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.

I think I've really left it too late again. What am I going to do?

Hi and thanks for taking time to look at my post,

In short...

I'd like some advice.  I'm starting to think I
haven't got enough time left to finish all the work I need to and pass this
year at college. I have missed many assignment deadlines already and have
hardly done any work all year even though I am passionately interested in the
subject (Art Degree in Design for Games). I now have only 2 weeks left to do a
years work. Then it's catch up on missed deadlines over summer. I did the same
last year but scraped through by catching up on 4 assignments over the summer,
which I handed in last minute. Is now the time to quit? How can I find drive
when the goal seems so unrealistic?

Read on if you wish...

My habit began in when I first attempted my A levels after school. I had a lot
of trouble deciding what I wanted to be, switched class choices a lot at the
start of the year, and never really made a good start on my work. I fell
behind, skipped lessons and lied to everyone. I messed up. I got found out. I
was given another shot and decided I would go for it. I messed up again. I
decided to try one more time the next year at a different college. Messed it up

At this point I got lucky. My cousin was starting a software business and
offered me a job (which I would start on apprentice wage until trained) as a
programmer and graphical designer for software. I stayed there for 3 years and
thoroughly enjoyed the job, however I procrastinated thoroughly and missed
deadlines every single project. Somehow though, I got away with it. Looking
back I realise my cousin was just as bad as me for procrastinating. I worry he
denied its destructive effect on the company’s success. In the end, another
company took us on as their software division. We continued our bad habits in
the new company, even having to secretly play catch up on our old company
projects. The stress was sometimes so unbearable for me I wished I would get
found out as a lazy sneak, fired, be done with it, and give up. I can’t imagine
the stresses my cousin must have went through trying to keep the business
running, handle bills and debts, multitask projects which our new boss thought
had been finished months/years earlier, and support his family! I often think
about him and worry how he's doing. I know he will be strangling himself in the
web of lies he has woven for a long time. The problem is he's so talented he
can just about keep it going.

For some time I had fancied the Idea of returning to study and giving it
another shot. While I enjoyed the nature of the work I was doing, I felt I
wanted more (and if I'm honest I felt a little trapped in the company as I had
no qualifications). The software I wrote and the graphics I designed were greatly
appreciated and useful to my clients, which felt great when I finally finished
each one, but what I really wanted was a job making beautiful artistic things
people loved and enjoyed and admired (including myself). After a lot of thought
and searching I found the design for games degree I am on. It offered me a
chance to work on all the types of art I loved. I spoke to my boss and he
agreed I could work part time and study part time. I failed the college year
and blamed my workload and the arrival of my girlfriend’s baby. In reality this
excuse is complete rubbish! I had a small workload for my skill level and
didn't find the newborn very stressful at all. Although perhaps I did let the
baby distract me from my work from time to time. When my girlfriend asked;
"shouldn't you be doing your work? I'll have the baby," I would say
It was fine and I enjoyed looking after her.

Positive in my newfound passion for the field of Games and Computer Art, I
decided to leave my job and enrol at college full time. I was determined to
make a fresh start! That was last year, and as I mentioned in the first
paragraph I did scrape through. However, my quality of work was rubbish and I
missed almost all deadlines (reducing many grades to minimum pass).

Last year and this year started well and with enthusiasm! It was only when the
first assignment deadline loomed that I started putting off doing things,
missing lessons etc, and causing the snowballing effect! This year I have
messed up even worse than before. I have a year’s work to do in a couple weeks,
and also have 3 late projects hanging over my head to be finished before some
date in the summer holiday.

I really am in despair now and find my own advice and support hard to trust or
believe. I was so sure I was ready to change so many times, yet here I am
again. I feel I have taken the piss out of everyone who gave me second, third,
fourth chances. My teacher tries to be so understanding to all the students
even though he should have kicked many of us out long ago.

