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.

Natural endings for activities

I spent some time on this forum yesterday and found this idea: it's harder to procrastinate with an activity that's naturally limited and has a specific ending. I don't remember whose idea this was but it struck a chord and I've been thinking about it a lot today. The activities I get stuck on -and thus waste hours at a time- are things that are open-ended. Eating breakfast while on the computer ends with hours of my time lost. Surfing the net for random information has no time limit. I won't get to the last page of the Internet any time soon. A book has an ending but it takes me the best part of a day to get there. When I don't have an appointment in the morning, I spend an hour pushing the snooze button. When I do have an appointment I get up when the alarm goes off.

Managing procrastinating with things that have natural endings is a simple idea, but I think it could be quite effective when applied to typical time wasters. I don't mean using a timer since an alarm going off does not naturally end an activity. Perhaps making only one chapter of a book available would be one solution to getting stuck reading a book etc.

This thread is for ideas about how to apply defined natural limits on activities. And how to manage time wasting habits with this. I have some ideas but do feel free to add your own and join me in this experiment :)


I read a lot on the computer and I tend to get stuck on it. I usually read in the evenings before going to bed which is a bad idea since I can easily read until its almost morning again. I don't want to give up reading altogether but I've never managed to curb my tendency to binge-read.

Just because I tend to read the whole book at once does not mean I actually want to spend hours a day reading. I just tend to read the whole book because it is there. And it's easy to read the next page. And the next..

I tried this last night:
I copied ten pages from my novel and pasted them on a word processor. Then I closed the original document. This worked; I read the ten pages and then went to bed. I didn't even want to go looking for the original document for more pages.


I have a habit of overdoing and overpreparing for events. 

This week I was faced with a task that could have gone and on, to prep for a cutomer interaction.  I could have waited until I was prepared and then contacted the customer to schedule an appt., but part way through the prep I realized it was taking longer than expected (as usual), so right away I scheduled the appt.   Then I had time to do the important prep work, but not ALL the prep work that I had in mind.  But what I did, turned out to be more than enough.  I made the appt., completed the work, and felt relieved that it was over; I was glad I didn't waste time on it.  Cool beans!

I don't overprepare for

I don't overprepare for events. I underprepare usually :(

I tend to tweak things over and over again before I deliver them to a client. This is unnecessary since the client would have been just as happy without the changes. And I could have used that time to work on other projects. This is probably yet one form of my procrastination. I tweak and tweak so I don't have to contact a client, schedule appointments, do the necessary finishing things etc.