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.

Thursday, January 5, 2012



Have a proactive day!


fudoshin: checkin 7:16pm

Please do not leave advice or feedback.  Thank you.  Prayers welcome. 



Howdy people!


I am working on making myself dinner.  Feeling quite exhausted and hoping to get energy. I want to make a resolution for the next 21 days to go to sleep in my bed and brush my teeth (and floss, if I have floss) at night,  but I'm having trouble with doing that, because  it gets to be way too late, and I'm never home at a specific time like 12am.  So I'm thinking I should set it for 1am, and if I'm not home at that time then I can always do it as soon as I arrive home.  But I think the source of my anxiety is not exercising before bed, and that's something I also need to improve on doing more consistently, because it's a sine qua non of my life.

CI 5 Jan 2012: Starting the Year and Confronting CHAOS - Day 1

Check-in 2:40 pm PST

Since the 1st of the month I've been trying to regroup and set out some "resolutions' for the year:
- Some goals for more constructive personal habits
- An updated/prioritized plan for tackiing my list of long-overdue personal projects.

That's the theory and I'm not abandoning it. But as usual life has thrown me an immediate challenge to confront. Something on my list but not what I expected to start the year with:

Last night my wife and I learned that a relative is going to be in the area in a little over a week and would like to visit. We are looking forward to seeing them. We are also in a panic for we suffer from

CHAOS: "Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome."

We havent had guests in years and thanks to a combination of moderate hoarding and procrastination about various fix-up projects, both my doing, our house is not what we would want friends and family to see.

Frankly, I've lived with CHAOS pretty much my whole life. My mother, who was not nearly the hoarder I am but lived in shame for not keeping up with the "homemaker standard" of her generation, feared guests just as much.

Now that this fear is becoming reality I've got to get myself together and prioritize what I can realistically do to straighten up the house in the time available. I also have to be realistic and not try to overdo - or totally neglect my other priorities.

I've started a couple of the longer lead-time tasks and am starting to compile a 2do wishlist to prioritize.
My intention is to use forum posts here to follow the progress.

Obviously I need to confront the longer-term issues of hoarding and timely home upkeep. But right now Ive got an immediate situation to address. I need to find a way for this exercise for momentum to making some meaningful progress in the longer term.


Postscript on CHAOS Post

I'm delinquent posting a followup on this.

What happened after my post:
- Made some cleanup progress in principle "public rooms" (e.g. living room, guest bath) which weren't the worst off to begin with.
- Our planned guest changed their plans. Guest crisis averted.
- About 5 months later, the core hoarding issue is still very much a problem.

I'm very aware I need to do something about it. The desire is there and has been for some time. Mostly I'm trying to figure out an approach, and how to prioritize this against several other procrastination-induced crises.

Journey, thank you for your thoughtful input on this. It does give me some peace of mind for those days when people do come through the door.


@ pyrotecher

Besides the great help here on PA, a fellow procrastinator used to sometimes reference Clutterers Anonymous ( which I found very helpful.

Something about Spring - perhaps the onset of hot weather? - really makes me want to get more free of stuff.  My last go-around on CA helped me transfer one such window of willingness into action that was very beneficial at the time. I'm not as deeply buried by stuff now as I was then, but a brush-up does seem in order.  Good luck with your efforts!

"My boundaries enclose a pleasant land." Psalm 16


Lived with that for a long time, thankfully my house is now presentable enough for guests - as long as they don't go upstairs.   I'm working on turning the junk room upstairs into a guest room - for now overnight guests have to sleep on the airbed in the living room.  Just do a little at a time, you can't tackle it all at once.   Just apologize in advance for the mess -  in my experience, most people love to see a house that is actually messier than their own, it makes them feel better!   Once you get over the hurdle of having that first guest, it gets easier and each time someone comes over you get a burst of housecleaning done in anticipation, so the more people you can have over the better!

I will be praying for a successful and enjoyable visit for you and your relative - remember it is you guys they want to see, not a perfect house.


Be confident.  Stay focused.   One thing at a time.

