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.

Obsession with time

Hi everyone,

 Just thought I'd share one of my biggest problems lately, which is an obsession with time (and also, I believe, with perfection). 

When I sit down to work on my current paper, the biggest hurdle I face is getting over my obsession with time.  I usually start to think, "if only I hadn't wasted all that time last night," or "why did it take me so long to settle down to work," or "why can't I stick to my strictly timed schedule?"  When one of these thoughts creeps into my head, I usually realize even at that moment that my obsessiveness is wasting even more time, but instead of getting over it and getting to work, that thought that I am still wasting time paralyzes me even more.  I end up just sitting there obsessing.  And then I have to give up or find some other distraction.  And by that time I am so upset by all of the "wasted time" that I can't get back to work and just cry myself to sleep.  

It's like I have this obsession with everything having to be perfect and me having to be uber-productive with every minute that I have.  And if I let time/productiveness get away from me, I flip out and feel as if something is irrevocably lost and that I just can't move on. 

 I had a particularly bad episode of this last night.  Things were going very well, but then something interrupted me.  After the interruption was over, I began obsessing over the time that had been wasted during the interruption.  And one obsession just led into the next until there was a horrible spiral.  Even today at work, I feel mildly sick to my stomach and am filled with regret and anger and sadness that I didn't work on my paper last night.  What stared out as such a promising night devolved into another disaster.  It's pathetic and silly.  This nagging feeling that something is lost forever will not leave me.    

I am trying to give up the need to control time and to be super-productive all the time.  I am trying not let my obsessions control me and get in the way of what I need/want to do.   I am trying to be okay with not being perfect, and to be okay with life not being perfect.  I am trying to just live through my stress.  

 Good luck to all of you.  

Step approach

Would you like to work the 12 steps with me?  I've been in other 12 step groups, where I floundered around trying to make it work.  But then when I worked the steps, things started changing for the better.  Today I no longer attend that group, and my life in that particular arena still feels pretty sane.

I'm new to PA, but I don't want to wait around (and flounder) this time.  Now that I've finally admitted its a problem, I want to get to the root of this dysfunction.  Let me know if you want to join me :)

re: obsession

I have the same issue - I have trouble getting started because 'I should already be finished with this!'.   You hit the nail on the head, beating yourself up is not only a waste of time but also prevents you from moving forward.   And when you think about it, it's kind of selfish and self-absorbed to spend all that time brooding about yourself, instead of getting some things done.   I think once I began to see that self-absorption as a selfish act it helped me to move on.   I can say to myself, 'get over yourself already' and kind of tease myself out of that mood. 


'You become what you think about most of the time.' - Brian Tracy

re: obsession

Thanks Journey,


I can't tell you how good it feels to talk to someone about this other than my husband.  Your response gives me hope.  Right now I'm kind of in that funk where I can't imagine things will change/get better, but I am going to keep telling myself that it will.  

I definately need to get over the self-obsession and get on with the work.  And no matter how much it kills me, I'm going to smile.  




re: obsession :)

Yeah, those normies just don't get it  :grin:

'You become what you think about most of the time.' - Brian Tracy