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.

There's something wrong with me

I want to give up.


That's like Four days in a row that I have done NOTHING. I tend to do well when I don't have games and when I leave my house. I'm considering just staying outside from now on and sleeping at school now, except I never sleep well there.


I feel like I have no one I can turn to for help. I'll call my best friend soon, and ask him to keep me on track. edit # 11

hi to hidden_motives

Sorry to hear that you feel so stuck, hidden_motives!

About having no one to talk to, have you considered finding out if your school has free counseling? When I had an emotional crisis in college, I got some good help from the counseling center. It was a big turning point in my life.

Sending you good wishes for whatever you need! 

Thanks for the reply

I have tried free counseling at my school. The problem is that I can procrastinate regardless of whether I get counseling or not. They just tell me to do better.


I talked to my friend. Still procrastinating, I'll go buy some stuff now. 

edit: Yeah so I've gotten some advice to just remind myself of my motivations, and how I'll feel if I fail in the long term and the short term. I don't want to jynx myself by prematurely saying if it's working or not.


So for example; I start watching youtube videos, then I remind myself of that assignment due in a few days and how I'll feel like shit when I go to bed if I continue watching videos. The promise is helping.

Update Number 11

I passed all my courses. Did worse in probabilities and OS than I would have liked. Dropped 20 points in probabilities because I didn't study enough for it. I should have kept up with the course. I wonder how everone else does so well... They read and did the problem sets. I skipped ahead to past exams. Guess their cramming method worked out better :)

Ok so this break I haven't worked very hard. I've actually had some motivation, I just couldn't think of very much to do that would have been productive. I have an idea now. I'm going to make it a reality.


You haven't heard from me in a while. That's because I'm doing well :) Too well to have to come here and rat myself out to you guys. Happy New Years! 


PS. The promise helped so much! 

(hidden_motives) Congratulations!

Great to hear you passed everything! and are going well. 


2nd day of school and I'm already messing up. I'm going to get up now :/

Update Number 12

I have another lull in school. The profs are nice. I missed class today since I stayed up late yesterday watching videos.

Still, I think I will go to school in about a half an hour after a short trip to the bathroom and cafeteria.


I procrastinate a lot these days. I'll try some of the things I've tried in the past: using the computer less at home, working near friends/others to hold me accountable.


If there is no one there I know to study with I won't bother randoms. I don't have it in me. I can't even bring myself to call my friends over to come study with me.


One more thing. I'm 21 years old now. Have been since Saturday.

If I lived a couple hundred years ago I'd be past half my life. I'm growing old and I have nothing to show for it.

I need to get my coop job. Well I don't need to. But I should, everyday I feel like I should be doing it. It's a lot of money, and an experience, a chance to find out that I hate those types jobs again. Everyone else is doing it, and I'll finish school a year early if I don't. I'll miss my last year with all of my friends.

I should have planned things out better on my last birthday. What I wanted with my life. Well I think I know. I want to find something that will let me help others. It's on that poll that we all vote on in one of the threads here. It asks you what motivates you in life. That's what I want. I don't care if it has to be through volunteer work. I'd prefer it comes through my job too.


The truth is I could be doing that now with my part time. :/

I'll look through stuff tonight after a short movie. Also. Also. Gonna try having earbuds/headphones on my ears 16 hours a day. Music helps me concentrate. A prodigy I know once told me he uses music to concentrate. Extra attention to music.

Progress Report Continued

So this semester I think I tried a lot harder than last semester, but I still don't know how well I did. I went into the finals with some half decent averages, but everyone knows that finals bring grades down.


I think I tried to do well this semester, but there were too many assignments. Each day was just trying to finish the next assignment, which was rather counterproductive since, by giving us so many graded assignments, the professors actually hindered the learning of us students. We didn't have the time to learn the material, we just had to provide answers to questions and submit our reports.


The assignments were worth very little, 1 or 2% but it's very important to get as many percentages as possible. Still, sometimes I think it would have been more productive to skip assignments and just focus on learning. Focus on reading the textbook, instead of reading that one blurb of equations and trying to plug in.


At least I learned a bit (by trial and error) on how to learn.


That's what my school is good for, being ridiculously hard on students, so they learn to be more productive. I think I got a lot more productive this semester. I play less, and work more with my new study group. And I don't procrastinate after I start studying with them (at least not for very long). 

Update number 7

The book is rather worthless. It tries to teach me things that I already know, like that I procrastinate because I want to avoid feelings of discomfort, and then it goes into lots of general theoretical ways of approaching procrastination, but no real specific methods for confronting it.


I'm going to be trying something else. Whenever I get off topic for one second, whenever I say, oh well I'll just do it after sleeping, or laundry, or this progress report update, I get sidetracked from my primary goal. So I'm just going to try not to get sidetracked for one second, because if I do, then I get sidetracked for hours on end.


I think I know myself, I think this is a good way of confronting my problem. 

Update number 8

This method of trying not to get distracted at all worked quite well... except whenever I started procrastinating.


