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.


Hi everyone.  I am new to the site.  It may be too late for me but at least I finally joined. 

 I am a chronic procrastinator and I think I've finally done myself in. I am supposed to be graduating from law school this semester, although because of my procrastination I may fail out instead. I have a paper due tomorrow, and after several extensions I can not put it off any longer.  I also have finals next week and have about 2000 pages of material to cover (for the first time) over the weekend, assuming I get the paper done. 

 Basically, I am at the end of my rope.  I've beaten myself up emotionally before because of my procrastination, but nonetheless I've always managed to scrape by and extricate myself from the ridiculous holes I dig myself into.  This time, though, I may have met my match.  In addition to intense self-loathing, I feel intense panic and outright despair.  My life will be ruined if I fail out of school and I don't think I could handle it.  

 Well, there's my story.  I am glad to join this site because I know the members are the only people who can truly understand what this feels like.  Procrastination is an addiction and I think I may have finally overdosed.      


Glad that you're here! PA has helped me a whole lot and I hope it will help you too. 

welcome stanislaus

Glad you found us...praying things go well for you. Though not a student, I relate to the panicky feeling that failure is immminent. I'm nearing the end of a career-determining project that has not fulfilled its promise, due in large part to my procras.  It feels lousy, but nothing like these things felt before I found PA.

PA - as both a fellowship and a program of recovery - has helped me keep going through serious family illnesses, my own health probs, classes and this complex work project. Other members have been through deeply personal losses and grief here, and we all help each other. I've strayed away for brief interludes when even checking in feels like "too much to do," but I keep coming back. I love these folks.

Perfection still eludes me :rolleyes: and my project may be viewed as a failure in the end...but the 12 Steps have convinced me that I am not a failure.  I can honestly say that after struggling 50+ years with progressively compulsive procrastination, I'm grateful for whatever "failures" - real, imagined, imminent or fulfilled - led me to PA. I hope you find the same comfort and support here as most of us have.

Stanislaus, keep coming

Stanislaus, keep coming back!



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


La Sorciere Stanislaus, I

La Sorciere

Stanislaus, I hope you're hanging in there.  30 years ago, I was in your shoes.  Somehow I managed to pull it off and graduate on time.  And then I just turned around and put myself in the same kind of hole all over again by putting off studying for the bar exam until the weekend before...I think you're way ahead of where I was at your age if you've been able to identify and admit a problem with procrastination, something I've only been able to accomplish very recently!  Hopefully having done so will help you avoid some of the pain that I've inflicted on myself over the years.  I know what a monumental daily struggle it is to try to practice law ethically and responsibly given that I'm a chronic procrastinator and a self-sabotageur of the highest order.  I know you can do much better than I if you've already found your way to this site.

Best of luck, and please check back in to let me know how things are going.

Nice to hear from you

Thanks Sorciere, It's nice to hear from an attorney who's dealing with this.  The fact you've been practicing for 30 years while dealing with this is impressive (and so is only studying for the bar for a weekend!).  Hopefully I'll be able to get a handle on things and turn this problem around. 

Hi and welcome.

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Hello Stanislaus

Thank you for sharing your story and good luck with everything, hopefully you will find that things actually come together, however last minute.


I can relate perfectly well to your story, while I am not battling thrid year I have found myselfin the middleof exams in courses for which I haven't even done the required reading throughout the year and now what I am trying to convince myself is to just to turn up and do what I can - but above all not hate or flagellate myself with guilt over things that I cannot change now. 


To me this site has been really good - because when I manage to make myself go here, which at times can be difficult I admit since it is no longer procrastination but actually something I feel I should do, but it has really helped me become aware of some of the subconscious mindgames taking place in my brain and also how much I actually manage not to do. And beyond everything it is also comforting to see that you are not alone.


So welcome to the site Stanislaus, and all the best with your finals and your paper I am sending you many positive vibes and energy!


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

Thanks Mansah

I appreciate you kind words. Even being new to the site it has already helped me just like you said because I finally feel I am not alone (I had never met a student with this problem before-- everyone says they procrastinate but few truly have a problem!).

If you're in lawschool and you need outlines, try  I know using canned outlines enables procrastination (so next semester try to make your own!), but if you are in finals now and don't have outlines you'll probably want to just do what you can to triage and make it through this time.

Also that video I linked in my last post really has made me feel better so far.

Good luck with finals and I will be sending out good vibes for you as well!


Yeah, I know what you mean, I wish I could say I am only suffering from the student-type procrastination.


Also thanks for the advise and the luck, I need both.


