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.

Friday March 20, 2009

Dear Chickadee, thanks

Dear bGG and Chickadee,

thanks for posting those wise quotes ... just what i needed to stay focussed right now!



"if i feel guilty about my procrastination, i will get LESS done, if i dont feel guilty, i will get MORE done." - Clement


Pyrotecher CI 5:30 pm PDT

Yesterday I decided I needed to take some action on a badly out-of-whack daily schedule, so I spent this time putting together a detailed checklist of what I wanted to do between the end of my workday and the start of the next workday. I didn't know how to do this effectively but grabbed the tool at my disposal, Outlook Calendar (which I only seldom use).

I posted my plans on yesterday's comment page:

Major Results:

I ran an hour (give or take) behind my planned schedule for most of the evening, and found nonessential tasks to drop to keep from slipping further. Too ambitious (as usual) is estimating what I could do in a given amount of time.

The good news is that I got to bed by 11 pm, which was an hour later than I had targeted, but great news considering that I had been up past 3 am the previous 3 nights. This gave me a chance to get something resembling a normal night's sleep for the first time in that many days.

The next morning I tried to continue to hold to my schedule and had some success. I got up at a reasonable hour (about 5:15 am) and got in an exercise session (good for mood and thinking processes as well as health) and several of the morning chores much earlier than usual.

But I was still behind my goal, to get to work by 8 am. When 8 am came and went without getting out of the house, I started to fall into my old patterns and found myself getting more and more delayed. Two of the delays, adding up to about an hour, were "unavoidable" (a business call and cleanup from a cat hacking up a hairball, naturally about the same time and just as I thought I was ready to leave.)

What I ended up with was getting to work 4 hours late, which I break down as 1 hr "unavoidable" delays, 1 hr delay from previous evening which I chose to carry over rather than go short on sleep a 5th night in a row, and 2 hours additional delay from my morning routine.

Believe it or not, that was better than the previous day, but it shows how much repair work my schedule needs. Thankfully my business is flexible, but the work still has to get done and then my schedule gets further out of whack because of that.

So technically I failed in my plans, which I'm not gonna allow myself to get down about because I at least I made the effort AND with a little more schedule tracking to get at the specific issues.

Based on this run I have some ideas about a more effective tracking method, not necessarily something I would do all the time but something to allow schedule analysis and tuneup.

I also relearned a lesson that I've learned before and keep forgetting, that forcing myself to get to bed early without doing everything on my list is a victory, not a defeat, because it keeps my schedule on track and allows me to rebuild my energy reserves to tackle the issues anew the next day.

I also need to do a better job of planning and monitoring my schedule during the workday. I'd hoped to start on that today, but will have to defer for now.

I also meant to plan for the weekend and haven't yet so will have to do some of that, but I know the major tasks. One of those, for all of us Americans, is "Ameica's Homework Assignment," INCOME TAX filing. Gotta chip away at that (My very first post to this site was the day after have having the distinction of being the last person in my county to get an on-time postmark at midnight April 15th.)

Fortunately I have a mid-morning appointment on Saturday so have reason to force myself to bed early again. I'm finding that letting myself stay up late and "sleep in" on weekends just restarts the late-to-work cycle the following week. Some people (arguably including my younger self) can handle wildly fluctuating schedules, but those of us fighting for normalcy need to minimize that ill-fitting indulgence.

(Ok, admittedly it's tough to miss SNL's Weekend Update, but no reason to stay up 2-3 hours after that!)

So goal for the weekend is to get my priorities listed and tackled (For one, 1st draft of Federal Taxes with major items entered), maintain a sane schedule, and get to work by 8 am Monday. Let's see how I do with that.

[Final Note: I just previewed this post and yikes! it's too long, which is not only clogging the blog but a sign I'm spending too much time on this. Yesterday/today is my first online self-analysis commentary in awhile so I'll let the message stand, but obviously can't let this be the norm. So I'll take this as a starting point and try to make INCREMENTAL and SUCCINCT updates from here.]


Hi pyrotecher,

Wow -- you made a lot of progress, identifying your patterns, deciding what you want to change, and making some real changes in how you handle time!  It's easy for most of us to kick ourselves for not getting things perfect on the first try, so I'm impressed that you are taking note of your achievements and planning to build on them!