I want to change, I know how I can change, and I know I can change, but I'm not
sure if I will. I've repeated the process of messing up, feeling pathetic, lazy
and guilty, forgiving myself and trying one last time over and over again! But
it's getting ridiculous!! How can I tell myself this time is gonna be the one
and believe it when I’ve said it so many times in the past and then let myself
down each time? I don't want to give in but I don't want to let others and
myself down anymore. I wanted to finish the course and get a good job before my
kid starts school, so I could move in with my girlfriend and support them both,
but I’m still being a bum! arrgh!!!

I hate whining about this. When I first saw your sight and read on wikipedia
about chronic depression disorder, I felt somehow comforted that I had found a
disorder to blame which others suffered from as well. But I see through that
lie to the coward inside me, looking for a scape goat/excuse/self handicapping
mechanism. I'm no different from or less capable than the people who get on
with their work, and I don't want any sympathy. I know the only solution is to
stop whining and get on with it like everyone else, but each year I tell myself
that and fail to perform, I believe less and less that I will ever do it.

How do I carry on when I don't believe I will ever succeed, and my failing will
hurt me and those around me over and over? How do I give in and be less when I
believe I could be more for myself and those I love? This is the thing I am
struggling most with right now. And as for my deadline in two weeks. It's not
realistic. How can I keep working on it against massive odds? Or should I admit
defeat? I hate the sound of both options.

I'm not sure what I will get from signing up to the website.  I have read
through a lot of articles and posts already and feel I had already gone through
in my head most of what I have read before reading it here. I suppose it's
because I can’t trust my thoughts, theories and self analysis any longer. I am
to suspicious of myself and the way I have lied and betrayed myself with
comforting beliefs and justifications, which have only blinded me to truth. I
need to have my thoughts validated, or redirected, analysed by others and so
strengthened so I can believe in them enough to pursue a path (Again, I spot
the coward inside myslef who tests himself only in front of the most
sympathetic crowd. I could have talked to my teacher or doctor, but I fear they
will tear my comfort blanket from me and spank my ass!).

Thanks for reading,


Ha Ha, love the nickname

Thanks for that angus. And thank you to everyone else for your deep and
insightful comments. The intelligent responses you've all given have really
brought to light that having mental struggles such as this are not necessarily
a sign of naivety or mental inferiority.

byGodsGrace, you pointed out to me that my hope is my motivation. I
mentioned that I have been struggling with the conflict of hope and doubt. As
suggested by vic we need to balance our self analysis. I don't want to be ignorant
of criticism. Some criticism can be essential to learning and change. However,
I need to remember to give myself that pat on the back as vic suggests. I think
the recognition of the positives in my work/actions will feed my hope, which
will in turn fuel my motivation and drive. This positive energy can arm me to
deal with negative criticisms in a constructive, non-destructive way.

I think I need to learn to distinguish criticism from doubtful though,
rather than let criticisms from myself or others fuel doubtful thinking. This
effect happened after meeting my teacher. I found it hard to explain my
thoughts and be taken seriously, and as a result I left feeling pretty low and
doubting the explanations I had given. But, why should I be surprised and put
down by my teachers response. Did I really expect him to say "oh, why
didn't you say so? It's not your fault you got scared. You can pass just for
wanting to have done well and thinking about working!" No, I can't expect
someone to understand the problem I'm facing unless they have had a similar
experience. I've never had anyone die who was close to me. I would really struggle
to offer relevant words, or constructive support to someone in that situation.
I guess that means the main place I can get support needs to be from within my
own mind. I am the only one who has experienced the exact thoughts and feelings
I have. So, it's vital that I provide my own balance of positive and negative
criticism. And if I find myself struggling to keep that balance, the next best
place to ask is this site or someone who has experienced something very similar
to me. Finally, positive or negative criticism from anyone else, I should take
or leave as I choose or find relevant. Tell me if I’m being too arrogant here?
I'm just trying to take control of my own mind/decisions/emotions and take
responsibility for myself in what I do and how I feel. I'm ultimately the final
judge of what I want to take in and believe and what I choose to ignore. So as
byGodsGrace points out, awareness is essential! I must be aware, and take
control of which thoughts I believe and which thoughts I choose to ignore.

