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.

hidden_motives' progress report

August 30th,

My first report. This thread will be more for my own personal use, for me to check on my progress and identify weak points in my strategy than it will be for anything else. However everyone is invited to post words of advice or encouragement.

I am currently feeling down. I'm doing more than I do when I have a game to play, one that I don't feel like deleting, but I still don't know if I can manage myself well enough.
These last few days I've been spending more and more time visiting a forum on games. I post in threads that don't concern or interest me and visit the same threads multiple times a day. A lot of the people on this thread are like that. Every once in a while I feel a certain high from entertainment derived from one of the threads. It's definately relaxing to surf this forum.

However I start school in two days. I can't do poorly in my second year of Undergrad or no one will hire me when I graduate. I think I will be trying leechblock and shorter duration lockdowns. When I make lockdown periods of 100hours or more, I just use the 32 character password that I've written down to bypass leechblock and end up spending more time browsing than I would have. Once I get to college, I can get around this problem by leaving the password at home and doing all of my work at school. (hopefully).

I will also be speaking to my university's counselors to discuss ways of curbing my addiction to procrastination.

Meh, not everything is bad. I got an A, the presumably, highest score in my makeup class, so I'll be getting the credits for Calc 2 this semester, leaving me free next summer to pursue internships. Next summer I will also know to stay in Toronto.

I'd meant to write this yesterday but my internet connection went out.

Another new year

I am back in school and this semester I have 6 courses. Only 2 can be considered easy courses as all we do is design a website and they're group courses. The others are complicated.

I haven't done enough this semester and if I continue at my pace I will definitely fail a course. It is hard but I will try to pull through. Some newfound motivation randomly fell into my lap today. Will investigate. 


My grades last semester were well above my normal average but I definitely tried less hard during the latter half of the semester than the earlier half. Most of my increase seems to be from assignments and from a few last minute reviews of past exams and with study groups. 

Newfound motivation

The newfound motivation comes from actually doing something. On the way to class I had been thinking about a video game. I don't play it anymore. But when I got to class, because I had a great professor, I could understand what he was saying and I felt like I learned things. The motivation lasted for the whole week.


I promptly failed come the weekends on staying focused.

Right now I am two assignments behind and have failed a test. I have another one tomorrow that I have not started studying for. This is hard. I have a full day of classes tomorrow too.


It's very hard to get started. I feel like lectures are a wall where I learn nothing. I feel like assignments I barely get any work done after several hours. My eyesight is getting worse and when I sit in the back or middle of the class I can't see shit. So then I procrastinate and spend an entire day/night playing games. This reminds me of a few days two years ago when I did the same thing, dropping life to play games. It's not good. Worse with 6 courses.


Readint through this page there have been a lot of comments that I have missed. You guys are amazing. Thank you :) 

New Year

I like the month January. It always feels nice and clean.

I don't do much in my free time besides browse the web and play games. They're lots of fun and I spend time with friends(through skype on this year off) and family.

I spend some time at home programming. I want to spend less time gaming and browsing but I don't really know how. It's like such a large and time consuming part of me but I feel guilt that I'm not making an app. Anyways just wanted to post that I'm still fighting the fight. 

I stayed home today.

I stayed home today and tried to work here. My mom yelled at me a lot. I feel terrible about it now. I didn't get as much done though so I should go to work anyways.

I was having a pretty good week, where at night I read a bit of python and watched videos that I downloaded while waiting for the bus home. I just missed my bus to work this morning by 2-5 minutes and then the next one didn't see me as I was sitting so I decided to work from home. I left really late though (9AM). I should get back to leaving earlier. Going to bed earlier too. In the winter it's harder to get out of bed, and there isn't anyone I want to see either at work.


It's all right. This is a temporary problem(my work this year and my mom yelling), one that doesn't deserve contemplation of a permanent solution. I'm going to do some catchup work tonight, and go to bed soon (pre 12). I'll have a key to my alarm downstairs in the bathroom and try to wake by 7 AM. I should view this somewhat positively. At least now I might get up on time.


I'll feel better about myself in the long run. Right now I just have to try my best to relieve my stress so I don't smash my computer. I did that once getting yelled at for something and then my parents had to buy a new hard drive when I was in high school. I should stop taking advantage of the fact my work has a lenient from home policy and that I don't have meetings in the morning.


Also I won't be doing weekend classes this year.  It's not worth the effort. Some things can be learned online these days anyways without wasting time on useless hoops and money on classes.

Working from home

Personally I can not work welll from home. I get distracted so easily. I also get distracted at work on most days, but on some I can edit my host files and not browse the web for an entire work day (8 hours).

Tomorrow I will be working from home. I did not do much last Friday. Perhaps I can do better tomorrow. I am still not happy with my life. I wish I could do better.


Here are a few things I have tried recently:

I have tried logging everything I do. It works well... while I am at work. But it is very easy to start getting distracted and stop logging what I am doing.