I have indeed seen that film you mentioned, unfortunately it had a really bad effect on me because this year I've been doing a degree I really don't find interesting so being told you don't have to do anything just meant my procrastination levels increased. But I did find it really interesting and maybe next year, when I will actually be studying something I like and still procrastinate, I will dig it up again for help and inspiration.


Hope your revision is going okay and that youre still hopeful about your exams!



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

Almost done

I know what you mean about the video.  It seemed strange to tell a procrastinator he/she didn't have to do anything, because that's what the problem is all after all.  But after I really internalized that message, it made me feel for the first time that I would own my actions, and enjoy doing them simply because they were MY choice, even if the actual activity wasn't enjoyable.  It cleared out the anxiety I was feeling, which was great.  The psychological explanation he gave really jived with me because I was the most stubborn kid growing up and my parents and I were constantly at odds.  They would always accuse me of "cutting of my nose to spite my face," and I that saying makes a lot more sense now. 

Unfortunately, I came accross that video (and this site) a little to late I think.  I've already failed two tests and may not graduate.  It's a pretty surreal feeling really, and I am trying my best not to think about it yet because I know once it hits home it will be a very bad day.

Hope's not completely gone yet, but it's running out very quickly.

Well, I suppose late is

Well, I suppose late is better than never, no? I am glad to hear it has had such a positive effect on you - hopefully you will be able to keep it and the thought-processes it began in your mind next time you are faced by big tasks - and in the smaller daily routines too, sometimes I feel that when we let them fall to pieces everything else comes so much easier apart too.


And I am sorry to hear things aren't exactly flourishing for you study-wise, will you be able and would you want to perhaps repeat the year or resit some of your exams or something?


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

Hi Stanislaus!

Just wanted to let you know you're not the only one struggling through this finals period -- I have three exams coming up as well as two papers to write, all within 7 days. It's rough, but keep pushing through! 

Best of luck. :)


Good luck with finals

Thanks Kristen.  I'm sure all the students here at PA go through a lot of unpleasantness this time of year.  Good luck with your papers and exams.

I got a good start on my paper this morning but by 10:30am got sidetracked, the hours slid by and now its 7pm and I'm no further.  Looks like I'll be up all night because this absolutely has to be finished by tomorrow, not exceptions. That means I'll be too tired to get any good studying done tomorrow, which leaves me Sunday to learn a semester's worth of three separate subjects.  Oh boy. 

I hope you fair better!!


Welcome Stanislaus

We definitely understand, and send prayers and good wishes for you!  You might try the chatbox to coach yourself through the next few days.  Do your best and don't waste time and energy beating yourself up over past behavior.   


Soon you will harvest what you are planting today - Steve Pavlina

Hi Stanislaus!

Welcome to PA.

Its NEVER too late. I'm glad you're here. :-)

I'll be praying for you throughout the week. You can do it!! 

And thank you Sammy!

And thank you Sammy!

Thank you Jo!

Thank you for your encouraging words and your prayers.  I am slowly making my way through my paper and just may finish it today; then there's finals to worry about...

Anyhow, nothing is hopeless, although sometimes it feels that way. Hopefully I'll make it through okay.  I look forward to taking advantage of this site and all it has to offer. 

Good luck

Stan, let us know how it turned out, OK? 

Nothing is ever really final.  Just do what you can now, and it will simply have to do. 

After this crisis, you can come back here and work on changing your patterns for the future.  Be well!


Will do.

Thanks Badger.  That's good advice.  I'll do my best.  I'm feeling pretty paralyzed right now but hopefully I can break free and get something done.

Found an interesting video w/ tactic for beating procrastination

While procrastinating and putting off writing my paper, I found an interesting video on youtube about procrastination.  I've read (or skimmed...) a few books on procrastination, e.g. Getting Things Done, The Now Habit, and Procrastination, as well as read countless articles online (one of my favorate ways to procrastinate is to read about procrastination), and the idea in this video about the cause of procrastination isn't new or revolutionary, but this guy distills it into a concise explanation, as well as articulates a very simple solution.  The solution won't help with the problems ancillary to chronic procrastination that most of us suffer from, such as poor organization and time management skills, but it does seem like an intriguing way to approach the core, self-destructive, seemingly irresistable urge to waste time and put things off. 

The video is long, but worth watching in its entirety.  In a nutshell, however, the point he makes is that procrastination is an emotional reponse we've developed throughout childhood to combat the apparently arbitrary authority we encounter from parents, teachers, etc. (like I said, nothing too new).  Now that we're adults, however, the response is vestigial and irrational.  To shed it, we simply need to realize that we're our own boss, and we can do whatever we want; we don't "have" to do anything. The choices we make have consequences, but they are choices nonetheless. 

