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.

Lucky cold turkey

I've been thinking a LOT about what it means to 'quit' procrastination. This means thinking a lot about what procrastination is - and what it's not.

Taking a break is not procrastination.

Changing my plans is not procrastination.

Not completing my tasklist is not procrastination.

Not following a rigid schedule is not procrastination.

Surfing the internet (or any other 'non-productive' activity) is not procrastination. Can be, but doesn't have to be.

Even putting something off until tomorrow is not procrastination (except in a strictly etymological sense!) It can be, but it can also be perfectly appropriate and sensible.

Procrastination is when I lose control of my use of time.

This isn't as straightforward as it seems. I suspect there are moments in every addiction where you feel absolutely in control as you deliberately and defiantly do the destructive thing. But then afterwards you say ruefully, 'I lost control'. That tantrum-throwing, 'I'M GOING TO BREAK EVERYTHING' feeling isn't being in control, it's being out of control. So part of quitting procrastination is learning to tell an 'in control' feeling from an 'out of control' one.

It's just occurred to me recently that if procrastination is a real addiction, it can be broken like a real addiction. If someone suffers from alcoholism they shouldn't just be trying to drink less alcohol, they should be trying to stop. Same with smoking, drugs, etc. And if they do stop, they'll experience a period of withdrawal and need to fight hard to get through it, and then the cravings will diminish and eventually all but disappear. They'll always be a 'recovering addict' and need to keep an eye on themselves so they don't relapse, but basically, they'll be fine and able to get on with their lives.

So I'm going to see if this applies to procrastination. I'm going to shift my focus from trying to do as much as possible to trying to procrastinate as little as possible, i.e. not at all. Taking it one day, or even one hour, at a time and treating it as a proper addiction where 'just one' moment of procrastination is as bad as 'just one' drink or cigarette. I'm sure there will be hiccups as I work out what is and isn't procrastination for me, but basically, yes, I'm aiming to quit cold turkey! (With the full knowledge that I'll always be a 'recovering addict' and probably always need this site :) )

I've been 'sober' for the past 24 hours, mostly by dint of giving myself tons of planned breaks. I find that when I'm really resisting a task, doing 5m task and 5m break and repeating that over and over again works really well. I've actually been more productive using that method than I was when I was trying to work every second - which means that I was procrastinating over half the time...

Do let me know your thoughts... naysayers are welcome but please be gentle with any criticism :)

Thanks Lucky

Thank you for all your posts, they are very insightful. Whilst I personally think the idea of approaching it cold turkey CAN be a recipe for bingeing when you stop, I am still very interested in your continued experiment. There will no doubt be many insights and learning experiences along this way. I wish you good luck! :)

Thank you, thesis!

Glad to know it's being read and appreciated Smile

The ’3Ts’ aka ’Timed Task Tomorrow’ method - 3 questions before doing something online:
Is it Timed (set a timer)? Is it a Task? If it's a sudden impulse, can I act on it Tomorrow?


Day 2 procrastination free went really well - in spite of a busy, challenging, and anxious day I stayed ON TASK, haven't gone back to any of my other habits either, and finished my to-do list! (Admittedly that was partly because I couldn't make salads owing to lack of oil for dressing.) I've had a bit of sleepiness from my 2nd day off caffeine, but no headache. Lots of breaks and spiritual time helped a lot and the chatbox was INVALUABLE.

I could definitely still be faster and more focused - getting dressed to go out was a particular low point where I thought, 'am I procrastinating, have I blown it?' but I'm not going to quibble - today was awesome. The big revelation is that a stressful day is less stressful without procrastination, not more. 

Only one challenge left today, get to bed on time! 

The ’3Ts’ aka ’Timed Task Tomorrow’ method - 3 questions before doing something online:
Is it Timed (set a timer)? Is it a Task? If it's a sudden impulse, can I act on it Tomorrow?

Need therapy?

I'm not sure if this is appropriate to post here (pro - please delete if not!) but I know a lot of people will be interested.

I offer a very unusual and playful form of online therapy where I talk to the mean voices in your head. I'm just getting restarted after a break so everything is half price today Smile 

Please take a look! 

(And if I've managed to break the paypal buttons, just drop me a message... Wink

The ’3Ts’ aka ’Timed Task Tomorrow’ method - 3 questions before doing something online:
Is it Timed (set a timer)? Is it a Task? If it's a sudden impulse, can I act on it Tomorrow?

Lucky cold turkey Day 1, here I go!