Findingaway check in

9.00 am, Friday 6th

Thanks for the starter, InnerTruth.

I am off to do some outdoor monitoring, a job I used to do but now filling in for a friend who is overseas. A bit nervous on how I will manage the physical demands.

It shouldn't take all day. I want to visit a friend afterwards, also hope to catch upon some jobs I should have done yesterday. Will see how I go.

Best wishes to you all in your endeavours!

tracy-la check in 1-5

What a morning. Got off track and in a client emergency. But everything is an emergency with that client. Will work on setting better boundaries.

7:30-8:00 Project L

8:00-9:00 House projects

9:00-11:30 - Project JWS 

11:45 -1:45  run

MIT #1

MIT #2

MIT #3

Other tasks: Xmas tree; clean up afterwards; Project JWS

2 pm meeting

3 pm meeting 

Bill #1; #2: #3 



Several biologically based conditions often go hand in hand with procrastination: (1) executive dysfunction; (2) ADD; (3) depression; (4) anxiety disorders; (5) stress and (6) sleep rpoblems. If you have or think you might have any of these conditions, they miht be making a significant contribution to your procrastination. Don't despair and don't ignore them. Consider getting a medical evaluation; medication or other remedies and self-care may be helpful in treating   the condition and may help reduce your procrastination.


Whe we talk about executive function we're talking about the performance of the CEO of your brain. Just as the CEO of a business is responsible for the perforamnce of the overall comapny, the executive function of your brain coordinates, regulates, and intergrates the different structures and systems of your brain to give you a smooth, ongoing sense of yourself with your personality, goals, values and skills.

Your inner executive takes in information from your senses, your history, your thoughts, and uses this information in a goal directed way to enable you to acomplsih what is important to you.  

Just as it is possible for a company with well-functioning departments to be led by an imcompetent CEO - it is possible for a person to have a brain that functions well in many ways, yet lacks overall leadership.

A person with poor executive function may struggle with important life skills in spite of possessing many mental strengths.

Perhaps you know someone (maybe even ourselves?) who is smart and has good ideas, but who is "terminally disorganized" and never seems to have the right papers or materials, can't remember what was planned or decided, and loses track of the steps necessary for the completion of a task.

Sound familiar? This kind of disorganization easily leads to procrastination because you lose track of timelines and deadlines, and because it can become so frustrating to locate what is needed to start or complete a project that you just give up.

 A person who has difficulties with  executive function often has problems with procrasintation. However, not all procrastinators have executive function. So this is an issue you must consider in figuring out what your own procrastination is all about.

Almost all people who have ADD have executive function difficulties. But executive dysfunction issues does not necessarily imply ADD.

There are different opinions about which capacities are involved in executive function, but there is general agreement that there are several basic factors:

(1) attentional control,

(2) cognitive flexibility,

(3) goal setting, and

(4) information processing.

These can be further divided into the following specific functions:

A. Initate tasks (get started, generate ideas for action)

B. Sustain attention (follow through, stick with an activity)

C. Inhibit impulses (think before acting, not respond immediately)

D. Shift attention (change focus, move from task to task, respond flexibly)

E. Emotional control (regulate and manage feelings)

F. Organize material (obtain needed materials and create order)

G. Self-monitor (verbal capacity to review one's performance, to talk oneself through difficult tasks or experiences as needed)

H. Time management (be aware of and realistic about time)

I  Planning (prioritize, identify steps toward a goal, anticipae future needs and events)

If you have problems with executive function, we're sorry to tell you that there is no magic cure. Some issues, such as attention focus, and working memory may be helped by medications that are used to treat ADD. However, problems with organization are usually not helped with medications, so the suggestions we offer in Part Two are especially importnt.

You don't have to feel ashamed, but  you do have to figure out how to work with what you've got.

Many of the techniques we suggest for managing procrastination are techniques that also help with executive function:

(1) identifying a goal and breaking it down into small steps;

(2) taking a small first step;

(3) learning how to tell time; 

(4) optimizing the enviromental conditions to support success; and

(5) maybe most important of all -- "get a buddy" because it is difficult to teach executive functions to yourself.

