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.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A bit of time priority insight from our friends on TV

Yesterday I alluded to getting hooked on late-night Curling broadcasts from the Winter Olympics. In my time zone they are on from midnight to 2:30 or 3 am and I hate to say that I've seen several of them to their conclusion.

In my defense, I'm usually not just watching. I've actually got the TV to help keep me awake (sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't) while I handle chores that didn't get done earlier.

Maybe because Curling is so unfamiliar to most Americans, I hear that the late night broadcast has become something of a cult hit, and the NBC curling anchor, Fred Roggin, has been making the most of it with quirky pre- and post-game commentary.

Last night, which was just about the end of round-robin play, Fred capped the coverage at 2:30 am (5:30 am Eastern) by saying that "if you've been watching all of these broadcasts, the time you have invested will be paid back to you tenfold. Just how that will happen, though, we have no idea." :-D

Tongue in cheek but also a good point. Maybe we should apply a "reality check" to casual activities: is there a real "pay back?" It's easy to rationalize that they are "giving us a break" which is sometimes true - but taking a longer-perspective view can help identify when they are truly beneficial and when they are just avoidance.

That's the theory anyway. In any event, I don't often see the TV - one of the great time sinks of our time - actually saying something to remind me of this.

"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of."
Benjamin Franklin

Pyrotecher CI Wed 24 Feb 2010

Check-in at 4:30 pm

Here's my tasklist, not much different the yesterday (except for addition of appointment on MUT list) as I didn't really bring anything to closure yesterday.

A Get schedule back on track so tomorrow can be on standard business hours.
B  Check in briefly with Boss at least once before end of day
   to discuss today's project status/progress.

U1 Personal: Morning chores
U2 Work: Update Boss before end of workday (progress on MITs) 
U3 Personal: Banking/Bills (Remember February “ends early”!)
U4 Personal: Planned Emails (The time-sensitive ones)
U5 Personal: Evening Chores
U6 Personal: Evening Meeting

MITs (! = Also Urgent)
I1  Update Work Tasklist*
I2  Proj #1 - Data Analysis - Setup Template Spreadsheet
I3  Proj #1 – Followup on Presentation Approval
I4! Proj #3 – Request Approval for presentation
I5  Proj #2 – Followup on Facilities search
I6 New Business – Plan Proposal

I7 Update Personal Tasklist*
I8! Personal Email Responses (3 are urgent)
I9 Home Decluttering

Progress Yesterday: (Tue 23Feb2010):
Goal A - Slight improvement (got to bed a bit earlier than for previous day, but still not where I want to be).

MUT's - Handled essential Chores (U1, U5) and banking (U3) but still need to handle the other items.

MIT's - Only modest attention to one item (I6)

Progress Today so far (as of 4:30 pm):
Goal A: Still later to the office than I'd like but schedule better than yesterday.
Goal B: Actually had a brief meeting with boss that I was semi-prepared for, but boss initiated meeting while I was still dithering prep for it (I need to be prepared earlier in the day).

MUT's:  U1, U2 done for the day. Others need attention by end of day.

I4 initiated (was becoming critical)
I6 a little progress and discussed with boss.

Still baby steps but starting to move forward.

"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of."
Benjamin Franklin

tiptree 12:55 PM CI

to do:

- 1691: must get this one working and demoable
- read grid code
- 1868: logging how created and capable of generating a report
- benchmarking: use tar module and validate it
- benchmarking: report
- 1860: hotfix
- 1761: close loophole
- 1837: q/r logging
- 1682: grid TM issue
- read 25 pp. BoD
- exercise

cl daily overcoming

checking in, thinking of next steps.

12:30pm quiet time

the touch of the master's hand:

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

Vic 2/24

Show up  (done) My stomach feels like the frogs in the starter.

Yesterday ended up good.  I did alot of low priority things, I would have thought they are not important, so I would have procrastinated , thinking I need to work on the high priority and then end up doing nothing..

Today I need to get out the door and do the high priority.