I went way off the rails last night and got to bed late, resulting in needing to sleep till 9, not 6. But I'm pleased with myself for taking the extra sleep rather than thinking, 'Well, I planned to get up at 6 so I just have to quit procrastination while exhausted!' I'm also pleased because I was worried I'd be a heap of demotivation, but I got up, switched my pomodoro timer on and CI'd just fine. Here I go!!! 

The ’3Ts’ aka ’Timed Task Tomorrow’ method - 3 questions before doing something online:
Is it Timed (set a timer)? Is it a Task? If it's a sudden impulse, can I act on it Tomorrow?

So far so good! Using the

So far so good! Using the pomodoro method at work went very well, actually less stress than usual. I'm feeling led to give up all my other (much more minor) addictions as well:

Caffeine and sugar: I normally don't have them anyway as they affect me very badly, but lately I've been having intense procrastination crashes where I stay up 2 nights in a row procrastinating on a piece of work, and needless to say, have required stimulants. It's hard to withdraw straight away when you've been chugging energy drinks for a few days, so I've been slightly abusing my boss's tea and sugar supply. No problems without them today, but it's usually the 2nd day when you feel withdrawal symptoms from caffeine.

Picking: I've had one mildly painful fiddling habit or another all my life, successfuly quit a 20+ year hairpulling habit last year, but a new one has just popped up... picking my toenails down to bloody stumps :/ Zinc oxide tape acquired, going to tape them up and take away the temptation.

Plus another habit I've mostly given up, but have had a minor relapse because of messing myself up with caffeine and sugar. Let's call that one Habit X because I find it more embarrassing than the picking.

It seems weird to be giving up so many things at once (isn't that setting myself up for failure?) and I had to do some serious checking that my intuition really was saying that, but yes, it was. When I think about how each of these habits makes me feel worse and lowers my motivation, it does make sense.

I'm also reading more cold turkey literature for smokers on my breaks, and replacing 'smoking' with 'procrastination' continues to be amazing... look at this!

'It is pretty funny. People often try to reflect on when and why they started procrastinating as if thinking that it would answer the daunting question of why they continue to procrastinate. In reality, the reason you start and the reasons you continue are not the same. Some people... take up procrastinating out of a sense of rebellion. Their parents, teachers, and other adults told them they couldn’t procrastinate. So to show them who was in control, they procrastinated anyway. Well, how many 60-year-old procrastinators are there who are procrastinating today so that they can snub their nose at their 80 to 90 year old parents saying, “you see, you still can’t tell me not to procrastinate.”

People start for a variety of reasons, but they continue for just one – they became drug addicts, the drug - procrastination. It is interesting though because the same thing happens when the procrastinator quits. The initial reason that people quit procrastinating often becomes secondary in importance to reasons they eventually stay off. Some people quit to make others happy, or because of non-procrastinating policies issued at a place of employment.LaughingLaughingLaughingBut after quitting, they find they feel better than ever, are calmer, have more energy, have more money, overall are happier and in more control of their own life. Their new reasons may have little bearing to their initial quit reason. In many ways they are better reasons and more lasting... some people... start to realize that not procrastinating is just a nicer way of life.

Whatever your initial reason for quitting was, it is still valid. On top of that there are numerous benefits you may have noticed and some you haven’t even thought of yet which are still to be noticed. Some you will never think of but are real anyway. Keep focused on every good reason not to procrastinate. This becomes your ammunition to stay the course, and to ride out those annoying craves or thoughts that can pop out of nowhere.

Whether or not you ever accurately remember why you started to procrastinate, as long as you remember why you quit and why you desire to stay free, you will keep your resolve strong enough to NEVER PROCRASTINATE ANOTHER MINUTE!'  

The ’3Ts’ aka ’Timed Task Tomorrow’ method - 3 questions before doing something online:
Is it Timed (set a timer)? Is it a Task? If it's a sudden impulse, can I act on it Tomorrow?

 Forgot to mention that I

 Forgot to mention that I also started some new herbal anti-anxiety pills today, I was thinking they weren't doing anything, but actually maybe they are... 

The ’3Ts’ aka ’Timed Task Tomorrow’ method - 3 questions before doing something online:
Is it Timed (set a timer)? Is it a Task? If it's a sudden impulse, can I act on it Tomorrow?

Thanks, movingalong!

Glad you found it helpful! 

The ’3Ts’ aka ’Timed Task Tomorrow’ method - 3 questions before doing something online:
Is it Timed (set a timer)? Is it a Task? If it's a sudden impulse, can I act on it Tomorrow?

Wandered onto the internet,

Wandered onto the internet, this is DEFINITELY not a Day 1 now. Really need to keep my spirits and self-belief up for tomorrow. I made it 16 days before!!! Need to make sure I get to bed on time too. 


