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.

Have you ever been told "You have NO SENSE OF URGENCY!"?

My father told me today that he has never detected a sense of urgency in me, even though I should feel urgency about getting things done.  Actually a former professor, who I had a falling out with, said the same thing, and my wife (relationship currently on the rocks), etc.

 When I was young I often fought with my temper-tantrum throwing bigger, older brother, and I think I learned to simply shut down, because I never won a fight, either intellectually or physically, and learned simply not to fight.

 It's not that I am fearless -- I am plenty anxious about speaking in public, or meeting people, etc., but even though intellectually I can forsee my procrastination leading to losing a job, not getting my degree, divorce and worse, so far I still don't feel a sense or urgency, but intellectually I know I'm up s*'s creek.

 Does this describe anyone else's situation? Any insights?



sense of urgency

funny, I was talking about this very issue yesterday!

Self-improvement is the name of the game, and your primary objective is to strengthen yourself, not to destroy an opponent. Maxwell Maltz

@Journey -- sense of urgency

Thank you for your comments.

...and I was talking about creating artificial deadlines with my father, too. In the iProcrastinate podcasts, Tim Pychyl talks about this setting of deadlines, and for many procrastinators, myself included, I would say that even if we set artificial deadlines for ourselves, as opposed to externally-imposed "real" deadlines, those deadlines aren't nearly as effective in producing this sense of urgency. 

But I love your quote about self-improvement being a process of strengthening ourselves, not destroying an opponent. 

Step back and take a look

Speaking as a fellow procrastinator, what you describe has some familiar ring to it. I think part of the procrastination cycle involves some degree of shutting our minds to unpleasant consequences that our subconcious minds - and those around us - may be acutely aware of. Sometimes when I am "relaxed" on the surface I actually feel quite stressed at a deeper level where my mind is working on the things that I don't want to deal with directly.

I hope you don't mind my noting that in your first three sentences you mention four conflict relationships. That also rings familiar to me. There's usually a strong link between our own behaviors (such as procrastination) and our social relationships.

For those of us in the midst of it, it's sometimes hard to decipher the cause-and-effect between our behavior and the external factors that influence us (including the people we deal with). The cognitive therapists would probably say that our thinking patterns are driving our response to the people and situations around us. It's not to say that the problem is all in ourselves - but in a search for solutions our greatest control is over our own thinking patterns.

I think some of the better books on the roots of Procrastination address these issues. I haven't read any of them fully through so I can't say with certainty that they address your situation. I've read parts of "Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It Now" by Burka and Yuen and it seems to have some good insights.

Good thoughts to you, LeavingHome. Remember you've got friends here anytime!


"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of."
Benjamin Franklin

@pyrotecher -- Urgency

Thank you for your feedback.

 I'm not offended by your mentioning my conflict relationships -- your comments are certainly sincere, and I'm as thick-skinned as I am lacking in urgency, so no problem there.

And for your comments on cognitive therapists, I would agree. I believe our minds are "thinking machines" and that basically we respond based on our programming,  I think with conditioning and to the certain extent the exercise of will, we can overcome ingrained patterns of behavior, but as Yuen and Burka say, "it's hard."

I read "Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About it Now" by Burka and Yuen from cover to cover (with highlighting) last month. And overall it was quite helpful. I also started listening to Tim Pychyl's "iProcrastinate" podcasts which were also somewhat helpful. I even went to a real Zen temple and tried meditation in the hopes that it would help me with my mindfulness, but the Earthquake came, and I couldn't keep going.

Thanks again for your comments.

Thank You, LH


Thanks for your thoughtful response and for understanding about my comments.

I only mentioned the conflict relationships because they caught my eye in your posts. Sometimes those type of things come out in what we say/write and we don't even see it. It's certainly been that way for me - I've been surprised to find how my relationship with those close to me interacts with my thinking and behaviors like procrastination.

Thanks for your endorsements of the Procrastinator books. I appreciate how hard all this is because believe me, I'm deeply mired in it myself.

And finally, add my concern to Chickadee's in the wake of the recent disasters in Japan. Please remember also that whatever the direct impact on you and them, that this type of extraordinary situation can create additional stress for all. I'll be thinking of you and wishing you the best in the days ahead.

Best Regards,

Thanks for the honesty

Thanks for the honesty and  helpful and thought-provoking comments here.


leavinghome, I am glad to see you back and posting again after the quake-I hope you and yours are safe and well.