Thanks for the kind words.

I've learned that in any aspect of self-improvement, it's important to take inventory of what you do know and give yourself credit for what progress you do make. If you focus on the failures, it's (way too) easy to give up.

That said, those failures are the real challenge because they tend to be the problems that persist. But if it's important enough, it's worth keeping after.


Ugh I did not feel like I got as much done as I could have.its like I lie to myself and say its okay to screw around for a while but I know its breaks got out of control today. But my day was still more productive than many days in past so I am just going to let go of today. Progress not perfection.

Recycler CI 5:50pm EST


Home from work. I am NOT going to my 12-step meeting tonight. Today wore me out emotionally.

Updated summary: At work, I thought I was supposed to have 18.5 days of vacation time this year. In changing to a new payroll system, it looked like the hours were going to be doled out in a way that would upset/cancel Already Made Vacation Plans this spring/summer. Fortunately I continued to pursue this with the Business Office. As they helped me go step by step to re-calculate, it turns out that I am actually supposed to have 24.5 days of vacation time this year! While that is celebratory news, I was emotionally worn out by the time we got to that part. One of my other main programs is Emotions Anonymous; even things that turn out positive can make me emotionally overwrought. I am going to stay home tonight and cocoon.

Adding editorial comment(s): Fortunately at work my project list was looking good, before the Business Office began talking with me. Because once that happened, I lost 3+ hours trying to figure things out.

An ideal beginning would have been the Business Office saying to me: You have 24.5 days of vacation this year instead of 18.5. That would have been very easy to understand and Very Happy News, not traumatic. It wouldn't have overwhelmed me. At work I lost about 3 hours of time, trying to figure out what they were telling me, reconstructing several years of records. I'm still not totally sure that everything has been counted correctly.

However the ending is "good enough." So I am going to put it in the All's Well that Ends Well category.

P.S. Yes, "I wish my worst problem was having 24.5 days of vacation time this year." Sometimes I cannot communicate my thoughts well and become overwhelmed. It was the dealing with bureaucracy, and having a last-minute change + records search, + potential sudden alteration of plans that were already made. I need HP and my programs for sure!!!

Have a great night! :)



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

Recycler CI 1:25pm EST

Hi Pro Buddies!

Doing a quick CI. I did my rountine at the gym early am. I've been working on my assignment list this morning, then had to re-calculate some personal plans at lunchtime. We just had a policy change here at work about vacation days!

I am so thankful to have a job. I am so thankful to have a job that offers vacation days. I am so thankful to have 18 vacation days for 2009. However, they just changed the policy about when we can take them! Oh my gosh it almost messed up some already-scheduled vacation days that I have for this summer. Fortunately I can cancel "bookend" days from the ends of my trips, and still go on the trips. Wow, these vacation day issues just raised my blood pressure about 100 points!!! Yikes!!! Talk about scaring the stuffing out of me!

Next: even though I am now distracted (more than usual), I will try to make some more progress on my assignment list.

Have a great day! :)



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

CI dotnow

Major decisions to make:

JS and RR

Sunday taxes, oil tank info (red tape)

anecdotals and lps and Hw (stretch goals) 

1 year anniversary, oh yeah, and mantra day 12

yes, it's 1 year ago today that i made my first post.

i wish today found me in a better mood. I dont feel like celebrating. and that's just how it is.

i came here today to post my mantra, which really helps me, so i can celebrate that.

in the uncomfortable place (ie right now) look for god, not an exit.

the touch of the master's hand:

"fall down seven times, get up eight" - japanese proverb

congratulations clement

Wow, Clement, awesome accomplishment! Very inspiring for me to see - praying your mood and day turn around to match your success.

But even on the hard day, here you are, not finding an exit.

 "Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." Psalm 51:12

not finding an exit

it's encouraging to hear you say that. I try to celebrate it, but probably not as much as it's worth.

and, yeah, even if the recovery road is hard and unpleasant, requiring walking thru painful doors, at least i'm doing it. It's almost better that i'm here doing it when it's hard, rather than if it were easy for me.

so, tx.

the touch of the master's hand:

"fall down seven times, get up eight" - japanese proverb

Falcon CI Friday

Hi pro amigos,

Some things I can do today on my day off:

  • Take car to shop
  • MIT - get birthday present for D
  • Get out notes for S. program
  • Email about S. program
  • Write blurb for O. program
  • Practice reading blurb for O. program
  • Look up apt. ads
  • Answer pers. ads
  • Investigate dating service? 
  • Laundry

I may well not do all of this today, but wanted to put it in words to help me stay focused.

