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.

this debilitating condition (warning and advance apologies for length)

I don't quite know where to start.I never even thought I'd end up writing an intro (my intention was to remain a lurker), but this has gotten so bad this past couple of weeks that I guess I've sort of reach my breaking point (even though it's an invalid remark as being a chronic procrastinator, I've experienced quite a few of these already-each ending with "never again" only to find them invariably repeat).To say that I'm frustrated or disappointed in myself is an understatement. I find myself being a constant letdown and every time I think of others' perception of me in this regard I feel sick. I want to know what it fees like to be consistent, efficient, disciplined, focused. I want to be able to drown my stupid fears/anxieties, stifle my subconscious, insert some sort of "zen" into my brain and just proceed to do what I'm supposed to do without the meddling of my evolutionary psychology or dysfunctional thought patterns which just impede me from achieving my optimum. I wish I had no moods..I don't know if they're the result of frequent lack of sleep, accumulated disappointment in myself, the fact that I am 2 years behind my peers or my recently manifested jadedness in what I do and the people I'm around. The fact is they're retriggering my inefficient habits and I'm now basically playing a character whose fate is decided-experiencing a sort of deja vu which brought me to my current situation in the first place. My life is playing itself out like a vicous circle.  I have moments when i think I'm getting the hang of things, possibly changing for the better when some sh*t just comes in and ruins it all. I mean there are people in the world who experience setbacks, messed up days, etcetc who are able to pick themselves up again and just resume. So why can't I?

I finished high school at the age of 17-went to school in england. In the last 2 years my academics started to deteriorate. I think it was caused by the 2 years of middleschool before that when i first experienced a demanding curriculum in terms of essays and courseworks with strictly prescribed deadlines, accounting for a huge portion of the end of your middle school qualifications. I really suffered then. I had his problem with essay writing-I just used to overanalyse and be overapprehensive about the structure I'm meant to adopt and the content I'm meant to include and the way in which i'm supposed to write..these are manageable things for the average person but they paralyzed me. I started assignments too late, spending the time between distracting myself w/ the internet, movies, whatever. Once I started it was painful because I'm a thorough, perfectionist worker. Midway I'd be questioning myself-have I got it right? do i understand the expectations of the task? this is so sh*t. All that time I'll be under constant anxiety and fear, working late nights/getting up realy early in the mornings My teachers lost all respect and patience for me. I even skipped lessons (when I didnt want to) because I didnt know how to face my teachers and had no valid excuse for work not handed in. Once stuff was handed in i'd get a lower mark because it was too long, for another subject a teacher said "great work but i didnt ask you to write a thesis" (really hurtful). Other occassions i'd burst into tears after class in front of a teacher when everybody's handed in their final science writeup whereas i had nothing but drafts. I've resorted to every lie possible when it comes to late work. From inducing fever on myself to creating fake corrupted word files. Of course when I was younger I'd relish the fact that i was able to get away (although all this did was reset the dial for a little bit), but I'd grow wearier and wearier as I got older and feel increasingly guilty and ashamed at myself.

I think I had a lot of stuff going on when I was at boarding school..procrastination, perfectionism, anxiety (caused by them, otherwise just predisposition towards panic in daily life), depression (untreated, unrealised, unacknowledged), loss of direction (i guess skipping a grade and being all rounded when i put my mind to it-and conscious of this fact made it harder for me to settle on a future direction/university path), demotivation, etc. This made me take a year out (to find that family at home had a lot of problems), i did some music and languages-but didn't make the use of a whole year as surprise, surprise: lack of planning and procrastination yet again.  I applied to colleges but due to less than stellar marks and one of the biggest contenders in terms of procrastination during completion of collegeapps, got rejected by all of them. This meant a waste of money and time (which wasnt spent wisely anyway), further contributing to the breakdown at home. I'm asian so the above is taboo enough already. I was brought up in a comfortable, middleclass and educated background which really compounds my already existing guilt. Where I'm from, society meddles into the educational paths of children so my parents would be at a function desperately trying to avoid so and so from asking "so what is .... doing?", "where is she?". My life is a big big mess..I am currently redoing high school in a year-quite a rigorous british doing different subjects to the ones i did 2 years ago, except for 1 which is a repeat. Still I have not optimised my time. I tell myself a lot of things-what I'm going to do, what I'm going to become etc but always there'll be some form of subconscious resistance or just a plain insistent bad habit that ruins it all. I started off doing well (even though i didnt put the best of efforts). My January exam marks surprised my teachers and pleased my parents although the latter were aware that I could've done better (and I agree wholhearedly). The truth? I did very little during christmas holidays. I didnt even finish the end of the book for my lit exam (i hated the way it was written), handed in the least amount of essays compared to my peers. But the week before exams i guess i used my anxiety to "cram". Things are very different now since. basically I've gone downhill from there. I started off doing well, being a student of promise, predicted good/great scores but now I don't think i will live up to them. exams start in more than a week. my math is rusty due to spending 1/2 of easter procrastinating on vital literature essays and the other 1/2 frantically completing them. I have since completed them but at a great emotional/mental cost. I get burnt out relatively quickly compared to my peers.  I work in huge chunks of time and as a result take huge chunks of time to recover. Lack of consistency is undermining my confidence. Where i was ahead i am now behind. all of this is retriggering my anxiety and preventing me from functioning well during the day-id be preoccupied about friends' performance in class and how i used to be better, having trouble sleeping at night because i hadn;t done much that day (futile passive resistance, trying to deny "tomorrow") and also being scared sh*less of impending exams. I feel so much guilt, sadness and fear of disappointing my parents again. This repeat course costs money and time and they have been lying to friends about what I'm doing and where I'm at.

