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.

Retaking my exam in 4 months.... the one that I failed last time because of procrastination

Hi everyone, 

So I'm going to keep a daily update of what I want to do and what I'm actually doing everyday. The last time I gave this exam I failed. It's a really important exam and already I may not get interviews in quite a few places because of my one failure. It's a career making/breaking exam.  

This time I want to ace it. I know I can do if I work for it. The problem is working for it.. So here I am.

Need to succeed.


Sept 9th to Sept 14th, I have it copied on my desktop, just can't quite figure out how to paste it here. Ah, well, it doesn't matter. 

I know I started this edeavour on Sept 9th. 


Going for a one month rural posting. There's no internet at this place! I can't post from there. But hopefully I don't procrastinate. 

I ordered new books to study. So excited to get them! :)  

Sept 20th

Yesterday, I did 3x10 min and completed 9 cases in my project. That's 40% over :P .... 

Today, I woke up late and watched a couple of series, I know I'm a bad girl! :-/ *straight face*

I've done 1x10 so far.

Acc. to my calculations I need to 55x10/day if I need to finish this book in one month. That's almost 9 hours/day. And with work, it just doesn't seem practical.

I'm going to try and finish it over 2 months.

 That's around 27x10/day. A bit more doable. 

Let's not forget my project shall we? 6-7 more days and I should be done. But I need to get out of my house and do it on these 6-7 days.


7x10 by 3.

5x10 bet 4 and 5


10x10 bet 6 and 8


5x10 bet 9 and 10 

Enjoy the rest of the day! You've earned it :) :) 


See, you can do it! 40% is awesome! :)  Keep it up!

stuck at 40%

I haven't done anything since the last time I posted.. Took a long hiatus :( 


not stuck!

When I first registered on this website, my name was 'suck in a phd.' But that's not very positive so I changed it to 'getting unstuck from a phd'. So you are not stuck, you are on pause. You're all the way at 40%! Last time you did what 30%? So you could get it all over with in just two more work sessions!

Sept 19th

9.03 am

I have been horribly procrastinating for the past two days. :(

I've got today and tomorrow off from work.

I need to work my ass off to compensate.

I better get a little bit of my project done.

 Do 5x10 before lunch. 


Do 5x10 before 5.

Do 20 questions.

Leave to do project.


Come back and revise.


Study for 5x10 by 9


Plan for the next 6 weeks.  

Sept 18th

I didn't get anything done yesterday :(

Today is a new day...

I need to plan for my exam.

I'm going to try and keep a deadline at 6 weeks from now. Personal deadline.

So I need to make a schedule for that today.

Work from 9-4.

Schedule during lunch break.

project from 5-6.

Study 4 hours everyday 7-11.

Wake up at 6 tomorrow and go for driving.  

I need to do this today. 

Sept 17th

Yesterday, I did quite a few questions. I didn't get a lot right. Was a bit discouraged by that. Not exactly sure what to read and from where. Will need to research that properly. 


work. 9-4

during my lunch break 2x10

and 10 questions

Rest till 5.

At 5, go for project

Come back and study for 10x10 mins.

Do 10 more questions 

11.58 pm

Didn't get any of those done today! Totally non-productive day... :( 

Sept 16th

12.00 pm

I did my project yesterday finally. Got 4 done. I've done 6 totally to date. I need to finish 50. 

Today I'm going out at 2 and won't be able to get much done today.

I've been catching up on news and doing other stuff since morning.

I'm going to do questions now on stuff that I've already studied.

Doing as many microbursts as I can before I leave at 2.

Will be on chat box. 

Sept 15th

8.20 am

I didn't get anything done yesterday. Really messed up! I ended up reading a novel :(

Today's a new day... 

Work till 1

project at 2,

home at 5, rest,

study for 10x10 and 10 questions.

Sept 16th

Oops in the wrong place




Hi Alujna,

You can definitely make it! Starting with small goals as the others have suggested is definitely a good idea. Way easier to think and act on small goals. It could help to make them part of a bigger goal once you have some momentum so when you periodically look back at how far you've come in your studying, you'll see the big picture.

As for getting to campus to work every day, I think getting into a routine will help you. At the moment, I'm struggling with having the motivation to do that myself. I'm writing my thesis and the past little while I haven't been able to work at home without procrastinating like crazy. So I need to go out to a library or coffee shop. And it really helps to get out of the house when the night before you prepared everything to go - the stuff you need to work that day, lunch and snacks, clothes, etc. And then you leave at the same time every day, come back at the same time, the routine will set up the times that you're working and when you're not.