Heading over to chatbox. . .


3pm check in

Finish memo

Work on gr (in progress)

report (rc) (done)

cc report(done)

rk case

Journey 9:45

Good morning!   I'm still busier than the one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest. 

I've been to the gym, checked on Dad, read email and made my todo list.  

Short break, then send out minutes from yesterday's meeting (which are all ready to go, just waiting on some information which I now have) and get back to work on scripts for this weekend.   I hope to have this batch of scripts done by lunchtime.  I am going out to lunch with friends, then come back and do one more set of scripts which should be quick and easy, fairly routine stuff.  After that, a tedious and detailed spreadsheet for this weekend's work, which must be perfect - doesn't have to look great, but the info must be 100% correct and needs to be double and triple checked. 

This is completely doable.  I have plenty of time to get everything done if I stay on task and don't panic.  I'll be in the chatbox! 


You won't reach your destination by pretending you're somewhere other than where you are. - Steve Pavlina

kromer 8:50 CI

Proud b/c I finished all my MITs yesterday and got up *almost* on time (20 min late) today.

Plan for today:
Scheduled: Seminar 1-2, youth group 5:15-9:45

*Finish MoD jobs on groups, start on larger categories
*Read 4 papers and pick 1 or 2 to discuss w/ prof.
*Look for uAUGs and uORFs
*Get key, email Wendy
*Buy hat, finish packing
*Finish abundance analysis

Other tasks:
*Figure out how to do batch uploads to mfold
*Figure out how to do conservation analysis
*Take a walk

OK, heading to lab now, will check in when I get there. 

kromer 11 CI

Decided to walk to lab and buy a hat on the way, managed to get totally lost and didn't get to lab until 10:30, found out prof. in out of town and lab is locked, wasted 30 min and now am ready to work.

I'm feeling stuck, so I'm going to start w/ my easier MIT: finishing abundance analysis. Then, I'll finish MoD jobs on groups, then I'll go get a key (so I can work in lab rather than in lounge. )

Heading to chatbox now. 

Update 12:45--finished abundance analysis, started remaining MoD jobs on groups, now I'm going to go pick up key and head to student seminar. After student seminar I'll check on running jobs (and start more jobs if possible), read 2 papers, and look for uAUGs/uORFs.  

Update 2:20--got key, went to student seminar, checked on running calculations, now I need to read 2 papers.  

kromer 10:45 CI

Read 2 papers and made progress on calculations. I won't get through all my MITs today, but I can make a little more progress. I want to finish up calculations and read 1 more paper, then I'll get up early tomorrow morning (6) to email Wendy and finish packing.

isabo ci 900 am

Another beautiful morning, fresh and crisp!  I have about an hour before we go to our playdate.  I will set my timer and cruise around doing my quick tasks.  I must think about food/treats to bring, as we might stay for lunch as well, and I don't want to go empty handed!

I will ci when we get back

Off I go  :)


Nothing is worth more than this day  - Goethe

Mansah - morning

I love the picture bGG, it's so beautiful! and a nice reminder that there is a world full of beauty.


So today is the day I have to hand in my essays, I'm thinking I will have something to hand in for both. I finally managed to let goand just write, the result is horrendous and I won't have much time to improve it but at this very minute I don't care. I didn't think I'd get it done so really this change in prospects is rather nice.


However, I would prefer for next time to be less last minute. I have wasted more than a week locked inside my room, missing out on the beautiful weather, eating unhealthily, basically let anything go and yet for all that I didn't manage to muster the courage, the energy or whatever it is until today. I am grateful that it came, oh so very grateful, but hoping next time won't result in quite  the same chaos and abandonment.



* Finish essay 1

* Finish essay 2

* Go to uni, print out essays and hand in

* If you are done before all classes are over try attend some of them

* Make knee exercises

* Pack

* Put laundry back

* Celebrate that you actually finished these essays - you can be proud!


