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.

Ritual Mistakes and Ritual Prevention??

I've been on this board a few times over the years and it always helped me.  Sometimes I think of schizophrenics who hit bottom and then take their medications to make themselves get better and then when life starts going well again they think they don't need the medication so they stop taking it and then it gets bad again...  That's me.

Well actually I guess not THAT bad.  But it's an analogy anyway.


I've fallen again into procrastination.  I always do it a little bit.  That's been a lifelong problem that prevents me from reaching my full potential.  But every now and then I fall into it for days and things start to get out of hand.  I'm there right now.


Today I absolutely must complete a particular time-consuming task that I've put off for a week now or else I'm going to have serious consequences.  That means a pot of coffee and pushing through and a miserable day tomorrow.  Why do I let this happen?  I mean, Jesus it's 8 PM the night before and I've barely started.  Now I have to just wing it and it will be of poor quality.  How can I be so irresponsible?

I thought about coming on here last night, but I changed my mind because I was embarassed that I join up then quit and join up then quit over and over again.  And since it was yesterday and not today, I could still kid myself that I'd get my butt into gear, but now I admit that I didn't and I need the daily check-ins again.


The other thing is that I've been thinking about the concept of ritual rather than habit.  We all know about habits, unfortunately.  We can change habits- I have hope in that- but it's extremely difficult.  This is where ritual kicks in I think.  Ritual, a series of steps that you go through every day that are symbolic of something else, are what keep people accountable.  That's an aspect of religion that I didn't understand when I was a kid.  It's also the aspect of  12 step programs that I didn't understand until recently.  So maybe I need to accept checking in as a part of my daily ritual, even when I get better and think I don't need it.


rituals or reminders?

Hi, reallyneedhelp,

Interesting thoughts re rituals, thanks. I'm currently working with a mindmap that I try to remember to check every morning, which lists a number of things that tend to help me get started if only I do them. Amazingly, I don't necessarily remember to do them unless I check the list. For me, something as simple as putting on cheering but not distracting music or opening a particular spreadsheet where I track my progress can help a lot in how productive I am. To me, the process of looking at the mindmap and doing things from it feels more like a reminder of what works (or helps) and a choice to do some of those things than what you describe as a sequence of actions that is symbolic of something else or makes [me] accountable. 

If you have more thoughts about this, I'd be interested in reading more. Good luck with figuring out what works for you, and doing it as needed!

wb really

You're always welcome no matter what!  

Avoiding the truth consumes great effort and energy. - Jim Loehr