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.

This goes against all the recommended advice - The Ultimate "Gulag" Method

 The recent economic troubles have thrown me for a loop, the place I worked part time shut down (it was actually going to happen sooner or later). That threw me off though and recently I allowed things to get totally out of control again.

 I was really in a tight spot with my primary work. Far behind and a major part of a project was due to be presented to my group. It was going to take a few solid weeks of work to catch up, not just one spurt of activity. Normally when I try that kind of dedication it turns into a procrastination fest, since I never want to start if I'm never going to be able to stop.

 Solution? Remove all distractions. I rented a storage unit, took my Television, DVD collection, PS3, computer game discs, magazines, external hard drive with movies and stowed them all out of reach. On my computer I uninstalled all the games that come with windows and added every single website I procrastinate on to my hosts file (to block them):, many different forums, slashdot and so on. On my Smartphone I removed all the games I had installed.

 At this point, the only thing I could possibly do that was even mildly interesting was work. I know this isn't a long term solution, but I'm now back to a point where I no longer have to panic. Eventually of course this method will probably result in mental distrurbance or depression - all work and no play...

 But if you're totally desperate and just really need to get stuff done, this is a workable stopgap (for me at least)!

Gulag Method

Wow I am impressed. It reminds me of when the power goes out and reading a book or playing a card game, making a puzzle  with the family is "fun".

Maybe this method will not result in depression but enlightenment? New relationships? who knows? Technology is not controling us with robots or some main frame that "awakens" but it is controling us if you think about it, it is a sort of mental war with the "machines". You "beat the machine" I salute you.


The power going off is a perfect analogy. Ironically, I'm depending on technology still, in this case I am still relying on technology to prevent me from wasting time. In my case, Leechblock (a firefox plugin) and NetNanny. I just have leechblock on my laptop, but Netnanny on my desktop to give a more thorough block from time wasting pursuits. 

^ Highly recommended free solution to stop time wasting Internet pursuits. You even allow access to some sites, like procrastinators-anonymous, but limit the time allowed to 15 or 30 minutes a day. Just be sure to delete the links to all the other browsers, so you don't keep using them. 

Thanks for the tip Norske

Wow, what a wonderful and brilliant tip!! Never saw this one in any of the self help books.... shows how much they need to get up to date,,,,,,,,,not to make you procratinate or off track, but you have some very marketable options and ideas for parents....I am definitely going to try it with my kids computers, I would never have thought of that, I love the time limit. Take care, Vic


I used to think that what you're describing was pretty extreme but now I know that in some cases, you have to do what you have to do. I will sometimes leave my house and go to the library and borrow a study room so that I can focus...basically going TO the gulag, so to speak.

Now that it's winter I would much prefer to just work around the distractions whenever possible.

It's ironic that I'm joining an Internet forum to help me with procrastination because I consider myself an Internet addict. I can waste, and have wasted, entire days online. Last year I cancelled my home DSL account because I was thinking along the same lines as an alcoholic: if it's not in the house, I won't abuse it. Unfortunately, this ended up not being very practical for me on several levels (including my paying job), and so when I moved this summer I decided to get DSL again.

This is where I'm at right now: Even though I get up early, I don't have to be at work until late morning. If I get online in the morning (like I am right now) I won't get anything done around the house. So if I need to get stuff done (which is pretty much all the time) I unplug the modem and just make myself do whatever I need to do until I go to work. Obviously the big thing is to unplug the modem. :rolleyes:

I just recently found out about blocking sites via the Hosts file but I can't seem to get it to work on my machine. I think it has something to do with not saving it as a text file...but how do I do that?

New extreme method - Pavlovial Conditioning...

What do you procrastinate with? Wasting time online, watching TV? 

 Go ahead and do those activities, but as you're doing them start jabbing a fork into your thigh, with increasing pressure as you continue procrastinating - don't release until you get back to work.

 This actually has worked for me so that when I think of certain procrastinating acitivies I have a negative painful association and work seems nice... 