Considering my erratic sleeping habits lately and the fact that I didn't sleep at all tonight go to bed early.


Also, after being glued together with my computer for such a long time I think I am ready to leave it for a while.




I'm starting to feel really tired. I'm forcing myself to stay awake though, I think I entedred celebratory mode a bit too soon. I have yet to finish my essays


I'm horribly tired, but YAAAAAY I am done with my essays and there is a whole month until the next one is due. And most of that month I will be travelling, yaaay!!!!

 The handing in of the essay causes a few more problems and tears than expected, my computer started acting weirdly and somehow it didnøt save my laft draft resulting in my arrival at uni ready to print it and discovering all my footnotes had gone.... EEEEK... It led to a couple more stressful hours but when I handed it in, oh my god, the relief!!!! I felt like I entered my own personal paradise and found freedom... Going to enjoy a weekøs holiday and return in a week, hopefully being abit productive too.


Though this be madness, yet there is method in't ~ Polonius (Hamlet)

byGodsGrace todays CI

Don’t let fear determine my destiny! Enjoy where I am until I get there!

Word and prayer for the day again: Matthew 11:28-29 cev 

“If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest. Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest.” 

Music: Natalie Grant, Stronger 

My to do list:  MIT… lists/planning (stay connected)

Read Bible/Pray/Daily CI (may start doing these at night since I work well at night)

dd school 8:30

call A  (proud of myself this morning for facing things!)


OFF LIST originally, but glad its done - 8 mos of papers and bills filed

organizer organized!

MIT: planning for month, 3 months – continue to work on one area at a time (today jobs)

Job1 – 1 sample, photo/email

Look up printer, ink issue  Got it done, but next day

email job3 update invoice, pymt schedule

email P

check mail Did this, gasp, and did it EARLY from when I planned...and drum roll, opened mail after I checked it - WooHoo! It's a good day :-)

dd school 2:30p 

4p playdate

didn't do some things, but did other things that were off list, so I would say the list was not put together well from the start as I haven't really figured out the best way - but working on it! Happy that I didn't hide at all today, so for me the victory is in that, and overtime I will perfect the planning what to do with myself when I am being productive part!


do it afraid

Its been a tough week, lots of emotion and feeling overwhelmed at how far I have to go… I am fine when a deadline or crisis occurs, springing into action! But the times when I must motivate myself and deal with big projects and lists and plan deadlines so as not to be last minute – I am easily stuck! Not knowing what to do next or how to face what I should do next, I have a pattern of choosing to avoid it until I can't anymore. I am commited to face my feelings and weaknesses and learn new ways to deal with them - grateful to have all of you here to help!

Tonight the book by Joyce Meyer, “Do It Afraid” really helped me (Thanks for reminding me I had it vic!)

Here are a few excerpts:

What we are really afraid of, when it is all said and done…beneath it all is pain! We just simply don’t want to hurt.

Walking through doorways of pain…If you keep letting fear rule your life, you are never going to feel good about yourself. At some point, you are going to have to face the fear and come out of the bondage in which it has held you.

Imagine it like this, every time you are hurt and experience pain, you erect a new doorway to go behind, to protect yourself. Eventually you find yourself behind more and more doors, getting you into more and more bondage. You had to go through pain in order to get stuck in that place of bondage. In order to get free from the bondage, you will have to go back through the same doors of pain. But this time, instead of going deeper into fear and bondage, you will be coming out of bondage. This time, you will face your fear, face your pain, and will walk through the situation, this time going the opposite direction, toward freedom. 

Remember that anytime you try to come out of a bondage you have worked yourself into, fear will rush right up and try to stop you. Feeling fear is not the problem. The mistake is in bowing your knee to the feeling instead of going ahead and doing what you are afraid of while you are afraid. There is no other way out except through. Determine today to do it afraid!  

Don’t let fear determine your destiny. 

fear doors

wow, that fear doors things sounds just like me. This is encouraging, to view the tolerance of pain, the walking thru those doors, as a walk to freedom out of bondage.

the touch of the master's hand:

"fall down seven times, get up eight" - japanese proverb

Chick CI & thoughts

Wow, a lot to think about, and a beautiful starter. I can really identify with responding best to deadlines...

