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.



Tonight is going horribly for me. I have this big essay that was due 19 days ago, and I only have 1/3 of it done. In about a week, it will be the end of the semester, and the final day when I will be able to hand it in.

Tonight, I told myself that I was going to work on it, and I was all pumped up about it. I had a window of opportunity for hte past 4 hours to work on it, but I've barely doen anything. By 10 pm, I would feel anxious just thinking about the project, so I would calm myself down by avoiding it (bad strategy!!). The anxiety-avoidance vicious cycle just kept getting wordse and worse until now, i.e. 12:30AM.


I don't know what to do now, but all I know is that I can't change the past. (Oh, how I wish I could!)

I'm going to try to work on it tonight, but I won't get it done. :( I'm really not looking forward to having to come into class without my paper and possibly face my teacher about it.

At this point, I just need to work on it for a good hour! I can't spare to put this off more... I'm just extremely disappointed in myself right now...

But now i have another reason for putting this off! Working on the project just reminds me of my guilt for procrastinating before!

I can so identify with this


I also am here to say that I am not disgusted with you - instead I aplaud your honesty and courage for posting. My life has been blighted by exactly this same cycle - for decades. So well done for identifying the problem early in life and deciding to tackle it.

One trick I use in this situation is to 'get the kit out'. I pretend I am setting things up for a friend to do the task for me - so I get out the files and paperwork (or whatever) and clear a space at my desk or table and get everything set up for 'them'. I even put out the pens and a glass of water etc like I am making it real easy for them.

Now its easy to do the next trick, 'make a start for them'. I pretend my friend is having difficulty getting started on my task - so I step in and just get them started. I take out some stuff and highlight a paragraph or outline the key headings or 'talk' them thru how the task should be approached. Again, I am tricking my brain by pretending that I am not going to do the task. Yet I am now doing the task.

So the final trick is to just continue on as if I am helping my imaginary (but slightly dumb) friend to make some progress. And even if I dont complete the task - at least I have made some progress.

Now, I know this all sounds silly - and it may not be for you - but it has worked for me in the past. And if its not for you, well it might give you some ideas of your own for overcoming this hurdle.

Just posting here is progress - so well fone for that

Respect, Paul

Drew, I understand your

Drew, I understand your predicament. I have been putting off work that is due for about 3 weeks. I think about it all day at work. The anxiety makes me sleep poorly. I have gotten disgusted with myself in the past but I try not to judge my behavior anymore. I use the 'just do 5 minutes' approach and it works for me. Some of the articles on this site say to remember the long term consequences. Imagine you see the project completed, visualize it, see yourself relieved and satisfied it is done, then start a small part of the project. Waiting for the feeling to do it is an illusion; it maintains the procrastination/avoidance cycle.




Drew, We are NOT disappointed in you. We KNOW your pain. Have you tried the chat box? Sometimes when the timer does not work or if you don't have one, the chat box does.

Hang in there Drew!

 If you can't face working on it for an hour, set a timer and work on it for five minutes.   Then take a break.   Then 5 more minutes, etc.!  We've all been there, you can do it! 


"Bless the present. Trust yourself. Expect the best." --Steve Nobel