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.

Introduction: wolfie

Hi, my nickname is wolfie and I'm an addict. I procrastinate chronically.

I found this website last night while procrastinating on TWO big projects for school that are over a week late. To be honest I looked it up as a joke because a friend had told me that I NEEDED to be here (after wasting 12hrs alternatively agonizing about how I had no time to possibly finish even one of the projects and watching any and all YouTube videos). I was in shock that there were enough people in the world affected by this degree of disabling procrastination that they'd gotten organized to get help.

I joined this website after leaving the tag open for about 20hrs. I work AND play at my computer and it is automatically online at home or school... but it I just didn't register...I'd do it later. I could feel something physically holding me back, like a weight from above my kidneys to the base of my spine that held me back even if I wasn't trying to "stand up". It just immobilized me!

My education has been marked by so many comments from teachers of "you have great potential and would do great things if you would just apply yourself a little". After 7 years of wasting my life at the same retail job I realized that I should try to make money from my favourite procastination: website design. So FINALLY 10 years after graduating high school I felt like I could successfully claw my way to the end of a post-secondary degree. I am now two weeks away from graduation and I have not earned it. Because of this perception of "great potential" (again) teachers extended deadlines... REDUNKULOUSLY. Yes, that's worse than ridiculously.

I am not a fully-operational human being. I cannot operate in the real world if my "success" depends entirely on other people making allowances for my flaws.

Medically, as well as socially, I am broken. I have been diagnosed with depression. I am on medication for it. I have been diagnosed with ADD. Medication has not done me any good, but self-medicating with Coca-Cola has to some extent. I am an emotional overeater. I am a despondent perfectionist.

I think there is hope because I can and have kept houseplants alive for several years. My two-year-old guinea pig is often dirty but otherwise cared for, socialized, and healthy. I have a good credit record although I do not use auto-payments. My debt load is only $3000 and that's 80% medical bills that had to happen at inopportune times. I have a good relationship with my family. I have a few great friends and many nice friends. Because of this I know that I can successfully do things that are important to me.

Now the trick to improve my life is learning HOW I manage to get those things done, so I can get all the other important things done.

I'm not even worried about re-polishing my nails before the old polish grows out. :D

Welcome, Wolfie!

Glad to hear your houseplants and guinea pig are thriving! And your suprise that there was actually a website to go along with your query of too!  hehe.  I was having another bad day of sitting in my big comfy chair yelling at the kids and not getting up for anything but pee breaks when I typed in that word and received back a link to this site.  The best thing that has happened to me beside my hubby and kids.

I read in one of the older posts about "demand resistance" and it resonated so completely with me, why I am a procrastinator.  I have a horrible memory, I know it is somewhere on this site, but unfortunately I cannot tell you exactly where.  I hope someone else here can point you in the right direction, after reading this :)

Try not to beat yourself up over the what-could-have-beens.  Take small steps and focus on the positives in your life.  And jump right in - it's the perfect time!!

We all have highs and past couple of days have been very very ...uninspirational.  That is passed for now, and I am going to enjoy this Sat night, and start again in the morning....that's all I can do.

Welcome, Wolfie, and just let go so you can concentrate on the now.  I look forward to your posts!

Nothing is worth more than this day  - Goethe

I searched the site for "demand resistance"

Chronic procrastination is NOT a time management problem!

"Procrastinators do not have a problem with time management. They have a problem with compulsive avoidance.... if you have an addictive personality, you are vulnerable to using anything and everything addictively."

I can vouch that addictive personalities can be diagnosed by the way their brain works. Dr Swingle, a neurologist, said so when I went in for an evaluation in regards with my ADD.

Passive resistance: Demand sensitivity and demand resistance

From “Demand Resistance - Is It Hurting Your Business?” by Mitch Meyerson and “Too Perfect” by Mallinger... "Demand Sensitivity: is a tendency to see demands everywhere and experience them acutely. Demand Sensitive people automatically translate "I want" to "I should", and "I don't want" to "I can't".

Demand Resistance: is a negative inner response to perceived pressure, expectations, or demands, from within or without. Demand Resistance is a way to defend against being overpowered or controlled by others, leading to a total loss of self.