I also tried making a new plan every day to write down things I would do, making every task really small and easy, and setting up a queue and a right now task to hide the burden of having too much to do from my subconscious mind. This worked well.. for one Friday. Then I started to play again. What I need is accountability and the chatbox hasn't done it for me in the past because I have not actively sought it.

I need accountability from someone who will always be on in the weekend and while I am at work. That is all. I will be more diligent with looking for accountability in the chatbox from now on.

Back in school and timing everything by hand

I'm back in school. This is the best school year I've ever had. Attended tons of lectures but I don't know how much of it is from environmental factors of living with my friend. I'm as caught up on my readings as I've ever been but still behind.

Weekends are still a mess or at the least inconsistent.


I will try to record everything I do while on the computer manually. Eg:

9:43 started reading

9:46 need to watch a youtube video.

I did this for work last year but didn't feel it was necessary because I was at work. 


Also for a few months I've been using taskcoach instead of a daily word document to log my tasks. It's grown into a huge list but at least nothing gets lost forever on my todo lists. 

Hi Hidden_Motives

Great that you are having a good school year. Keep up the good work! I can relate to a lot of what you say, tho with me it is not computer games, but I recognise the addictive procrastination problem. Well done for keeping going and finding ways to tackle it. Maybe see you in the Chatbox sometime.

All the best,


Habituation to guilt

Summer's halfway done. I don't keep as carefula log of my time anymore. I should.


I played quite a bit this weekend, not even with friends, just to see how good I was.

I haven't found any summer courses. I need them to be on the weekend if I do take them over the summer. And I can't do online courses since I don't get the credit.


Also I think I'll be working at my current job for the next year. This is fine. I'll delay graduation by a year, and graduate with all my friends. If I live at home, I'll be frustrated with my parents but I'll be with my little brother a lot more too. I earn more money overall. I just can't see my best friend in person anymore. And he'll graduate before I come back to Toronto. That and I don't know if I want to find a girlfriend here knowing that I (want) to go back and finish my last year at the UofT so I'd have to leave a potential SO for a year.


I've procrastinated a lot, but I was lucky to have rolled a 5 at birth. My life is fine.

I don't know if I can work here anymore

Questions have been raised on my performance at work. I thought I was working hard. The concerns raised were renegged but that they existed at all are frustrating. I don't like work. I'd rather stay home. I'd want to learn on my own but probably wouldn't.


I wake up super late these days. I make the bus but I'm always 20 minutes late for work now whereas I used to be early and no one cares. I could force myself to get out of bed. I don't sleep enough when I should be sleeping at 10. I often like 9 hours of sleep, and 12+ on the weekends.


I'm going to try out It's a site where people create goals for themselves and they donate money when they fail to reach said goal. There's no organization I hate, or like that much, but I should pay real money if I continue to break specific goals. I have enough money now and feel like improving myself.

There's also such a thing as a life coach. I don't trust them.

Stickk is unweildy because you can only report on yourself every week whereas I'd like to donate as close to the bad behavior as possible. I've started accepting my behavior. Relaxing on the weekends. I'm not sure how to proceed. If I should be more stringent. 

The ball is rolling

I felt really like being productive today on the bus. Hope it sticks.


Feeling somewhat stressed in the workplace. Will do my best though. 

An article

One of the main things that makes quitting video games hard is that they provide more than just the fun during the game. This article explains how reading about the game is also lots of fun.

 I join in discussions about games and different ways to play games all the time. My youtube page is bombarded with videos of league of legends. So even if I uninstall the game, I still can't leave it completely. And when I get home from work or I wake up reading the threads and posting on them is one of the first things I do. There's a social factor there. 

The problem isn't entirely any installed games I will sleep a lot and continue to procrastinate on things that I should do.

The article advocates finding something else enjoyable to fill the time: guitar, but I want to be able to get things done, not just to replace one habit that involves procrastination with another. 

My parents wanted to see my grades

I've uninstalled my games but I am still procrastinating on youtube videos, reddit, and TL.


My dad asked to see my transcript today and I think he saw the numerical grade of 26. I think he thought I had secretly failed and that's why I wanted to take a year off from school to do a coop, so I could delay telling them for a year. I closed the screen soon after. The feeling of having both parents see your grade is horrible. I dread the hour long berating that they do while I just sit there with nothing to defend myself.


I'm also slow at getting OSAP, asking my boss if I have the coop, whether I have a place to stay if I don't have a coop. Basically all the possible bad things in life hinge on whether I have my coop or now. I asked through email but got no reply. In person tomorrow. FOR SURE.


One day I'm going to invent something that will make it hard to procrastinate online. I'm decent with shell scripting now, but shell doesn't really provide the GUI interface. I'd like it to remove all bad browsing tendencies like leechblock does on firefox, while also removing lists of known proxies, and finally having frequent checkups asking me what I've done and what I intend to do for the next xty minutes. Basically I want to one day make a program that will fix my procrastinating tendencies the way I think will work.

