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 everyone, I'm new.

Hi to everyone reading this.  I'm in the UK, female, and I'm working part-time and supposedly studying a degree and completing some training part-time. I'm glad to be here, and I particularly hope I can be of help to people, encouraging and buddying up!  So feel free to message me if you want an accountability partner.  I would definitely benefit from having one....


I feel that my biggest procrastination is in not stopping being a procrastinator. Deep down I feel like I could do it, and just from that moment on get on with life and do things and leave all the avoidance and self-sabotage in the past. I think it will take a big, radical decision, and I don't know why but I feel I'm not ready to make it.  I am sure I can't be the only one? Anyone else? 


However, practically, I have a terrible problem with deadlines, and like many others here have failed things because of not handing in coursework and so on (I don't think I've ever in my life handed in coursework on time, and despite doing OK in exams the highest grade I've ever received for coursework is a D. Most are U.). In fact, right now I am almost six weeks beyond a deadline for two pieces of work, and I haven't even contacted my tutors or the relevant institution about it, let alone completed them. And they should not be very difficult! I'm in a positive mood at the moment, but feel I could do anything constructive right now apart from that overdue coursework.


I'm ashamed to say that I initially started out on here reading lots about people's problems with clutter, just because that is one area I have no problems with.  I wondered if I could be a practical help, but also I felt good about myself for a little bit, making the comparison. And then it occurred to me: it's not how much or in what way you are procrastinating, it's what the procrastinating is doing to your life. 

That seemed an important realisation to me.  Procrastination is making me miserable, and holding me back, and the fact that I don't have clutter is completely irrelevant.  Sometimes I have days when though not depressed I stay in bed for hours because "the whole day is wasted if I've not got up and started doing things by ten o'clock". Goodness knows how I can keep telling myself that when I know it is not true! The guilt and shame over one task can stop me eating and washing. 

Well that's enough of that.  Having read about some of your experiences it feels great to know I'm not alone, but I hope to get to know some of you a bit more too so we can support each other.  And get stuff done!

Hi kd

Nice post, Jack! To add to it, it makes giving advice to people on PA difficult, cos if that advice is along the lines of "You should do this!" the immediate response of us procrastinators is to think: "Yes, I should do that!" ...and then to avoid doing it! 

Making suggestions, and telling people they "ought to try and..." is discouraged in 12-step ("**** anonymous") programmes because of demand resistance. It's called "cross-talk", and I've been told off for doing it in the past!

That said I'm going to do it here, because I'm a douche. Are you having problems getting out of bed because it's too cold in your room? Most of the student houses I lived in were pretty much always cold, giving you a massive incentive to stay in bed. If so, an electric fan heater, just to heat the room up quickly for a short burst while you get up & dressed, could help. Also, and I say this as a massive hypocrite as I know one of these points is likely the answer to my problems, yet I still don't do it:

The answer to getting these assignments started may well be to:

a) Pick a single assignment (the one you find most interesting?) and get the material together - Have you been to all the lectures? Do you have the notes you need in order to know where to start? If not, find someone on your course you can chat up so you can photocopy their notes (and maybe also to have a nice chat about the subject - teaching is one of the best ways to learn, and most people will be happy to teach you what they know). If you do already have the notes, find them, pull them out of the folder they're in and pack them up in a folder of their own - they're coming with you! If it's one of those assignments where they try and get you to find out about something you haven't studied yet, ignore this point.

b) Get some boiled sweets, a large bottle of water (very very important!), a packed lunch/dinner, and whatever other things you need in order to stay focused.

c) Get away from the internet if you can - if you've got to look up papers on the internet, so be it, but if you've got access to physical journal stacks and textbooks, avoid this massive time-sink. The internet is the real thief of time.

d) Get thyself to a library - Your house and room are probably associated in your mind with bumming around/ sleeping/ comfort. Your house is unlikely to be a 'work environment' to you any more, if it ever was. The library, on the other hand, is probably full of people working. If you stay away from the computers and find a "group working"/ "quiet working" area it should give you some good 'concentrating' vibes, so you can have a decent chance of finding out about this exciting area of whatever it is you study! Yay!

Good luck with it, and maybe set up a VERY BRIEF check-in for the different bits of work (reading one review, reading another review, reading a third review, planning the sections, writing the intro, writing the first section... etc.!), but do it before you go to the library so it doesn't break your working momentum. Or you could post an update as a comment on this thread later this evening, letting us know what you got done (this includes just going to the library, setting stuff up and getting some papers together, but not actually getting anything written - it's still massive progress!).

Also, if there's someone who's going to the library that you can buddy up and work together with, it'd be like an accountability buddy in real life. As long as you're both intending to work, not to bum around, it'll help a lot. Me and a mate who was also a big procrastinator got each other through uni this way.

P.S. I can totally relate to procrastinating over stopping being a procrastinator! It took me more than a month to write my intro on here (I've literally just this minute got round to it). But you've made the first step: writing your intro. Well done! Celebrate it by having a shower, getting some food down your face, and getting out of the depressing environment of your house! No, wait! Put some clothes on first! :D

demand resistance and the instinctive brain

Welcome to P.A.! I am a new member too, and have also really enjoyed and appreciated being able to read about our stories on this website. 

I have been compulsively missing deadlines all my life, and hating myself after.  I missed one last week, but at least I managed to start and get it done eventually in micro bursts (with the generous support of fellow P.A. members in the Chatbox Check-in).  This might be connected to demand resistance, an interesting article on the P.A. website here:   

Demand Resistance.

I also suffer from being zonked out & addictively staying in bed for hours at a time during the day. I've not found an answer yet to my situation. But I've started reading the book The Procrastination Equation which is really helping my understanding. 

"The Procrastination Equation"

It seems sometimes the instinct and the reason parts of our brains that reside in different areas of the brain aren't in sync, and the instinct part vetos the reason part from taking action.  It'll be interesting to learn more and see what solutions to procrastination addiction and compulsive task avoidance might be.

With best wishes.