished. I'll do it in the morning. :P

Todo tomorrow:
* 4 units for project sb
* Evaluate project sj

2 minutes.

Welcome back, Grail !

Waving hello !

Grail 4.30pm

Thanks movingalong.

Project SB - Got the 4 units done.
(In nearly 3 times the time it should have. :P)

For project SJ:
Evaluation of work to complete - 1 unit, & 14 short units.

To complete in the next 4 hours:
* 1 unit & 8 short units.

sister - Today

Today I must:

-eat a good lunch and take vitamins  DONE

-take photograph and measurements DONE

-brainstorm for unit 5 OOPS

-edit SJ's letter DONE

-leave by 4pm to meet friends for dinner DONE

e's plan for tomorrow

mail way-overdue stuff from post office

change address at Wind

sort through papers

call on C