Introduction by Steve from the UK
My name's Steve, I live in London and I'm a procrastinator. Like many of you, I heard about this site while listening to the Radio 4 show on procrastination, which really struck a chord.
I've had a good life, full of amazing moments, uplifting journeys, love and some success. I'm happily married, have a good job and money in the bank. But throughout my forty-odd years, I've suffered endless heartache, regret, utter frustration and self-loathing due to my procrastination. Wonderful friends have gone from my life because I procrastinated so much about getting in touch. Job opportunities have evaporated because I hmmm-ed and ahhhh-ed too much. Dreams gone because I kept putting off making the first steps to achieving them. I nearly died from a stroke because I put off going to the gym. And the bag of unopened mail gets bigger and bigger and bigger.
Reading this makes me feel so stupid. How can I achieve my dreams if I can't even find the thrust to open up some letters? Like many people here, I look at myself and feel utter disappointment. I'm full of regret and self-loathing at my unfulfilled potential. An ex-girlfriend one told me... "You should be ashamed of yourself - you're denying the world a really nice, talented person". She's was right. I've not wasted my life, but I have wasted so much of my time. I look out with my envious eyes when I see friends and colleagues going up the ladder of life because they have the ability to 'do'. And I look with real sadness at friends who are fellow procrastinators and watch as they frit away their time and just go round in a circle, like me.
I know exactly why I procrastinate and looking back at my past, it all fits together like a car engine. Reading information on the site, and other sources has giving me some great tips. I've started putting some of these into action and they seem to be helping a great deal. Writing a structured, daily plan is working wonders at the moment - I'm becoming so efficient. But there are other areas that need work. I'm finding that fear of doing things is leading to a lot of my procrastination - for instance, I'm scared to do some sketching in case I see just how rubbish I've become. Better to live with the 'thought' that I'm still good and distract myself with mindless tasks, like washing the pots or going for a walk around the park! I guess a good part of overcoming procrastination is being brave and taking risks. And realising that small steps in the right direction will lead to the destination eventually.
I think it's hard for non-procrastinators to understand how a procrastinator functions and how utterly helpless it can make you feel. Only recently, I spent the whole day pacing backwards and forwards, with a list of jobs a mile long in my head and no idea what to do next. I felt like a complete waste of space. I think I must have made 15 cups of tea that day to distract me from the task of making a decision. It's laughable. It's insane. How utterly ridiculous!
I've had enough. I'm going to change. I've said it before but this time I'm serious. I want to change. I have to change. I want to make a difference.
To my fellow procrastinators, I hope you gain the courage and skills to stop faffing about and make the very most of your potential and live happy and productive lives. As my ex said, "You should be ashamed of yourself - you're denying the world a really nice, talented person."
Thanks for listening and it's good to be here.