Heisan! Very Interesting Reading... & Coping Methods!

Hei Norske!

Even though I'm logged in as Aña Mañana, I'm actually Norwegian-born, and naturally, your "handle" caught my eye!

Well, apparently, desperate times call for desperate methods!  But, you're right!  Sometimes you just have to unplug EVERYTHING ... and EVERY DISTRACTION ....  to make the necessary progress and get things done!  I commend you for rolling up your sleeves & taking the bull by the horns!

Also, I might say... Join the Club!  My entire office is closing and by 12/24 the remaining few executives will join the rest of us on unemployment.  A very unfortunate situation where the anti-malarial drug we were testing in clinical trials had some unexpected side-effects & mgmt, rightly so, decided to pull the plug on the program.  It was for the best in that regard, but unfortunate for those of us working w/ & supporting the program.

So, now my primary job is to find a new full-time job.  As an executive assistant w/ a very extensive resume & diverse background, as well as a degree in Bus & Mgmt, I shouldn't have a problem...

However .... it's just that ....

I have:

1) A morbid fear of interviews;

2) A serious dislike of office politics;

3) An equally serious dislike of obnoxious, arrogant individuals.


What to do?  .... What to do? ..............

My last office was relatively small (about 25 employees) and everyone was very nice & down-to-earth.

My fondest wish (besides working from home) .......

Is to find another office that's comparable to that one, in pay as well as other benefits ... both aesthetic & otherwise ...


Anyway ... That's my story.

I wish you much good luck (Lykke Til!) as far as both your current and future projects are concerned.  With the vengence and force of a formidable Viking, you'll see success sooner rather than later, I'm sure!

You were right!

I did see success, I just needed to get that impulsive Viking part of myself under control, using of course the impulsive viking part of myself to bring it under submission. I hope you're doing well, I visited Norway over the summer, the weather was great in middle and end of the summer!

lol Norske

 the Doctor House method of ending procrastination....

Truly n/t

No Next!!


 I think it sounds brilliant! My sister homeschools her children and every once in a while she throws out their television. By removing all the electronic paraphenalia of life her children become interested in other things. They end up finding all sorts of interesting things to do, art to create, things to cook, outings to go on and books to read. They write novels, put on plays, dance, play music: in short, they live. I think that all work and no play sounds dull, but work rewarded by the other wonderful things that are out there may be just the ticket!

norske's storage unit

well, that certainly is extreme! I can see how it will work for you, tho. It's great to see you taking positive steps to deliver on your commitments.

As you said, i think long term the strategy for many of us here at least doesnt work. It tells me, for example, that work is always something that takes this monumental effort and lasts forever. Whereas i'm trying to realize that taking 5 minutes and doing 1% of a task is really progress and worth doing.

But, good luck and keep us updated!


Update! Net Nanny is a good program...

I've gotten my procrastination significantly under control. I've finished some LONG delayed projects around the home and in my car, very satisfying. 

 I invested in a copy of Net-Nanny. I have it designed to block all BUT the web pages I need for work.  Oh yes, I have a new place of employment. I took all my money from my bank account and invested it in the market when it was very low, to prevent myself from spending it while under employed - that forced me to find a job and get my resume out there so I could have money again :-)

Again, Net-Nanny is highly recommended. The only other program I am investigating are solutions which limit the amount of time a computer game can be run. I enjoy computer gaming, and the best solution I've found so far is a stop-watch with count-down feature. I set it to 1:30 hours every day and that's my gaming session. But a program that would do this automatically daily, would be nice. A few times I "missed" the stop watch while playing multi-player with the sound up. 

 This might all sound very draconian, and I don't tell anyone whose not a procrastinator that I do these things (they would think I'm crazy, but they waste a lot of time to and could probably benefit from more controls). Despite the "draconian" nature of these self inflicted controls, I'm much happier with them as my day is more balanced and I'm more productive, as well as more social. 



Congrats on your success and finding some controls that help you control your procrastination. YAY