1. pay visa- don't know if it it past due, so my stomach is flipping.

2, get son's script-should have called yesterday, calling for snow storm, etc. etc.

3. Send in son's cyber school app- it is time now to do other son and have gathered info but each day do not get to it.

4. start my 5% of tax information. My husband is waiting on me to go to accountant.he is already angry with me.

 I could do #1 today, all the others ??/

I will go on the phone meeting, next step to "show up"

 Grateful for what I have done, if not for PA, I am sure I would have shut down many times and who knows where I would be now? Depressed for sure and who knows what else, nothing good I am sure. Thanks all for being here.



ck in

Got 2 out of 4  done as well as othe lower priority things, only because I did not shut down. Some movies have alternate endings. I tried to at least consider that alternate endings could be possible for me, with the help of PA, and my HP . 



Journey 10:30

Happy Frog Day lol!

I'm feeling quite energetic today.  I've been feeling a bit rundown lately so I'm happy about that!  I had a 9:30 meeting which I had to prepare for and then moderate, so now I'm going to have a quick breakfast and make my todo list for the rest of the day.  Later (waves)

UPDATE 2 pm well my high energy didn't last that long but still it's an indication that I'm over what ever little illness I had and almost back to normal thank goodness.  I was also really nervous today because our weekly team meeting is today and I had to discuss my mistake of last weekend, but they were like yeah, we understand.  8) So there will be one more discussion with the change board on Friday but it's no big deal, they will say yes or no if I can fix it this weekend or have to wait til next weekend, and then it will all be OVER except for the actual fix.

And, to tell you the truth since my part of this meeting is done, I'm feeling much better.   It must have been nerves!  

Back to salvaging the rest of my todo list . . . I think this day is going to end up much like yesterday, in reaction mode, but as long as I'm getting work done on my top 3 projects I reckon that's ok, but I feel disorganized


Every time you get up and get back in the race, one more little piece of you starts to fall into place - (from "Stand" by Rascal Flatts)

kromer 10:10 CI

Feeling a bit under the weather today, so I slept in a bit and relaxed a little this morning...that's totally fine, just now I need to concentrate.

*Deacon list (needs to wait until I get home)
*Read 2 papers  (have read one and a half)
*If primers come, try genotyping
*Put together grading results (have made progress on this, have a bit work work to do)
*Try slide anchoring technique

*Check on expts. 

Medium priority:
*Email about HPLC
*Finish looking at interesting genes (have made good progress on this)
*Ask about media
*Call home
*Email about phenome sets
*Bible study

Low priority:
*Work on organizing computational work

OK, going to work now on slide anchoring techiques. First step for this is to figure out a test point, then try to figure out how to take brightfield images with big scary microsope. 

julesk CI

Hi guys,

Good morning!  I haven't been on for a while, not b/c I felt it didn't need it, but b/c yes, I was PROCRASTINATING.  THis is my home page and I pass by it on almost a daily basis.  Geeshhh!

It has finally occurred to me that like an alcoholic staying sober, I need to not procrastinate one day at a time.  That means abstain completely.  I am in another 12-step fellowship where the substance in question you DO have to use everyday, so my mind was not clear.  Do I just cut back on procrastinating?  Do I do it when scheduled?  No, I guess I now know, so maybe this is day one for me.  That means showing up here, and not playing my usual "eye-opener" of video games on-line.   Ohhhh, I feel sooooo powerless.

I am definitely opem to feedback.

Anyway, thanks for being here.  I am going to post a call-out for anyone who may want a Twin Cities face-to-face meeting.

Thanks, and have a great day!


Julie, I'm really inspired

Julie, I'm really inspired by your post and am thinking of trying to give up procrastination completely too. Feedback, hmm...

* My immediate thought was 'I can't abstain from procrastination', but that's the knee-jerk 'I can't' thinking that got us here in the first place.

* What I genuinely, truly can't do (and I suspect neither can you) is live a life of total work. I think a lot of us consciously or unconsciously think of a procrastination-free life as a life of constant, unremitting effort and productivity. Which would be one of the reasons why we procrastinate.

