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.

Planning and Scheduling

I hadn’t realized the importance of planning and scheduling for we anticrastinators. There are a couple of benefits that I can come up with right away, I’m sure there are more:

• Planning gets things off my mind so I can focus on the task at hand.

• A written plan or to-do list forces me to establish some goals for myself. I am more likely to follow through when I have set a goal. I’m way more likely to complete a goal if it is specific and written. For whatever reason, written goals are simply more likely to be achieved. It creates a real commitment to self that tends to bring about completion. Sharing it with others makes it even more likely to happen (try checking in here just once, you'll be amazed.)

• Scheduling allows me to create breathing room in my day. Apparently my perception of how much I “should

vagueness about time

These are good insights. One of the most useful things I learned from DA is the concept of vagueness as a symptom. They use it as applied to finances. That certain applies to me since I have to fight against ignoring my financial situation, but I find it also applies to time. Part of my problem in using my time well is my vaguess about time - how long things take, how to schedule effectively, what are reasonable expectations, etc.

Procrastination means not putting things off, but then you have to have some clue what to do once you stop putting things off. You need to learn how manage your time to get everything you want done, and to have reasonable expectations so you're not constantly mad at yourself and denying yourself leisure.


That jumped out at me, too, from the DA stuff.

I am notoriously vague about everything, but in particular I am vague about 'now'. I am rarely 'in the moment' and am lost elsewhere. Therefore, I have a poor concept of time and where it goes.

I really need to develop a way of easily logging my time - business, personal, work.... Something that requires little effort (because we all know how long it will last if I have to WORK at it!!!!).

Any suggestions?????

Time log

I made a form for myself when I started time logging.
One column with times every 15 minutes from 6am to 12am. Every 15 minutes write down what I Am doing not what I've been doing or what I'm about to do. Carry this piece of paper in pocket everywhere for a few days. It wasn't to invasive for me. I get tired of writing down "wasting time" too many times in a row and just that got me moving sooner than I used to.

program for logging time

I have a little program called Virtual Stopwatch that I use to log my time when I'm inclined to log. I've also done it in a notebook, but Virtual Stopwatch is easier, and it compiles everything in a way that's easy to review. It's a little shareware program - think it cost me $15.

Thanks, guys.

I might start with the paper version first and see how it goes (typical me - go for the freebie first!). I can't see it being invasive, I just have to remember!!!!

I really need it for my business - I need to log my non-billable hours spent, as well as non-client-related. And especially for client-related, to help with estimating and quoting jobs later on.

Ha ha - I will DEFINITELY get sick of writing 'wasting time'. Although mine would probably say 'wandering around in stupor'. :lol:

How long things take

You actually seemed to be pretty good at this when you were putting in estimates on your lists, pro. You deserve to give yourself a bit more credit! We all get it wrong sometimes, even people who don't habitually procrastinate.

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not hopeless

I guess that proves I have the ability to estimate time well when I focus on it. The problem is, I often ignore it so time slips away and I don't remember where it went. I tend to be unconscious of time - ignore it. That's the big problem.

I get caught like that too

Sometimes when I see it's been a few hours since my last bookend I wonder, 'how did ~that~ happen?'. Even when I'm on task, sometimes I just seem to go slowly.

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Time and Motion

I've just had a similar revelatory experience, although for the opposite reason. I don't plan my time (I'm still at the stage where I'd rather avoid planning anything, so I can slack off without my superego noticing!!).

However, the people at work have asked everyone in the team to hand in a sheet giving details of what we were doing each hour of the day - not in a confrontational way, just as an aid to planning, to see how long it takes to get certain tasks done (you'd have to know my colleagues to not be suspicious of this).

I've just filled mine in for the week, and although of necessity my record of what happened when is largely fictional (I probably spent more than half of my work time this week doing pure non-work distraction activity), it's interesting to see how I made the time stack up when I wanted it to look plausible. A little expansion of just a few things and slightly exaggerating the time spent on emails etc. has given me what looks like a reasonable working week.

Which is interesting, because if friends ever ask me what I do at work (friends I know well), I'm generally inclined to estimate that I do "nearly nothing", but actually it turns out that I do about 50% nothing and 50% work, even without trying! While that's far from ideal, it is the basis for understanding why I haven't yet been canned (up to now I've just assumed it was my natural charm!), and maybe the basis for not despairing completely. What is obvious is that any task on my list that looks like it might take an hour or two always gets bumped along and bumped along - those are the ones I'm frightened of starting.

We're supposed to fill out the form each day, and I haven't been bothering all week, so I've done all of it just now. I did toy with the idea of trying to find an excuse as to why I hadn't done it, then seeing if I could get away with starting the sheet next week.

Will be very interested in how critically my colleagues read this time sheet, and what emerges. If they ask me some difficult questions about it, that could be quite embarrassing. It also means, even if they are not reading very critically, that I will have to work harder next week since this week (the first week of the exercise) I've put some things on the sheet that I actually did the previous week! Next week, I won't be able to double-enter things I did this week!!

I guess it's "imposed bookending" by my employer, and I may yet have reason to become grateful for it. Fortunately, I only have another couple of weeks before I go part time and won't be around in the office, so I may allow it to do me some good for a while (safe in the knowledge it won't last long enough for me to get all aggresively avoidant about it)...

Being accountable

Nothing like being watched to make you pull up your socks!!! I think that this could really be a blessing IF you can be proactive and take responsibility for improving your work rate and therefore your level of honesty in the content of your completed sheets.

I have the same thing at work - every day we have to log our time against certain categories of jobs. I get away with expanding mine because I am really fast when I get into things. So I can easily double the time on my 'sheet' and not have anyone question it! Now, when it comes to my own business I don't really log my time. I sort of to in ACT! but non-client stuff doesn't get logged at all.

Jester's idea is good - post your sheet here every morning. Check in and keep us updated. We'll help move you along when needed ;)


Could you post your time sheet here - i.e. use it for a bookkending format?

of course you would have to post an honest version here, then "clean it up" for your employer

why so many brits here?
not that there's anything WRONG with that...

'So many Brits'

There're only two of us aren't there? I didn't realise that constituted 'so many', LOL!

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Why so many Americans??

Not that there's anything WRONG with that.... :P

Give me time

Must think of a reply

Tut tut....

Not good enough, Jester!!!!!! :P

LOL, Milo

"Tut tut" - that's kind of piling on!

I'm rarely bested in verbal combat. Very rarely.

you are the rare man, then

In general, women tend to best men at verbal combat. (Not making this up - it's true!)


Thanks, that makes it even sweeter 8)

why so many humans?!

And why so many English-speaking people? Don't the Chinese procrastinate?? :P


I know Italians don't - I'm married to one :)

Chinese dont procrastinate

they are already trained to get things done in 1/2 hour blocks of time...

...before they have to eat again


(u know, as in "you'll be hungry again in half an hour")

I am still learning this:

Having 1/3 of my day scheduled as “flood control

Good perspective

Good perspective - build in the time reserve