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.

If procrastination = booze...

...then I've been on a 72-hour bender.

This seems to me to be off topic for a standard check-in-type post, which is why I'm posting it here as its own topic instead of on the daily check-in page.

Over the last 3 days I've been trying to get started and get moving on Project R. If I could have gotten started I'd be finished by now. 

There are lots of reasons. It's a complex story without an obvious narrative, and I'm feeling blocked about that. There's been some family stress (already recounted elsewhere in the check-ins) involving my older son. 

I'm a political junky and so the political news of the last several days has held inherent fascination for me. (Some weeks ago I swore off reading political blogs and saw my productivity and my general mental health soar. But this week I fell off that wagon, hard.)

My kids have been with me all week. I love when that can happen. Yet I planned so poorly for it--and got so little done--that I didn't spend much time with them at all. That added to my feelings of worthlessness that further paralyzed me. 

Mrs. GS has been enormously supportive, for which I remain immensely grateful. She happens to be a recovering alcoholic and spent a little time in 12-step work when she first stopped drinking a decade ago, and we talked a little bit about that experience last night as I had an emotional time before bed, berating myself for my lollygagging.

So this morning I'm going to try once more.

After posting this I'm eating breakfast, then I'll go check in at the usual place.

But any thoughts, suggestions, testimony, advice, remonstrations, etc. would be deeply appreciated here.






procrastination as real addiction

I think you and Mrs GS are onto something there, George. I am in longterm 12-Step recovery from several substance and behavior addictions, and as I progress in my PA recovery I'm discovering some impressive parallels to other addictions: Powerlessless and unmanageability drove me to this website, so Step 1 was a given. I already had faith in a Higher Power that could restore me to sanity (faith = hope + a track record) on various life-stealing addictions, so Step 2 was just a matter of planting that seed of hope in PA.

Turning over my will (thinking) and life (actions) in Step 3 was when I made the commitment to God of my understanding, and to this PA group, that I will check-in here each day that it is physically possible to do so, and be as honest as I can be.   Step 4 is where I am noticing my negative thoughts and actions that start me down the path of procrastinating. Much of that discovery work has occurred when I use Chatbox to talk myself through using the tools of visualizing, breaking it down and noticing the resistance points.

Characteristically of me, this is probably way TMI! :-) Sorry. You've got a fellow writer here and as you know, we can be mucho self-expressive (it's trying to express someone else's stuff that's so hard!).

Anyway my point is that in my Step 4, I see how procrastination is the same double-edged sword as alcohol et al:

  • It started as a useful habit to manage unrealistic expectations (my own and others')
  • It subtly grew into a compulsion that cushioned me against Real Life (I must be really busy/important to have so much to do that I fall behind = If I don't have too much to do I might not be important enough)
  • It finally became an uncontrollable obsession/compulsion that eventually caused me greater pain than comfort, yet I truly could not imagine life without it.
  • Even now, I become quite frightened if I think ahead very far to a life without procrastination (see my other recent posts on fear of finishing); so far I can only live my recovery "one day at a time."

There is a lot here to reflect on...

...and I want to take my time to do that.


Many thanks to you...

Keep starting, and stop kicking myself...

Two excellent pieces of wisdom here.


Thank you.

I'm trying hard to follow them...


Hi George,

Hey!  No berating!  I bet you already know that getting down on yourself will make you want even more to "hit the bottle" of procrastination. 

One of the most spiritual and truly good people I ever knew was an elderly Quaker man who had been involved in political activism his whole life.  An amazing trait he had was that he was always honest about his own weaknesses or things he was trying to improve in his life.  And when he did, he never sounded judgmental, but always as though he was talking about a much-loved friend, serious but with a gentle twinkle in his eye.  He brought that same compassion to everyone in his life, and was a great influence on everyone he met.

I hope that instead of kicking yourself, you can look at your difficulties the way you would look at the difficulties of a beloved friend -- compassionately, affectionately, and with a positive, problem-solving attitude.  I'm so glad that Mrs. GS is supportive of you!  See if you can be just as supportive of yourself.

Best wishes, 


re: GS procrastination = booze

"If I could have gotten started I'd be finished by now."

Ah, how many times have I said that?  Sounds like you are having a stressful week, and starting over fresh this morning!  Good luck


If you can’t ride two horses at once, you shouldn’t be in the circus.”  - Jimmy Maxton, Independent Labour MP for Glasgow Bridgeton

Keep Starting

I tried to find a reference to this in past posts - I think this idea comes from Kromer or Clement?  anyway, whoever said it, it's a good "mantra" for me.  

I often have trouble staying on task, and when I get distracted for the umpteenth time, my tendency is to give up and procrastinate!  But, if I just KEEP STARTING, eventually I get somewhere on my task, even if don't stay focused for very long.  

I relate it to meditation in way, when you starting thinking about something, you're supposed to return your attention to your breath.   Not berate yourself for thinking, but just gently return your attention to your breath.  

So when I find myself distracted and way off in procrastination land, I try to gently direct my attention back to the task and hand and just keep starting on it. 


If you can’t ride two horses at once, you shouldn’t be in the circus.”  - Jimmy Maxton, Independent Labour MP for Glasgow Bridgeton