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.

Okay, I give up.

Hi. I'm Janet. I'm smart, independent, and completely sucked under in procrastination. I'm sitting here in my office, staring at a long to-do list, in a panic that one of my clients will call me and ask for something. But each time I make a move to accomplish something, my heart races, my head hurts, and I start looking around the room to find something, ANYTHING, that will keep me from having to start. My desk is dusty? Whew! I can dust! The dog needs to go out for a walk? Hooray, I'm saved! I'll take any excuse not to do what I need to. Oh, and that dusting thing? I can look at it and worry about it, but since dusting is a "good" thing, I can't actually do it. So I just sit and feel guilty. As a result, I am (duh!) way behind on deadlines, in trouble with my best clients, in a constant state of panic, and teetering on the edge of financial ruin.

I need help. Well, mostly I need understanding, some way to work all this out without being considered a) insane or b) just butt-awful lazy. After fighting this for 50 years (c'mon, who else actually put off showing up for storytime in Kindergarten??), I'm too worn out to go it alone. Please, please help me find a way out!

You are sooo not alone!

As you can see, there are many of us :-) Try not to feel "stuck". This is where you are right at this moment, but you don't have to stay there. One moment, one breathe at a time . . .

That you actually have clients means you have made progress already - particularly if you are self-employed, as it sounds like you are! If you are feeling overwhelmed, making a list is a good way of figuring out where you stand and prioritizing. Break it into bite-sized pieces if you can, rather than bigger jobs-in-full. It may give you some feeling of taking control back. Feeling like you have no control is scary.

Welcome, Janet!

I can relate EXACTLY to your post. I'm glad you found PA. This is a good place to be. You are not alone (or crazy, or lazy!)

hi Janet

I'm pretty new to this fellowship, but it's good - there's help to be found here.  you really aren't alone -- honest.  I know that sometimes just having company isn't enough to transform misery, but I agree with the above poster that knowing others struggles and gettng affirmation that it's not just "lazy-ness" does help a little.

Your story is so familiar to me. I am unemployed now due to a lot of things, among them a year long procrastination binge (oy), but back when i had 3 jobs I remember staying at the office until 3 in the morning to finish data entry that I should have done during business hours but somehow couldn't bring myself to do until the absolute 11th hour.  

I don't think there's a final solution, but rather that the solution must be in the process of taking it one day at a time and not facing it alone.  the phone check-ins here help.   other times i've done skype "accountability" sessions with friends - we both log on and keep skype open/connected while we each commit to working on sometimes even just one small , odious task.  Somehow it is so much easier this way than alone.  

anyway, sending you empathy and kind regards..  



I feel your pain. I am trying to complete my Masters degree and I am SO close. But I can't bring myself to do ANYTHING else. I can't even face registering, and if I don't do it soon, I'll be kicked out. I've done the course work and most of the research, I just need to put in some time to complete my paper. But I can't bring myself to do anything related to my masters. I grew tired of people asking me if I as finished so I eventually lied and told them I was, including my family and partner, so now I feel as though I can't work on it when anyone is around. It is also costing me money in tuition fees. I have no idea how I let it get this bad.

So many of us are describing the same life story

"grew tired of people asking me if I as finished so I eventually lied and told them I was" - sounds very familiar.  Throw in a half-ass, last-minute, embarassment of a doctoral dissertation, and we could be twins.

Hi Janet and Master of nothing

I totally empathise with you both. I am also a master's degree student who has finished everything except writing his thesis. Ideally I should have finished in two years, but I just missed my opportunity to finish in three, so I'll have to wait until the 4th year. My wife thinks I'm just lazy, and has threatened to get rid of me (end the relationship) if I don't agree to a schedul to get the paper written  soon.

 And I procrastinate about all kinds of things -- I can't say about kindergarden, but my 6th grade teacher's quote in myyearbook was" Procrastination is the thief of time, ergo don't procrastinate!" I always do work last-minute, and with things like my master's thesis, that just doesn't cut it.

Doing the "bookending" thing in the chatbox is somewhat helpful, but I still have to keep working to become able to keep working at it more consistently.

 But I do think there is help here on this website. Let's pray that there is.


I know that I *should* do it, and it's not that I don't *want* to do it, but I can't get myself to *just do it!* Sometimes it's because I don't know *how* to do it, and sometimes I'm afraid of failing.


Welcome.You are so not alone. The first step is the hardest, coming out of the closet. I have made progress here , found some way to work all this out without being considered b) just butt-awful lazy, but do not think I will ever be considered "sane" but I rather be considered insane than lazy any day. Keep coming back, one day at a time progress, not perfection.

Could this be the story you missed?

All I Really Need To Know
I Learned In Kindergarten

by Robert Fulghum

- an excerpt from the book, All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten 
All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten.
ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW about how to live and what to do 
and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not 
at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the 
sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:

Share everything. 

Play fair. 

Don't hit people. 

Put things back where you found them. 

Clean up your own mess. 

Don't take things that aren't yours. 

Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody. 

Wash your hands before you eat. 


Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. 

Live a balanced life - learn some and think some
and draw and paint and sing and dance and play 
and work every day some. 

Take a nap every afternoon. 

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, 
hold hands, and stick together. 

Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup: 
The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody 
really knows how or why, but we are all like that. 

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even 
the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. 
So do we. 

And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books 
and the first word you learned - the biggest
word of all - LOOK. 

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. 
The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation.
Ecology and politics and equality and sane living. 

Take any of those items and extrapolate it into 
sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your 
family life or your work or your government or
your world and it holds true and clear and firm. 
Think what a better world it would be if 
all - the whole world - had cookies and milk about 
three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with
our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments 
had a basic policy to always put thing back where 
they found them and to clean up their own mess. 

And it is still true, no matter how old you
are - when you go out into the world, it is best 
to hold hands and stick together.