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.

Hi, Fellow Travelers - My Story

I procrastinated posting my first post, thinking: This is way too long.  No one's going to read this tripe!

But for those of you who prove me wrong, thank you in advance for your empathy, feedback, and support.

Here is my response to pro's question, "Why do you want to join this website?" 

Walker (<= one who takes steps, both forward and backward, but eventually reaches her desired destination)

. . . . . . .

Dear Webmaster,

What a surprise and a relief it was to google "procrastinators anonymous" and find your well-organized site, complete with subsites!  You have created a beautiful, accessible resource for sufferers like myself.  Were you once a procrastinator?  If so, I salute you for your productivity and compassion-laced action.  I feel grateful and hopeful that finally... FINALLY I will find the support and impetus I need to follow through on the steps I must take in order to DO the things that need to be done WHEN they need to be done.

I *know* what needs to be done.  At least I have that much insight.  Yet I am baffled as to why and how I -- unlike "normal" people -- can distract myself with eating, reading and posting online, and any number of enjoyable but useless activities.  I get myself over-the-top anxious about something as innocuous as writing a check for an overdue bill, calling my health insurance companies (yes, plural, because I put off canceling the one after I got my latest job) to settle a medical claim; scheduling a dental appointment for a moldering toothache; checking and opening any mail whatsoever (snail mail, email, voicemail); doing my laundry; cleaning my apartment; calling friends and family (yes, even people who LOVE me, I put off staying in touch with!)... the list is endless.  I even put off taking off my clothes, washing my face and going to bed, so I am chronically exhausted.  It's bedtime as I write this.

My life is completely out of control.  The bill collectors will soon be sending the cops after me;  I should probably be in jail as I type this.  I spend my days and nights in an avalanche of worry. worry, worry.  No.  This is not funny in the least.  It's self-torture.  I rip myself off over and over with late fees, a POOR credit rating and a secret shame that forms a wall between me and every other human on the planet.  I can't have close friends and loves because of it.

Procrastination has been the bane of my existence for as long as I can remember.  I was even born two weeks late.  My perfectionistic tendencies and poor organization and planning skills made me a loaf-and-crammer for my entire academic career.  I often missed deadlines for projects.  I got high grades, but the cost to my health and sanity was great.  Procrastination is the main reason I had to give up my job as a Chemistry teacher (aside from my fear of those teenage cretins I had to teach, who all knew my secret shame).

My master's degree is rotting in a closet, and I now make $12 an hour at a warehouse.  Somehow I have to make payment arrangements for the scholarship and student loans I won and lost to go to x-ray school, which I flunked the clinical part of, due to my procrastination.   I also have to pay credit card bills for tens of thousands of dollars worth of computer courses I bought to teach me how to make money at home online -- but I procrastinated learning the material, and it's too late to go back and learn.  I've paid for years' worth of unused subscriptions for computer courses and health club memberships, simply because I put off canceling them.  I almost died because I put off a surgery until it was almost too late.

Am I dumb or what?

Actually, I know it doesn't matter why I've done this to myself.  It matters that I stop calling myself names like lazy, stupid, worthless, etc.  It matters that I recover as soon as I can, one baby step at a time.  It matters that I use this site to my utmost as soon as possible and contribute to the community here.  

It is long past time to do something about MY less-than-excellent choices.  I don't like the results of those choices, and there is only one person who can do something about that. 

How ingenius of you to require all who want to benefit from your site to explain to you -- and to themselves -- why they want to join this site.  Writing such a manifesto is a catapult to action.

Well here goes.   I want to join this site because I want peace and serenity in my life.  I want to respect myself, to bring my actions in line with my values.  I want to be a loving, responsible, considerate, well-taken-care-of, effective and honest person, someone with nothing to hide, someone in a position to share with and help others instead of obsessing about the latest fire that needs to be put out, and scratching around in chronic poverty, with the bill collectors in hot pursuit.

I want to transform into the kind of person who I would like to be with.  Not this child in an adult's body!  It's like I'm stuck in a car with a 2-year-old driving!!

No way.  No more.

I look forward to meeting you on the other side.

Best wishes.  And thanks from the bottom of my heart for reading my story and understanding.  Somehow I know that you do. 

Today's Check-In

Thanks for the hug and encouragement.  I am choking back tears because you actually were there late at night after I posted that rambling mess and did not NEXT me.  One of the worst parts of my procrasturbation addiction is the urge to wallow in shame and whip myself... as a way of putting off actually taking steps to change the situation. 

I'll try from now on to do less talk and more action.

Here's today's check-in:

Up, eat, shower/floss, walk

Open mail, sort, trash - 10 minutes on, 5 minutes off

Laundry - interspersed with mail

Phone calls to creditors - do at least one today; three would be awesome

Computer pay student loan payment 

Checks - local taxes

Clean out downstairs apt

STAY OFF LONELY HEARTS WEBSITE!!!! - a complete waste of time

EAT lunch dinner and healthful snack instead of grazing all day to procrastinate

Pray, pray, pray when tempted to deviate from plan.  Visualize tasks DONE and feeling GOOD instead of visualizing PITA of doing tasks.  Look ahead, not behind, at previous experiences.

Be grateful to be alive and in a position to do something, anything about this Mt. Everest of ToDo's. 

Say 5 nice things  to yourself every time you catch yourself saying something snarky or worse about yourself.


Sending love and the healthiest of energetic Get It Done Now Vibes.