Hopefully that will help! Good luck!

Was so close

Yesterday, I was this * * close to going and doing my project at 5. But, I kinda gave myself excuses in the head and didn't go :(. I really really need to set a routine!

But first I need to start. 

Step by step

I know what you mean! Some days it'll already be late in the afternoon before I've left to get some work done and I really hesitate to get out the door. But if I give in and decide to stay home, I hardly get work done. If I manage to get out the door, I at least get some work done even if it's not as much as I wanted. Sometimes I just have to say 'whatever, I'm going' and just go.

 Maybe if you think of it like a job it'll help? Like you have to be there at a certain time for however many hours on certain days. Or plan to meet a friend there so you know someone else is expecting you and you cán't bail on them.

 You can do it! First step: get out the door! :)

Gods of Projects

Me: I need to get out that door! Hear that? 

Gods of Projects: I heard that, but did you?  

Did you?

:)  Maybe it's too overwhelming to think about the whole project and you need to break it down into smaller pieces... so it's not that you need to go work on your project. You need to go work on a little mini project - whatever that is - but actually define it. In the few hours you want to work on it, what little bit can you do? That might be more manageable.

I finally did!

I finally did get some thing done yesterday!! :)

But, I'm still dreading going tomorrow.

I just want to be over with it.

It's just hard to think as one tiny bit at a time when I know such a big project is awaiting me. 


That's awesome! Out the door and more progress made! :)

 Yes, it is a big project, but it's made up of lots of little projects, puzzle pieces, steps, sections, however you want to think of it. Each one done is progress towards getting the whole big thing done. That's one of the most common tips I read about procrastination is breaking the task into smaller and smaller ones so that a small task feels doable. It's just this one sentence I have to write, or one question to deal with right now. All these small doable tasks are much easier to think about that the big one. I think you said you have 50 things to do for your project? So are those all listed, with the bigger goal at the top or bottom? If you cross off the smaller things, you'll see the progress you make towards the bigger goal and soon enough you'll be done 25%, then 50%, then 75%, 80%, 90%, 95%, 99%, 100%! Acknowledging the progress you make by looking at all the stuff you've done already can help motivate you to keep working to the end of the big project. The big project will get smaller and smaller the more you chip away at the small projects.

It's hard for me sometimes to do this too, but I am trying to be more positive and turn things around so I can finish my thesis. But it's breaking habits and perspectives and making positive changes, which is hard to do for anyone. But I have hope!

We can do this!

One step forward and two steps back

I went on Saturday and I haven't gone again to do my project since. 

I will only be able to complete my project if I go on alternate days.

I'm about 20% done now. That seems like 0% to me. :(

I need to do 5 today.. not 50. One small project at a time.

We can do this! 

Im in your desperate

Im in your desperate situation too. I empathise totally. Solidarity! I am going to force myself to come here and post first thing in the morning even if im going to die and then stop accessing random sites on any device until i get some more discipline!

We can

We can do this thesis

Good luck Alunja

Good luck with the exam. 4 months is a decent time to get a lot of stuff done if you work steadily. Maybe start with setting small incremental targets and build up on that confidence/success rather than going for the whole mountain. I am also working towards finishing my PhD thesis. Hope to see you around a lot more here!


Small incremental targets is a good idea.. I NEED to ace this exam. See you around too!

Good idea indeed

I agree this is a good idea. I have been studying to retake exams in august too and noticed if I start setting small goals first, it worked a lot better. Also because I tend to set too high expectations. Only downside is that when it went good for a couple of days with the smaller goals, I got too confident and procrastinated because of that. So maybe my advice is to not get too confident :) 

Anyway, I just want to wish you lots of hard working days. You already have to goal down, that is the first step, aim high!


Baahaahaa Yoh - thats hilarious because I do that too and was totallly beating myself up over it!  

I pay particular interest to yours and 'Thesis' posts Anulja as I'm in similar position with career exams in Feb/March- the second time I'm sitting these ones thanks to guessed it!

Just know that other people understand (without excusing) and that we're cheering for you!!! even when your inner critic refuses to stand up for you.   


Yeah, I'll look out for that!

Small goals, small goals, small goals...

*keeps repeating to self*