That's a pretty lame summary you'll have to watch the video for yourself to get the whole idea. Here's the link: If nothing else, it actually made my anxiety go away (my chest pain has stopped for once!) and I am looking forward to trying out this way of thinking.  I am not expecting any miracles, and I'm so behind that it's probably too late anyway, but I'll report back with the results regardless of how it turns out.

 Sorry this post is so long!   


...Much of this is appealing but I gotta ask. Has this guy ever been a parent? Really?

My knee-jerk reaction is that children aren't just "customers" and parenting isn't just a matter of meeting the needs of a "market."

But I do agree with his notion that at least part of procrastination arises from a passive-aggressive response to powerlessness. And I'm going to give this some more thought.



Also, I just did a little more inquiry and there are some things about this guy that concern me.

The Hero's Code:

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

that video...

For what it's worth, I had to stop that video after the first few minutes.  How incredibly repetitive it is!  If he made that "fist up and fist down" gesture one more time, I was going to lose it.

This man has no real basis for pontificating about the "real" cause of procrastination.  As with anything in life, there are multiple causes for most things.  I grew up in a *very* permissive household in terms of my duties and being told what to do, and yet I have been a procrastinator.  Children raised in a very strict almost military environment often grow up to be very hardworking non-procrastinators (lots of examples).  

Discussing the various causes of procrastination is interesting, but for someone who hasn't done any empirical studies to say, "No, REALLY, I have the REAL answer" is just silly.   We can all have our pet theories, and that is fun, but this guy comes off as just unjustified and hammering on the same unsupported point.  His point may have some value, but it should be taken in a bigger context of ideas.


That's a good point

The guy in that video was pretty obnoxius, and the stuff GeorgeSmiley pointed out about his website and the kid leaving home is pretty disconcerting.  Plus, if there was some magical cure for procastination like he seems to suggest then none of us would be here!  I just wanted to share something that had helped me feel better at a time when I didn't think anything could.  His idea does make sense to me, but whether it helps in practice will be another story.

I should also qualify that my parents were very strict while they were around.  They were both busy professionals who worked long hours so most of the time I was left to my own devices to do what I want, when I wanted.  Maybe hat has more to do with this behavior than anything. Who knows.

At the risk of pointing you to another resourse... An interesting website I found is the Don't Delay Blog ( run buy a guy at Carlton University who has focused his efforts on studying procrastination (so he has done empirical studies, unlike the video guy). In addition to offering the research he's working on, he summarizes other research being done on procrastination.   I refrain from any more ringing endorsements!

research on

research on procrastination

I have pretty much given up on the idea that understanding why I p.--or why people do in general-- will help me in any way to do the next right thing.

I need to look on with compassion at the impulse to avoid, or choose low pri tasks, and then gently refocus and turn to HP and all sorts of other things. All I have is the present moment and the chance to choose what to do next. I do not always succeed, but  I am trying and the 12 steps and support here have helped me far more than all the why-books.

--woops, posting this here makes it look as if GS's message is a reply to it, instead to the preceding post!

Much better point

The books haven't helped me either.  They just gave me something to do instead of what I was supposed to be doing.  Thanks for your advice.  I hope this site helps me too.

Okay... No more links! Promise!

Hi Stanislaus, it wasn't

Hi Stanislaus,

it wasn't meant to be advice--it's just my experience.But--solidarity to you!

I have bought a bunch of books on p. each time thinking this will fix it, and of course it doesn't.

Now I have found some other books about organizing work and I see that I can use some techniques from them. But I am still at a step where creating routines that support me, keeping sight of the horizon while being present in the present moment, and choosing the next right thing minute by minute are where I need to keep my attention. 12 steps and solidarity here bring hope and change that I never found from the books or 'why' theories.

borrowing this, chickadee

"...keeping sight of the horizon while being present in the present moment, and choosing the next right thing minute by minute..."



I couldn't agree with you more! well said. n/t

The Hero's Code:

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

Welcome Stanislaus

Hi Stanilaus,

Welcome.  Though we may be in different fields, I'm going through a very similar situation/range of emotions.

I'm in school as well and I feel like I've wasted away the school year and am suffering through final exams as well.  I feel like I made a lot of bad choices and am experiencing the consequences now. 

However, thanks to the forum, I am having more courage and serenity to accept my situation and to face the present moment (instead of dwelling on the past- which just makes me want to crawl in a hole and do nothing at all).   

I have found the chatbox to be very helpful.  I write in my intentions, admit when I've been sidetracked, note my successes, etc. during the day.  It is helpful for me to read how others are getting through their challenges as well.  People have been very supportive. 

Wishing you luck w/your exams and paper. 


Thanks Sarito

It's definitely comforting to know others are going through this too and I'm not alone.  I will give the chatbox a try.

 Good luck with finals!