Now, ladies and gentlemen, see how positive I can be in the morning?  Hope I make even the tiniest dent in this ambitious list.  

Is it ok if I just keep this thread going instead of starting multiple check-in threads?  Pardon my ignorance.  I haven't touched the site yet aside from all my blather about me, me, me.  In case you didn't notice, I'm all about ME.  Sorry.  But I really am in a painful crisis right now.

Thank you again for understanding, those of you who do.

I'm getting a ton of mileage from the hugs already sent.

Talk to you later, fellow walkers and diggers out from under mountains.  I'll check in tonight AFTER I am ready for bed, in pjs, washed, flossed, etc. instead of using this place as another procrastinatory distraction.

I'm sending my Higher Power to watch over all of us and gently strengthen us as we tackle our jobs today. 

  (((((you and me)))))

“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing, there will be no result”  -Mahatma Gandhi

hi Walker!


Loved reading your long post! Well...not the part about the pain.

Now let's see if you'll have the patience to read mine ;^)

I was really struck by the shame that you expressed and the wall you put up between others. Wow. I used to do that too. I am not even sure i was totally aware of it. I was stuck in my shame, and didnt want people to see / know / find out, and i dont even think i realized til just now how isolating that can be, even when i was in the midst of it. So since much of that is better now for me, i have one more thing to be grateful for today. :D

So, today i am NOT procrastinating (yea!). I came here today because i am trying to put down a new habit--of checking in even when i'm doing well, so i can really, really accept that this is a permanent problem and stop, even after 4 years, kidding myself that i might some day snap out of it. Sigh.

I was also struck by your negative talk to yourself. I do the same thing, but it sounds so hash to hear someone else do it. I know it would sound that harsh if someone were to hear me do it, but when i'm in the midst of it, it just feels to true i lose that sense of harshness.

And that brings to mind two things.

1. one of the great benefits of accepting "step 1" as they say (see meeting materials upper left) is that i have come to see my problem as more of a medical condition, and less of a character flaw. In fact, i try to view myself more like a one-leggged man trying to run a marathon, and i have actually come around in some of my better moments to thinking myself brave for facing my problems square on. Another way i look at it is like a diving competition--where your score figures in the "degree of difficulty." It's easy for me to see that my degree of difficulty is clearly greater than "nomral" people, so i should get a higher score ;^) That kind of attitude shift is a great gift i feel like i have received from God. Helps me believe he's hearing my prayers ;)

2. it confirms one of the greatest things about this fellowship--that people are so unjudgemental. Everyone here knows what it's like to have simply not done things they want and need to do, and have suffered for it. Not having the ability to motivate themselves into action. We all "get it." It's another incredible blessing. Tho, i have to admit that i even sometimes still feel so guilty, that even knowing that, i still hesitate to come here, my shame in myself is so strong. But not too often. Most of the time it is refreshing to know these people know what i'm going thru and support me.

I love your quote BTW: “You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing, there will be no result” -Mahatma Gandhi That's great for procrastination!

I wish you a long, healthy recovery here!

Now, as you say--less talk more action (for me too) :)

the touch of the master's hand:

fall down seven times, get up eight - japanese proverb


Clement, you are a gift from God

Your kind, thoughtful response helped me more than you know.  

I was feeling so motivated this am but realized that I am in a "honeymoon" phase.   For me, this procrastination issue is not a solve-it-and-done task, but a process that will most likely continue till my last breath.  (I just know I'm going to procrastinate dying, though sometimes my self-inflicted pain hurts so bad, I feel like leaping out a window.)  It is a deeply engrained character trait, an illness like diabetes that can be controlled to the point that I can function, but never eradicated completely.

I am grateful for this place and for my ability at this point in my life to use the tools here and my connection to others to heal from my festering wounds.  I've been paralyzed for a long, long time, and now I am responding to the little voice inside that says, "Will you be well?" with a YES, PLEASE, YESSS!

And when the little voice says, "OK, Walker.  Then take up your bed and walk!" I'm getting to my feet, making my bed and taking step after step after step... and if that includes some steps of intense gretzing, well I can get through those, too.  Don't have to avoid a single step!  I'm grateful to be able to take steps.  I still have 100% control over my choices.  No one can take that away from me.

I commend you, Clement, for committing to this program for 4 whole years and actually working it.  You are an inspiration to me!

Today I did the first line of my ToDo list, plus wrote the local tax checks for me and the gentleman I am Power of Attorney for (GAD, the irony of me being in charge of someone else's financial needs when I am doing such a poor job of taking care of my own!  Sheesh!)  <--Now, Walker, be nice!  

Started my laundry.  Fixing to do some 10-minute bursts of mail-opening.  I'll try not to blow my time droning on and hanging about here.  

See you at bedtime! 

VVVVVVV Glad you like the quote.  I am learning it by heart and learning by doing, starting today. 

“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing, there will be no result”  -Mahatma Gandhi


Welcome Walker, and keep coming back.  You can post on the forum, go into the chatbox and do tasks along with us, or go to an online meeting on Sundays at 3:30 p.m. New York Time, or you can find your time zone somewhere in the world.





I meant the above bloated comment to reply to Lennon and Vic, not to myself.  LOL, it's all about ME.

I'll get the hang of this yet!

Thanks again, anyone who wades through my stuff.  You think it's bad out there; it's much more crowded inside my head.

ok.  I'll shutup now. 


“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing, there will be no result”  -Mahatma Gandhi