Morning Phone Checkin at 7:30 and 8:30 AM EST M-F
This post was modified by pro on December 2, 2014.
Phone #: 1-559-726-1300, Access code: 496261#
The meeting can be led by whoever is on the line. It is meant to be a short meeting - 15-30 minutes.
Check-in Meeting Format
Hello, I’m ________ and I’m a procrastinator, and I will lead our call today. This is the check-in meeting for Procrastinators Anonymous.
Before we open the meeting for sharing, a word about crosstalk guidelines, which help keep our meeting safe. In our meetings we speak about our own experience, and we listen without comment to what others share. We work toward taking responsibility in our own lives, rather than giving advice to others. Please do not address anyone else’s share directly or give advice to anyone regarding their share. We are gentle with one another as we all are here for the same purpose: recovery.
To keep the meeting safe and orderly, the leader for the day is the only one on the call who can address the group as a whole during a meeting.
[[In these meetings, we share twice. What we share first depends on whether it's the first meeting of the day, or a book-end meeting later in the day.]]
[[If it's the first morning meeting: The leader asks for topic suggestions, then chooses a topic for the day from among the suggestions, or from the PA Tools (scroll down for list).]]
[[If it's a book-end meeting, following up on an earlier meeting: the leader asks members to report on how they did on their commitments from the previous meeting.]]
[[The following need only be said if there are many people on the call.]]Please limit your shares so everyone has a chance to speak.
Who would like to start?
[[After everyone has shared on the topic (first meeting of the day) or their progress on prior commitments (book-end meetings), there is a second round of sharing. Again, if there are many on the call, remind people to be brief so everyone has a chance to share.]]
Now let’s share our commitments for the day – what we intend to do with our time. After the meeting, we can talk about whether we’d like to meet later for bookending and schedule times. Who would like to begin?
[[After each person has shared their future commitments, the leader closes the meeting.]]
It’s time to close the meeting.
As always, the opinions expressed here are strictly those of the individuals who gave them. Take what you like and leave the rest.
If we are to recover, we must feel free to say what is in our minds and hearts, so please remember to respect anonymity. Let who you see here and what was said here stay here when you leave here.
Please stay on the line following the meeting if you would like to schedule book-end meetings for later in the day, or you would like to exchange phone numbers. This line is open for use by anyone who wants to check in throughout the day. Even with simple tasks, book-ending is useful because it makes us accountable and thus keeps us on track. Book-ending is especially helpful with difficult tasks that overwhelm us or make us anxious. So book-end often!
We’ll end with the Serenity Prayer (by Reinhold Niebuhr, unabridged):
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as the pathway to peace,
Taking, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it,
Trusting that things will be all right if I surrender to God's will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life.
~~~~~~~~~~~~ *** ~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tools for Recovery
- Break It Down: Break down projects into specific action steps; include preparation tasks in the breakdown.
- Visualization: Plan what to do, then imagine yourself doing it. The more specific and vivid your visualization, the better. See yourself doing the task, and doing it well.
- Ask Yourself Why: While you are visualizing doing the task, see if you can detect what it is about the task that feels odious to you, what uncomfortable feeling you are avoiding. Knowing what's behind the avoidance can help you get past it - for example, address real problems or ignore irrational fears.
- Focus on Long-Term Consequences: Procrastinators have a tendency to focus on short-term pleasure, and shut out awareness of long-term consequences. Remind yourself how panicked and awful you'll feel if the task isn't done, then imagine how good it will feel when the task is finished.
- Avoid Time Bingeing: One reason procrastinators dread starting is that once they start they don't let themselves stop. Plan to work on a task for a defined period of time, then set a timer. When the timer goes off, you're done.
- Use Small Blocks of Time: Procrastinators often have trouble doing tasks in incremental steps, and wait for big blocks of time that never come. When you have small blocks of time, use them to work on the task at hand.
- Avoid Perfectionism: Procrastinators have a tendency to spend more time on a task than it warrants, so tasks that should be quick to do take an agonizingly long time. Notice this tendency and stop yourself. Some things require completion, not perfection.
- Keep a Time Log: Increase your awareness of time by logging what you are doing throughout the day. This is a great diagnostic tool for discovering where your time went, and an excellent way to become better at estimating how long tasks take.
- Develop Routines: To help structure your day and make a habit of things you always need to do, develop routines for what you do when you wake up, regular tasks of your workday, and what you need to do before going to bed.
- Bookend Tasks and Time: Use the Bookending board on the P.A. Web site to check in throughout the day, or at the beginning or end of specific tasks you are dreading. Details are at the top of the Bookending board (www.procrastinators-anonymous.org).