The ’3Ts’ aka ’Timed Task Tomorrow’ method - 3 questions before doing something online:
Is it Timed (set a timer)? Is it a Task? If it's a sudden impulse, can I act on it Tomorrow?

Today has been a bit of a

Today has been a bit of a rocky start, I had a lot of 'space outs' at work. I think from now on I'm going to use the pomodoro method at work but with all 5-minute breaks (otherwise it would add up to way more than my break time.) I only work afternoons so that should be quite doable.

I lost a few mins on coming home because I didn't have a plan for exactly what to do when I got in. Plan on coming home from now on: log on to PA, get food (if needed), 1 pomo of spiritual time to recharge. 

I think tomorrow is really Day 1 since I started half way through today and it's been a bit crummy, but I do want to stay on task for the rest of today anyway. I need a plan for getting up tomorrow or I'll spin my wheels first thing, so: bed at 10, up at 6, log on to PA, start with a getting ready/planning pomo then spiritual time. Whew!! 

The ’3Ts’ aka ’Timed Task Tomorrow’ method - 3 questions before doing something online:
Is it Timed (set a timer)? Is it a Task? If it's a sudden impulse, can I act on it Tomorrow?

Lucky cold turkey REDUX Day 1!

I've had a few fairly short-lived quits recently and it suddenly occurred to me to come back here and look at what I'd written before. I was astonished to see that I'd made it 16 days procrastination free! 

I haven't been on PA for a while because a friend made the point that by frequenting a place called 'Procrastinators Anonymous', I was constantly reinforcing the idea that I'm a procrastinator and it might actually be keeping me struggling. I get her point, but I do find it helpful here so I'm back. Since I've managed to quit for a few days without any support, I'm excited to see what I can do with support.

I just edited this piece on stopping smoking (which I've posted in this thread before) to be about procrastination instead of nicotine, and the result was so powerful I'm going to post it here in its entirety:


Many procrastinators fail at breaking free because they sell themselves on the lie that the mountain is just too big to climb.  Sadly, they've fed their mind such rubbish so long that it believes it as much as their name.  Still, it doesn't stop them from trying.  Every few years they'll take a few steps, stop and decide that the mountain is still too big.


It isn't that they are too lazy to climb, afraid of heights or lack the desire  It's that most convince themselves that there are just too many steps to take while having almost no insight into how many there actually are.  Not only do they not have a map home, they've forgotten who they were...  It's why those first steps into recovery are often taken on faith. But if faith is to survive challenge it needs to be nourished not starved.


Imagine loving to eat beef but thinking about dinner while picturing yourself having to eat an entire cow (actually a steer). That's about five hundreds pounds of beef. Impossible! It'd get pretty discouraging rather fast, wouldn't it! But that's how most new quitters think about quitting. The pit their dreams, desires and faith against the biggest mental meal imaginable, "forever", that success can only be achieved by quitting forever.


How does one consume 500 pounds of beef? One steak at a time. How do you navigate the most challenging period of procrastination detox and withdrawal, the first three days? One hour and challenge at a time! As for beef, the average American consumes about 60 pounds of beef per year and thus consumes an entire steer once every 9 years. But forget 9 years. As with ending a fine meal, celebrate each hour of freedom and healing for the full and complete victory it reflects.


We procrastinators are impatient people.  We want results now!  But it isn't our fault.  Our minds have been conditioned by our addiction to expect immediate relief from the anxiety of early withdrawal. 


Those successful at recovery all learned to control their impatience by ignoring the size of the cow and height of the mountain as they continue taking just one bite and one step at a time.  All lengthy tasks in life require baby steps in order to finish what we’ve started.  we can't build a beautiful wall with just one brick, receive a new baby after one month of pregnancy, obtain a college degree with just one class, or cook a delicious holiday dinner in seconds.  Imagine getting half the meal cooked and then leaving the kitchen or building half a wall and walking away.  Going the distance in life is normal.  Swimming half way across the river and stopping is not.


Do you dream of being free?  Is there any doubt in your mind that you can stop procrastinating for just one hour?  If so, you already have the building blocks needed to break procrastination's grip upon your mind and life, but only if you fully accept the Law of Addiction, that just one powerful minute of procrastination and relapse is all but assured.


No subconscious crave episode lasts longer than three minutes but time distortion during recovery is as real as your name so be sure and look at a clock.  Keep your eye on the path and try not to look ahead and do your best to enjoy the hour, don’t dread it.  It doesn't have to be difficult and if you'll allow your dreams to flood your mind you may even find joy in it.  The hour could be flat and level or it might be a bit bumpy. Your subconscious mind might sense your calmness and dreams and relax along with you, or sense fear and begin issuing forth anxiety command that beg you to throw in the towel. 


