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.

"Microbursts" by Cheryl Miller

"Microbursts" from the Cheryl Miller healthy living website.

Awesome.  NOT  A   BOOK !!

Just a short article -- a  few paragraphs to read online ... and change your outlook.

It's not on her main site anymore, but here's a cached copy:

It's a few paragraphs of writing that have really HELPED me.

I wrote more about how I use it in this other link here:

Since this is not available on her site anymore and may soon disappear completely, I'm reposting it here. Archived from -pro

Microbursts* – Eliminate Dread with this Simple Inertia-Busting Technique

Dread is Bad, Microbursts are good!

How much simpler and less stressful would your life be if you didn’t have big projects hanging over your head? I’ve observed that the longer a project hangs over my head, the longer it WILL hang over my head – meaning I’m less and less eager to start a project that I’ve put off, and put off. Dread sets in.

Don’t let dread get a foothold on your projects. Use microbursts instead.

What are Microbursts?

A friend of mine uses the aviation term "microbursts" in a unique way and reminded me of it the other day. I define microbursts as small bursts of energy directed at extremely small tasks. In other words, they are very short bursts of activity. A microburst can be a complete five-minute project (make a phone call) or the first step of a larger project like cleaning your closet or writing a report. For cleaning the closet, the microburst activity might be to open the closet door and look inside. For the report, it might be to turn on the computer, or make a mindmap. (What is a mindmap? Go here to see the one I created to outline points for this article).

A microburst is any activity that starts you moving forward. It must be an easy start. Make it so small that there’s absolutely no dread. None. Or you won’t even do the microburst. Make it so small and simple that it makes you chuckle.

People’s tolerations for beginning projects differ, so the size of the microburst varies too.

Examples of Microburst Activities

  • Empty the dishwasher – or the top shelf of the dishwasher, or just the silverware tray
  • File 10 pieces of paper – or one piece
  • Turn on the computer – or walk over by the computer
  • Make a grocery or to-do list – or get the pad to make a list
  • Pay one bill – or open the envelope of one bill
  • Put your exercise shoes on – or set your exercise shoes by your bed
  • Clean one shelf of the refrigerator – or one corner of one shelf
  • Read and delete 5 emails – or open your email program

Who Benefits from Using Microbursts?

Because we all suffer from dread and nagging projects at some point in our lives, everybody can benefit from using them:

  • Procrastinators
  • Busy people
  • Tired people
  • Perfectionists
  • Teenagers
  • Children
  • Employees
  • Managers
  • People who are Demand-Resistant (see related article)

What are the Benefits of Using Microburst Activities?

The benefits are many. Here are a few:

  • They simplify big tasks because you can break them down into several microburst activities.
  • They are productivity boosters and can be used throughout the day when you start to feel stuck.
  • They are a painless way to begin a task. And we know that beginning is the hardest part of any task. With microburst activities you start to think, “Hey I can do this!”
  • They eliminate dread. Microburst activities are so small and easy that there’s no dread associated with them. They are so simple, they almost seem silly. And silly is better than dread. Yes?
  • They are inertia busters – an easy way to energize and activate “things at rest.”

Microbursts Can Help You Think Differently About Time

When you use this technique, you will never again be stopped and blocked about a project because you don’t have a large block of time to complete it. You can break any job down into a series of microburst activities.

With this shift in thinking, a block of time can now mean 5-10 minutes. Thinking differently about time can help you find “hidden time.” While you’re waiting for a phone call, you can use that 5-minute block of time to empty the dishwasher, straighten the junk drawer, take out the trash, make a grocery list, put your feet up, and the list goes on.

Big Caution: Do not schedule microbursts. Do them spontaneously. Scheduled tasks often become dreaded tasks. If you feel stuck on a project, think of the smallest thing you could do on this project and do it. Don't energize the dread by taking this microburst too seriously.

*Note: In aviation, microbursts are strong, damaging winds which occur during intense thunderstorms and have been linked to several aviation disasters.


Try this microburst technique today. Email me and tell me how it worked for you. I’ll gather responses and share them with this group. Don’t be shy, email me – even a sentence or two. Consider doing this microburst activity: click here on my email address.

microbursts & deadlines

so i have to pack and it has to be tonight, because i'm leaving tomorrow right after work.

For a while tonight i microbursted. I did little parts of the task, never feeling like i was doing the whole task, just little insignificant--and easy!--parts of it.

But then i ran out of such little tasks, and the WHOLE task now remains--or the rest of it, at least. 70% probably remains.

And it's midnight.

So can microbursts help me here?

Maybe one of the other tools can?

tool 4 "Focus on Long-Term Consequences" might help. I do really want to achieve myself packed. That will enable me to go on my trip, which i will really like.

5 & 6, "Avoid Time Binging" & "Use Small Blocks of Time" dont seem to apply. I NEED to time-binge tonight, and get it all done tonight.

10. "Bookend Tasks and Time" might actually help, and maybe microbursts also. I am not sure why, but regardless of what i said above, i now feel like i could break down the big task, and just do it one task at a time, and pretend that it is NOT a big task that needs to be done tonight. I will just IGNORE it, and pretend that i only have this small sub-task in front of me. And i'll keep doing that, until i run out of sub-tasks. Then i'll be done.

Thanks for microbursts idea!

I'll see if I can remember to use this during times when I have a few odd minutes (waiting for the computer to log on, or the kettle to boil. . .)  I bet all those teeny activities (put away one pair of shoes, put two dishes in the dishwasher. . .) probably add up, and then when I spend a longer chunk of time tidying up or whatever, there will be that much less to do & I'll feel like I'm already making progress.

Thanks for the idea! 


great resource :) Thanks! :) nm


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

re: microburst

Thanks for posting this, Moving!  I've heard people talk about microbursts but didn't really know what they were.  I love this site, too, I will read more when I have a break!


"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." - Douglas Adams