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.

Hello from newbie 'Somu' in the UK

Hello, my name is Somu and I'm a procrastinator. I am open to your suggestions and comments, in response to this and any future postings here, so please don't hold back.

It didn't used to procrastinate, but it has crept up on me, perhaps with the caution brought on by advancing age (I'm early 50s).

Once upon a time, I just got things done. Until this morning, I'd forgotten that at secondary school I'd do homework the day it was set rather than the day before it was due. In my early work life, I tackled things with gusto as they came along. There was no agonising about each new assignment's place in the grand scheme of things; no adding it to an ever-growing list of good intentions to be prioritised to death as important/non-important x urgent/non-urgent, rather than J.F.Doing.It!

Right now, I'm very lucky in many ways. I'm self-employed with plenty of work. To others, I appear fairly successful, modestly (I hope) confident, and in control. But no one can see (or maybe they can) the dread I feel all the time caused by things not done. My office is a mess. My business and home admin alike for the past five years at least have been last minute and poor quality. And instead of deriving satisfaction from completed work for clients, I mainly worry about what I should have done but is late.

One silly consequence of this last thing is being scared to use the phone at work. I avoid it like the plague, using the safety of e-mail and text messaging instead. When my phone rings, my default expectation is that it's someone to whom I've promised something, who is calling to bollock me for letting them down. The reality is that this is never actually the case, but that doesn't prevent a little spike of adrenalin every time the phone rings. I know that the way to deal with this is not assertive self-talk to "man up", but to regain authentic confidence from being up to date with the important things.

Another part of becoming a ditherer is the conflict I feel between long-range goal pursuit and living for the moment. Many self-help books urge us to establish a personal vision, mission statement, values and goals. I've tried (many times), but this doesn't work for me. Encouraged by what I read on this site yesterday, my renewed resolve is very simple: My life goal is "To make the most of today and enjoy wherever that takes me". A bit more specifically, I want to enjoy daily progress towards four things: (1) A tidy workplace, tidy home and tidy mind; (2) confidence and security derived from everything of importance being on target; (3) the thrill and satisfaction of more and better accomplishments; (4) more choices in what I do and with whom, what to decline, where to go and how to live. All these can come, I hope, from overcoming procrastination and making good use of time.

Already today, I used the 'check-in' process here and have done the first two things on my list: The first - a pathetically simple task for a client - has been bugging me for months; and this being the second, from which I've already derived some therapy out of the process of thinking this through and expressing it. And so to number three on my check-in list, an espresso and 20 minute break.

Best wishes to everyone here.



Hello Somu

I am like you self-employed and often in disarray. You mention that you worry what you should have done for clients so why don't you when you finish email the clients and ask them for feedback on the job.

You could well find a  lot of positives in this. 



Hi Somu

I also really identify with a lot of what you said.  I think anxiety is such a big component of this problem.  Somehow for me email and written communication is a bigger problem, but I can avoid phone calls too.  I suppose with email I become insanely perfectionist and nervous about wording, editing a million times.  This is so exhausting that I long for phone and the real-time errors it allows.  but it's all just another side of the same anxiety coin, I think.  

At anyrate, you've found a group of people that understand these things a bit more than average, for sure.  Glad you are here.   

Welcome Somu!

I can relate to what you said here:

When my phone rings, my default expectation is that it's someone to whom I've promised something, who is calling to bollock me for letting them down. The reality is that this is never actually the case, but that doesn't prevent a little spike of adrenalin every time the phone rings.

This sounds like "Demand Sensitivity". You can read more about that here:


Great intro, Somu

Hello and welcome! (she says, having only been here 3 days herself!). Great intro and I can absolutely relate to what you say about the phone. I have pretty much dreaded it since it rang my family home when I was 17 to tell me I was missing an exam! That was 40 years ago. I think that a lot of procrasinators are people-pleasers who say yes to things just to be nice and then can't complete them all - or resent completing them as I think the piece movingalong recommends says. That's what I do, anyway. The horrible thing about the phone is that feeling you get that it's someone ringing to tell you off - but also the fact that you can't either guess what they're really feeling, as it's easier to do face to face, or take time to try to work it out and carefully frame how you'll reply, as you can with email. I don't think I'll ever enjoy speaking on the phone. I don't even really enjoy social phone chats. But I'm sure I can do it if I really need to and it's on one of these lists!

Good luck with everything, 


Thanks Eleanor

Your people-pleaser thing is spot on. I'm sure I say yes to too many things, not just work assignments but events too. As the next event looms, I find myself thinking "why on earth did I agree to this" then afterwards heaving a sigh of relief that it's behind me.

Best wishes.