Either way it’s just one hour, and so is the hour that follows.  See each hour of freedom as the full and complete victory that it is.   


With each passing hour you'll move closer and closer to that moment when the underlying current of anxieties (if any) begin easing off.  Be sure and get plenty of rest as a tired mind is easier to betray.  


Some of us have spent a large part of our life learning to be good little procrastination addicts.  Although it's not realistic for us to expect to learn to be a good little ex-procrastinators overnight, it is realistic to deeply believe that the next few minutes and that each is entirely doable!


Do you deserve to see what it's like being "you" again?  If you don't remember what it was like inside your mind prior to procrastination taking control don't feel alone as you can.  Believe in your dreams and believe in you.  Don't be afraid as you're leaving nothing behind and everything you did while enslaved you'll again do as well as or better once free! Baby steps to glory! Freedom is your birthright and there's only one rule no procrastination today.  The next few minutes are doable and there's only one rule if followed provides a 100% guarantee of success - just one hour at a time, no procrastination today!  

The ’3Ts’ aka ’Timed Task Tomorrow’ method - 3 questions before doing something online:
Is it Timed (set a timer)? Is it a Task? If it's a sudden impulse, can I act on it Tomorrow?

Oops, double post...

Oops, double post...

I've been incredibly

I've been incredibly encouraged by talking to our very own pro, who revealed that she Does. Not. Procrastinate. Any. More. She stopped. Not by quitting cold turkey but by a gradual process and daily use of this very website.

I was honestly about to make a post saying that I'd had one too many failed quits and that stopping procrastination was just not possible. Now I've had proof that it is, even if not overnight. I said IT'S POSSIBLE. So I'm going to keep on keeping on, and I'm full of hope that I will get there in the end.

I'm hoping to get a dog in the spring, so here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to draw the outline of a dog and divide it into 101 spaces. (I like that number because of 101 Dalmatians and giving 101%.) Every time I have a procrastination-free day, I'm going to colour in one space. When I have the whole silhouette coloured in, I can get a dog. (My housemate said I should partly shade a space if I manage part of a day, to avoid being too all-or-nothing. My inner extremist balks at this, but I can see it's a good idea so I'm going to go with it.)

I also want to get as many people as possible praying for ALL of us, but that's a different post.

Day 5 update

I finally lost my non-procrastination streak over lunch - 'lunchbreak' has lasted nearly 2 hours. Still, a five-day streak is a big achievement! Going to sit down with a coffee, think about what I've learned that I can do differently next time, and restart. This is now Day 1.

Not allowing myself an evening off last night - I knew I was likely to be at rather a low ebb and have trouble coping, thought of deciding in advance to have the evening off, then went 'nah, I'll try anyway.' Result: procrastination. Belatedly declared it an evening off, but couldn't shake the guilty feeling that actually, that wasn't me resting on purpose. That was me procrastinating. I'd lost control.

Because of the guilt I felt very wobbly today, and though I really made a good effort this morning, I felt like I was on a plane that was going to crash.

I also think I've been too lax about the internet again. Little glances here and there that 'don't matter' always lead to more.

There was also my frazzled day on Monday. I was already worried that I couldn't keep going at this pace, and should have responded to that by having some rest.

So, learnings:

If I know I'm going to struggle to cope at a certain time, and there's no particular reason why I have to cope, I will give myself that time off in advance.

If I feel any guilt bringing me down, I'll work REALLY hard and prayerfully at forgiving myself before it does so.

I'll treat the internet with extreme caution: that 'little glance' isn't worth the risk.

If I feel tired/overworked/frazzled/worried I can't keep this up, I'll REST and/or DO LESS, rather than keep going at the same pace and hope.

I'll pray more and try to bring my HP into everyday tasks and draw energy from him to counteract that running-on-empty feeling.

I'll spend more time looking at cold turkey resources to inspire myself.

And starting again - Day 1!

Day 4!! update

Here's how it's been going for the last 2 days:

Monday: Exhausting day - at work I felt like I stayed 'on task' but without really achieving much, spent all day wrestling my concentration and ended feeling frazzled, overworked and not sure I could keep it up.

Tuesday: Good morning at work, rediscovered the delights of task rotation (dividing work into tasks/categories and doing say 5 or 10 or 15 min on each). REALLY helps with my poor concentration and makes everything less daunting.

Psychiatric appointment in afternoon - I'd predicted that I wasn't going to be up to much in the evening after this, and thought about giving myself the evening off, but then dismissed that thought and made a huge tasklist anyway. I was indeed not up to much in the evening, and rather than beat myself up, decided to belatedly give myself the evening off.

