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.

Mole faces the Mountain

Mole faces the Mountain

Joining this group and exploring the site has given me a lot of food for thought and nudged me into examining my procrastinating behaviours. I also thought I might post some of my coping mechanisms for what they are worth (perhaps that will be in a second post).
The concept of internalised demand resistance strikes a very strong chord, and explains the fact that my siblings are also procrastinators but neither parent was. We come from a home where one parent considered any form of relaxation  weak-charactered, self-denial was a virtue, and who told us what to think and believe, regarding any questioning of values as an act of aggression. Life was regulated by timers.   I find this hard to write as my parents were loving, interesting, admirable who tried hard and had much more difficult pasts to contend  with. If they were alive today I think they would be horrified with my interpretation.
The more important something is to me the more likely i am to procrastinate, whether it is a book l am writing or a friend's birthday, or something that is crucial to my health or finances. 
The more worried l am about letting someone down the more likely l am to procrastinate. 
The closer i come to achieving something the more likely i am to procrastinate. As soon as i become aware that things are going well when i am writing l come to a dead halt, go to the loo, make a cup of tea, or become overwhelmed by sleep. 
I am afraid of the phone, afraid of letting people down, afraid of intimacy, afraid of not living up to expectations, of disappointing people.
I am also a hoarder and completely overwhelmed by the stuff around me and what would have to be done to clear the backlog. Making choices about what to keep and what to discard permeates my physical and creative environment and l feel as if l am not in control. I find that if I want to get something done there is often such a chain of things that has to be done first that l end up not doing anything - (this week i needed a new drainpipe, but in order to reach it the plumber had to get through the back gate which is jammed shut because roots have expanded. The gate will have to be broken down which then makes the yard insecure....). I am too ashamed to invite people to my house.
I have achieved quite a lot with my in denial activities: phD, numerous other projects in the public domain. I have good friends and for the most part enjoy my life but I often feel as if I am just wading through mud - my own worst enemy.

Song for Mole

Welcome, Mole!

The title of your post reminds me of a song that a verse 

I wish I was a mole in the ground,
I wish I was a mole in the ground,
If I was a mole in the ground
I would root that mountain down!

I know it from the singing of John McCutcheon, but a lot of people have recorded it--I think it's a traditional song of Appalachia. (Sorry, just spent 20+ minutes looking for a good mp3 link to the whole thing, without success--procrastination, what?)

Best wishes for dismantling your mountain, from someone with her own small mountain to tackle!

Wrkinprogrss' Mole Song

Oh happy day - waking up to a poem present.

What a lovely verse, thank you, wrkinprogrss.

 I shall make it my mantra ( replacing wish with will!) and  

can now spend joyous procrastinating time looking for the music!

May all your mountains be molehills 

Mole Strategies


I have read so many books, made so many plans designed to be the ultimate solution to my procrastination.  It is often the smallest things that have been most effective. I love hearing about other people's strategies so  I am writing mine out in case anyone else finds them helpful. 
I separate my work and leisure time by physically leaving the premises and coming back.
I have a separate, dedicated place for my writing work. Nothing is allowed into that space that isn't directly related. This includes the phone and the internet. I deleted the games that came with the computer and even ended up giving the reboot disks to a friend to look after so that I wouldn't be tempted.
I have a regular time set aside each day for my writing work. Nothing short of an emergency is allowed to interrupt. I never make appointments in that time, nor answer a doorbell or phone.
I have a regular self-imposed weekly deadline which involves me handing a fixed amount of work to someone else.
I wish I could say  I had such clear strategies for the rest of my amorphous and cluttered life. 
I have recently started a generic master list which I fill in each day. Because of what I now recognise as internalised demand resistance I find that I often squirm at specific tasks. This list goes something like this:
3 things for other people
3 things for the house
2 things for health
1 thing creative
1 thing outside
2 pieces of admin
3 letters or emails
1 phone call
1 thing someone else has done for me.
The 'things' can be big or small. And there are no shoulds about doing all of it, but it does give me a bit of balance over the week - less of a pile up in any one particular area of my life.
I hope this is helpful for others developing strategies.


Welcome, I read your post because I glanced and thought the topic was "Making a mountain out of a molehill" ha ha so, I suppose HP guided me here.

My parents were similar, but 2 of the 3 siblings are procratinators. The oldest is not. I was the only one to turn to substance addictions.

I am starting to realize I covered up my fears/pain with all kinds of things and now I see that even procrastination can have 1.a "numbing effect" 2.somehow feeding the illusion of being  "in control" even if it is negative.Plus more

"Cunning, baffling and  powerful"...still trying to "run the show"and not even realizing it.

In my opinion, this human journey is quite a challenge, look at King Solomon 3K yrs ago (who was the son of David and Bathsheba from "that nite") He got what he prayed for:Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly, for who could possibly
govern this great people of yours?

Solomon’s kingdom was marked by unprecedented peace, wealth, and splendor. He
was the wisest man who ever lived, yet he did not handle his prosperity well.
His resources, in fact, eventually went into the construction of pagan temples, forgetting God. The greater
our prosperity or success, the more likely we are to forget our need for God. I have found, if I put my HP FIRST, all else is given me. That is my ESH.Keep coming back

Moles, mountains and Solomon

Hello Vic

Perhaps then I should think in terms of creating a mountain in molehill steps rather than looking on it with horror.!

I guess what I would take from Solomon is the wisdom to make good choices even in very difficult situations. And the creative thinking, too.

All strength to you in your journey!