I just feel really alone.. I don’t know some days I wish I could press the stop button or something or wake up as somebody else. I made the mistake of being friends with somebody who I thought would be different compared to previous friends (even though history dictates that I don’t get close to people easily/often and don’t do “best friends”), but in retrospect realised that our friendship was based on the mutual bad habits we shared. Once I realised how it brought me down further it killed me. My friend is taking the lax approach to his similar condition. He is happy where he is and at what he is achieving. He is appeasing himself and taking the indulgence approach. He is always telling me that I am too hard on myself and shouldn’t be in the fast lane all the time. It kills me because people have this preconception of me being a hard worker (when I do get down to it I am conscientious) and all that I just feel like a cheat because most of the time I’m not even able to keep it up. I recognize that I may be naturally not dumb and when focused, motivated and working consistently can produce great results but I feel like a flipping volcano that erupts once in a while between dormant periods. It just sucks to be labeled as nerd slash slacker all the time. The dichotomy is just amazing. Maybe I should start doing check-ins or something? But I don’t know I mean how different would it be to what I write myself (on an amazing/desperate day I complete my tasks but otherwise what I write never gets done).

Sorry for the disorganized, incomprehensible, overly long post. It’s 5am right now..Sunday morning. I have school on Monday and a multitude of assignments which could’ve gotten done today. I just couldn’t sleep and got sick of it so thought I’d get something out of my chest.

Thank you guys for your

Thank you guys for your support.

I was in a really bad shape for a few weeks now till, well today. I managed to get more sleep yesterday and today and talked to my brother (who has just opened up about to me about his similar problems) and I don't know maybe somebody up there feels sorry for me, but I "woke up" today for some reason.I think it's because I redifined my goals and saw myself through my brother's position (which was me 1 year ago) and me today and realised how far I've come..

 My flame (albeit little for now) is restored, my mind is cleared. I am settling back in with less anxiety..granted exams are now nearer to say, a few weeks before when i started to get down.. but i've made a plan..i have 3 weeks until the start of exams which matter and 5 weeks until the last papers. The good thing is that my major slip happened around mid march.. (and  before that i was more consistent than i was in the past) so all is not lost. If this state of mind stays, I will be able to work some magic through practice and concentration...hopefully i will make equal progress and not have to sacrifice any one of my subjects to get a better mark in the other.

Wish me luck!

Hi Ian

It takes time, and learning small new behaviors, but it WILL be better if you keep showing up here and chipping away at it.  

One thing that can help start is if you get "the Big Book" of Alcoholics Anonymous (actually titled Alcoholics Anonymous - the term Big Book is what everyone in the program calls it.)  Read it through and replace the term drinking with the term procrastinating.  That is one good place to start.  The people on this site are just like you or me - we know it it not a cute, funny joke - "I'll get around to it tomorrow" - it is BRUTAL and debilitating.  It will kill us just as surely as alcoholic or heroin would kill the chemical addict, ours just would do it more slowly.  Yeah, great...

Keep coming back.  




 Lurker or no Lurker, you will never be alone any more, Thank you for sharing, Keep coming back.


You are not a quitter, what you are doing shows that. Don't give up on yourself. Just get through it, checking in here helps. Everything happens for a reason. Sound like there is more going on than just academics.

Welcome Hopeful!

You are NOT alone.   You've definitely come to the right place.   Stop beating yourself up over past mistakes and start building new habits.  


'Today you have the opportunity to handle those old situations in a completely new way.' -  Michael J. Emery

Mate, I skim read this one

Mate, I skim read this one (sorry im meant to be doing other things) but quite frankly from a fellow student to another - congratulations on getting it off ya chest. Its quite a weight to carry alone. Its going to take small steps but with the support of those on this site you can make it. I can only tell you that the over-thinking and anxiety you feel is not weird, reminds me of myself. I dont mean to trivialise your story by any means but in my case I believe my lack of progress (in almost every area of my life) comes from a lack of direction. I dont know what I want and whatever I do want I am too scared to fight for. I believe you have find something, anything to be ambitious about, to want, to achieve in order to break this cycle. That is how I intend to break mine. It could be as small as "wanting to complete highschool so I dont have to do it over again". Start small and build, keep grinding it out - hey Rome wasnt built in a day right.

In summary apply yourself to this website do what you can - the people here are really supportive. If nothing else, you can relate to others stories and perhaps gain knowledge from their experiences. As a side note, I am an asian guy, didnt put up so called asian numbers in my end of highschool test. I got into the easiest uni there is, grinded it out for a year and now attend a much more established, "asian friendly" (in my course of study at least) uni yet still I procrastinate despite the lessons ive been dealt out over my short life. I realise I cant depend on what people's expections are; I have to find out what I want for myself, I'm not even sure if it involves university. However I'm a realist, I realise that despite the cost of it all, university is the best way for me to ensure my future financially. My hope is to find what im looking for at university, follow it and beat this procrastination forever.