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.

Just keep starting

Why am I here?

Because I have had enough. Because I do not want to procrastinate any more. Because everything else I've tried has not worked. Because I want to change.

Because I will not give up.

I've been a procrastinator all my life. I don't know what the reason is. Is it ADHD? Is it avoidance of anxiety? Is impulsiveness? Is it perfectionism? Is it all of the above or none of the above?

I dont' know. I don't care.

I just want it to stop.

At an intellectual level, I know the issues. I've read 'the now habit', 'the procrastination equation' and 15 other books on how to stop procrastinate (probably while I should have been working on something more important). Each has its own theory, each its own reason and each its own suggestions.

I know I'm supposed to make lists. Lists of priorities. Priorites derived from goals... from dreams.I know I'm supposed to break these dreams into small little pieces that make them manageable. Small enough that they are no longer intimidating. Ironically, perhaps small enough that are not longer even distant reminders of the dreams in the first place (I know, I'm exagerating). 

I know... and yet I don't know. I try. Believe me I try. I have lists. I go to bed praying that armed with my lists and positive visualization and self-hypnosis scripts, tomorrow will be different. But it never is. 

So I am here. Perhaps writing about and sharing my experience will help take me in a new direction. 

As some background... by any stretch of the imagination, I'm quite succesful. Work at a very presitgious firm, have a great family. went to some of the best schools in the country. Yet, I know that my procrastination has held me back. Has caused pain to those I love. 

As an example, in school, I had semesters where I had a 4.0 and top grades in each class. I had other quarters where I did not show up to class for half the semester.

I have been so late on turning in my expenses at work (literally just needed to hand them over to my assistant) that I've literally shredded the receipts in fear of my wife finding out that thick stack that could no longer be submitted. 

That is why I am here.

I am here because I know all the answers, yet I have none.

That is why I am here.

I am here with hoping that at least one piece of advice i read will help. In 'the now habit', at one point the author essentially says don't worry about finishing... just keep starting.

So I am here. I am here to start... Once again :)


the weight of failure

NoMore – 

Well, your post was certainly what I needed to read today. I'm "starting" again today, trying to put one foot in front of the other in a directed, deliberate way instead of running away.

A month ago, I lost another important client — the best opportunity to come my way in four years — due to my continued inability to deliver work on time and within scope. It took maybe a week for it to sink in, and then I felt pretty depressed and hopeless for a couple weeks. Today I'm back from a nice vacation with my family. No real hopefulness in me, but at least I'm clear that running is just going to make things worse and worse. 

I relate so much to your post, NoMore. I'm 45, a creative professional with some impressive work behind me. But I too have been crippled by this affliction my whole life. I've created so much pain through procrastination and perfectionism that I've turned to all sorts of drugs/behaviors to self-medicate. That's how I got into the 12 Steps nine years ago. But I've learned that those things are just superficial manifestations of the affliction — it's my desperate need to be beyond criticism and judgment from others that's at the core of everything. And the procrastination/perfectionism have always been the core expression of the affliction. 

Your post brought to mind something from a book called Turning It Over; in a section called "A Pattern of Failure," the author writes:

The reason New Year's resolutions get so much attention i sthat hope soars skyward, but promises crash like a windless kite. It's human nature to reach high and fall short. And to believe that it'll be different next time. 

So it was with our self-destructive behaviors. We always thought it would be different the next time we indulged. We would be in control next time. Nothing would go wrong because we would watch it; we would be more careful. And of course it never worked. Like the kite, we always crashed.

Consequently for those of us in 12 Step programs, the idea of attempting something noble — even something humbling — is disheartening. The thought of failure is ever with us.

Until I hit bottom and asked for help in AA, I was not able to stop drinking. I had promised myself thousands of times, but promises are quickly forgotten in the throes of withdrawal. Because of my repeated fruitless attempts to stop killing myself, you might say I was programmed for failure.

I am so accustomed to trying and failing that it is second nature to me now. I failed to control my behavior so often that I lost my self-respect. Because I was a victim of disease, not weak will, I can now see that this was inevitable. The results of trying to gain control were foregone conclusions. Everyone who knew me could have predicted the ending. Everyone but me. Yet deep inside I knew, too, that with each attempt I would fail once again.

This was a common trait with most of us. That's why we try to live one day at a time. When we set our sights on a goal today, suddenly we're likely to experience that old gut-clutching panic. We weren't very good at carrying out our resolutions then, and we're probably not a whole lot better at it now. So we're apt to be careful about making promises to ourselves or anyone else. We don't want to go through another humiliating failure.

It's a common fear. So it's only natural to balk at trying something as strange and as seemingly impossible as turning our will over to a Higher Power. Look at our track record. We can make pledges, we can promise, but what's always happened when we've done that? Failure.

First time I read this, years ago, I felt like I'd been tacked out like a frog on the dissection table. It's only become more true as the years have gone by; I'm not out of control any more with booze, drugs or compulsive behaviors but I can't seem to fix the stuff that is interfering with my career and my ability to make a living.

The author goes on to describe how the paradoxical promise of the 12 Steps is that the admission of total defeat — in my case, that I, on my own steam, will never be able to control my procrastination, perfectionism, and obsession with finding my self-worth in others' opinions of me — is the key that makes it possible to let go of managing my own decisions a single day at a time.

And when I do that, when I surrender say-so over what I do, then things do tend to get better. Slowly and painfully, maybe, but they do improve.   

hello, Nomore!


I've been here a couple of weeks and find it very helpful.  congrats on what you've accomplished already in your decision to be here and in your life.  



great article:


Welcome Nomore

I've been here about 3 weeks and I've got more help and support than anywhere else ever.

I too have a successful career, yet I've regularly been in trouble for failing to get work done in time, and my financial life is a bit of a disaster.  But checking in regularly here and using the chatroom when necessary has given me a real practical boost.  I still don't know why I procrastinate, but reporting here in this non-judgemental environment has already had massive benefits in my work.

Glad you have joined us - I hope you enjoy the benefits as much as I do


Dear Nomore,   Thank

Dear Nomore,


Thank you for sharing. I completely empathise with everything you say. I've read the books too -- also when I should be doing something more important, and I've thought of all of those reasons from ADHD to perfectionism to avoidance addiction. I still don't know what I'm supposed to do, and I realize that my life is ticking away.

Someone here on this website said to me once, "You can't stop procrastinating. You can only do someting." That sounds like your final line of just keeping starting.

Good luck, don't give up, and even when you are struggling, may you find happiness along your journey.