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.

Accepting the disconnect between what I promise and what I do

It occurred to me this morning that what I'm probably going to have to do is accept that, for the foreseeable future at least, I will: 

  • nearly always fail to complete most of the items on my daily to-do lists 
  • nearly always fail to complete what I forecast I can complete in my check-ins on the Chatbox. 
I'm going to have to accept that I'm not in control of my learning curve here, aside from whether or not I show up and surrender to the process. And when I let myself be disheartened by the gap between what I say I'm going to do and what I actually do, resistance to simply showing up always overwhelms me.
It's part of the pattern, going all the way back — I despair, and think "Why the fuck should I show up for reality, when it just punches me in the face over and over and over?" That's when I avoid, procrastinate, compulsively and desperately reach for any means of escape.
There is no learning curve when this pattern dominates — I just do the same things, again and again. The fact that, after 30 years of repetition, I know this pattern is absolutely bankrupt doesn't help a whit. Powerless, I just keep doing what I do and self-awareness just makes the merry-go-round more wretched, painful, hopeless. All the while, inner monologue abrades away at my soul, telling me "This is who I am, I will never change, there can be no learning curve, there is no hope, no possible solution."
I can't fight that despair without outside help — thus the need for this board, for fellowship with others who have this disease. And for a spiritual life, so elusive for me as it's just not possible for me to accept that there's some supernatural "god" being out there who has a plan for me. I'll never find hope in that sort of conception of Higher Power as it will always seem a fiction, a willful suspension of disbelief. At the same time, I believe absolutely that to wake up each day and choose a hopeful outlook, I do absolutely need a spiritual life — a conviction that I'm a thread in the fabric of something that's capable of animating and transforming me, if I will only surrender self will and instead offer myself as a channel for that ... energy.
I need all that each day to be able to greet the day trusting that there will indeed be a learning curve, that if I just show up, someday I'll be able to look back and see that I've left the incessant creation of suffering behind me. To be able to see all that, beyond whatever messes I create today. 



Thank you for sharing (except for one word). I know your frustration and the best thing for me is getting it out. I did have a faith coming into the rooms, but it still was not a ticket to recovery. Then when I got recovery,(over 8 years in program) I was railroaded out of a job, my marriage went downhill, my inlaws hated me, my sister cheated us financially, my other sister crossed the line with my family, but it is ok, things change and it all worked out for good. Life is not fair, for anyone. By staying in the rooms, I got/am still "showing up" and after I was stripped of everyting, my HP was enough,  and that is a miracle.

The BB p 53 gets to the bottom line: crushed by a self-imposed crises we could not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is or He isn't. What was our choice to be?

serenity prayer:


     (Yes I hear you.)

                             GRANT ME     (You want help, my child? What is it?)

                           THE SERENITY     (I see you want peace. Don’t you recall my words, Peace I give to you, my peace I leave you. I shall grant you peace.

                            TO ACCEPT     (You want to accept? What is it you want to accept? To accept means not to question, pry or expect. It means to let be.)

                            THE THINGS     (I see, you want me to give you peace in being able to let things be, things from the past, things in the future. You would like to live just today.)

                         I CANNOT CHANGE     (You can change nothing, my child. What has happened has happened, there is nothing you can do about it. Let it be. What will happen will happen, leave that to Me. You can change no one else. Let go and let Me do My work.)

                             COURAGE     (Yes, you want power, power from Me, for you can do nothing without My help or power to carry out My will, so ask for it and it shall be given to you.)

                            TO CHANGE     (Now you have it. I will give you the power to change yourself, to look only at yourself, your faults and the power from Me to turn those faults into virtues. You can do nothing more.)

                            THE THINGS     (Yes, the power to change things, not others. Things about yourself, no one else. If your motive is to change others, I cannot help you.)

                              I CAN     (By saying, I can you have already received my graces. I can means you can change yourself with the help of My power.)

                          AND THE WISDOM     (Ah yes, this is one of my greatest gifts. In other words, you want Me to give you discernment. In order to get wisdom you must pray and meditate, be silent so you can hear Me. You will gain discernment by listening to others, reading and having an open mind.)

                      TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE     (This is the hard part. After you have prayed for guidance, sought council, and did some reading and truly listened for My answer, go forward bravely, I am with you always. If you are not sure of answer, then that is your answer. Let the matter rest with Me so I can do My work. I am the Master Painter of your life.


me too, Ian

I am right there with you, Ian (except for the God part).   And I still think I can affect my learning curve, through working this program; probably not enough surrender yet.

I feel so hopeless about ever completing the set of tasks in front of me. It's incredibly overdue and I see no end in sight.  I try to break it down, but my progress is so minuscule.  I say I'll do X today and X doesn't get done.  So I break that down and say I'll get Y done in the next hour.  Nope, that doesn't work either.  Five minute task?  Sometimes yes, sometimes no.  But I rarely know when something is good enough, or how long something will take.  You said it so well.

completing todo lists

You are on the right path Ian!    I *often*  complete my todo lists now, with the help of this fellowship, and part of the reason for that is that I'm learning to do realistic planning.   It seems counterintuitive but you must allow time in your daily planning for rest and relaxation.   If your todo list overwhelming, you are setting yourself up for failure.  Or at least that is how it works for me!  


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

re: completing to-do lists

Thanks for sharing that. Yeah, I'm 44 years old and I really do not know how to do a lot of things: 


  • I am really, really bad at forecasting how long a task should take to complete — I practice wishful thinking in the planning, and then (when not procrastinating) I am absolutely obsessive in trying to do the task so perfectly that no one could find fault with what I deliver. Who knows how long that will take.
  • I have no idea how other people do this: "okay, I've got 2 hours to do X, I have to get it done, what's the best I can do in that timeframe and what's my strategy for making sure I stick to that scope."
Lots of other stuff but I better get to work!