Use stayfocusd to block

Use stayfocusd to block sites if you use chrome. Or use Freedom or Anti-Social on Macs. Good luck! Im rooting for you!


Uhm so today was fine. I wanted to go to bed early but couldn't fall asleep at 10. Going to go take a shower.

 Also my manager says he will deal with talking to HR about the yearlong position and told me to not talk to them. I may be paranoid but now I suspect they don't want me here D:


Summer and full time work

It's very tiring. It's not as demanding as ECE second year was. But maybe I'm just not used to 40 hours of work a week. I get an hour off too, but since I work with some other interns in the office, I don't normally take midday naps anymore since I'm afraid I'll get called out on it.

One of the other interns left Friday. He's going to work somewhere else for a few weeks.

That just leaves me and the girl intern. She's in the same major as me. We're heading to somewhere tomorrow for a convention. The costs are really high for plane fare and tickets. I think she's stalky and might know I'm using this handle -_-

She probably doesn't but that's just how I imagine stalkery people. Oh and I procrastinate a lot these days. I'm at that point where I'm tracking my daily activity, but it's not enough. I just keep getting started on an activity and then getting distracted. It's tough.

I've got a diagram and a script I wanted to write out. I also have to pack my things for the flight tomorrow. That comes first. 


I was reading the articles here and someone said to think small. I'll try that. 

Baby steps

Baby steps are the things I need to use to get started.

I've been finding them very useful. The difficult part though is staying focused. There are so many things on the web to look at. I can't say I've noticed pomodoro's to be too useful as I'll often interrupt pomodoros to procrastinate on youtube or something similar.

I got back from my trip. I asked the girl if she wanted a boyfriend. She said no. Oh well. The programming competition immediately afterward the trip was fun. I programmed an entire night with very few breaks. I don't know what was motivating me. Purpose, not letting down the other interns, back against a wall, or just having fun.

I'm still keeping track of how much I game. I went just over 4 hours today. Too high, but also not too damaging. I'd like to do learn some more about the tools I need for this job though. I am not doing enough for what I'm paid. I feel a drop in productivity and behaviors that would hurt me in my future educational studies (still can't tell anyone one reason I'm not doing grad school is my grades are too low).

I'm just afraid that I'll continue like this into the future. That I'll be forever alone. That I won't be able to hold a permanent job. That I'll never be able to accomplish anything good. That I'll have debts and taxes unfiled. That I'll continue working on things that I don't like. 


So I usually have a sentence on new things I'll try. Here's one. I will start logging everything I do more carefully. 2 hours preparing for breakfast? Logged. Sleeping? Napping? Logged. If this works, I may consider restarting to use tools like rescuetime to log my time automatically on the computer.

Why I'm Unhappy All the Time

Just because I know how much time I'm wasting doesn't mean much. I'll know that I need to change. That doesn't mean I will.

I see my friends on facebook and they are all very happy with their lives. They are having fun. I am scared to pursue these fun things. These games. Perhaps because I'm afraid of falling into an addiction with them. But no one else seems to mind.

I don't read much these days. I consider recreational reading a waste of time that could better be used learning, doing useful things, or sleeping. But I think reading The Fountainhead a long time ago by Ayn Rand changed me. Don't judge me wrongly, I am not an objectivist. But I loved the character Howard Roark. I loved that there was a man with an unbreakable moral code and I wanted to be like him. I wanted nothing more than to achieve good. I personally don't care if I die to achieve it. If a man came up to me with a briefcase of a million dollars and gave me a 1/100 chance of dying and a 99/100 chance of getting the briefcase I'd take the risk, and then I wouldn't spend the money on a house or put it into a savings account, or go on vacation (even if it were a billion, I wouldn't). I might finish school, and get a part time job, but I'd focus on staying at home and working on a website every day. In and out. I'd never talk to anyone, effectively shutting myself off from the world, and any contacts. I really think I'd do this. And I know that I love my little brother and I love my friends.

And so I can't accept myself letting go and having fun. I can't seem to accept myself just playing video games and going to work this summer. I'm sure it's also a mix of regret for bad decisions in the future.

Dogs have it right.

Dogs are always so happy. Like little kids. One of my friends once said he was kind of jealous of a mentally handicapped guy because that guy was always happy (he wasn't always, I lived in the room next to his for a year, but he seemed that way). I should have fun. I just don't want to get too caught up in fun that I procrastinate on necessaries.

I've been getting very stressed recently, and I think I've realized that things should be simple. People have a way of overcomplicating things. 

to hidden_motives

"so I can't accept myself letting go and having fun." It feels so related. I'm too often so angry and disappointed with myself that I just can't let myself having fun. Like a punishment. I feel like I've procrastinated so much that I don't deserve to have fun within the next few years at all. And even if I do let myself have fun I feel guilty and don't enjoy what was supposed to be fun. Ahh :(

can relate re: Facebook

I can relate to feeling unhappy when on Facebook. I tried just not going on it for a few years, but now I am on a support group on there and feel obligated to respond to people's questions. Eventually I had to unsubscribe from everyone that gave me a bad or unhappy feeling. It bothered me that the fun I had was different than the fun they had.

