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.

Wednesday 3 November 2010

A day is made of

A day is made of minutes.      

              Small scraps can make a beautiful whole even if each one is not perfect.

                                             ... I can keep starting.

One step is infinitely more than nothing. One stitch is infinitely more than nothing.

Courage wisdom serenity

Ian's journal & to-do's, 11.3


I had what I often hear described as an "abundant" day yesterday:


  • finally finished the last of five large deliverables for new client (#2);
  • as feedback, client #2 has extended opportunity for 3 months contract work that will go a good way toward righting my family's finances;
  • followed my program as well as I ever have on a given day, and thus I did the right things, made good choices, and was rewarded more than once with unexpected information and solutions.


Today, however, I've pretty much dithered away for 6 hours. Nap; lots of twitter/facebook; lots of sulking over election results; no work and no exercise.

When I finish a big project as I did yesterday, I almost never transition to the next thing without falling into this hole. I need to apply Step 1 here: This is something I cannot do in isolation.

I also have two fears on my mind, and my favorite way to deal with fear is to duck — to avoid pressing realities.

First is, my wife and I were IM'ing last night (she's away at a conference), and when we got around (as we inevitably do) to her interrogating me about work and wondering what I've been doing with my time, I admitted to her that I'd lied to her about finishing the Big Project on 10.30 and that in truth I finished it yesterday, 11.2. She did not reply, and signed off. She comes home this evening and I'm scared she will ask me to leave, to move out.

Second is, client #2 hasn't responded to the specific terms I proposed yesterday evening, and I'm scared I've offended him and he's reconsidering the 3-month deal. (And, I booked expensive flight/hotel to New York last night — scared invitation will be revoked and I'll be poor again and stuck with cancellation fees.)

In both cases I'm just projecting wildly. Big Book has the answer: "God, please direct my thinking as I consider the day ahead and discover the next right actions. I ask especially that you clear my mind of self-pity and self-seeking, dishonest, or fear-driven motives. What is your will for me? How am I to be useful?" (paraphrase of p. 86)

Today's list:

- client #1: daily reports 10/28-11/2 (catch-up)
- client #1: prototype of by-topic analytics
- client #1: invoice

- kids, errands, dinner
- talk to my wife (told her about my lie, but we haven't discussed it past my coming clean)

- Keep coming back to the Now to ask, How can I be of service
- stay in chatbox while working
- post daily to-dos
- morning prayer
- meditation
- call 1
- call 2
- call 3
- exercise
- 12step phone meeting?
- half hour stepwork
- readings



I'm praying for you, Ian.

My husband asked yesterday if there is a support group for families of procrastinators.  He has a lot of Al-Anon recovery, so he seems to be dealing pretty well with my weaknesses, but how many people really get it?  Sigh.


It was a great first step to tell your wife the truth. It may cause some temporary problems but I think if you let her know that you are sincerely trying to find a solution (through PA and other efforts) to improve both your lives, so that you can quit lying to yourself and her. (I've found that a lot of P is lying to myself).

 I experienced a similar situation with my husband when I was working on my PhD. Very painful at the time, but we're closer than ever now. He's the exact opposite of a procrastinator  and often good naturedly laughs at the lengths I have to go to to get something done.  I still frustrate him (and myself!) at times, but I'm honest with both of us and I keep moving on.  I think this makes him realize that I really am trying.  Talk about humbling, especially for someone like me who doesn't like to let anyone see any of my weaknesses.

I wish you the best Ian and commend you for the work you've done the and progress you will continue to make...

thanks crazybug...

the challenge for me is to be transparent and honest consistently, day after day after day, through good times and bad. My wife and I have been together for nearly 18 years, and we've worn a pretty deep groove into the dance floor — I do the flaky, mercurial fuck-up routine; she does the angry, acid-tongued thing. We just can't stop doing this samba. 

I know at this point that if I'm dancing this dance, I'm listening to the wrong tune. It's not really a matter of me bearing down harder and harder to become someone who she can love, accept and trust. Paradoxically, it's about letting go of any interest in controlling her feelings toward me. When I stop looking to her to take the measure of my value as a human being, I'll stop lying. I make false gods out of people. My relationships with people will heal when I stop doing that, and instead focus first and foremost on my relationship with my own higher power. 

Forgive me for rattling on — we had a bad interaction after the kids were in bed tonight, and I need to just remind myself where to look for hope. 


Thank you for sharing- very powerful.

"How can I be of service" you ask, your service is sharing your experience, strength and hope To KEEP ON KEEPING ON. THANK YOU I REALLY NEEDED TO READ YOUR POST.

thanks vic

you helped me get going this morning. 