I think that was the right decision, but I'm still feeling some guilt from it this morning and need to avoid getting derailed by that. I'm still on track and the only thing I did wrong was not to make it an evening off from the start. Great lesson learned for the future!

Day 2 update STILL YES!

This is what my tasklist looks like shortly before bed:


Up by 8.30 smiling
Check in smiling
Check in w/S smiling
Hypnosis CD - part done, got interrupted
Pray & read bible smiling
Email & social sites smiling
Read through mental health stuff smiling
Screen window smiling
Bathroom smiling
Laundry smiling
Shower smiling
Floors - In progress
Post smiling
Sort finances - what bills need paying smiling
Sort tasks on toodledo smiling
Clear kitchen smiling
Vitamins smiling
Dog face wash smiling
Floss/brush teeth/wash face/moisturise smiling
Shut living room window
Tomorrow's list smiling
Email reports smiling
Check in
BED straight after check in!



And it seems I accidentally really inspired one of my task buddies as well!

Back to work tomorrow - BIG challenge - please pray for me to make it 3 days tomorrow!

Day 1 update 2 -YES YES YES


Still going strong! I've been doing a lot of very short task bursts and short breaks - feel amazingly guilty about taking planned breaks and keep wanting to sneak productive, 'ought to do' activity into them! It's really worked though - I'm heading for bed shortly and my tasklist looks like this:

Up by 8.15 smiling
Check in smiling
Hypnosis CD smiling
Pray & read bible smiling
Counselling 11.10 smiling
Email & social sites smiling
Work on mental health stuff smiling
Kitchen smiling
Vitamins smiling
Dog face wash smiling
Tomorrow's list smiling
Email reports smiling
Floss/brush teeth/wash face/moisturise
Check in
BED straight after check in! 

A couple of things didn't get done, but that wasn't because of procrastination, I just had trouble fitting them around what my housemate was doing. I did some stuff I was really resisting, and also managed to take a long walk and watch a concert on television. Feeling pleased with myself and ready to take on tomorrow!

Go lucky!

Wow! I can't even imagine doing this, but it's inspiring to see how far you've managed to get in your previous attempts and I wish you even more success this time!

Thanks kromer, your support

Thanks kromer, your support means a lot :)

Day 1 update

Doing great so far, got up this morning and got straight on with it, 4hrs procrastination free and counting! (Or 13.5 hours if I'm counting from last night, when I pretty much just made that post and went to bed...)

I can do this!

(kind of looks like I'm saying I can do the above silly dance...)

Lucky - one more try, please cheer me on!

I've had a couple of people advise me recently, with great intelligence and compassion, to give up giving up. Accept that it's just too hard for me. That's an option I'm considering, but I'm not ready to take it yet. Living without procrastination for a day, a week, or two weeks feels so good, and changes things so much, I'm not ready to accept that I can't have that in the long term. I want to make at least one more really good effort.I'm going to give myself easy tasklists, tons of breaks, and all the support I can get, and couple that with absolute bloody-minded mad enthusiasm for living life on purpose and kicking the arse of this addiction one minute at a time.Please pray for me and encourage me because this is a serious one. If just one person can manage to quit procrastination I know others will be able to as well. Interesting story - it was thought to be impossible to run a mile in under four minutes, until finally one runner managed it. In the following year masses of people - I think around 30 - ran a mile in under four minutes. They were able to because somebody had proved it was possible. 

((cheer of luck, for Luck))


AW! Thanks MD!!

AW! Thanks MD!!

cheering you, Lucky

 _/ \_

rah, rah, rah!  Go Lucky go!:)

Thanks Agnus! Love the

Thanks Agnus! Love the cheerleader! It's great to get up this morning and find these messages, really makes a difference.

Seems ridiculous

I'm planning to try giving up procrastination again tomorrow - seems ridiculous given the state I'm in, but I'm sick of wallowing in it. Made a very short tasklist and planning to chatbox a LOT and see how it goes.

re: sabbath

As part of my own recovery journey I used all the time management stuff I could find online (some helped, some not so much, some nada), the 12 Step programs' literature (very helpful).  Eventually, I also sought guidance in the Book of my religion. 

There, I learned that the oldest time management principle on record is "In six days do all your work, and on the seventh day, rest."  My belief system does not define or designate a particular day, so I pick a 24-hour period sometime during each week when I will stay offline and out of any planned or difficult or routine "work." 

Even this I am not real consistent with, but I do find it helps me be (or at least feel) more productive and focused during the rest of the week when I've done it.  Good luck with that, Lucky, and let us know how it goes for you!

Day of rest??