I am sorry you are so unhappy :( I can't relate to everything, but I couldn't not respond. I think we are all looking for balance, and it is harder to achieve than people make it out to be. Hang in there.

Hi hidden_motives!

I am sorry to hear you are unhappy. Please don't be too hard on yourself, remember you have got yourself a job for the summer and you are doing what is needed in that job.

Personally I don't think our goal as procrastinators should be to work all the time - that would be another extreme. And I also don't think that filling every possible minute of our day with 'worthwhile' activity is achievable or balanced. I also think that it's very important for our wellbeing to have close interactions, relationships and friendships with others.

Anyway, this isn't all about me. I can understand you are scared of getting addicted to games - are there other things you can do with your friends that would be fun and relaxing?

Wishing you all the best :)

re: parents

most people here who tell their parents or loved ones report that it didnt go as bad as they expected, and they wind up getting some support from them which tends to help things. And the honesty and not hiding things helps them, they generally report. So i hope that for you too it will be a positive thing.

I'm sure it was tough. I'm proud of your bravery for doing it.

the touch of the master's hand:

fall down seven times, get up eight - japanese proverb


Thank you

It was tough. I procrastinated on telling them because I didn't want to feel bad.

I seem to have so many things that I can do, work related things each and every day. If I'm to almost always prioritize work then I might always have things to work on. This means that I don't really have the time to game. So then I should probably just not play games at all. I do want to play, but it's a slippery slope.


I got up really late again today. Couldn't fall asleep for an hour yesterday because I drank coffee in the morning. I'm using two more alarms. 

give up gaming?

whether you should give up gaming is a very difficult decision that only you can make for yourself.

One of the advantages i see and people here talk about with addition to alcohol or say gambling is that you can go cold turkey. You dont need to ever have another drink or make another bet for the rest of your life.

But with procrastination, you can't stop doing things. Or with overeaters anonymous or sexaholics anonymous you can't or dont want to give up those things forever.

so it's a matter of doing them in moderation. I think it's harder to have to survive the temptation every day, than to avoid the temptation altogether.

Most people would probably agree it's not wrong to game. It only becomes a problem when it starts interfering with our other responsibilities.

Let us know how you decide to handle it.

the touch of the master's hand:

fall down seven times, get up eight - japanese proverb


I think you're right.

I know I'm not going to give up something that's such a deeply ingrained part of me. I just need to be careful. Have been waking up slightly better and have not fallen off track yet. Haha, at least I'm beating my High school summers where all I did was read books and swim all day. I learned a great deal then but being able to work at a job makes me feel like I'm moving towards my goals.


This weekend I played just over 3 hours. Mostly with a friend. 

Update Number 13

2.7 hours

2.4 hours gaming these past two days. I should limit it to one game a day. ~1.2hrs for long games, 20 minutes for short ones.

Over the weekend I saw a movie, The Avengers, with a friend. I spent all of Friday, some of Saturday, and all of Sunday visiting these friends. I won't see them for an entire summer, and may rarely see one of them again since he just graduated.

Playing video games when I have a lot to do is tiring. Spending time trying to figure out how to move home for the summer. I got my position at Pearson Education. My main goal is to get everything organized for my moveout. If I get a call to pick up my things tomorrow, I don't know if I'll have enough time to prepare.


This isn't working. The objective tomorrow is simple. I will try to pack my things without using the computer at all when I get home or get up tomorrow. I still can't seem to work on the computer while alone.

Got Home

I hate coming home. Every talk with my parents is like an interrogation. I always feel suicidal after a few days, and whenever I look at subway trains. :/ They're leaving to go home to China though so I'll be fine.

Update Number 14


My dad will be going back to China for 2 weeks. My mom and little brother a bit longer. I don't know when they're leaving.

I'm thinking back about the past semester and how those last few days I thought to myself, "I'll study for Physics of the Earth's Final so that even if I don't pass I still will not go on probation." I procrastinated on studying for it. Well I'm on probation now. I can perhaps try to get a friend or counselor to watch me, to force me to get a signature from the professors indicating I went to class. But they can't force me to study outside of class.

I remember going on PA numerous times throughout the semester, and going to the chatbox and I remember ignoring responsibilities even then. I broke my promise to my best friend about not playing and still played after he found out. I rationalized that it didn't matter once I broke the rule.

My failure would have started in first semester when I thought to myself that I'd finally be able to control my procrastinative tendencies. My grades were improving, and I rationalized that I'd have to face the problem sooner or later. I had stayed away from Starcraft 2 for a full year after its release and I had worked for an entire summer. So my friends invited me to play league of legends with them, and I joined them some time in september. I played a bit in first semester, but only half that of second semester. There were quite a few days where I stayed up late first semester just reading up on the game.

