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.

desperate: can't work anymore

Hello all

I just found this site, and registered.
In in a difficult situation, don't know how I got to this or why.

I'm self employed, work at home, alone.
I don't want / I can't lose my job.

I got ZERO work done on the last TWO weeks.
I'm spending 18-20 hours a day sitting in front of the computer, but somehow, I can't work.
It's unbelievable. Hours pass by, and I feel like if my brain was on strike, refusing to engage any work activity.

Sounds really idiot, but it's getting quite out of control.
My marriage is suffering with this as well.

I really don't know where to start to overcome this situation. I've always been a procrastinator, but lately it's getting way worse - I'm reaching the bottom. I took 2 weeks vacation before of that, just to rest and figure out that I was really tired only. It's not it.

Any suggestion, comment is very welcome

Thanks a lot.

Cant Work

Hello All,
I just found this site yesterday. Barrett, I can really relate to your comment. I am "working from home" because I couldn't force myself to look for new opportunities while I had a job. I was separated from a job I held for six years (a real record for me) in Dec. 2004. I went back into the workplace in May 2005 and lasted until July 2006.

My habits of extreme procrastination do not entirely account for my job setback. Neither job was a good fit for my skills or abilities. However, I had time in both cases to find something more suitable and I just couldn't force myself to do it. I went into lock down mode and let everything fall apart.

This site is the first light I have seen at the end of a very dark and very long tunnel. For the first time, I feel that someone out there understands how awful and devasting and "organic" procrastination can be and that cute time management tips will not fix it.

Thank you for doing this. I will be checking in regularly. I feel better this morning than I have in such a long time. I feel that maybe I might have a fighting chance at being able to count on myself to save myself. Bless you all.

Hi DeeBo

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Welcome aboard.

You belong here with us ;)
Don't wait to jump in, get started bookending you can't do it wrong. The water's fine.

Welcome, DeeBo!

You are certainly not alone here. I destroyed my career through procrastination and chronic lateness with work. This site really helps. Since I've been using the tools of posting my to-do lists and bookending, my productivity has skyrocketed compared to what it was.

I strongly encourage you to join us with bookending. There's a post about how it works at the top of the Bookending board. (Click the Forums button, then click on the Bookending board and you'll see it.) Format your to-do lists and check-ins in whatever way is useful to you (you don't have to copy the format that any of us use), and please don't be intimidated by seeing people check off to-do list items. You will be, too, very soon. This tool really works.

Also, I suggest reading the articles on the site (click the Articles button for a list) to get some insight into what's behind your procrastination. I've found that there's always a reason - it's not just insane, self-sabotaging behavior - and knowing the reason is important. There's some reason why you didn't look for a job. Don't wait to figure that out before you start bookending and working on the problem, though. For me, the insights came after I started bookending.

See you on the bookending board! :)


Hi, DeeBo! So glad that you've found us. Welcome to our little community, and don't hesitate to jump on in.

For Barret

Does all your work need to be done at the desk? Sometimes I sit in front of my computer because it represents 'work' but I'm just glued to it and can't get myself going. I need to move. So if I can find a work related thing that doesn't involve the computer it can get me started again. Anything will do - picking up mail, running an errand, visiting a client etc. Anything that gets you moving and gets you away from the desk whilst still being on task.

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geographic cures

I also find that moving to a different location helps. Since my computers are all notebooks and I have a wireless network, I can work anywhere in my home. When I had a house and I felt stuck, I'd bring my notebook into the living room and set myself up on the couch. Even in this one-room apartment, it helps me to move from the desk to the couch (with my computer) when I switch from one task to another. I have problems with transitions, and somehow the change in location helps me over the hump.

Hello and welcome!

I've been doing that for months - okay, years - at my office job, and boy is it a scary/out of control/depressing feeling. Heart in my mouth every time my boss walked by, crying, anxiety attacks, the whole nine.

I just found this forum, too, and I don't know if I represent typical results, but I've accomplished more at work in this past week then the past MONTH - and my whole attitude has changed. I'm happy, I'm diligent, I have energy when I get home.

I hope you find this peer support forum as helpful as I have. Hang in there!


you belong here with us. Welcome!

barret - I've been there and done that!!

Hi Barret,

I think of every post I've ever read in this forum, I relate most closely to yours. I've been self-employed for many years, and have had just the experience you describe. I'll sit in front of the computer because I feel too guilty to go anywhere else, but I'll do anything but what I'm supposed to be doing. I simply can't get myself to do it.

I've had this situation in two contexts now, and both were due to the same core issue. I don't know you at all - know nothing of your history - and I can't know if this fits for you, but here's what was going on for me.

I did NOT want to do this work - I REALLY didn't want to do it - because I deeply didn't like it. My "logic" was telling me, "What's the matter with you? You've got a great gig! You work at home, you make good money [[or did - I sure don't now]]. You don't want to lose this!" But I DID want to lose it. I felt trapped.

In situation #1 I got my wish - I eventually lost my job, and in fact trashed my entire career because of my lateness in getting work done, so I couldn't get another job in the field. (There were other reasons I couldn't work in the field - and didn't want to - but I made sure I couldn't.)

Situation #2 is happening now. I'm in the process of closing a piece of my business that isn't working well for me - or as a business. I thought the business slowness was because I wasn't giving it my full effort, but I now see that on some level I also understood that (despite the pressure from my family), this business was no-win. I was right to want to do something else.

Essentially, my procrastination (and perhaps yours) was a form of passive aggression. I didn't feel free to directly disengage from the situation, so I sabotaged it by not playing my part - behaving in a way that would get me kicked out. Sometimes people can feel this resistance even when there isn't a good reason for it. The term for this form of passive aggression is "Demand Resistance".

If you look in the Articles list, you'll see more on this. I've also posted more on my own situation in other places in the forum.

Hi, barrett

You've come to a good place. We all understand what your situation is like, to one degree or another. Everybody here struggles with serious procrastination. Look around, read the articles, and try bookending. You might find some really long lists here (mine are like that sometimes), but if you really need dynamite to get moving, try posting what you'd like to accomplish in the next hour, and then check back in at the end of the hour. Even if nobody responds to you immediately (especially on the weekend), the fact that you have posted what you intend to do often helps you to do it. And if you have to keep reporting back that you STILL haven't done it, eventually you will get tired of that and manhandle your way into getting that thing done. What's more it often helps if you break even that one hour into 15-minute increments. If your task will take longer than 15 minutes, write, "Work on taks 15 minutes" and repeat that twice more. The last 15 minutes do something fun! The rewards are EVERY BIT AS IMPORTANT as the tasks! As you look around you may spot some other methods that appeal to you more. Feel free to try whatever works best for you--and hang in there. You're not alone. Working at it in manageable ways does help!

Welcome Barrett


Cant add a thing to what Pro and Slider said. i was in the same position as you 10 days ago, now my life is moving and lurching like riding an elephant without a saddle. Big change.

Key is to start bookending exactly as Slider describes.

I suggest making a list of everything on your mind. Get it all out there. We are anonymous here, you can be open. Good luck. we're rooting for you.



I'd just like to say thanks to all replies, really. I very comforting to know that there are other people who go through the same situation. I'm trying harder to plan, and been reading the articles. I hope to get better - working for it. Thanks a lot, I'll keep around and post more soon.