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.

Are you a Compulsive Procrastinator - questions

Mama_Cat's picture

Hi all,

I sometimes look to other fellowships for guidance with my own 12 step work in my recovery from compulsive procrastination.

In doing that, I found a list of "Questions" from Gamblers Anonymous. They're the classic sort of, "Have you ever...?" sort of questions. And, if you answer yes to 7 or more, then you're probably a gambling addict.

It struck me how easily, with just about EVERY question (with VERY few exceptions) you could replace the words "Have you ever gambled when...?" with "Have you ever procrastinated when...?"

When I did that for myself - except for the few questions that it, obviously didn't work with - the answer to almost every single one was yes. Almost every single one. Made me stop and think, 'cuz, really - addiction is addiction is addiction. What the substance/behavior/drug of choice is changes. But the addiction and addictive behaviors - that seems to carry over from addict to addict, regardless of the actual compulsion. (Although, obviously, with addictions to illegal substances there are more dramatic and deadly behaviors, but - you know what I mean.)

Anyway, this is the link and these are the questions. I'm wondering what other folks think/find when THEY try exchanging the word for procrastination for gambling. Any thoughts? (See the link and original questions below my sign off.)

Wishing all productive days, and wonderful weekends - 





Gamblers Anonymous offers the following questions to anyone who may have a gambling problem. These questions are provided to help the individual decide if he or she is a compulsive gambler and wants to stop gambling.TWENTY QUESTIONS

  1. Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
  2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
  3. Did gambling affect your reputation?
  4. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
  5. Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
  6. Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
  7. After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
  8. After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
  9. Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
  10. Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
  11. Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
  12. Were you reluctant to use "gambling money" for normal expenditures?
  13. Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
  14. Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned?
  15. Have you ever gambled to escape worry, trouble, boredom or loneliness?
  16. Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
  17. Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
  18. Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
  19. Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
  20. Have you ever considered self destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?

Most compulsive gamblers will answer yes to at least seven of these questions.

Compulsive Procrastinator Indeed!

Wow, this caused some introspection. I copied and pasted your list into a Word document, then did a Find/Replace search to change the word “gambling” to “procrastination” (and “gamble” to “procrastinate”).  As you say, a few of the questions still obviously don’t fit, but the majority of them do work.  What struck me is that I can even stretch it a bit and see how a couple of the ones that ostensibly don’t fit actually do.


For instance, #10 and #11 - have I ever borrowed to finance my procrastination, and have I ever sold anything to finance procrastination?  And then I asked myself, how many times has my bank account gone negative because I put off balancing my checkbook?  How many times have I desperately sold a household item on Craigslist or eBay because my task avoidance left me without enough money for a bill?  Granted, some of my behavior is impulse/convenience spending; I can look through my debit card history and see how much I spend on fast food & pizza.  But if I hadn’t put off balancing my account, I would have seen the danger area I was headed toward and could have adjusted my behavior.


And that isn’t the only area procrastination affects me financially.  I routinely leave bills unopened when they come in the mail, forgetting about them until a past due or disconnect notice scares me and then I have to pay not only an accumulated amount but also the past due fees.  I procrastinate with the housework, losing so many things in piles that I sometimes have to buy a duplicate thing (a pair of scissors, for example).  I've given clothes away that I'd bought my kids and they'd outgrown but only worn once or twice before the clothes got lost in clothes piles for months.  I’ve even squandered some of the hours of my vacation time by putting off getting up in the morning to the point that I’ll be late to work and have to use vacation time for it.


I’m focusing on just the money aspect at the moment since I’m looking at the similarities between procrastination and gambling.  It would be interesting to take questionnaires regarding other addictions and do the same thing.  I wonder if it would highlight other areas in my life that my procrastination is silently affecting?