As I'm sure you can tell from the tone of my last post, things went waaaay downhill after that. This week's flavour of procrastination slump has been 'sleep deprivation', which has been really gruelling. Not procrastinating would have been so much easier!

I've had a couple of ideas out of this slump. The book I've been reading suggests that whatever you focus on, you get more of. So e.g. if you focus on how fat you think you are, you usually get fatter! I've been focusing on how much I procrastinate, and how to stop procrastinating, etc, etc.nSo I want to try to replace 'not procrastinating' with a positive phrase. I like 'living on purpose' - it means 'living WITH a purpose', but to me it also suggests that whatever you do, you do on purpose, not because you feel you can't help it. In the words of J.M. Barrie, always to be really doing whatever you are doing, and in the words of Tiffany Aching, this I choose. This I choose to do. :)

The other thing I want to try is having one day off a week. Shocking, I know! But doing the cold turkey project has really showed me that I work in cycles. I can work like crazy for a period of a few days to two weeks, and then I crash, every time. Reducing the work intensity doesn't seem to help - I'm not sure it prolongs the work period at all, and it certainly doesn't enable me to keep it up indefinitely.

So it occurred to me - why not try having one day of rest a week? (I know - shocking, right?) That would mean I only ever have to keep up not procrastinating living on purpose for a streak of 6 days. One full day off sounds like insane luxury, but I think I could manage it by working hard the other six (I like working hard, when it doesn't result in a crash - it's just that it always results in a crash. This way, I'd be building the crash in.)

I'm Christian, but not very traditional - the day I've picked is Saturday, because that works best with my schedule. (Jewish readers may now have a good laugh at me :D ) However, I do wonder if we're on to something here. I've heard that a lot of the seemingly random rules in the Old Testament are actually very advanced health and hygiene advice that's only now beginning to be understood. So it's not inconceivable that this 'Sabbath' thing might be very advanced productivity advice!

Day 9 update

Continued to do REALLY well until last night. No day was perfect - there were always a few minutes of procrastination - but every day was really good. I've felt in control and got loads done, and the few-minute blips didn't dent that.

By the night before last I was aware that I was flagging and needed to take it easy, but didn't do so and I got worse and worse throughout yesterday, ending in a late-night internet surfing fest until 4am. However, because I wasn't having perfect days anyway, this doesn't feel like a disaster.  This morning, it took me 15 mins to get out of bed, but after that I was able to make a tasklist and get on with it as normal.

Another positive is that I could definitely feel this coming on, and that means that hopefully, with practice I'll be able to stop it happening.

Yesterday, when I knew I was slipping, I was thinking a lot about giving up procrastination absolutely, and wondering if my pattern of not-quite-perfect days was weakening my attempt. Now I'm wondering if those thoughts were actually part of the slide into a procrastination attack. My demands on myself tend to get higher the less hopeful I am of meeting them!

It's possible my original idea was wrong and the almost-perfect is the way to go. Even during the 17 days of non-procrastination I managed a while ago, there were *moments* when I stalled, I just got myself out of them fast enough to decide they didn't count. I'm not sure yet, I'm just going to go with this and see where it takes me.

Day 5 update

Doing REALLY well! Will you look at my tasklist from yesterday!

Up by 6.30  smiling
Check in smiling
Shower Did 2 tasks from tonight instead, moving this to tonight.
Clear kitchen smiling
Find bra smiling
Pack jacket smiling
Dress smartly smiling
Straighten hair smiling

Prayer time smiling
Full makeup smiling
Read smiling
(On way home) Buy light bulbs - NOT my fault this didn't happen, try again tomorrow!

Pod check  
Book holiday smiling
Email smiling
Paper - Part done
Tasks - Part done
Archive bible attack smiling
Tea/last orders smiling
Check in with D  smiling
Tidy & plan/double checks smiling
LOG OFF computer smiling

Jacket to dry cleaners smiling
Macmillan - send out invite Decided this would be better done nearer the time
Email mother smiling
Call SSS re counselling smiling
Pay DFH smiling

After work:
Change bulbs
Rat cuddle smiling
Shower smiling
Research pet insurance smiling (and bought it!)
Vitamins smiling
Clear kitchen smiling
Dog face wash smiling
Email/social sites smiling
Floss/brush teeth/wash face/moisturise smiling
Tomorrow's list smiling
Email reports smiling
Check in smiling
BED straight after check in! smiling

Whoever's been praying... keep it up, it's working!


Day 2? update

Went REALLY well today - I tried making a shorter tasklist than normal, and completed it with time to spare! Having an occasional wobble but nothing seems to stop me or take away the feeling of purpose. I really hope and pray I can sustain this at work tomorrow. Work is more of a challenge so please pray/send good thoughts my way - thank you!