Self-appointed expectations lead to self-induced frustrations. So true vic. Thank
you. Suddenly I see how much I been letting this happen! For every task I take
on, I set the bar so high! I try to take the challenge to level which is many
steps above my current ability. This is unrealistic and a sure way to start
procrastination. If my teacher had said to my class; "now what I need you
to do is take what little experience you have as 3d modellers, riggers,
animators, texture artists and produce a finished animated and rendered
character to professional standard such as this or this game character,"
everyone in the class would have probably felt overwhelmed and panicked, not
know how or where to start and ended up following a similar path to failure as
I have. This Is what I ask of myself! The teacher only asks for an animation of
any kind which reflects your CURRENT SKILL LEVEL and what has been demonstrated
in lessons. It's like journey quotes, you have to take the stairs to success

That's all for now. Sorry, that I ramble on so much here. Don't feel you
have to read through it all and reply. It just really helps to write here. I
discover things as I go and by typing as opposed to just thinking, I am forced
to use logic in place of just emotional thinking.

By the way, good luck to everyone here on their own journeys and battles.
Feel free to use my contact page anytime if there's anything you want to
discuss or just be heard about.






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Good luck with your teacher conference!  I think your visualization would be a bit too violent for me :) but hey, if it works! 


"The elevator to success is out of order.   You'll have to take the stairs . . . one step at a time." - Joe Girard

Thankyou, Today I found strength again and kept at it

Thankyou everyone for reading and responding.  It feels good that someone heard what I needed to say. Admitting my feelings here was a first step, and I took another today by telling a friend, honestly, how I felt. I'm really glad I did. He suffered from depression in the past and explained how even though he was offered medication, the solution did not come from medication but from changing his mentality. He taught me a visualisation technique he used. Whenever, he began to feel negative, destructive emotions about himself, his life ect. he would remind himself that this was not the mentality he wanted anymore. So he would visualise pulling the person he used to be, who was weaker, out of his body, throwing that wimp into a wall then throwing a dagger into his head, lol. This may sound a bit violent but I think it helps somehow.  I visualise pulling the old me out of my body and smashing him into the ground, obliterating the body into tiny pieces which are blown away. All thats left is the new strong, positive, dedicated and driven me. It feels good to do and has been working very well today. I also remind myself that I ENJOY the work im doing (and thye challege) and that I CHOOSE to do it because i WANT to.

I have accepted that even if my procrastination problem stops right now and never comes back, I still may not be able to finish this assinment on time and pass. However, I have decided to carry on regardless and enjoy giving it a best shot. If I don't then I am giving in to the pressure and fear again and I think that is a step back towards the old mentality. Even If I do fail and have to repeat the year, I can still move forward in my metality and ability to tackle procrastination. So I will try to look at the frightening possibility of trying and failing as a step forward rather than backward.

So this afternoon I faced my assignment. I got stuck alot as I feared I would and didn't actually acieve a huge deal in terms of content. However, I did keep trying and made sure to give myself a pat on the back for that no matter how little work was actually produced. I really felt like a new person today. The trick was every the old me crept back into my body and I felt old unwanted feelings, like; "Ahh, I can't do it no matter how hard I try, i'm not good enough! I'm never gonna be good enough. I am too weak to fight this. I feel emotionally battered by the failure! I need to get out! I need a distraction! I'm gonna give up. I'm watching tv! I don't care! RIGHT NOW I DON'T WANT TO THINK ABOUT IT AND I DON'T CARE!!!" I would mentally grab that coward by the shoulders and just blast him into pieces by smashing him on the floor. If I still felt any remenant of that feeling I would drag him out again and blow him to dust again and again untill all that was left was a strong, brave, determined and focused new me.

I've got college in the morning and i'm going to go in and talk to my teacher about how much work I haven't done and how i'm feeling. No more excuses though.

Enemy Territory

Someone once said "When I am in my own head, I am in enemy territory."

