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.

Self-help and family members

I'm interested to hear any wisdom you have in handling procrastination with your close family members (spouse, parents, etc). Especially regarding your attempts to improve. And how do they respond? This probably kind of overlaps with the post on Hiding Your Procrastination.

For myself, I tend to procrastinate in certain situations... I often do a lot but not necessarily what I think I should be doing. This seems to give the impression that I am a busy, productive person even though I am often deeply unsatisfied with what I have accomplished. I not only hide my procrastination, I also hide my attempts to fix it. I don't discuss my efforts and reading/writing to self-motivate with my spouse. When I do, I am often greeted with "why are you doing that?". Note that anytime my spouse thinks I am doing something stupid, it is typically greeted with a question, not a direct comment. It's a bit passive-agressive but I understand what is being said. I'm being told that I'm wasting my energy trying to fix something that isn't broken in the first place.

I don't want to give the impression that the relationship is all that bad. There are many areas we get along well and have a great deal of love and respect for each other. It is just that this is one area I have trouble being open about and I'm not sure what to do (if anything).

I don't feel like this is unique... I think my relationship with my parents has been very similar. They just don't want to talk about it. They think I'm fine the way I am and don't really seem to appreciate attempts to further improve.

procrastination and family

My procrastination is too blatant not to be very obvious to my family. They badger me constantly about it. They know I started this Web site. Their first response was to ream me out for wasting an afternoon doing it. Now they are tolerant because it's helping me. I'm sure they are laughing behind my back, but I don't care.

(Note to family: Do NOT respond to this post!!!!)

My family

I'm not in close contact with my lot so I don't think they even know I procrastinate in the first place. They do have some very out-of-date ideas about me though.

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To be honest I'm embarrassed about most of the self-help stuff (including coming to boards) I do and I rarely tell people about it. Self-help is not very well accepted in England for some bizarre reason (I guess because if you need any help it's like admitting a weakness), and people would think I'd gone soft. Personally I'm not sure that I ~need~ help, but I know that I could be happier, more productive, and contribute more to society, and having some support motivates and encourages me, and gives me ideas. (I'm actually pretty happy at the moment, and I never used to be happy at all, so I reckon it works ;) )

The embarrassment is one reason the boards are helpful because, by their nature, they are not full of people who are going to ridicule me. The only people IRL that I am comfortable discussing this stuff with are my supervisor (who is also a psychotherapist), and my DSO. He rarely actively supports, but he doesn't make fun or undermine either. Occasionally he asks to see what I'm doing (like when I'm doing lists or timetables or something), but that seems to be more curiosity than anything else.

I played the post-it game whilst he was out though - the post-its were still there when he came back, but I think I'd have been shy of playing it when he was there.

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Self-help insight?

well, I just can't keep up with the posts. Everyone's 3 conversations ahead and I'm still thinking about something that was said last week. Just like at home ;)

Somewhere in there between lunch yesterday (when I was starting to cry because I was so exhausted from watching my daughter... she seems to have inherited my moderate hyperactivity and lack of focus) and when I went to bed I had this thought... (I hope I won't offend anyone with his here) If I divide my life roughly into the intellectual, physical and spiritual aspects then maybe the whole self-improvement thing is a bit intellectual but really mostly in the spiritual realm for me. Especially, given my overall lack of spiritual life in the church-going sense. Now I am truly searching for ways to understand and improve who I am and how I fit into the world as a whole. And this is why it is so deeply personal and I hesitate to share it with others and it hurts when they aren't understanding of it. If I try to make a change in my behavior and it is questioned, it feels more like my underlying belief structure is what is being questioned.

What prompted me to begin this thread in the first place was a comment from wife when I placed a reminder to do something in my PDA. The task is something I forgot a couple times. It is not at all an urgent task but it is something that is important to me because I believe it would help some other people. Her suggestion that my simple reminder was overkill for a non-urgent task was a bit like if I told a monk that his prayer beads were worthless. While, I think the monk might acknowledge that by themselves they did nothing, they are a reminder of something far more important to him. (I don't really know much about monks or prayer beads so I could be way off here)

I know about monks and prayer beads

And you've hit the nail on the head.

I have reminders for things that seem small to other people too, but are important to me for sometimes not obvious reasons. Sometimes it's about making a commitment and sticking to it, sometimes it's something else. I'm sure this is why we sometimes hide our self-improvement activities or spiritual life - for fear of ridicule.

My spiritual practice is Yoga and Buddhism, and in the yoga tradition it is accepted practice not to talk generally about your practice.

This is for two main reasons:

1) your thoughts and actions may get coloured by other people's opinions (e.g. ridicule, or you may have good reasons for not doing a particular a practice but someone else talks you into it), and

2) what's appropriate for one person isn't appropriate for another. The old text are always talking about 'secret' practices.

Having said that, both yoga and Buddhism have 'spiritual counselling', and they both have the principle of 'Satsang' - where like-minded people come together for discussion and elucidation. Here we ~do~ talk about what is coming up for us, but with people we know will accept us and what we do.

So the principle is to talk to people who will lift you up, and don't talk about it (whatever 'it' is) to people who will put you down.

Coming here is my Anticrastination Satsang. People here understand me. They don't say "for goodness' sake why don't you just pull yourself together and ~do~ it!". They come up with constructive suggestions.

Our life partners can be part of our Satsang in many areas of our lives, but it would be unreasonable to expect them to be so in all areas (and vice versa of course - I'm not really part of my partner's gaming Satsang for example, but I have learned it's not fair to ridicule him).

You keep putting things in your PDA todayfirst and either talk through with your wife why you do it until she understands you, or just accept that she has a different opinion you don't have to justify yours to her.

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Thanks Normy, that's interesting.

Same here

Self-help is not as accepted here, either.

I'm the same as Normy, I hide all my faults as best I can. DH knows, but not the whole story, nor the suffering I go through nor the help-seekign I do. He'd not agree with me visiting this site - he'd call it a waste of time.

Coming to this site

My DSO has teased me a little about coming here, but he's seen such a big difference (and said so) he now realises that it's time well spent. I don't think he understands it, but he knows it works.

Anyway, I'm procrastinating now - my timer's gone off so I'm going to go do the next job on my list!

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