Cold turkey - trying again and feeling weirdly positive

I've noticed I have the best success with quitting at weekends, rather than when I'm at work. If I start with a couple of days in easier situations at home, I have the momentum of 2 days' success to help me make it through the work day on Monday.

So for the past couple of days I've been feeling a bit of gathering excitement about quitting on Saturday (yesterday). Almost a feeling of readiness, like it was going to happen and I just had to go along with it. I did indeed quit yesterday morning and there's been a bit of an odd change.

Over the weekend, I've had two incidents where I started procrastinating and then stopped myself within 5 minutes. Normally that would signal disaster, the end of the quit attempt and a massive procrastination fest. This time I've just picked myself up and carried on as if nothing happened. I'm not sure this even counts as quitting, but I still *feel* like I'm on that quitting roll and need to keep it going. I'm not going to let a couple of false starts stop this attempt.

Those who pray, please pray for me because I really want to make a go of this one. I'm going to celebrate how far I've got already.



GOOD WORK! Just keep doing it. I know you can.



Thank you!

Thank you! :)

hidden_motives Used Gentle Criticism Attack!

It's super effetive. hidden_motive's reputation has fainted.


"Surfing the internet (or any other 'non-productive' activity) is not
procrastination. Can be, but doesn't have to be."

I think surfing the net can always be considered procrastination, because people always have work to do, and surfing is just delaying the work. However I will agree that, unlike indulging an alcoholic addiction, a little bit is fine, as long as you feel in control. If you can not surf and be in control, then don't do it at all.


In addition, I'd like to say that you don't have to quit cold turkey. Google chrome and firefox both have addons that help you quit procrastination. Firefox's is better and is called leechblock. Think of it as nicotine for web surfers.


Everything else you said, I agree with :D

Hidden Motives, you rock!!!!!

Thank you for talking about Leechblock!  I had NO idea such a thing existed.  WOOOOO HOOOOO!!! I just downloaded it.  Yes, yes I am sad to say goodbye to on-line Mah Johngg.  But has it furthered my career or my relationships?  No, I can't say that it has!

Thank you!


Action PRECEDES "figuring it all out!"



Thanks hidden_motives, this

Thanks hidden_motives, this is not only helpful but also cracked me up :D

Thank you for suggesting leechblock!

Hi hidden_motives!

I just want to thank you for suggesting leechblock - as surfing amnesia is one of my biggest problems! I do a little bit surfing here, a bit of searching there and a bit of checking up on that. If I add all this time up - I've spent half my day on little nothings. And I wonder where all my time went!

I've set it up so that I can only check certain sites for 40 minutes throughout the whole day. Hopefully this nicotine patch works! Thank you.

> Allegro

No problem

I'm not sure if 40 minutes is a little harsh to start out with. I think if you have any troubles, you should keep with leechblock, but just edit the settings a bit. I feel like I've gotten the settings down pretty well for myself, took me two weeks to get it good enough though.

Hm.. you were right - 40 mins isn't enough

Hm.. you were right - I tried it today and 40 minutes discretionary surfing wasn't enough. I just ended up disabling the add-on when ever I needed it - which is a bad habit to get into.

May I ask how you've got your settings set up? It may prove as a good starting point for me start the fine tuning process.

Thanks, Allegro

Well I think the best thing to do is to just experiment

Well I think the best thing to do is to just experiment. What worked for me may not be necessary or be the best for you. Still, here is a short guide.

First off you will want a good list of sites that are off limits.  I remember that someone made a list of bad sites on the leechblock forums. You may want to put that list in blockset1 and add to that list. Set times when you can take a break to browse however you feel like. Some people might like to take a break during their lunch. Others might like 10 minutes of every hour. I prefer to browse during the evenings.

Make sure to check the boxes "prevent access to about:config at times when these sites are blocked" and "prevent access to options for this block set at times when these sites are blocked" under the how to block tab.


 Then rename your second list to All sites. In this list you want to put the following

  • *.com
  • *.org
  • *.gov


Normally you do not want to block yourself off from all sites. However if you really must, and your work does not require the internet, you can use leechblock to set a lockdown for a few hours to make sure that you get things done.


Under access control, you may be able to get away with a 32/64 digit random passcode that will give yourself enough time to think and not disable leechblock to procrastinate. Otherwise you can "require the user to enter password" write a random and long passcode down on a sheet of paper and keep it away from your place of work, or give it to a friend.

You'll want to disable the 'disable' and 'uninstall' button. 

Then if possible, delete or disable internet explorer and any other browsers. If you prefer chrome you can use an addon called stayfocused.