* Following on from that: procrastination is not a substance you have to use everyday, but rest and play *are*. Maybe not video games if they're too triggering for you, but we are (luckily for us) made so that we NEED some pure fun and relaxation in our lives in order to function.

* Thinking about giving up procrastination means thinking about what is and isn't procrastination. I've decided that it can be perfectly healthy to say (when you have time) 'I'm not in the mood to do this now, I'm going to go for a walk first.' For me, procrastination is a) any time I'm in that out-of-control, addicted 'bingeing' state, or b) doing something with my time that I know I'll regret, because I can't face something. I also think excessive dawdling is a form of procrastination. :) But I think part of giving it up is accepting that there aren't always clear dividing lines and learning to chill out about that.

* The big challenge with giving up procrastination is that you have to spot the impulses. With food, drink, cigarettes etc., you either put something in your mouth or you don't. With procrastination you can slide into it invisibly without even realising. I've always thought this made giving up procrastination near-impossible, but I've recently realised that I do have totally recognisable procrastination impulses and I can learn to spot them.

* I do think that even if (actually, let's talk positively) even WHEN I give up completely, I'll still be a 'recovering procrastinator' and need to use techniques that 'normal' people might not, but that's fine, whatever works. :)

Thanks for feedback

Hi Lucky!

Oh, I definitely agree that life cannot be an endless stream of work.  I have ample time allotted for play, socializing, hobbies, etc.  I just absolutely throw everything out the window when faced with a plan (I'm exaggerating a bit, but not a ton.)   It's funny, but when I started really thinking about this, my brain had a
panic moment and screamed at me "I can't NOT procrastinate!  THat's how
I relax!!!!  But that's exactly the same as an alcoholic. "My life is a mess of stress because of my drinking, but I can't stop because drinking is how I relax!!"

I have total "demand resistance."  I've come to realize it more over the past couple years, thanks to this site, and b/c I am in a position to do a lot of stuff that I love, but won't even do that.  I only want to do effortless stuff:  read, watch TV, play video games.  (ps I'm perfectly healthy and can do great work for an employer, volunteer comittee, family member, just not myself)

Yeah, so I'm trying to notice the triggers and the ways I procrastinate.  I'm writing them down, b/c it fits a format like the warning signs that we use in another 12-step group.  I have actually not procrastinated for 3 days in a row now.

I still don't know the answer, but I do have a balanced, pleasant schedule and I am going to work it one day at a time.  It also helped to make a master to-do list (as suggested in the book, Do It Now, which I can't say I swear by) and I have recently started to ONLY do one or 2 items a day, which I estimate a time for as well, so I don't over-do.  Trying to over-do b/c I am so far behind has only made things worse.

Hope to touch base w/ you again soon,




Oh boy, I recognise so much

Oh boy, I recognise so much of this, especially the 'can work for others but not myself...'! I'm really impressed that you've gone 3 days in a row without procrastinating, though. Well done!

Well done too for not over-doing it. I absolutely think that's the way forward and it's bizarrely difficult for most of us procrastinators to ask less of ourselves! (Put it this way,  I don't think a procrastinator is the opposite of a workaholic... :) )

Right on Lucky!

Re; Being a procrastinator is NOT the opposite of being a workahlic!  It's not that we're lazy!  It's something else, some "high" that we get when going into avoidance mode.  It could be very similar to the vagueness or detachment that an aclochlic gets when they drink.  Just that untethering from reality...  I personally started it as a child to dream my self away from a crummy household.  (daydreaming, reading...)

Anyway, hope you have a GREAT day!  COngrats on sticking with your list yesterday!!!



wb Julie

Yep, I've been here for a couple years now and I find that checking in here daily, on good days and bad days, keeps me reasonably productive.  I sure ain't perfect yet, but this site helps!


Every time you get up and get back in the race, one more little piece of you starts to fall into place - (from "Stand" by Rascal Flatts)

Thanks Jo!