It can really help to team up with someone who is kind and who has strong executive functioning. Perhaps this is one reason why a huge new service industry has developed over the last 10 years: the personal organizer and clutter management expert!

Summary and excerpts from Chapter 8, Procrastination: Why You do it, What To Do About It Now by Burka and Yuen 


re: executive function (tracy-la)

yeah, i see a lot of myself in there. On the positive side, i feel like i am starting to form habits and techniques to artificially prop up these functions in myself. Like using timers, making lists, posting here. I see a lot of substitutions i'm making for the natural talents written there. In fact, it seems even a little weird to me to think people can do all those things just within their own head.
My favorite quote:

You don't have to feel ashamed, but you do have to figure out how to work with what you've got.

the touch of the master's hand:
fall down seven times, get up eight - japanese proverb

No traction today

Yesterday was my first day back from a short vacation, and I got a few things done as I tried to ease back into work mode. Today, though, I ran smack into the problem of competing priorities as I tried to get into the swing. I have been stuck in place all day, finding "creative" ways to procrastinate because I feel anxiety about what to tackle first. It's 4 PM and I am only now starting. Hard to believe. Where did the day go? Anyway, need to get back on the horse.

Goal 1: Work on cases, 15 or 30 minutes at a time, based on complexity. One after the other, as smoothly as possible.

Goal 2; No more "I'll just check/do this one thing then buckle down" thinking until 8 PM. Whatever it is, it can wait.

Goal 3: Leave at 8 PM. I have to set a new paradigm in place for 2012: fitting the work into my life, not fitting my life around the work.

Back to report (after 8 PM or tomorrow). 

clement ci

i have 14 things to do that have hit my plate over vacation and in the last 2 days. I had a great workout and quiet time this morning, so i feel strong in The Lord and those 14 things dont overwhelm me today like usual.

And i've been working well all morning, but time to transition to the next task, and i'm feeling resistance. So i'm catching up here (always helps) and posting and going to break it down to small parts and do them one at a time until i get stuck again. In which case i'll be back here.


the touch of the master's hand:

fall down seven times, get up eight - japanese proverb


kromer 10: 50 CI

Slow start this morning, but I did pick up stuff to winterize my apartment, so I can do that in the evening

Today I need to:
*Check expts
*Start Lin28, Plzf, Rdh10 stainings
*Email about S8, start ecad/scp3 (will do this soon)
*Winterize windows (which means I need to email freecycle lists about bubble wrap)
*Scope out MH rooms and email
*Org. bench (made some progress on this, but not going to get finished today)
*Look at addendum, email MP, order stuff for suspension, order m., pick up ILL book (made progress on some of these, but not going to finish today)
*Hand-wash clothes, make tomato sauce and popcorn
*Start geno

OK, I'll start by getting ready for stainings and emailing freecycle lists and emailing about S8 and looking at addendum. 

Steppin check in

Having learned from yesterday, I will keep my list simple:                                      


Concert piece                                                                                                    

Hymns (get started on 2) edit:only got started on one though                                  


 E's audition songs


Sign up for more gym classes

Check info on party house

Take out trash

 Fix dinner and do dishes

Vic 1/5/12

Show up (done)

Have been sort of "maintaining" which I need to remember is good, even though it does not feel good enough, because when I get into all or nothing thinkinking I tend to "wipe out" and start over.

Praying for the willlingness to be more willing to step up a notch by using phone cleck in's, buddies, chat room, etc. 

Grateful we have PA where our intentions to move forward happen because we understand each other at a evel that cannot be found anywhere else (that I know of).

re: we understand each other

Me Too. Amen!

the touch of the master's hand:

fall down seven times, get up eight - japanese proverb


re: we understand each other .


Be confident.  Stay focused.   One thing at a time.

Journey 9:30 & update

Back in the office today and kinda happy to be here.   I missed my little cubicle.  