I procrastinated, messing up at least 20 points in an arts and science elective, 20 points in a math course, and 10 points in the hardest course of my life which I just scraped by passing. And all thanks to my amazing partner.

I kept up in one course this semester: Algorithms and data structures. I was always the first to do the assignments and felt like I was the one who understood the course the most out of all my friends, in fact I was often teaching them. I don't think I remembered till just now but I got an A- in that course :84. The FIRST A in my college career. Hell I'd never gotten a B+ before. Why'd I keep up? The course was interesting, but no there were other interesting courses. I liked this girl who joined my group and I probably wanted to impress her.

Second semester got worse though. I missed a lot more classes and played twice as much as before. I made a blog elsewhere on a gaming forum committing myself to quitting but failed quite a few times.  I recognized I had a problem at this point.. but I couldn't stop. I stopped gaming for a few days at a time, but I'd still think about the game and still watch videos of it instead of keeping up with my courses.


I honestly don't know if finding a girl to fawn over would help. Keeping up with one medium difficulty course is different from keeping up with 5 courses. And I'm not sure if I'd habituate. There are quite a few married PA members. Fact is I'm not spending my time where I need to be.

I also have some difficulty concentrating. I noticed it today in one of the presentations. I zoned out and my new friend had to call me back. When my boss was explaining things to us I zoned out again. This happens often enough in class. 

Another though

I do see a problem with using rewards as motivation to do things. Maybe rewards can only be used to get started doing things, but the intrinsic desire should keep one working.

re: does it get better?

well, i can only share my experience, and pray and hope for you and others, cuz i think everyone's different.

Things have gotten better for me. last 2 years of my performance review for work were the first 2 that i did not have "needs to work more effectively" or some such. Before that--15 years straight of that on my review. Before that it was too easy to stay up all night and finish my work, so no one noticed. Not any more.

Also, it's spring and i have kept up with our pool the best i ever have. Still not great, but better than ever.

I still have a LONG way to go. But things are DEFINITELY better.

So, if i were you, i would want to know, "well, how'd you do it?"

I would say,

1. keep trying. I am very impressed as to how you keep trying things. I think that's key.
2. this fellowship. There is something magical about sharing this problem with others. I makes me know i'm not alone. It gives me perspective. It lifts my spirits. It gives me advice. I really like these people! It's fun. They're all great.
3. use the tools. They're in a link above. Different ones work for different people. Microbursting & chat work really well for me--i use them daily.
4. je ne sais quoi - I know you believe in determinism, but i can not see the complete causal chain between events and results when i look at my own life. I am convinced that a Higher Power is looking out for me and giving me both positive and negative experiences at just the right time to guide me down a path that is ultimately positive for me. From my perspective of my own life, i think this is the thing that pushed me over the edge, that tipped it all into a positive spiral. I think without this component, the others would not have added up to success for me. And this gives me great Hope about my future. And i do pray that something similar happens for you. But again, i can only speak from my own experience.

Today is a good example of all this. I got myself, thru thinking, into an emotional mess tonight. Sunday night--work tomorrow. Does not bode well for getting up tomorrow (hard on any day) and being productive.

So i came to this website, not because i know what would happen here, just because i know this is a place of healing for me. It is one of my tools.

And i read your post, and was intrigued, and inspired, and i did not feel alone. Your story sounds VERY similar to mine. Altho you have a 20 year head start to me--good for you! And i watched your video on Determinism which i found VERY intellectually stimulating. Excellent video and description. Very good points presented.

This all got me out of my own head, and i feel much better. And i have a sense of God working thru my circumstances, at another level. Of course it is 1:43am, and that's going to hurt tomorrow. but i think it'll be better this way. Not perfect, but better.

I hope you can keep updating. I really like to read them.

Wishing you recovery...

the touch of the master's hand:

fall down seven times, get up eight - japanese proverb


Aww thanks.

That means a lot. I don't think I'll be going away anytime soon unfortunately. haha.

I failed the course. I know that now. I'm trying to figure out ways to move forwards from here.

I told my parents.

They weren't too mad. This is new. I'm not sure how this will affect me.

I'm logging my hours spent wasting time now. Around 5hours of wasted time after my first day at work again. I'm going to bed at 10:50. I'll try to cut this down tomorrow and most of all try to remain focused on the task at hand. When I work on something but spend half the time browsing I'm only 50% efficient. I'll also start putting my alarm in a box to make sure I don't wake up late anymore.


I talked to my high school valedictorian on facebook today. She was always this amazingly bright person, I dare to say the most driven and ambitious I know, and gifted beyond belief with amazing work ethic, and a near photographic memory. But she scared me too. I never wanted to get on her bad side. Honestly I always thought she didn't have the right motivations in life but she seems to be doing things that are fun for her and succeeding in school. And now perhaps I'm the one with bad motivations. She was busy (I shouldn't have bothered her) and we stopped talking after half an hour.

