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 things you ENJOY

Why do I procrastinate doing things I enjoy?

It makes no logical sense.

I even sometimes do things I don't want to do, to avoid doing things that I DO want to do.

I know that sounds like the opposite of procrastination, but it feels just as horrible.


I procrastinate doing things that other people consider to be procrastination.

For example I have trouble making myself watch my favourite tv shows that I have recorded. I let the recordings build up until there's no room left and they start getting taped over. When I finally do manage to make myself watch them - usually only with pressure from someone else who wants to watch it too - I love it.

So why do I avoid doing it for so long? 


I drive myself insane. 

procrastinating on things I enjoy

That's something I really do too!  I've got unwatched TV programmes, UFOs (unfinished objects - needlework, knitting etc), and I've failed to get tickets for events I would really have liked to attended.

Some of it for me is about guilt - if I haven't done the things I OUGHT TO/SHOULD have done then I feel guilty about doing the things I like.  I also find I anticipate problems and won't start something in case I come up against a problem e.g. I've not done my knitting for ages because I dropped a stitch and didn't notice a few weeks ago, and it took me ages to to correct it without having to undo about 3 inches of knitting) - so now I don't do it becuase something might go wrong again and then it won't be enjoyable.

Just writing it down makes be realise how convoluted my reasoning and excuses can be.


Tasks and procrastination

I find that I procrastinate the most fun things as soon as they turn into a "task". I remember especially wasting hours and hours away on a website, and forgetting myself there. And then I accepted a challenge to create one picture a day. From that time it wasn't much fun anymore. I suddenly felt it was just one more thing on my schedule. Maybe your taped movies have become a task too. 

@ findingaway Have you considered, that your problem might be perfectionism? I do not do stuff I would like to do, because I always feel the pressure of having to do it perfectly. So I procrastinate starting on it, because its just going to be frustrating anyway, since barely anything is perfect.

Re: Tasks and procrastination

That's quite possible, there is a kind of deadline to watch them in that the disk will run out of room and stop taping, or they will be taped over.


But why would we procrastinate just because something is a task? 


Its called demand-resistance, that is if you procrastinate on anything that is a "task".
This article describes it pretty well:
and also the video by this guy, which has also been discussed somewhere on this site:
Hope that helps you.
You cannot run away from a weakness; you must sometimes fight it out or
perish. And if that be so, why not now, and where you stand?
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894)

Putting off doing enjoyable things

A while back when I was procrastinating badly and feeling terrible about it, I was really trying to work out what was going on. For me there was some realisation that at some level procrastination for me is about self-punishment. Yes, I may inadvertently hurt/inconvenience others with my procrastination, but the person who mostly suffers is me. It's like I don't want to let myself do well, or don't feel like I deserve much in life.

I certainly don't have all the answers here, but suspect that procrastination at root (perhaps like other addictions) reflects lack of self-esteem. For me this is about judging myself and not accepting my past choices and actions. 

If you relate to any of this it might offer some explanation. There are lots of times I feel I don't deserve to have fun because I haven't done enough work. But then I make it impossible for myself to do 'enough work'. It can be a vicious cycle, as I'm sure many here understand.

Glad to hear you have others in your life to 'make' you do things you enjoy!

Re: Putting off doing enjoyable things

I must admit I don't like myself very much a lot of the time, but I'm not convinced that is it.  


I feel dread.

Why? You're supposed to feel excitement and anticipation, not dread, before you do something fun.

re: putting off doing enjoyable things

Absolutely.   I find it imperative to schedule and plan fun and relaxation time.   It seems counterintuitive, but it really improves my productivity during scheduled work time, when I know I have that guilt-free play time coming up.


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