Lastly, remember that leechblock is only a tool to aid you in your battle against procrastination, you still have to want to not procrastinate yourself.

that internet thing

Didn't manage to stick to an hour yesterday - I didn't time it carefully enough and went over time without realising. Going to start over today and time it properly using alarms.

Another thing to add to my non-procrastination tips... using one 'snooze' period when waking up in the morning. I find it hard to admit because I feel like I should be able to jump out of a deep sleep and immediately get on no matter how tired I feel, but here in the real world, I function much better with one snooze period :) and starting the day without procrastination makes it easier to carry on that way.

The 'giving up procrastination' thing again

I'm gearing up for another attempt and thinking of ways to deal with my internet addiction. I want to cut 'fun' internet use down to 1hr a day. 'Fun' DOES include eail, social sites, surfing and researching things that interest me; it does NOT include PA (not that we don't have fun here ;) ), emailing PA buddies, or strictly practical things like online grocery shopping or looking up train times. 

I need a lot of motivation to accomplish this, so I'm going to offer myself a really big reward. As you may have noticed from the intermittent appearance of Ziva and Abby in the check-in thread, I really love NCIS. I've found a site where I can get season 1-6 on DVD for £70. LOT OF MONEY for me.

I'm going to do a 35-day challenge starting today. Every day I stick to my hour, I get £1. If I go the whole 35 days straight with no slipups, I can double the money and buy myself the DVDs there and then. If not, I still get a pound for every day I succeed and can keep plodding on until I reach 70.

Wish me luck!!

As I said, I'm also trying again to give up procrastination, and have a few new ideas to help with that:

MUST allow extra downtime at stressful times (unless the stress is about having too much to do!! Even then, cut down non-essential tasks)

Start using an iPhone tasklist app

Late nights are a problem - I tend to 'flop' after dinner because I'm tired and realise I have no hope of finishing my tasklist, so I might as well do nothing (!) The following ideas might help:

When starting a break or work activity, PLAN how long it will be and stop when planned

Start emailing PA buddies last thing at night again

Keep tasklist to a minimum - it's not about doing as much as possible, it's about procrastinating as little as possible

Use PA for support, celebrate and reward every success. Push myself to have more rest, treats and fun than I feel I deserve.

Day 4 update 2

Hmm, I procrastinated again. Interesting how it happened, though. I had
been reading a newspaper on the train and was convinced this was
procrastination and I'd blown it, then I realised that I had already
done all the tasks I'd set myself for my commute - I was 'allowed' to
read the paper. Then I went ahead and very definitely procrastinated at
home by surfing the net. It was as if I didn't want the reprieve. I
really need to stop playing these mind games with myself!

Going to try and get back on the horse right away with use of
prayer, chatbox and 5 mins on/5 mins off tasks. I still feel like I'm
on some kind of roll and can beat this.

Day 4 update

I'm now in the 'trying to convince myself that I did not just procrastinate' phase. Yesterday evening was a washout because the dog got attacked by another dog (she's okay, but it was not a productive evening!) and today I'm feeling a bit vague and shaky and am not sure whether it's dehydration, low blood sugar, or fear. Having some lunch, so that should narrow it down!

I haven't really 'lost control' at any point in the last 4 days, but equally I haven't achieved as much as I'd have liked to either... I think I've been a bit TOO easy on myself and not bothered enough about completing my tasklist. The challenge now is to step it up without falling over into tyrannical parent/rebellious child silliness. (I don't need to explain that any further, do I? :) )

Day 2!!! update

I've actually made it this far... haven't completed everything on my tasklist by a long chalk, but haven't been procrastinating either. I need to work at putting less on my tasklist and being more singleminded about doing it. But at the same time, wow! I've done 2 days! (Posting just after midnight so it might look like 3 days... and it WILL be 3 days tomorrow :) )

Lucky 3 days

Three days is fantastic!  Way to go!  :-)


I'm trying again. I know this thread may look like proof that it's impossible to give up procrastination, but there is success here. I managed over two weeks to begin with and I've managed a day very recently. And I keep trying. And I will keep trying until this thread becomes proof that it's possible. THIS time will be the time.

Keep getting back on the horse

It's all about getting back on the horse...everyone I know procrastinates a little bit, and I think some people (not compulsive procrastinators) don't let it phase them when they fall off the horse.  They just climb right back on and keep riding. 

For me this is a huge goal--if I can do this I think will be succeeding in my recovery.  Even when I fall off, or get thrown off by an external circumstance, I will then know I am strong enough to stand up, dust myself off, and climb back on. 

(OK, I've probably carried that metaphor as far as it's going to go. I'll stop now!)