Ok so music isn't working

Ok so music isn't working. I just failed to continue with my work even when listening to music. I still waste a lot of time on youtube and forums. :/ This sucks. Weekends are the worst since I have no one to keep me on track and I tend to start them off very poorly.


I'll try keeping a timer always on whenever I'm using the computer. The timer will be overlayed on top of everything else so it can't be ignored (unless I watch a full screen videos but other than movies most videos last less than the duration of a 25 minute timer).


I don't seem to care too much about the chatbox and can ignore it for hours. 

Hidden motives, I remember

Hidden motives, I remember a hypnotist once saying that the deep brain interprets no as yes, and so hypnosis tapes never say 'don't smoke' or whatever but help plant new ways of feeling and thinking.

I've often considered how this might relate to self-talk. Maybe telling oneself don't, and I'd better not etc doesn't really work?

And the more effective self talk would be to really break tasks down and focus on small goals, e.g. I want to get this done, I can just start that task, I will feel good if I take two steps forward on that etc? Just a thought.. 

Hi Chickadee

You've always been a kind one. Getting started on tasks is always an amazing feeling and once you get going the inertia just seems to keep you moving. But I do actually tell myself that I want to get things done and I have tried the 15/25 minute trick. I find it to be unreliable. Sometimes I'll cheat in the 25 minutes :(


Trying to stimulate myself into thinking about work rather than procrastinatory things. That's all. Hard to do. Have to take a step back often.

Not sure if stimulation is working

Maybe I'm working more because it's exam season. Anyways I have procrastinated a bit. Over the last weekend for instance. I just slept a lot I think. Anyways right now I feel good. I studied a lot and can barely type correctly atm. My fingers feel a bit stiff too. I feel good. Part of me wants to continue and to see how long it takes before I collapse but I know it'd be smarter to go to bed now.


One thing I didn't realize is how much I'd gamed the last two semesters. 15% of my waking hours D:

Definitely a step back from last year. 


I've done well these past few days. I've gone to the passport office three times. Once because I didn't go to a passport office but rather a services canada. The second time I didn't have a guarantor's signature on the back of my photos. I could have been more careful. I could have been faster. I could have not taken the wrong subway car.

These failures though seem to have taken a toll on me. I did well on an exam on Thursday and turned down multiple requests to game with my friends so I could study. I didn't do as well as I'd liked on a computer networks exam but that was expected.


Monday's test is coming up. I'm not sure what point there is to studying for it if I'll fail anyways. I'll study to keep my sessional average up but there's practically no hope of passing since I need an 80%. I wasted most of yesterday not studying. Instead I wrote up a huge complaint on the school's yearly census on the lack of resources the school provides struggling students.

I'm trying to use conditioning right now. I reward myself with chocolate pretzels every time time I feel like I'm on track or I make a good decision to get started on something productive. I want to create a positive association with productivity. The problems are of course that unlike Pavlov's dog I control my own rations, the lack of accountability, and that I'm not a dog.


I found someone to have phone conversations with on PA. I hope this will provide some much needed accountability. 

I also have an interview on Monday. Chocolate pretzels yummy. I don't think they'll work since I keep upping the rations but I'll keep you guys updated.

@hiddenmotives re: "rewards"

Some of us need other reasons BESIDES achieving positive feelings states.

And this is especially true for those who have difficulty attaining positive feelings.

Some people are on medication for their mood swings. They don't get the lows, but they don't get highs either.

For other people, depression robs them of the satisfaction of accomplishment.

For people in both those situations, they don't derive motivation from "rewards" because they don't get the reward of a "brain hit" of good feelings.

Also ... as you've pointed out ... the effect of "rewards" on ANYONE can be transitory, because of the need to increase the dosage of rewards over time.
(Ask any drug addict).

Here is the news I'm writing about:
For some issues, psychologists have discovered that more success can be gained by a  method of therapy that uses values and goals as a focusing agent.

This is where we can find HOPE ... in doing some work on values and goals that may give us some focus and motivation of a different sort.

I recently read about this and I think it's very profound.

in my opinion and experience,
the only rewards that *really* work over longtime ...
are intangible rewards --
satisfying one's own values and goals.

I see this as a psychology parallel to the 12step concept of spirituality.

I get satisfaction on a deeper level when I do the right thing, simply because it has "rightness" to me.

-- Movingalong

I do agree that intrinsic

I do agree that intrinsic motivation is the best. But at some level I'm sure everything is intrinsic. I do things not because others tell me to but because I feel it would be better for my future self. The problem is that when something requires short term effort for long term benefit, the distant benefit becomes lost.

The idea of little rewards is to add some short term reward when thinking about how much I look up to a good work ethic isn't enough.


