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.

Our formative years

I am interested in hearing about what started others on the road to procrastination.  Perhaps we will gain some insight from each other into our own pasts.  Perhaps those of us with children will hear something we need that will help us to be better parents.


Not sure what started procrastination, I  always thought it was the food. I started using food to numb my feelings 10th and 11th grade and that is when my procrastination began. Then bulimea, and other "numbers" I picked up in college.  Honestly, I was shocked when I stopped using food and still procrastinated, so it must somehow be related to feelings? Maybe growing up, no matter what I did was wrong, so I don;t want to start?I do know that baby steps in recovery are what is working.


Your story sounds like mine as well.  Food took away (at least temporarily) the uncomfortable feelings (that probably stemmed from many sources) of taking positive action.

I am aware now that I feel very uncomfortable starting any task.  When I'm doing well, I can remind myself that this is how I function and move through the uncomfortableness anyway.

Vic, you are an inspiration to me and I thank you for sharing and showing up each day.


Thank you, and ditto back at you. I believe this site is grace inspired. Everyone here, pro's setting it up, etc. and most of all, it is a miracle I was given the gift of showing up. In face to face meetings, I am very shy and almost never share, and here I can and have a community of great people. Thank you for being here.

What started procrastination

I think I am beginning to understand that my procrastination began when I lost control (perceived control) in my life through divorce and grown children.  It seems that the message I operated out of is that I cannot measure up adequately and whenever I do something it will be judged and found to be inadequate - which translates into my being inadequate. 

This is completely flawed thinking, and getting this bit of insight is beginning to open a door for me to own my faulty core beliefs and yield to God such that I will come to embrace His beliefs and the subsequent different outcomes.

Well, off to bed - late, but still earlier than typical (yea!).

THEIR formative years

I took a different tack on this and did not wish to double-post and take up too much room, so posted here in response to another's comment on child.

My Childhood

  I'm not exactly sure how my procrastination started, but maybe if I talk a little bit about how my life was before it began, I'll begin to understand. my childhood was a dark, violent, hell. I was your modern day 'Cinderella". I lived with my step-mother, father and three younger half-siblings. I was not allowed to leave my room, not even to eat (I had to eat in there), I was referred to by my step-mother as "the little bitch who lives down the hall", the only times I was allowed out of my room was to go to school and to babysit. My siblings were allowed and sometimes encouraged to beat me with whatever object was handy (usually shoes or hard plastic toys). Once my sister threw a shoe at me and I ducked and she broke the window behind me and I got in severe trouble for ducking because I knew the window was behind me - my sister was not disciplined at all. I was only allowed to drink water, as my step-mother said that "Juice and milk are for me and my kids."

  I tried to escape this hell by losing myself in books and in fantasy worlds I created in my mind. By the time I was eleven, I had started procrastinating on schoolwork, cleaning my room, and showering. I was spending too much time within my own head to do anything else, and I also found that I felt incapable of doing things if anyone I perceived as an authority figure asked me to do it. I think it might have started procrastinating because I wanted teachers at school to investigate into my home life and take me away, but I'm not sure.


Many of us picked up something to survive our childhood, your step family crossed the line- of any kind of reason. Big hug from me as well (K_A) Happy you are here. I pray that like Cinderella, you get to live happily ever after out of the nightmare you grew up in. It is the first step.

Sending you another big hug!

Katelyn-Anne, I am so sorry.  I don't even have any words.

There definitely seems to be a link between childhood abuse and procrastination, doesn't there?


Thanks for sharing.  I wish I could reach out and hug that dear little girl growing up in such dire straits.  You didn't deserve any of it.  (((((hugs)))))


My roots of procrastination

My understanding of this will hopefully deepen the more I study it by myself & with a therapist, but here's how I think my procrastination and avoidance of unpleasant things began:

My childhood home was a highly tense environment. My dad and his mother (we lived in her house) were the "parents" and my mom and I were the "kids."  My mom spent most of her time doing housework so she didn't have to interact with them, and she sent me off to play so I'd stay out of sight and away from verbal abuse.  So!  I grew up with very few regular chores and a feeling of safety when I was off doing my own thing.

Now, when things get too overwhelming, I'll consciously say to myself, "This is too much, I can't handle it, I'm not going to think about it right now."  I can tell when I'm overwhelmed in general because I'll stop opening my mail, doing my dishes, etc.  I'll shut down & veg out on the computer or something.  This, of course, causes some problems to pile up (like the dishes), which causes me to feel more overwhelmed, which causes me to shut down even more.

I'm creative, outgoing, pretty funny (I think), and very encouraging of others - just don't do a very good job encouraging myself!

Step One

This is a good step one question.  Certainly day-dreaming as escapism was an early behavior, as far back as I can remember. 

This is not meant to be bashing my Mom; she did the best she could, and I respect her memory.  But it is a fact-finding effort.  I learned to dislike helping my mother because:  She used to call me to the kitchen to help, and then give me one little job.  I'd think I was done and go play, but she'd yell at me to get back here, she wasn't done with me yet.  I'd have to stand around and wait for her to dole out little tasks here and there, while she did the important stuff.  There was no ownership, no teaching, and no sharing of responsibility.  She gave me boring tasks (go shuck this basket of beans), and I didn't like it (my problem, not hers).  She didn't know how to engage my interest.

Hmmm, I have more searching to do here.  Maybe it isn't important to look back for the roots of my task avoidance, I'm not sure.  But now its time to go do my job.