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.

Defying priorities.... flipping them... resisting them

Does anyone else do this?

I sometimes get requests to do translation work. And I might have two or three jobs in my "que." It makes sense that I would do the one due first, first, but as a way to procrastinate doing the most important (or most urgent) one, I do the one that isn't due until much later. I don't think it's just because the second one is easier or more interesting. Somehow I am resisting or defying what is the logical order to do the work in.

When I was studying Japanese in the first place, I did something similar. Instead of studying the textbooks for my class, I would study everything *else.* I was really interested in Japanese (and eventually got good at it) but it seemed like the surest way to make sure I didn't study something was to assign it to me in class. If you didn't assign it to me, I would probably have been interested in it.

Does this make sense? (of course not.) But does anyone else have a similar experience?


P.S. Looks like the same thing is described on this website about procrastination -- look in section 1(a).

Found it here too, called "structured procrastination" by John Perry.

This is the subject of the June 14, 2008 iprocrastinate podcast.

Thanks for the encouragement, Leavinghome!

Lol, I should have just read the threads a bit more and I would have found you! My husband said something really interesting the other day, that he doesn't view his inbox from the top down, but from the bottom up. No matter what.

For me? I think the thrill of "what's new" whether it is a new project, a client with a crisis, etc. :-) 

Thanks for the good reads!

i fully second this. i think

i fully second this. i think it makes me a bit less scared and feel a bit less of a failure to find some small thing i can tackle and feel good about. i joke that if you give me a list of things to prioritize i will do them in exactly the opposite order that an organized earlybird would.

hope you are doing well.


Yes. I agree. I guess it is

Yes. I agree. I guess it is better than doing something that doesn't need to be done at all (like playing video games, for example -- I do that too, actually.) BUT it means the really important but intimidating stuff gets put off and put off, and perhaps never done.... In my own case, I don't think it's good.

Thanks for your confirmation, overdue.

important but intimidating stuff

I am starting to find that the important but intimdating stuff is much easier to tackle 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes at a time.  I start off with e.g.  just opening the page of the book to be  read, and leaving the task at that.  The next time I tackle it, I try  to do some difficult stuff daily, I can stand to do it for a little bit longer and I am not quite so stressed. Over a couple of weeks I can build up immunity to the uncomforetable feelings around the task and I tend to get on better. I easily revert if I get into procrastination again so have to start from scratch, taking baby steps into a task.



I'm not very good at this yet, but I realize that I have to do things NOW, rather than waiting for some magical moment when I will supposedly feel like doing those things.

I'm not exactly sure where I heard this -- perhaps one of the iProcrastinate podcasts, but procrastinators like me have the unrealistic attitude that there should be no pain or discomfort in doing life's chores. And that we discount future wellbeing for pleasure or comfort NOW. But by procrastinating, it may be comfortable NOW but we are causing pain and anguish for ourselves in the future.

 I will try to work on my most dreaded tasks (but which are really important) 1, 5 or 10 minutes at a time like you suggest. Doing everything BUT the most important task is NOT acceptable, and I CAN overcome this fear and procrastination.