I managed to find an internship, and while working at this internship, I pretty much stopped procrastinating. On days that I had work, all I did was work, go home to learn more about web design, and sleep. I was still a procrastinator on weekends. Anyways, my parents don't want me to be doing this internship so I'm looking for another job now.


Getting a job was the first thing on my new years resolution this year. You can't imagine how good I felt getting it! I felt like I finally had some worth as a human being, like I could talk to people, my friends, without feeling ashamed and inferior! I felt like I had to tell everyone about it, but I didn't want to be so bold so I didn't.


This progress update has reminded me of how I motivated myself to keep trucking. Thanks update number 7! I'm gonna do some laundry, but I won't go to sleep or get distracted *thumbs self* :)

Update number 9

I found the job and have worked for a week. This is pretty sick. I don't even care that I waste time doing games anymore, I just like feeling worthwhile and that I'm doing something!


Moving onwards with my life yo! 


edit: since it's summer and all my friends are elsewhere, I find coffee shops to be helpful when I don't need internet. They help me to focus on getting stuff done. 

Update Number 10

I feel bad again. I've wasted a lot of time these past few days ever since school started. Time that I shouldn't be wasting. It's not good. I'm falling behind on my coursework.


I just don't assert enough self control. Other people, they go home, they do their work, and then they can have fun. Not me. I can't do that. I always think "I'll just read a little bit about this game" and then I spend hours, perhaps even the whole day reading about it, watching videos, and perusing the web. A question pops up about a specific aspect of the game, and my mind just can't let it go so I keep thinking about it until I have to find the solution to my question.


I think that I am able to work when there are other people around me to keep me accountable. I seem to care a lot about what other people think of me, so I don't really play as much when I'm around them. The only bad thing is that I usually don't know anyone when I go to the study room on weekends, and sometimes the room is empty. It's also bad once people leave to go home on the weekend and I'm left there to  "study" alone. I often waste a lot of time and stay up late after everyone leaves.



Ok. I just need to not get started procrastinating. If I can prevent myself from getting started. I can keep myself from falling into procrastination. That meanst that I really can't have any lenience. I probably just had a relaxing vacation. 


It may sound crazy to keep trying the same thing over and over again. But I feel like I can do it, I can not get distracted for one night. And I can go to bed on time. I can do it. I'm gonna do it tonight.


edit: boo me. Self control. So unreliable. 

I could go to a library and ask one of the staff to watch me... but that just sounds weird. I don't like staying in the common area of my apartment. It's weird to study there. Honestly if I don't do well I don't know how I'll get a job in the future.

Update number 2

The main issue I'm having is still accountability. I've always had this freedom to do whatever I pleased at every hour of the day, with few exceptions.

 Now I can't hold myself accountable to even leave the room during a whole day.


I got a pda recently. This has been tremendously more helpful than my paper one, though I still keep the paper agenda. I plot out what I'm going to do every hour of the day, and as long as the tasks are small (1 hour tasks of little things each) I tend to get everything that I want to get done for the day.

Update number 3

I'm still having troubles with procrastination.

Often times people say that they aren't motivated enough to work, and that's why they procrastinate. I don't think that's true. Working hard at getting a job and passing school will get me a job in the future, and make me attractive to a girl. If that isn't motivation enough to get someone to work hard, then I don't know what is.

(Ok I guess you could put a gun to my head, and survival instincts would come in, but this isn't North Korea, and I'm not sure if I'd actually be scared of the gun. Certainly after a lot of habituation I'd come to terms with the gun). 

It's always been a problem of fear of failure. I don't like to work because somewhere in my subconscious I'm afraid of failing. Consciously I know I can get things done if I want to.

Ease. It's really easy to procrastinate on the computer. It's far easier to procrastinate (I know I can watch funny videos and movies and succeed in enjoying them) than it is to finish an assignment.

Habit. Some people have been habituated to work hard. That's the only thing stopping them from procrastinating.

I've made a promise to a friend that I wouldn't watch any more videos of games, and that promise has so far been kept. It hasn't been easy... and I think it's very specific which friends I make these promises to. My promises to myself and certain friends don't really mean anything to me. Sometimes I think my friends don't care about me.. I'm afraid that during one of these lapses I will fail.

I haven't had much success with academic couselors. They just don't care about whether I succeed. I mean they schedule biweekly meetings instead of checking up on me daily. They don't do anything to help.

Soln 1: Promise one of my friends that I will do better.

I know I need to stop myself from wasting time. I need to get out of the mentality of allowing myself to waste time or I need to be able to stop myself when I've had too much. I've spent the last two nights not sleeping and just watching videos.

Perhaps I can waste time in a better way.

Soln 2: Waste time by watching review lectures by my professor or videos about psychology on open courseware.

Soln 3: Get a girlfriend.

This one is a bit of a catch 22. I find that when I have a girl on my mind, I can't help but not waste too much time. I think to myself that I could better be spending my time with her. I can't find a girl while I myself am a mess however. I also don't want to spend so much time with her that my productivity remains the same. If I were to break up with the girl in the future, then the loss in productivity wouldn't be worth it.