Some truths/tools I've read to fight that enemy:

  • Humor is our best friend, our judgements our worst enemy
  • Be self-led, not symptom led
  • Helplessness is not hopelessnes
  • Some people have a passion for self-distrust
  • Endorse yourself for the effort, not only the performance
  • Have the courage to make a mistake
  • Feelings are not facts
  • If you can;t change a situation, you can change your attitude toward it
  • Do things in part acts
  • Fear is a belief-beliefs can be changed
  • Any decision will steady you
  • Replace an insecure thought with a secure thught
  •  Self-appointed expectations lead to self-induced frustrations
  • People do things that annoy us, not necessarily to annoy us
  • Knowledge teached you what to do, practise teaches you how to do it
  • Negative judgements are frequently uncontrolled, but not uncontollable


You are not alone.

go slug(ger!)

My very religious sibling once told me she envisions crucifying her character defects - complete with nails! - onto the cross behind Christ.  And I thought that was gory!  lol

I need to be careful to distinguish that I am not my dis-ease, to avoid the negativity that feeds self-flagellation.  But I do rather like the idea of doing violence to my dis-ease! Thanks for sharing, slug!

slug becomes slugger

I like it!  

"The elevator to success is out of order.   You'll have to take the stairs . . . one step at a time." - Joe Girard

i like it too

the hope that we can start - and start over at any moment and be transformed - no matter how many deadlines have been missed or goals unmet - that is what brought you here and i hope will keep you coming back. Awareness is essential, but add to it support and accountability you will find here and i think you will find progress here as we all have - not perfection... but progress... and hope for more!

I also do my best when I see the resistance to what I want for my life as resistance from my enemy and get in the fight  - stand or fight back or just don't retreat - all actions I can take against the wrong thoughts, habits and feelings that battle against me! As long as I am thinking of how imperfect and flawed I am I don't have the will to fight back. For me my daughter being born was the beginning of taking some clear steps to changing parts of my life I didn't like and is my motivation to not give up.

Glad you are here and hopeful to see you keep slugging it out against the enemy!


Keep coming back.You are not alone.

on admitting defeat

welcome Slug, and thanks for sharing your heart so honestly here. I really related - a similar disaster is what started me on my journey to PA recovery.

I find it helpful to compare my compulsive procrastination to the disease of alcoholism. When the alcoholic hits bottom, everyone understands it's foolish for him/her to just stay there alone struggling for mastery over the poison.  So why do I think that's the best way to handle my compulsive procrastination?

In fact, it's clear to all observers of the alcoholic that the only wisdom remaining to him/her is an honest admission of defeat - or as I prefer to call it, simple surrender. In Step 1 we admit we are powerless over our compulsion, and that our lives have become unmanageable. That's the surrender.  But if we don't follow quickly on to Steps 2 and 3, our experience is that we can't get better. And then we find we can maintain that recovery only if we follow on to Steps 4, 5, 6, 7, etc.

This is the clear path of recovery for all who suffer from any form of addiction, in substance or behavior.  Some of us add outside counseling, specific therapies and/or religion to the mix. But all who recover find that the essential ingredients are honesty, open-mindedness and willingness to follow the 12 Steps.

On your acute situation, I'd agree with Journey. When I can't stand the painful consequences of continuing as I am, then my only hope is to accept whatever consequences come from admitting my problem to the people affected, and seeking help. That's Steps 1, 2 and 3 in concrete.  Good luck and please keep posting - we all need each other here.

Welcome slug!

We totally understand!  I suggest you go ahead and do what you are thinking about, and that is go to your doc and your teacher, explain the problem, and ask for help.   You would be surprised how willing people are to help you when you are honest with them, and honest with yourself.   You are definitely not the first or the last person with this problem, and I'm sure your teacher has counseled many similar people.  

Best of luck, and congratulations on waking up to the truth!  We'll be here for you.  



"The elevator to success is out of order.   You'll have to take the stairs . . . one step at a time." - Joe Girard