I'm not sure if this is what you mean, but a friend once said to try to think about how bad I'd feel after a test if I didn't do well because I didn't study enough. I tried thinking about that, but it was easy to drown those thoughts out. Perhaps this isn't what you mean as it uses fear of bad feelings to motivate. Perhaps you mean that I should try to do things that I love to do and that I never procrastinate on. I'd never leave my room if I did that. There are some things I need to do that don't satisfy an internal goal.


I'm trying the magic bullet method of association found here.

I'm hoping that by associating pretzels with work I will one day not become too reliant on the pretzels.


The usb dongle has arrived but I need to sync it automatically which is too unreliable.  I wasted money again. Hooray. 

re: values

I'm saying that rewards and punishments are just tricks that can get us only so far, but don't really solve the issue.

Because that's just tricks for manipulating our emotions.  Emotions are transitory and unreliable. They are untimately empty because they are not based on anything deep and lasting. 

What I'm suggesting is something entirely different from tricks/rewards/punishments.

I suggest NOT focusing on emotional reactions of success or failure.
I suggest NOT focusing on emotional reactions of consequences/punishments/rewards.

INSTEAD ... Look deeply at your personal value system -- thinking about what are your core principles as a human being.  Not "bad" or "good" but ... ideas more like friends, or family, or helping the Planet.  Things that really MATTER to you over everything else.  Being the kind of human being you want to be. 

Once you've come up with what matters to you, then make decisions about today's task as to .. will this bring me toward my future goals of the human being I wish to become.

In other words, doing a task because it will contribute to the process of making you a more whole human being.

This is a spiritual approach, not an emotional approach.


Looking deep

INSTEAD ... Look deeply at your personal value system -- thinking about what are your core principles as a human being.  Not "bad" or "good" but ... ideas more like friends, or family, or helping the Planet.  Things that really MATTER to you over everything else.  Being the kind of human being you want to be.  

I appreciate the kindness, and I know you have my best interests at heart. One month last year I carried around a slip of paper in my wallet with questions on it.  The point was to take a step back, to identify the environment and what it was I wanted to to do. I tried to ask myself if what I was doing would help me achieve my long term goals. But sometimes I'd just read the piece of paper and got back to distractions.


My end goal is to do things that make me happier overall and to reduce bad emotions. If this means that I should help others to feel a sense of purpose then that's something I want to do. But telling myself that doing an assignment will help me pass a course to find a job to make myself feel fulfilled doesn't always to get me to stop procrastinating. The short term desire to waste time is too strong. 

Trying to work in places without internet.

One thing that I did in the summer before second year was to study in a room where I didn't have the password to the internet. I often fell asleep instead of studying but I still got a bit done.

Then during almost all of second year I refused to have an internet connection in my dorm room. I slept too much at home to have worked productively and often went to school in the hopes of getting work done and ended up procrastinating there, but working without internet is one way to remove distractions. Blocking software never really helps since I figure out ways around them too quickly.


I got kicked out of a hospital that I wanted to study at just now :(

No internet there. 

Does it get better?

I'm tired. I went to bed late last night because I was watching a movie. I missed a class today and most of my other one because I wanted to sleep in. I came back home today because I thought I'd failed a class and felt too tired to study.
The course breakdown for the class was 30% from problem sets, 25% from the midterm and 45% from the final. I have done part of the problems from ps1, 2, and 4 but didn't hand in 2 or 4. I haven't even taken the final yet but I need an 80 to pass since I only got a 60% on the midterm. I'd done some mental math earlier and made the incorrect assumption that the final was worth 35%. I thought I'd already failed.
I completely missed a test for another course last semester. I thought I just needed to put reminders for test dates on my phone.
Wow. Wtf is wrong with me. I just thought the assignments weren't worth much and never bothered to check and just was very lazy about doing them or handing them in.
Am I always going to be like this? Am I always going to be held back by my inability to control myself and force myself to do my work before play?
Was it a lack of organization? Maybe I should go back to using a paper assignment
notebook instead of a PDA.
This wouldn't be the first course I'd failed. I failed one first year too. I had to retake that course.
I'm a firm believer in determinism. I believe that my genetics, and my upbringing have led me to become who I am today. I want to change but I don't know if I can. If it's possible to turn a new leaf and to become a good student. Someone who doesn't come to work late. Someone who doesn't hole themselves in their room every Friday and Saturday on the computer doing nothing productive. Who doesn't go to sleep late. Who can study on his own, and apply to jobs on his own, and see a girl and not think "I'm not worthy of her", and who can get a call from his friends and not be too embarrassed to see them.
A repetitious video on determinism.
Repetition is good though.
For the people who've struggled with procrastination... how did you get around it?
Did you find someone to love and spend all your time with? Was it some revelation? 
Did it just happen or was it gradual? I want to know that it's possible for someone with my genes to overcome this obstacle. 
I still remember coming home at 3-5AM 2+ times a week first year from playing video games at school first year. I remember my job search last summer and feeling like I wasn't doing anything every day. I remember missing a 20% test last semester because I was being stupid. My grades have increased every semester so far. And my senior year of high school was definitely worst. But I feel like I haven't improved, perhaps since second year.
I'm going to try putting outlook on my desktop and synching my phone to my computer every day. I often ignore the multiple tasks on my phone and forget due dates and important things that I should be doing. Paper agendas and calendars are worse since I forget to do things indefinitely when I turn the page. If this works I'll buy a bluetooth dongle so I can sync automatically.

