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.

Getting started training and productive procrastination

It's only been about a week and a half since I joined PA but I can't believe the boost in self confidence, general happiness and life satisfaction that I'm experiencing.  I'm not where I want to be yet but for the first time in my entire life I know that I'm improving every day.  I could not have done it without the wonderful support and insight of the people here.  I've learned a lot about my self in this short time and had a few random thoughts to share...

Getting started on a task has been my biggest challenge. I consider myself a fairly competant person when I'm actually working, but have wasted years by not even starting tasks. For me saying that I'll only work on a task for 5, 10, 15 minutes (whatever amount of time that doesn't trigger my fear factor on that task) has been very effective. By repeating this throughout the day (helped immensely by the chatbox!) I have gotten a lot accomplished. Work 15 minutes, 5 minute fun break, work 15 minutes, 5 minute fun break, etc..  I make myself take the breaks even if I don't want to stop what I'm doing. In this way, essentially I have been training myself simply to start. Each time I start a 15 minute work session I am making progress and building my 'start muscle'. Just like repeatedly lifting a weight makes a physical muscle bigger and stronger. Hopefully, one day I won't need to do this, but for now it's exactly what I need. I'm a non-procrastinator in training! Que the Rocky movie theme music.Cool

Another thing that has been helpful is having a written list of very low resistance tasks that need to be done, ex. filing one paper, putting away shoes, responding to one email, etc. and doing those when my procrastination level is very high.  Then I count each task accomplished as a success. Sometimes just saying to myself "Wow. I've already had 10 successes this morning" can help give me the confidence and courage to take on something I consider a little more onerous.  I call this productive procrastination.  Even if I don't take on bigger tasks I can end my day feeling a little better than if I never got out from under the covers.

These may not be original revelations, but they occured to me and it it can help someone else like me I'm glad to share.


All my best to you.

congrats Crazybug!

Good for you! I feel exactly the same about starting, and the value of the chatbox in practicing that. Thanks for the suggestions about the low-resistance tasks, hadn't thought of that but sounds like good strategy.


value of microbursts of work

I also just realized this morning that the value of working for 15 minute microbursts reinforces the idea that quite a bit can be accomplished in that short amount of time. Successful people have been documented to take advantage of short amounts of time to get even parts of tasks done.

I've seen this already where I say to myself when I have 15 minutes before an appontment that I'll just scrub the kitchen sink rather than thinking I must clean the whole kitchen so not doing anything at all.  Now I'm much more likely to use these little windows of time and this has made me much more productive in general.

Great insights Crazybug!

'I'm going to put a smile on my face, put forth a good effort, and be better today than I was yesterday.' - Huma

Thanks Crazybug!

This is great!  Congrats!  It helps me b/c I had not thought of actually looking at my to-do list with the eye of low-resistance to high-resistance.  If I realize a taks is high-resistance and change my expectations for productivity, I may be more willing to jump in and do just 15 minutes.  Oh, and of course praying to my HP.

THanks again!!