I appreciate your response!


8:40 CI for Lark

Good morning everyone. I hope everyone does well today. There are some obligations which I'd rather not deal with, but... The next best thing is to work around them, if not making it a really crap day. ("If I can't have total perfection, I'll take total failure.")
To do:
morning things
heat up workshop
finish painting shop wall (So far it's nice.)
drop off donate bag to Goodwill
attend unwanted social event
return borowed items to neighbor
begin next work project
check in here later

Good morning friends! I

Good morning friends! I hope you all have a productive day! Smile

  • W-2 form mailed
  • WAM promo discussed
  • WAM papers in
  • 90 min CC work
  • review email backlog
  • buy OMF hosting
  • email OMF stuff
  • email WM re Friday
  • email Jay

Semi-horrible day. I got none of the above done. I did accomplish quite a bit on other matters - I closed a big deal today which took me 3 hours, and I had another 3 hours tied to another worthy deal. But I should have banged out at least 2 of the above at suppertime. Ah well, back at it tomorrow.




Rexroth Check In

Morning everyone. I'm feeling a bit better this morning.
Like the frogs. Thank you Lucky.
Up and emails

Out to post goods back - this was a put of thing from December! Not urgent but important.
Buy some fresh fruit and veg and a few other bits
Get money out of bank - I might need to do this first
Write journal
Write needs and wants

That will do for now

Regards Rexroth

Rexroth Update

Done above except I felt rough and didn't get the fruit and veg. I've also cooked some food from the freezer for the freezer and sorted out some financial stuff.

Have a rest
Tidy up in kitchen

and whatever else...


Lucky CI

Before work:
Up by 6.45 - 6.47!
Check in Smile
Prayer/bible reading time - remember to pray for C, E & L
Prayer & visualisation over my tasklist
Straighten hair

Full makeup
Read some of book
Do some of creative writing book
(on way home) Phone mum

Tidy desk

change bank payments
call bank?
writing 30 m

After work:
Visit E :)
Vitamins :)
Clear kitchen
Tomorrow's list
Wash face/brush teeth -  floss - clean contacts properly
Email report
Check in
BED straight after check in!

to do list?

Hi everyone.

I'm just wondering if creating a to do list helps you all accomplish your chores? I always have good plans in advance but always seems to end up with unfinished chores. I think I'm getting worse with procarastination to. Maybe it would be best if I created a list to follow also.


re: to -do list Balco


I was just talking about this in a post to someone else...

It helped me to
make a master to-do list on an Excel sheet.  (I went thru my entire house and also kept it wih me for a few days, just adding as I went.) 

I have recently started to ONLY do one or 2
items a day.

I do a time estimate when I put them in my day's schedule, and I allow about that same amount of time UNscheduled as a buffer, so I don't over-do. 

One thing I have learned is that trying to over-do b/c I am SO far behind has only made things worse.  It's like being really overweight and forcing yourself to give up EVERYTHING in order to lose 100 lbs immediately!  It does not work and makes you more frustrated, so you just go out and binge anyway.

So, that's my 2 cents for today.


Definitely helps me! A word

Definitely helps me! A word of warning though, you often *won't* finish everything on it because even if you have a totally procrastination-free day, life happens :) and you have to keep a sense of humour about that and not beat yourself up too much otherwise it doesn't work.

I think keeping up a list

I think keeping up a list of daily tasks is probably helpful.  If the list is not accountable to anyone it could end up becoming worthless though.  That is probably why posting it on here helps people a lot, because they know that other procrastinators that come here can see it and perhaps even come to expect it after a while.  I tried keeping a list just for myself this past week, and it ended up a miserable failure.

With that said, I will try to motivate myself later today to come back on here and check in.    

re: todo list

Absolutely!  Just remember it is a tool to help you get things done today, not a list of the things that you *didn't" get done yesterday. 

Every time you get up and get back in the race, one more little piece of you starts to fall into place - (from "Stand" by Rascal Flatts)