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.

Avoiding Being Early

I first posted this in the Saturday,14 October 2006 Bookending Forum. Anybody else relate?

"Gosh, I'm all done--now what?"

"And therein is a whole other procrastination factor for me. I don't like being all caught up and prepared to go--and not be able to go yet. This is a dumb problem, but it does factor in. It contributes to my being late and always trying to fit in one more thing before I leave the house, because I hate to leave early enough to arrive early. I dunno why that bugs me so, it just does. (A few things just popped into mind: sometimes being somewhere erly is boring, and oftentimes--this is the real bugaboo--it means i have to stand around feeling socially awkward. Despite the skills I've developed in being outgoing as a pastor, I still don't LIKE it--I'm a real introvert. I hate not knowing what to do with myself in social situations.)"

Earliness and Time Bingeing

I think Milo hit it on the nose.

I hate being early because (I'm just realizing) I think it would be sacriligeous to do anything in that time other than the task I am waiting to begin - and heck, isn't that just another form of time bingeing??? 

Does this occur because I cannot separate the activity of traveling to the task from the activity of beginning the task?  If I could just convince myself that they are distinct activities, then maybe I could give myself permission to do something else in between.

being late to avoid an unpleasant situation

Hello Slider,

Seems to me you are pointing something I have also noticed:
being late to avoid a situation as much as you can. But then when you arrive late, do people all gather to you as you are late? in a way magnifying things? One thing I have noticed my own pastor doing is to always be on the move organising ( the food, the chairs, the books, the table ...). He is always doing something though always asking how we are doing when circulating with his plates or chairs through the crowd. Now I am wondering if it his way of coping ? :puzzled:


I bet so

That's what I wound up doing--checking on everybody inside, everybody outside, rearranging the spare hymnals among the extra chairs we set up, checking the A/C, saying hello to newcomers, talking to little kids, etc. It's not always things that actually need doing. I just feel awkward if I am in view and not doing something in particular, and I don't believe it would be acceptable to go into my office and hide out reading or journalling.

Hmm--why not, though? I have certainly seen other pastors do that. But I guess I feel like it would be seen as copping out. I feel like I am expected to be all things to everybody. No, wait--it's not that each person expects me to be all things to him or her. But when you put everybody together, the total list of expectations is staggering. And I am by nature an introvert, so even though I reach out and enjoy getting to know people (sometimes with an amateur anthropologist hat on), it takes a lot of energy to keep giving them what they seem to want from me (even if nothing but my full attention--which I always give). It drains me.

Extroverts seem to actually GET energy from interacting with people. I guess it's because they are the ones getting all the attention, with their story-telling and acting and all. I just realized that those who ham it up before others ARE getting fed by that attention, while those of us who "just listen" are the ones giving the energy, in the form of attentiveness. And when we draw out people who are shy or reticent to talk and soothe and encourage them, why that's a real workout! And the earlier I arrive, the more of it I have to do!

Be a Bi-Vert

Personally, I've never found the introvert/extrovert discussion to be particularly meaningful.  I think all people have components of both, and I don't think you should short-sell yourself with a label. 

When I'm in a social situation, if there is a way I can help out, I do it.  I don't think this is social awkwardness, so much as a deep-seated belief that I don't deserve people's attention unless I'm offering them something.  I don't think that's wrong.  If I can help bring out food, then being thanked for that is enjoyable.  If the strangers in the room expect me to get up in front of them and make a speech, no problem, that is enjoyable.  If I have something to say, I can work a room, no problem, and that is enjoyable.  If someone seeks me out and wants me to listen about their day or a problem, I'll be quiet, and that is enjoyable. 

The one thing I DEFINETELY don't like is just sitting and doing nothing in a room full of people (or people-watching) because then I have to admit I have nothing to offer them!

I get energy from people because when I offer them something, I usually get something back, even if it is only a thank you.  In the long run, it is usually admiration. 

On the other hand, sometimes I am tired.  Work makes everyone tired.  People are often involved in work.  But I'm not sure saying that people make me tired is accurate (or healthy).  I accept that I am tired without judgment.  I know that if I go around people when I am tired, I won't have anything to give them.  That would make me feel bad, and more tired.  So when I am tired, I rest. 

I need a good balance.  I know how to enjoy people and I know how to enjoy being away from people.  I know how to enjoy talking and listening.  So I find that labels like introvert / extrovert aren't helpful for me. 

And my opinion, personally, is that most people, unless they are EXTREMELY social or anti-social, can find their own unique ways of enjoying both.

And I think enjoyment is one antidote against procrastination, so it might be worth thinking about possible ways to enjoy the situation that makes you uncomfortable right now....


I agree - extroverts get energy from people. I am an extrovert - making jokes & telling stories, clowning around, flirting, dominating conversations etc.

When I am not part of the action (I don't necessarily have to be in the absolute centre of it) I find myself feeling smaller and smaller. I need to get in there and get energised by all the other people.

I must admit, though, that I do find it to be a bit of work drawing in those that are shy. But I get there :-)

I watched a movie once, I have no idea what it was called but it had Samuel L Jackson in it and the guy that played the dad in American Pie. Good movie. Anyway, the guy said "I never met anyone who didn't end up a friend". That's me - I make friends with everyone (even those I hate on sight I am determined to build rapport with...rather perverse, really...) I come across. Because I need to to feel human.

Anyway, enough of me dominating the conversation!! ;)

"dominating" the

"dominating" the conversation? that sounds like being starved for attention. . .


People exhaust me. It's not that I'm shy. I can talk and laugh and tell stories, but afterwards I need to be alone in a dark room for a while. I'm an introvert who doesn't appear to be an introvert to some people.

Enjoy that early time!

Use it for positive means. Once you 'arrive' you don't have to show yourself, remember. You can always stop not far from where you are going and enjoy those early minutes.

- Take a book and relax in the car before you arrive (I park a block away so as not to weird people out by staying in the car)
- Listen to music and just breath
- Take along your writing and do some
- Go for a walk
- get a Flylady Offce-in-a-bag and pay some bills, write a letter or do your menu planning

Just some ideas for you :).

Thanks, Milo!

I have to learn to give myself permission to do enjoyable things. I always jump to the conclusion that if I have time to spare, I "should" use it for tasks I've been putting off (like house cleaning). Part of why I procrastinate is because I seldom get any fun and recreation (sabbath-time, ironically enough).


Stop posting now and use this time to write!!!!

I can relate, but...

...I'm on my way out. More later!