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.

Does Anyone Have PMS?

I have been trying to really suss out this situation. I have a billing program called iBiz (formerly iWork) that offers the option of graphing your work hours. After one particularly bad year, I did this and I noticed that my billable hours (I'm a freelancer) bottomed out in the five to ten days before my period month after month. It was as if I only understood working and billing for the other 20 days of the month. I have noticed that for me (and incidentally for another friend of mine) PMS manifests as a severe lack of focus. It becomes very, very difficult to operate on my own during those days. I manage to get things done, but it's very hard. I can write down a long list of things to do, but I can only stare at it in wonder and despair and not be able to prioritize the chores--ranging from "buy a car" to "do the dishes" --and set forth to do one of them with any confidence. For me, PMSsing can be very linked to time bingeing and obsessive thinking as well. Okay. So there's the problem. What do I do about it?

I've been trying Chaste Berry (Vitex) extract, lots of Calcium and B vitamins, plenty of Omega 3-6-9 and Evening Primrose Oil--all hormone balancing agents. That and drinking tons of water, and exercising seems to help. The trouble comes when I can't even remember that those solutions exist. So I program my calendar to remind me.

I also talk to friends and try to remember that this will pass. I have noticed that I always feel better if I have a clear schedule, as opposed to waking up each day with a void of activity stretching out ahead of me--something that can happen to a freelancer working in their own apartment.

I post this only to share my experience and how I think the condition of my physical self contributes to my ability to manage my time. I hope it's helpful.

Monica's picture

Too early to tell, but...

I'm posting this a lot earlier than I originally planned to. But I've been updating my calendar daily (to track my daily productivity and emotions) and I have run smack into a procrastination wall. It so obvious that I had to post. I've been overwhelmingly unproductive for the past 3 days. I have absolutely no desire to do anything (though I know I should) except stay in bed. And I don't think it's a coincidence that these feeling have come exactly 10 days before my cycle is due. I know it's way to early to say there is a pattern. But it certainly looks like there is a real connection between my procrastination and the week or so before my cycle begins. I will still continue to track my productivity. If there really is a pattern here, this will be a hug breakthrough for me. I know I procrastinate for a lot of different reasons but if I can eliminate at least one, that would be fantastic!!!

Thanks Gwen D for posting this. It has been most valuable.

If I can't do it perfectly, I'll do it anyway. If I can't do it all, I'll do some. If I do nothing, nothing gets done.

"I don't feel like it" is a poor sacrifice for your dreams.


Yea, I'm pretty much the same way.   I get extremely tired, and seriously can almost not function.   You track your cycle's from the first day your period starts- a good website for this is  They actually have software you can download(for a fee ) to use on your computer to help you with it.   The webiste is more used for people doing natural family planning, but it certainly works for just be aware of how your body functions and when to expect the monthly changes.  THe book that goes along with the website is called taking charge of your fertility by Toni Weschler.  It's a great book even if you aren't trying to conceive.  It talks about monitoring your cycles for health reasons as well as fertitlity/conception.   Maybe it will be of some use to everyone.

Monica's picture

The PMS and Procrastination Link

I believe this is a problem I'm having. I've never been the type to keep track of my 28 days. But I think I'm noticing a pattern. My productivity goes way down right before my cycle comes on. It seems no matter how hard I try to convince myself to be productive, I can't. During these times I just don't care about anything. I don't care about the effect my procrastination has on my family or on my life. I'd almost say I was numb if not for the guilt I am able to feel (and do feel). But after my cycle is over I feel like a fresh start. I am ready to begin again. I've never attributed my procrastination to PMS before but it's worth considering. Maybe if I know when the low in my productivity is coming I can begin to work around it and prepare for it.

I start tracking my days to see if this link really does exist for me. Do any of you ladies know when I'm suppose to start counting? Is it 28 days before or after my cycle?

If I can't do it perfectly, I'll do it anyway. If I can't do it all, I'll do some. If I do nothing, nothing gets done.

"I don't feel like it" is a poor sacrifice for your dreams.

Hi Monica

I've wondered about this myself, but haven't tried to track it yet. However, I have found consistently that about a week before I get my period I'm very weepy for a day or two without other explanation. Anyway, I think it varies from person to person, but it's generally the week or so before your cycle starts that you would experience PMS.


Monica's picture

Getting It Right

Thanks for your help Mollie. I talked to some girlfriends. After they got over the shock that a grown woman my age doesn't know how to track her cycle, they told me I should start counting the first day after my cycle begins. I guess I will have to tack it for at least 2 months to see if I am experiencing any PMS symptoms and if they are linked to my Procrastination. I will be sure to pay special attention to the week prior to my cycle's due date. I'll post my findings in a couple of months... that is if I don't procrastinate on doing this too. LOL!

If I can't do it perfectly, I'll do it anyway. If I can't do it all, I'll do some. If I do nothing, nothing gets done.

"I don't feel like it" is a poor sacrifice for your dreams.

Working with PMS

Now that you have realised that's your pattern you're in a good position to organise your work around it - and being freelance you have the freedom to as well.

What sort of things ~can~ you do when you have PMS - could 'obsessive thinking' be changed to 'creative thinking', networking, trotting round town putting up flyers - whatever you feel you ~could~ manage.

The other way round it is to figure out how many days you could do with goofing off, and pay them back, e.g. only take one weekend day off and give yourself four days off when you have PMS. You still get the same number of days off as everyone else, just distributed differently from most office workers (obviously there are some shift workers for whom this sort of pattern is normal). Then just take the time to chill out and relax.

I also like your idea of using reminders to take your remedies.



Hi Normy,
I think your ideas are good. I've been thinking I should work out a good detailed schedule for myself ahead of time, using my clear-headed days to plan what kind of thing I could do during those other days. Thanks for the note!

Gnothi Seauton ~ Know Thyself