...the most important step in overcoming Demand Resistance is to recognize it as it's happening. Pay attention to how often you say "I should" or "I have to" rather than "I want". Try to catch yourself in the habit of doing this, and correct it - learn to say "I want"--requires figuring out what you want... keep asking yourself, "What do I want?" even about small things. Ask yourself this all the time. Sometimes you won't know, but many times you will. As you start have to stronger sense of self through doing this, the demand resistance will go away.”

A comment that hit home for me: "when the choice is between long-term benefit and instant gratification... I always know pretty easily which one I "should" do, but then I'm right back to demand-resistance because of the should."

Someone quoted, and I paraphrase "Six keys to creating the life you desire" by Mitch Meyerson and Laurie Ashner: Overparenting can sap motivation by making you an extension of your parents. You resent following orders (even if you give them) and want to assert your power. Underparenting can sap motivation by making all requests into abusive demands. This feeling of powerlessness makes you “defend” yourself by resisting the request.

He makes good points in this video: We are used to goals being set by outside interests, not our own. This in fact says "your needs are not important, my needs are very important". Our passive-aggressiveness, our passive resistance, or frustration comes from this hypocrisy. Passive resistance works by making this bossy person frustrated with our performance. Now we are BOTH frustrated; now we both lose.

The moment we take over someone's initiative by saying "you should", "you'd better"... we are imposing outside goals onto them. That's bullying. Whenever you do this you're implying they are dishonest and lazy and must be ordered around. You are coercing them through fear of the consequences you will force upon them. When you fear the negative consequences of not meeting your own goals you might be trained to feel coerced, frustrated, compelled to under-perform.

The secret to life is: You don't HAVE to do ANYTHING. You're bound by gravity. Your heart will beat. Your body will breathe. But you can choose to do ANYTHING you can do. There will be consequences of course. The moment we externalize the choices WE make about what to do we are setting up feelings of frustration and resentment. RECOGNIZE YOU HAVE A CHOICE. ALWAYS. You are living the live you CHOOSE to live... so make conscious choices.

this was really helpful and

this was really helpful and thoughtprovoking wolfie, thanks

You're welcome

I'm glad this helped you too. :)

yes helpful! thanks wolfie

I had read about this when I joined PA but not for many months since - enjoyed reviewing it again. 'Course, I can understand WHY I do some things and still lack Power to do differently...:rolleyes:


*nods sadly* :-(

Someone in another thread compared this to dieting. Just because you understand the mechanics of dieting and the mechanics of your decision-making process doesn't mean you always remember to throw a wrench in at the right time. I guess that's the new habit we need to create: wrench-throwing.

Thank you

Thanks for welcoming me.

I was amused at your remark to "jump right in - it's the perfect time!!" because that's what Flylady says. She also says: You're not behind! Just start where you are! :)

I will defintely read up on demand resistance. Thanks for the tip.

welcome wolfie :-)

Hi Wolfie,

I relate so much to your post - and the replies from everyone - that is one of the many great things about this community of struggling avoidance addicts we can all relate and share in success and attempts and enourage eachother as we overcome!

I have been here about 6wks i think and this is what i do here that helps me:

1. Read the pa materials and posts that speak to my need (learn why and most importantly how to overcome) There is great insight in many posts here - like the light/heavy you found and also clements bookmarks - plus book reviews and articles can all help.

2. Daily Check ins - you will see a forum post each day with the date - make a list, whatever you find works for you - lots of people do it differenlty - the key is staying connected, accountable, aware. Also the daily routine of it has been good for me, a consistent thing that is also healthy. (no prbblem being consistent over the years in things that are avoidant!)

3. Chatbox - this works wonders because it helps you talk thru things and accomplish what you commit to on your daily list. I have used it on late night deadlines by myself even and it is really effective.

4. Figure out a plan for current projects, daily/routine things, and backlog and put it on paper so you are accountable - have a plan to work. For me it takes some of the pressure off of having to figure out what I should do or choose from an overwhelming list. (I have task list, but have started breaking down into smaller doable lists for each day)

5. Onlne meetings, Sunday, have been every week - ok not to come of course - but for me the commitment and sticking to it has been good and it is another way to connect and see that everyone understands.

Other things also, but these are the main steps that have finally helped me face things, work in progress, and stop hiding and avoiding things that are uncomfortable. Look forward to getting to know you here and sharing as you (we all) recover! :-)

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.”  Unknown

Hi Grace,

Thanks for this.