David Foster book: from it I'm taking the idea that work is most effective in small bursts. Done by plan not impulse. Stop when you said you would, then you'll be eager to get back. Use the end-effect--which is why, he explains, people who work from home can have trouble unless they create ends.


david forster thots

*more* effective in small bursts. wow. i guess that just hit me. That's even more motivation to do it that way, even tho i'm already motivated. But i so easily slip into binge,it's going to be very hard for me to do this.

done by plan not impulse. wow. i really need to hear this.

"end-effect" what's that?

the touch of the master's hand:

"fall down seven times, get up eight" - japanese proverb

plan not impulse and 2 things

Yes - me too! Really good to hear this today, thanks chickadee! I am going to check out all of the links and posts on this here today!

I realize about myself 2 things today -

1.the more overdue tasks and past burdens I face, the less weight I carry as I face current tasks.  

Ex. I stayed up a little later, but because I used that time to read mail that I had been avoiding, today I feel better and more refreshed than on days where I got more sleep! Just the WEIGHT off of me is a huge relief and gives me hope. We are much stronger than we give ourselves credit as most of us are going through a day that everyone faces, but it's like we carry a 200lb rucksack as we go!

 2. Clear plans and understanding of the process, even emotional recovery issues, helps me to face it. I am always stuck when I don't understand something or know how I will proceed.

Ex. That is why the doors revelation helped me so much, I can see it now, what I am going through and need to go through, and it makes sense so easier to face!

Wow, I am so blessed by everyone here and grateful! :-)

I think the David Foster

I think the David Foster book has come to me just when I need it.

The idea is that if you have closed lists (ie you work with a finite list each day that you can complete) and do things by plan rather than impulse, then you are using a better kind of attention than the part of your brain that goes in gear for reactive things. Calmer and more rational.

The end effect: you get the most done at the end of a stint, or when you know that the amount of time available is finite. And if you stop the task at the time limit you set, then the inbuilt wish for completion means you'll be eager and efficient when you go back to it, which creates a kind of momentum. Those who work at home, or on large sprawling projects ,don't have the end effect built in. That makes a problem--so he advises building in end effects by the way you schedule and rotate through tasks.

The essence of it all is that time is just there, but what one manages (or not) is the quality of one's concentration and motivation--though he doesn't say it like that. What's a bit counterintuitive is that how to give the right kind of concentration depends on how you set up your tasks and plan of work. If I can distill this stuff into a list of easy principles and aphorisms, I will.

David Foster?

The self help book junkie wants to know more about this book!


You won't reach your destination by pretending you're somewhere other than where you are. - Steve Pavlina

The book speaks to me so

The book speaks to me so much about what is important that I am going to try to distill a list from it, which I'll post here. I had sworn off these books, then got tipoffs from others here about DF and i see how extremely relevant the question about quality of concentration is... (books are Get Everything Done and still have Time to Play  and Do it Tomorrow.) I think that some of the unhappiness of p. comes from oscillating between intense reactive binge concentration and sort of shallow distracted attention and it seems that the DF tips offer a way to address the concentration issue.

oh, yeah the autofocus guy! ~ and serendipity ~

His name is actually Mark Forster, but here's a nice coinkydink:

When I searched David Forster I found this really cool free one-page wall calendar for 2009.

I bookmarked the Mark Forster site to read later.  Thanks! 



You won't reach your destination by pretending you're somewhere other than where you are. - Steve Pavlina

ha-yes! Now that is an


Now that is an example of poor focus: I have the book in a pile next to me and I don't even bother to check the author's name to get it right!

Some Mark Forster

Some Mark Forster maxims

'  far as your mind is concerned, failure breeds failure and success breeds success. If you want to succeed at something the big secret is to give yourself lots of small successes along the way.'

'...three hours' work.. is quite daunting... easy to procrastinate all day... but if you have set yourself the task of doing only at least five minutes' work, you will find it much easier to get moving...'

little and often

'good time-managers' response to fear is action. bad time-managers' response to fear is avoidance.'

closed lists 

the end effect

work by plans and routines. avoid working by impulse.

have a buffer-only react immediately where you must

To counteract 'low processing power' (ie lack of sense of purpose, being dragged down by backlogs, lack of focus, interruptions, etc) a person will seek the galvanising effect of deadlines. Better: improve 'processing power' by using closed lists and batches of similar actions.