Update number 4

Ok, so I'm spending less time watching gaming videos since I promised that friend that I would stop. I've only broken my promise once, on my birthday, and that was because I'd made a prior promise that I wouldn't hold myself to any of my promises to other people on my birthday. I've been keeping that tradition (almost untarnished) for six out of seven years now.

I less frequently stay up late and do nothing. It's still hard to force myself to go to sleep some nights, but I just remind myself of what happened in the past.

I've started trying out online dating. It's hard to get a girlfriend as an engineer and the people I meet at parties aren't necessarily the kind of people that I'd like to date.

Lastly, I think I've found another problem to fix.

I'm a perfectionist.

See when I was four years old, I learned how to do addition and multiplication. I'm asian.


So when I went to school, I got good grades in math, and everyone at school told me that I was smart. My parents didn't tell me I was smart (asian parenting) and would yell at me for 99%, saying that if I tried just a bit harder I could have gotten 100%. Now there is nothing wrong with strict parenting and a western style of creative education. I would not have discovered this weakness were it not for my education. 

 So life went on, I coasted through math classes, until my senior year when I fell into a gaming and computer addiction. Math started to get hard. I started to get 70s, 80's. Rather than admit that the math was hard, I just played more, and told myself that the only reason I was getting these grades was because I wasn't trying. If I tried, I'd still get 80s, 90s. This may be true, but you see, MY PERFECTIONISM WAS MAKING ME IMPERFECT!

I couldn't apply to jobs because I had to always update my resume. I had to read the manual on applying to jobs, jot down everything I needed from it, and then apply the changes to my own resume. I couldn't just let things be good enough. 


Now I used to think that I just didn't break my tasks into small enough units. I don't believe that's true anymore. I break everything down into the smallest steps. I break tasks down into dozens of steps. Too many... too many....

I don't think I feel overwhelmed by the difficulty of the tasks, just by the sheer number of them. That I have to do all my tasks just seems to scare the shit out of me.


So what can I do? Well I certainly don't want to stop being a perfectionist. Call it denial, that I think I'm perfect already. Call it habit that I don't want to change. I call it logic, I think that perfectionism really does offer me many advantages. There's something to be gained from constantly wanting yourself to do better, to pushing yourself. There's something to be gained from believing yourself the best and that you can make a difference in this world.

So then how do I eliminate the weaknesses of my procrastination? Simple, I merely do a shoddy job of something, and then add corrections. I know myself. I know that given the option, I may choose not to do something, but I also know that I can't do something poorly. I have to make it perfect.


Finally, being aware of my weakness, I believe that I will naturally be able to slowly overcome it. 


edit: I think what I originally meant by finding a girl being a catch 22 is that I wouldn't be able to attract anyone until I'd fixed myself to not procrastinate as much. 

Update number 5

I just want a job. Each day I spend a lot of time procrastinating and not finding it. I can't work on a computer when I'm alone (no one I know around) and I have access to the internet. I've taken a lot of steps back since summer started a few days ago.

Update number 6

I think I'm still a better person than I used to be at this time last year, but I've certainly taken steps back from what I've gotten myself to become.


I don't think I'm motivated enough to work hard these days. All I think about is games. It's all I can devote my mind into now. There were times in my life that I could focus on other things, and I didn't care about games. Now I can say that I don't care about games, but in my subconscious mind, games are all I want to play. I wish I could just flick a switch and become immensely focused like a starcraft pro-gamer.


I think I might start taking some drugs tonight, ephedrine. It all started when I got this laptop. I'm a computer engineer. I want to learn php and web design damn it! Or maybe I don't. Maybe a part of me still wants to be something else. No. That's not it. 


I really hoped it wouldn't come down to this. I hate the idea of wasting hormones that the brain needs to produce, especially since I know that some drugs waste all of certain hormones that take a lifetime to produce leading to horrible permanent damage.


At least the adverse side effects don't seem too bad. I'll lose some weight, which is kind of bad for someone as skinny as me. 


I'll probably start drinking more coffee too. Not even for the alertness, but rather for the concentration. This is getting ridiculous.



Anyways, drugs away! :( This is a really really sad day. 

edit: drugstore's closed, tomorrow. Also I'm willing to let myself get addicted to drugs. At least I have some dedication :)


edit2: ok, coffee is helping. I'm doing little blocks of focused work now followed by 10 minute breaks. 

(hidden motives)

If computer games are getting in the way of your progress, you might check out this fellowship

You might see some familiar faces over there Wink


I know it's never too late to make a brand new start - from "Brand New Start" by Paul Weller


I did use Olga. It actually isn't hard for me to not play video games. It's hard for me to not procrastinate. I'm usually able to keep myself to one gaming night a month during the school year. Screwed up one month this semester :/ playing wc3. Instead of focusing on video games, I'm focusing on procrastination now. Video games are just a medium.


I'm reading a pdf on procrastination right now. This is my first book, "End Procrastination Now". I hope I'm not just using it to procrastinate. I like to consider myself a health skeptic but everything the author is saying sounds like me, sounds true.


One more note: Ephedrine isn't sold in canadian pharmacies anymore. They only have pseudoephedrine and the medicinal effects aren't quite the same. I'm just gonna drink coffee till my blood turns brown.