Check in

  11/3  working off my short term goal sheet....make breckfast...done, wash work clothes done... pay bills online...done///// Change oil in truck, move trailer, get ready, and out the door for work, pak lunch, & shopping still in progress..... KDZEE

BC 11/3

chickadee, thanks for starting the thread!

Work 8AM-5PM: 

-Organize tables for project 3 rel

-Finishing intro to project 3 rel

-update analysis of project 3 rel with correct parts

-update project 3 fvp list 

After Work 5PM-Sleep: 

-Go for a run

-Sell computer case

-Sell dvdrw drive 

-Sell b gps 

-Read 100 pgs GTOG 

-List pillows on ebay

-List blanket on ebay

-Ask b to do dishes

-Vacuum first floor and stairs 

Journey noon

A bit late checking in eh?   I had a dr. appt this morning - a bone density scan.   I've been home since eleven but I made myself some brunch and goofed off a little bit before getting to work.   It is a another dreary day here which makes me feel depressed.   I'll work in the chat box today since I'm working from home.   Have a productive and enjoyable day today!  


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

kromer 10:20 CI

Late start b/c I was obsessing about election results, now need to focus.

Lots of work for today! mostly experimental though there is some other stuff.

*Colony mgmt.
*DNA clean up, PCRs

*Card for M&F
*Email Y, D(will do this soon)

Other tasks:
*Read 2 papers
*Southern notes
*i/e counts
*Make sol'ns
*Ask about frozen sections
(will do this soon)
*Lit. search

OK, I'll spec DNA and start clean-up, then I'll go do colony mgmt. while that's incubating

weds nov 3 check in by tracy-la

Good morning,

 Super busy day - 5 meetings plus all the tasks to get done. Am working on a more physical to do list where I can pick up time and feel it. Seeing my meetings on post-it notes on my daily list is more real that a printout on outlook for some reason.  I am only keeping 3 things in my NOW list and only 3 things in my VERY SOON list. Lots of things in parking. 

My basics:

1. check in - show up - Done

2. Reading - Done

3. Check calendar - Done / Plan to Plan - Done

(I call it plan to plan since things change and taking the 5 to 15 min to look at my day and plan helps me a lot)

4. Gratitudes / Affirmation - Done

5. Daily billing goal / Inbox -

6. Exercise -

Have a great day,   



Excerpt from article from today's Wall Street Journal:

Another recent study (for many procrastination is rooted in impatience) by professors at Columbia, Northwestern University and the University of Chicago, shows that procrastinators may in fact be more driven than those who don't put off tasks.

Link to study is: 

"The truth is that both me and my co-authors are terrible procrastinators," said Ernesto Reuben, the Columbia professor who led the research.

In the study, which was published in April, 550 participants were given the choice between receiving a sum of money immediately or a slightly larger sum in two weeks. Those who chose the money up front took much longer to actually cash the check.

In other words, those most anxious to succeed, were more likely to be lackadaisical.

The average participant waited 3.7 weeks to cash the check, while 6% never even made it to the bank at all.

"It shows that if you are impatient and you want things now, you're also more likely to procrastinate," Reuben said.

Theresearchers found that procrastinators come in two varieties: 'sophisticated' – those who know that they have a problem – and 'naïve' –those who don't (and those who deceive themselves into believing that they don't).

The naïve procrastinators waited for the bigger check and waited to cash it.

Reubensaid that managers need to realize that procrastination is a problem across the board, not just in the lazy or unconfident; in fact, some of the most productive workers likely struggle with it. He recommends that executives break projects into a series of small deadlines.

Reuben and his colleagues hope to do a study on whether procrastinators are, infact, better employees. Of course, they are going to put it off for a few years, while the participants make their way in the working world. Smile

The Takeaway
Don't feel bad if you have a tendency to put off work; it happens to the best of us. Just remember to set up a series of small deadlines -- it should make things more manageable.

The Scribber's Wednesday CI

  • get up at 6
  • make bed
  • exercise
  • coffee, paper
  • healthy breakfast
  • checkins


  • Update Quicken
  • Clean off desk
  • File taxbill
  • Send music email
  • File BN post
  • Do 2 CIO


  • Bank deposit (?)
  • Healthy lunch
  • Reply to Planet Profit
  • Send query
  • Rewrite steal if poss
  • Rewrite social if poss


  • Healthy dinner
  • Run (?)
  • Take down Halloween decorations
  • Work on song rewrites
  • Practice w/PA
  • Read, relax
  • Bed by 10:30

Crazybug CI

Went to bed very early to 'recharge' my emotional batteries last night. Still feeling a little groggy, though.  Will stay focused today by doing microplanning/microburst/assess technique with 30 min cycles.