I also find that knowing I am not alone is so comforting.

When I read the comments, I think these are neat, spiritual, intelligent, accomplished, successful people, and yet they think the same way I do and do things that I do that no one else can undrstand.Thanks,


Thank you

Thanks for the instructions! I'll make sure to find the daily check-ins.

As for plans for current projects, I have so many plans for current projects that really the only thing that works is to sit down in front of each elephant and start eating it where I am. :D

I would like to have daily routines though... Hm...

Maybe I will make a list of the things I am hiding from, the things that make me uncomfortable. It seems like that'd give me interesting insights! And let's face it, I love lists.

I look forward to the meetings! Hopefully I won't be late or miss it. LOL

"Avoidance addicts"... I like that. It totally resonates with me! In psychology I think it's called escapism, so avoidance seems
just about perfect.


hi wolfie

<<<I cannot operate in the real world if my "success" depends entirely on other people making allowances for my flaws>>>

Wow do I get that!  I've gotten through 56 years of life by being so periodically exceptional, compulsively nice and generally helpful, that people have usually chosen to overlook the fact that I'm chronically late on deadlines, appointments and even showing up for fun stuff (I had a massage therapist who fired me as a client in a rage because I could not even bring myself to get a massage on time - how dumb is that?!). 

But even when others "accept" my flaws, there is a horrible cost to me personally from my compulsive procrastination: a solid core of self-doubt, even self-hatred at times, and the endless exhaustion of needing to be even more exceptional next time to make up for screwing up. What pressure.

This website is the greatest hope I've ever found - daily check-ins make a huge difference.  None of us get perfect, but most of us get better if we stay in touch here. It will be good sharing with you as we celebrate recovery together.

Thank you

Thank you for sharing!

"periodically exceptional, compulsively nice and generally helpful" Yes, yes, yes. You summed it up so well! :O And gave me such insight! "a solid core of self-doubt... the endless exhaustion of needing to be even more exceptional next time to make up for screwing up" I can't believe you understand me so well! Are we twins? This is just amazing. You really do understand...

So if daily check-ins here have helped you, you've given me great hope that it might help me too. :D

Hi wolfie, you've come to

Hi wolfie, you've come to the right place - you'll find plenty of support here, and plenty of people who have experienced (and are still experiencing) the same kind of problem that you've been going through. You'll also find some very useful resources.

For me, just knowing that there were other individuals going through the same kind of hell I was gave me courage.

Trust me: there IS a way to deal with procrastination. But it's not easy, and it just won't happen overnight.

The trick for me was learning first why I procrastinate (low self esteem) and then how/when i do it. I hope you'll be able to find your way to handle procrastination.

Thank you

Thanks for your comment.

I agree that knowing others are fighting this war gives one courage to face each day with determination. I hope my determination will get stronger the more I read here.

Hmm... Your advice is interesting. Why do I procrastinate? Could it be unrealistic expectations? I think I don't bother starting things unless I know I have time and energy to do my best job. I don't like to show other people anything but my best work. Does that sound like a good reason? I guess I'll make a post about "finding out why we procrastinate". Thanks again for your ideas.

welcome wolfie

> "I was in shock that there were enough people in the world affected by this degree of disabling procrastination that they'd gotten organized to get help."

yep, isn't that great! Others have said the same thing coming here, including me.

It's such a great blessing to recover side by side with these people. And i often marvel that these people are spread across the world, and so this group was only possible in the last 20 years. I grieve for those sufferers in the 80s and before.

BTW i have felt that same physical weight many times, as if there's something physically holding me to the couch. But only once since joining this group 1 yr ago.

Recovery appears to be a day by day thing,so i hope you keep visiting us and sharing your successes and failures with us.

the touch of the master's hand:

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

Thank you

Thanks for welcoming me.

I'm glad to know it's not just me with the great big lead weight in my body holding me down! I was also encouraged by reading the post about tasks seeming heavy, then suddenly light. That also happens to me. Someone called it "binge productivity"?

Thanks for your advice, I will try to keep in mind that it's a day by day thing. My favourite quote is "Success is getting up just ONE more time than you fall down" which I guess came from the Japanese adage in your signature. :)