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.

how do you break the cycle?


I have a bit of a cycle, where if I don't want to do something, I tend to "take a break" i.e. procrastinate, instead of just doing it and getting it started.  How do you guys recommend breaking the link between "i don't want to do this" and "take a break"?

re: take a break

hi alex, welcome!

i struggle w/ this on a daily basis. Yesterday i had a STRONG desire to do ANYTHING but my upcoming task.

Things that have helped me with this:

knowing that i'm like this. When i feel the "urge to break" coming on, i now tell myself, yep, that's what i'm like. My brain automatically switches into "i want to take a break" mode when i'm facing a new task. It really helped me to admit this when i met so many people here who have the same struggle.

Just do it. I have realized that to not take thet break, to resist that urge, is very difficult for me, sometimes enormously difficult. Step 1 of the 12 steps here ("I am powerless over my addiction"--in this case, addiction to taking a break") is what helps me. Then, step 2, that a higher power can restore me to sanity, helps. Then step 3, i turn my will my our life over to the care of God as i understood God, helps me. I feel that thru the tools and work i do along side others in this fellowship, i receive a strength that i didnt have before.

Practically speaking, when i feel the urge to break, i go to chat here and write something like: "time to do my next task. i dont wanna. but i'm going to anyway." This really helps me.

It's a constant, daily struggle, that i attack with chatting all day to my friends here.

fall down seven times, get up eight - japanese proverb

procrastinating by studying procrastination:

I struggle with that, too,

I struggle with that, too, and am right now
avoiding work. I will try the "work on first task for 5 minutes" approach and see if I can get in geat.


isn't it harder for procrastinators?

If we were alcoholics, we would only need to break the cycle when we're in the presence of alcohol.  But there's always the temptation to procrastinate for us - how do I maintain control for 8-10 hours at a stretch?

8 - 10 hrs

You have to break it down.  Facing such a large hurdle - its overwhelming.  Take the first 1/2 or hour, make a list of what you want to do, then go back after that time and check off the list.  The chat room makes you feel accountable to yourself - instead of looking at a piece of paper that can be crumpled up and tossed, you have written it out in cyberspace....

small itty bitty steps, thats all any living being can take at first.....

me too

I checked out the, and where it is for cleaning and organizing, it has some really good motivating tools - like the 5 minute "room rescue"  Set a timer for five minutes and pick garbage up, or dust, or straighten or whatever for five minutes....the motivator is the amount of stuff that is accomplished in that small amount of time.

I found that really helped.

And being held accountable for it - by stating what you are going to do in the chatroom, or your blog, and then coming back and saying yah, or nay.   It takes place in such a small amount of time that it is a positive boost right away, and enough to take you into the next five minutes!

Good luck  :)



Good points!

Thanks for your encouraging works, isabo; I
will commit here to doing the following:

Call L., PM, BH, MS
Send out docs to BH, MS
Call or e-mail TW

Thanks for reminding me of the power of accounting here on this site for my actions (or lack thereof).


Good question Alex!

When you figure that one out let us know :D

Seriously, I have had some success with planning breaks into my schedule regardless of how much work I have done.  I tend to "withhold" breaks from myself because I don't feel I've worked hard enough, and I NEVER feel that I've worked hard enough, which builds resentment and leads to procrastination. 

When I feel fear or boredom about a task and I find myself wanting to do something else,   I make a bargain with myself:  I'll work on this for 30 minutes, or 15, or even 5.  THEN I can have a break.  I set a timer for the break, and when the timer goes off I make a new bargain. 

There are times I ignore the timer though :O




"It is never too late to be what you might have been." - George Eliot

I totatlly understand!

Wow. This post could have very well been written by me. In fact, I'm avoiding starting something right not b/c it was "time for a break". I suppose there are worse things for me to be doing besides being here and figuring out how to addresss this issue. BUT C'MON!!! I get so frustrated w/ myself when I look up after 'taking a break' and an hour has gone by!! Geesh!

Anyway, I'm clearly frustrated w/ myself right now, so I need to get back to work. I have a list I just need to pay attn. to it. UGH!!!