Here's list of tasks for today:

- call about ins. (first must draft questions/concerns)
- bookkeeping tasks
- draft tm stuff and email
- draft 3 cards for review


I think that this will be enough for this morning.

“I believe that any man's life will be filled with constant and unexpected encouragement, if he makes up his mind to do his level best each day, and as nearly as possible reaching the high water mark of pure and useful living.”  Booker T. Washington quotes (American educator and reformer, first developer of Tuskegee Normal 1856-1915)

hope4meandu checkin (9:30AM)

Hi All,

Thanks Chickadee, excellent starter!! Need to turn over the things I'm not doing that I really need to do:

-open credit card bill & get new card to transfer balance
-give Yoffee a bath,
-do her nails
-& brush her every other day
-do something about my DA issues
-get more p.t. slips to send to gym
-find out about getting Yoffee's meds
-mammogram, thyroid checked, etc.
-get script from Dr. for thyroid check

So frustrated that I wait to the last minute on some things that are very timely. Also want to turn over that after being sick w/fever & bad cold, my one ear is clogged and I have an ear infection in the other. I really can't hear, which is affecting my work and I'm slightly worried about it. Taking meds, etc., but if it doesn't clear up I'll need to go to another Dr.

Lastly, I need to journal, got lots on my mind.

All the best to you guys for an awesome day!!

♥Prayers & guidance needed & appreciated for my Yoffee's emotional & physical healing.♥

Seattleguy's CI - Wed - NOV 3 2010 GO!

~~~~~~~~~~~~ //=Done ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
make french toast 5:26AM //
eat //
chore V //
finish chores //
clear & organize shelf

My Day Today

I want to thank my Higher Power for this program, this website, the telephone and online meetings, and my life.

I want to thank chickadee for starting this trend.

Things I will do today

1. Go to the 8:30 a.m. telephone PA meeting

2. Go to the 9:45 a.m. telephone CLA meeting

3. Go to the 11 a.m. telephone PA meeting

4. Go to the 12N telephone DA meeting

5. Go to the 1 p.m. telephone CLA meeting

6. Go see my mentor at 3 p.m.

7. Go to print out bank statements

8. Go to work at 5:30 p.m.

9. Prayer and meditation morning and evening

10. Fix and eat brunch

11. Make bed

12. Wash dishes

13. Take shower

14. Get dressed

15. Do numbers

16. Fix dinner

17. Eat dinner

18. Check on my paper

19. Do my paper

20. Post and send out Al-Anon literature for today

Thanks for letting me share

Vic 11/3

Show up (done)

Ask God to direct my  thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity , dishonest or self-seeking motives.

Read an interesting article: Do We Really Want Perfect Law Enforcement? by Daniel Solove

“Consider what happened in 2000, when the Hawaii transportation department began using cameras mounted on vans to catch speeders. Tickets were issued for all drivers exceeding the speed limit by six miles per hour. The program resulted in an enormous public outcry. As one journalist observed, “it became possibly the most hated public policy initiative in Hawaii history, almost uniformly disliked, even by those who thought it actually worked.”

In 2002, the program was cancelled. Where the cameras were used, traffic accidents and fatalities were down significantly. So why was there such a public outcry against the program?

My hypothesis is that the outrage stemmed from the impersonality of the system as well as its profound efficiency. The system was exercised to enforce rules that many people frequently violated. The automated and perfected enforcement of the law, even a law generally viewed as justified and important, was experienced as overly oppressive. People were too tightly controlled, which created a sense of excessive state paternalism that led to rebellion and resentment.

I concur with this hypothesis, it was something that really blocked my recovery because I came in as a compulsive perfectionist, I always feel like a failure when I think of perfection as anything more than something to strive for on a daily basis, and it was the progress that made me successful. Thanks for being here.

Rexroth Check In

Woke early but not nearly as early as before and I'm getting back into a sensible time frame at last. Today it is a week since I got back and I sometimes find it hard to believe I am actually back.

Up prayer and reflection
Washed up and tidied up in kitchen
Checked emails and phone messages
Downloaded emails and attachments from solicitor and filed them

Read through file and think
Phone solicitor
Wash kitchen floor
Look at papers about hospital complaint and work on them
That will do for now

Regards Rexroth

Chick CI