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.

Ready to fix this once and for all

Hi all,

Let me get the dorkiness of my user name out of the way: I chose Peregrine2009 because I want to fly high in the next year, just like a peregrine falcon. I swear I didn't realize how dorky it was until I started writing this post.

Okay. African-American woman, early 40s, been a high achiever since age 5 or so. Got lots of praise from adults for being the smartest kid in the class. Graduated in the top 10 percent at my tiny all-girl high school, where I was voted "Most Likely to Succeed" as well as "Biggest Procrastinator": As an adult I found out that some of my classmates hated me because I was able to write papers literally at the last minute (sitting outside the convent door prior to the nuns' evening prayer) and still get A's. So yeah...I was that kid.

It's important that you know my race because I come from a family that believed that we had a responsibility to our race to be the absolute best we could be. Since we attended predominantly white schools, that put a LOT of pressure on my sisters and me, such that when I got my first D ever (junior year of college) I was too terrified to tell my father. (My mother smoothed the way for me so that he didn't do what he would have normally done, which was yell for about 30 minutes straight. That's what he did when my sister brought home her first D was a memorable event, obviously.) Basically I grew up believing that, because people expected me to fail because of my race and gender, I was not allowed to fail. This is where the perfectionism comes from...the first of the three Ps.

It's not that I don't get stuff done. If someone needs something from me, I'll do it and do it well. I'll do it at the eleventh hour most of the time (still holding on to that "Biggest Procrastinator" title), but it'll be done. But those things that I want to do FOR ME -- things that don't really affect anyone else but me but would allow me to die happy if they were to ever get done -- well, let's just say I (and everyone who's close to me) am pretty tired of being all talk and very little action.

The simple fact is that I procrastinate because I'm still scared to fail. We do what we do because we get some benefit out of it; I'm convinced that in the past I benefitted from feeling sorry for myself and having others feel sorry for me but now people are saying, "Do it or don't do it but STOP MAKING EXCUSES!" I too am tired of excuses...but I still can't seem to take the next step to get to where I want to be. the subject says...I need to fix this. I have Too Perfect but -- go figure -- I haven't gotten around to finishing it.

I appreciate any help I can get, and hopefully I can return the favor. Thanks for making this site available.

Agnus welcomes Peregrine

I relate a lot to your intro post - also a survivor of a small Catholic girls' school - dean's list but not tops. Then got to the big university where my last-minute-tricks did not work anymore, and dropped out to avoid flunking out. Since then, my life has been one example after another of "failure to complete" on time, and sometimes not at all. The payoff is huge sick adrenaline rushes and the false love of others seeming to "let me" get away with it.

But as time wears on - I'm 56 now - the toll is a crisis of self-confidence. I no longer believe in myself, because I have a lifetime experience of myself as someone who doesn't keep her word (as in Convalaria's tag: "Do what I say I will do by when I say I will do it"). The former payoff - that others know this and love me anyway - is no longer enough. I want self-respect, self-confidence.

This PA fellowship and the tools herein, plus some other things I am up to, are helping me transform these self-defeating patterns into a life I love, and an experience of myself as someone I can respect a lot of the time today. Still not always, by any means!  But it's a lot better, and still improving. Thanks for sharing yourself here - keep coming back!

2 newcomers

fyi: peregrin, vince is also new and has a similar story to yours (and mine, and many here).

Welcome peregrine!

Good to have you here! You say "I procrastinate because I'm still scared to fail", and I really relate to that.

One thing that has really helped me is "microbursting" (described on this site, No matter how scared I am, I can almost always take a tiny step in the right direction, and celebrate that step.  

You might also check out the weekly meetings in the chatbox (on Sundays). Time management tools/books can be great, but as you know you need to have the motivation to read and apply them, and that isn't always so easy :)  Last week I was feeling really stuck, and just couldn't bring myself to apply the tools I need to stop I went to the meeting for the first time, and the fellowship gave me enough inspiration to get unstuck.  

Hope to see you around (on the check-in board, in the chatbox, and/or at the meetings) :)  


"I procrastinate because I'm still scared to fail"

That's me sometimes, too. Microbursting is a wonderful thing. When I don't feel like working on my projects (i'm a college student, peregrine), I make myself do even a tiny step, like fetching my books from the car, and putting them in the living room with me. Then for my next step, I might move them to the desk in my room, then step 3 read over the requirements. Tiny steps are much less threatening then thinking about the project as a whole. 

Hmm...I think I'll copy this to Vince, as well. 


 Personally, I love the name.

You want dorky names? Try naming yourself after a middle-aged, dumpy, bespectacled, cuckolded fictional spymaster.... :-)

Do stick around. Do understand that, as clement says, it's important to be here when you fail, not just when things go well. 

And best wishes to you. This is a great community.

The Hero's Code:

Show up. Pay Attention. Speak the Truth. Let Go of the Outcome.


I think its a great name. (-:

Welcome Peregrine

Hi Peregrine!   Welcome to the site!  I have to admit that I also have a half finished "Too Perfect". 


"The older I grow, the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom." - H.L. Mencken

welcome perigrine

Well i can't match u on the race or gender, but as for getting things done in school in the 11th hour and being at the top of the class--yep, that was me. I guess procrastination is an equal opportunity afflictor. I wish people back then told me i could be doing better, even if i got mostly A's.

I think u shd start w/ the daily check-in thread. Ie, today's is here: Wednesday 10 December 2008. This is where we post what we're going to do, and the results.

And it is very important to post when you fail. Yep, that's an issue for all of us (especially me).

Actually i've been dealing w/ failure a lot these last few days. Trying to go on after each distraction or missed deadline. sigh. It's not fun, but at least i kno i'm doing better.

Anyway, hearty welcome. This is great fellowship of people miraculously joined together in a common struggle for recovery. Great to have u.

(we also have someone called 'falcon' lol)

Thank you ALL

...for welcoming me so warmly (and liking my user name).

I had a feeling that I wasn't the only last-minute high achiever on here. Given how much our childhoods can affect our adulthood, I continue to marvel at the courage of adults who choose to take on parenthood.

I've never done anything like this before -- I have had brief stints in therapy but I've never done anything resembling a kind of group therapy. So I'll make sure I read everything and participate as much as I can. I want to help as well as be helped, where I can.

I forgot that I also have The Now Habit...guess I should finish reading that too.

Thanks again. :)

Welcome Peregrine; hope you

Welcome Peregrine; hope you will stick around and find the support and hope that I have.

I can identify with a lot of what you say, especially having been able to be top of the class at school even doing things at the last minute. And then the years go on and that habit brings high personal cost...I found the Now Habit book helpful with its idea non-work fun can go on the to-do list...  Here I am learning to try to give myself credit for small steps and knowing that just keeping on doing a little bit on big tasks is better than time-binging. BUt I am still caught in a time-binging mode, maybe less stuck than before.