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.

where to begin?

My name is Bill, and I'm a 40 year old male in Boston. I've wrestled with procrastination nearly all my life--since elementary school actually. It's escalated through the years and affected my psyche and my finances (I'm self-employed).

Outwardly I am a happy-go-lucky guy. But inwardly I'm a mess who can't seem to slay the 'dragon' that is procrastination. I walk around with constant guilt specifically because of my procrastination habits. I have countless projects (over 50) that have been dormant for years (years!). I have over 300 incomplete tasks on my to-do list logged. I'm in over my head with debt (way over my head).

The odd thing is, if you walked into my apartment and office, you'd think I'd have it all under control; everything is relatively neat and organized. I'm very good at organizing things. And yet I get myself stuck repeatedly on actually engaging with tasks…or avoid commitments entirely by doing something else (or nothing else) time after time.

I've lately come to see my procrastination as an addiction; my only vice, really (save for chocolate). I won't bore you with the underpinnings of it--just know that I know it's a form of "acting out."

My questions are: how can I use this site--this anonymous group--to aid in taking productive steps to making a move on my day-to-day life now? And how can I give back here, without having this site be another "escapist" form of procrastination in itself, as it's always so much easier to help someone else fix their problems vs. working on my own (irony at its finest).

I've read the articles here (brilliant!) and understand the concept of "book-ending." Now what? Do I post my day-to-day tasks here? Anxieties? Failures? Accomplishments? I'm fearful as I have so much to do that's behind, that's ahead, that's here. All now.

I guess my question really is: where do I begin?

Thanks for reading this,

You've already begun

I know it may sound like a cliche, but you've already begun by admitting the problem. The next steps involve some self-examination and some effort.

Pay attention to what you procrastinate on and how you procrastinate. There are lots of different reasons why people procrastinate, and usually we have more than one cause for our problem. By learning to recognize the patterns our own behavior, we can identify causes and work on them.

As for what to do next, I think all your suggestions are welcome -- post about your worries, bookend your tasks, ask for advice, help strike up conversation here and keep the forum moving.

I don't know what else you've done to try to understand your procrastination and work yourself out of it. I would recommend a couple of books: Neil Fiore's "The Now Habit" and Rita Emmett's "The Procrastinator's Handbook." I've read them both, and they have helped. (The books share several approaches, so feel free to pick just one to start.)

My best suggestion on how to begin fighting procrastination in your own life is this: Pick one of your tasks that's not getting done and just start on it. Don't worry about finishing, just start on it and work for 15-30 minutes. Then do something as a small reward for yourself -- maybe have some chocolate. :)

I could go on and on, but I'll stop now. (And I agree that discussing procrastination can be yet another form of procrastination.)