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.

Emily's Daily Plod to be a better Doctor...

Hi All!  I'm Emily and I'm a chronic severe procrastinator and have been on the slippery slope for as long as I can remember.  For much of my life I've been able to cram in lots of things in the last minute (literally) and have gotten through life/school/university's hoops.  From all outward appearances I'm highly functioning.  I'm now a doctor and trying to pass some hard specialty college exams.  My cracks are fast extending out of control.

Procrastination strangely has its attractive aspects otherwise why would it be so self-perpetuating - there is a huge adrenalin rush and satisfaction in doing lots of things, reasonably well in a strangely efficient way.


However - this is not sustainable.


There are many things in life that shouldn't be crammed in.  My knowledge base that I need to do my job well for instance.  Broken promises to friends that I ran out of time to do/do well. always being late and undependable "The late one". Financial or admin decisions that I delay that have deadlines.


Even worse than that is the cruel, cruel, cruel inner self that punishes/blames/abuses/accuses mercilessly.  That only sees in black and white, all or nothing, you'll be never good enough so not worth even starting, you deserve to fail.... Sometimes I get physiclally sick from the headaches and often lie awake sleepless with thoughts chasing around my head.


So... Here's to aiming for PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION.

My 'Areas in need of Improvement"

1. Study for exams end of March.  You have all the resources at your fingertips. Baby step at a time.

2. Study for my job.  One topic a day.

3. Be on time.  It takes me 50% longer than I estimate to do/go something/where.

4. Personal Admin stuff: ie. email inobx chockers, tax still not done, forms half finished... tackle one job off your list each day.

5. Be reliable and dependable. Its ok to say yes or no - but if you say yes - do it. 


I am in need of your support again - I love the support and COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING that I share with you guys.


Here's to US!



Something I found to help with my cruel inner voice, was to evaluate my progress qualitatively instead of quantitatively. My internal voice has "gotten somewhat better" (ha ha) doing this. and I feel a bit more "sometimes satisfied" with my progress.

It takes practice and my "defaullt thinking" is still the black and white. Don't know if this can help, but that is an experience, strength and hope item that has helped me in PA.  Vic


I try to remember to rate my progress using a scale of points like:


  • completely satisfied
  • very satisfied
  • fairly well satisfied
  • somewhat dissatisfied
  • very dissatisfied
  • Extremely
  • Very
  • Moderately
  • Slightly
  • Not at all
  • totally like
  • very much like
  • moderately like
  • somewhat like
  • not like
  • Almost always
  • Often
  • Sometimes
  • Seldom
  • Never
  • Very Often
  • Regularly
  • Sometimes
  • Once or Twice
  • Never
  • Gotten much better
  • Gotten somewhat better
  • Stayed the same
  • Gotten somewhat worse
  • Gotten much worse




Re: Emma

Congratulations for choosing to give yourself a better life!

I can relate to so much of what your writing. There are lots of stuff that shouldn't be crammed. Studying will always be hard, but it can be interesting and brings lots of satisfaction when done right. Cramming on the other hand leads to fatigue, mental and physical, and makes you hate the subject your studying. Thats my expirience.

And yes the mean inner voice that's always ready to spread doubt and self hatred is really our biggest enemy.

After my last holiday I was in a calm state for a week or so, where I had somehow turned that voice of. It was wonderful! I was much more productive, creative and happy. Then it slowly returned but I'm really trying to find a way to shut it off again. 

Good luck with your habit changing. You've come to the right place for support:)

You have my support :)

Hi Emma,

felt lots of identifiation reading your post, although my 'fear of failure' has mainly led to never getting off the starting blocks in the first place, never mind becoming a professional anything. (Ooooh, almost added something nasty there (that old self-recrimination game) but stopped myself). However, thanks to many different factors, not least feeling that enough was enough, and I really had to change, I find myself now a mature student, at University again after twenty years. It's really daunting, and I've procrastinated like anything over the assignments we've had so far, and I really want to state, for the record, that staying up all night to finish an essay is NOT a good look... and I really don't have the stamina any more either... So, yes, I echo your sentiments, study is hard but rewarding and (we're) worth the effort :).

So good luck with your list, and be sure to use the cyber support available to all of us from all of us!