I've been to the gym, checked a few voice mail messages that I somehow missed while on vacation, and scanned thru email quickly.   I am on a conference call now that should last only half an hour, then I'll make todo list for today and check back. 

Have a productive and enjoyable day everyone. 

Update 11:00 conference call done, todo list done, one MIT completed, now having a cup of tea . . .I'll check back if I get stuck, otherwise have a great day.


Be confident.  Stay focused.   One thing at a time.

Lucky CI


I had a very productive afternoon and evening yesterday, then epic and I do mean EPIC going-to-bed procrastination. 4am, people. Consequently, slept all morning and am now in a tearing hurry to get things done again.

Turned out that if I hadn't done all the cleaning yesterday, my housemate was not going to give me a month's notice, she was going to evict me ON THE SPOT, in which case I'd have been at risk of suicide. So PA possibly saved my life!

Lots of bitty tasks, need to work out timings and not get overwhelmed because it looks like a lot. Many of these are a few minutes each. 

Sink :)
George Foreman :)
Bin :)
Clean fluff filter :)
Drying :)
Soap dispenser :)
Clean drying area :)
Empty dishwasher :)  
Check/clean out cupboards - Part done
Dog bath :)
Towels back in wash :) (Although it turned out I misinterpreted that...)
Dust sitting room :) 
Collect dog food - 4:46 train :)
Shiva Nata :)
Writing :) 1 story done out of a planned 3
Prayer time :)
Tomorrow's list :)
Bed by midnight (and NOT reading or surfing the internet in bed.)

lucky, look at all those smilies!

the touch of the master's hand:

fall down seven times, get up eight - japanese proverb


My Day Today

I want to thank my Higher Power for this program, this website, the telephone and online meetings, and my life.

I want to thank InnerTruth for starting this trend.

Thing I have done today

Took shower

Things I will do today

1. Get dressed

2. Fix my brunch

3. Go to group therapy at 9 a.m.

4. Go to individual therapy at 10:15

5. Go to the bank and do business

6. Go to Mass

7. Go to the 1 p.m. telephone CLA meeting

8. Go to the 8 p.m. telephone CLA meeting

9. Go to the 9 p.m. online EA meeting

10. Put old mail in trash

11. Take out trash

12. Take out recycling

13. Sweep floor

15. Wipe stove

16. Clean bathroom

17. Mop floor

Thanks for letting me share

Max Barraclough


1. New habits

- Morning routine

- Respond to all 12 hours

- Read blogs & WSJ

routine recent days: 148, 282, 87, 150, min

2. Tasks

fraud, laptop, mystery charges
Call D
Call E
Call UP
Din tasks
Dry cleaning
how to deliver mail
NYRB/other subscriptions
Read AE
Recontact G: check with M

days: 40, 41, 40, 10, % of tasks completed


Tiptree CI 12:28 AM

to be done in the next 24 hrs:

- implement/fix remaining issues in Y. features
--> css issues
x determine why icon isn't appearing in particular case
--> impl layout including read-only obj
x replace alt txt
--> handle display state after submit
- test Y. feature thoroughly and prep for integration testing
- implement expl. popup
- start work on attrib. pref. enhancement
- finish 2 graphic novels from library
- clean office
x wash dishes/tidy kitchen
- exercise walk/get out of the house
- sh/sh
- review open items
- close an additional small bug
- investigate bc issues
x get up earlier/set alarm

InnerTruth check-in for Thursday

To do list for Thursday:

Join friend for morning walk at 7:30 am. Back home at 9:00. (cancelled because of scheduled phone interview)

9:00 am to 10:15 am - Interview with Sarina, apply for TZ job

10:15 am to 10:30 am - Get ready for work

10:30 am - Leave for work

11:15 am - check-in, call Louis & Margaret

11:30 - 4:30 pm - work

4:30 - 4:45 - Grocery Shop

4:45 to 5:45 pm - Go home and shop for produce

5:45 - 6:15 pm - Dinner

6:15 - 6:45 - phone interview

6:15 pm - 9 pm - Newsletter, email Barb