negging :)

Loved the cartoon, I read a book about pick-up artists a few years ago (the game, Neil Strauss) and found it completely fascinating, it didn't do much for my love-life though :).

Anyway, I haven't read all the posts on this thread, but what I've seen suggests to me that Number One: you are really hard on yourself/have extremely high expectations of yourself and beat yourself up for not meeting them and Number Two: you have some issues with depression/low self-esteem that are in need of acknowledging and tackling. I say this in the sure and certain knowledge that everyone on here suffers from these same exact traits/conditions/symptoms/characteristics, and maybe it's genetics or maybe it's just not getting the right inputs as little ones but the point is, we have to start from where we are right now; and the best start we can give ourselves is kindness, gentleness, understanding, compassion and love. There's very little benefit to be derived from mentally shouting at ourselves. We're more likely to respond to encouragement and a positive attitude that praises our efforts because we ARE doing the best we can! Change happens gradually. Rome wasn't built in a day. Unpicking the knots and tangles we've wound round ourselves, takes patience as well as discipline (and sometimes a sharp knife). 

I was looking at my own 'stuff' today, thinking, 'will I go on anti-depressants? Could they be a viable solution, or am I just looking for a quick fix, an easy option?' Because I beat myself up about all the things I haven't done, and all the things I mean to do, and all the things I 'know' would help, like meditation, voluntary work, hanging out with friends, and then I thought 'well, I've been saying I'll do all that stuff for YEARS, and I haven't done it. Maybe, just maybe, if I treat my depression with this medicine and it helps, I'll do all those things as a result of feeling better!!!' Maybe. I don't know, I haven't decided yet. But I do know that my own pride, and wanting to do things my way, has kept me stuck for a long time; and what's making things shift for me is finding support, and admitting that I need help.

I don't even want to post this now, it's taken me bloody ages to write what with interruptions and simply struggling to find the right words (perfectionism...) so even though I don't want to expose myself I also don't want to have wasted all this time!!!! Oh the torture!!!!

What it boils down to, for me anyway, is reach out, get help and support, be kinder to yourself, don't expect immediate and total transformation, and enjoy life while you can: we're a long time dead.

And I agree with the character above: just talk to women like they're normal (interesting!) human beings!!! Good luck!!!!!! 


I don't think I'm depressed

Adittedly I don't have much to go off, but I don't think I'm depressed. I can still be happy sometimes.


This is the second day in a row I took my work home with me though. Maybe I should just focus on having more fun. 

((more hugs to hidden motives))

Wow that sounds like me my first year of college. I would skip class and tests and homework all the time. It has only been since I had my son that I have buckled down more (though of course I still procrastinate! I am procrastinating right now in fact).

Being in a supportive environment also helps. My first college was a hoity toity near Ivy League college that didn't give a shit if I didn't understand something (or at least that is how I felt). If you didn't get it, you must be stupid. And that made me very depressed and even less likely to do well. I have since transferred to a top 25 school that is MUCH more supportive. My advisor told me "oh you got in here you can do any major you want! :D" What I needed was confidence. So if you can surround yourself with as many people who bring you up- TAs, professors, friends, advisors, maybe that will help you with your funk.

and *hugs*

and I went to bed late last night too doing last minute homework ;) We are in this with you.

((hugs to hidden_motives))

Wishing you all the best with your new start on getting organised. You can do it!

I would like to write more but have things I urgently need to do myself!

Thank you both. It means a lot!

I spent the night studying taking breaks to eat, and have two brief browsing sessions. I'm proud of that. I reapplied to my job from last summer and I'm feeling better about myself. My test is on Thursday and I only have one more chapter to read but I think I've already passed the course. There's still another scary test looming forward.


Fiddling with outlook was a waste of time. The lack of a todolist that's always visible on startup is what kills the effectiveness of the program. Paper monthly calendars are great but largely ignorable.

Actually no. It is useful I think. I'll just remove outlook as my desktop wallpaper but keep it as a startup program. Being able to see all the reminders at the same time on startup (the weakness of the PDA) is really enough to never miss another exam/deadline. Now all I need is a bluetooth usb dongle. Hehe dongle :D


LOL I had no idea that is what a USB stick was called. it sounds so wrong.

Good luck studying! If it makes you feel better, I am impressed you only have one chapter left and your test is tomorrow!