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.

Questions about starting on this path

Hello everybody.  Thanks so much for existing, and sharing yourselves.

I am in a dark, foul mood today with a killer headache, and am trying to do something semi-productive.  As I've waded through the forum posts for ideas and tips over the past few days, I've come up with a few questions.  If these are answered elsewhere, please just point me in the right direction (leave a link) and I'll be happy to look at it. 

 Here goes:

1)  For daily lists/check-ins:  Is it better to start unreasonably small on the commitments I make to myself to complete everyday, and then build up to what I'd consider a "full load"?  I don't really trust myself to know how much I can reasonably get done in one day, and so far my track record is that I pile on the things and then I procrastinate.  (Demand resistance, don't have the skill of estimating how long a task will take.)  So, knowing that, what would y'all recommend?  I'm guessing it's better to build up my "I say I will do this, and therefore I WILL" integrity first... thoughts would be appreciated.

2)  Taking breaks:  SO.  We're trying to abstain from compulsive procrastination, time bingeing, and for me personally I'm trying to abstain from harshly critical negative self-talk (which helps keep the procrastination cycle going).  In my first attempts to set a timer and complete all the tasks on my check-in list, I haven't scheduled any "fun time" for myself, and then I feel like my work will never end...
How do you handle fun time or taking a break?  How do you allow yourself the kindness of resting for a little while without it turning into another procrastination moment?

3)  How have you built integrity in following your calendar?  I suppose this is an offshoot of question 1 above.  Since I make appointments for myself to do things and then don't follow them, maybe it would be better for now to abandon scheduled events and just stick with 15 minute bursts to complete activities on my to-do list.   Any thoughts would be appreciated.  (Thankfully I'm self employed so I have the luxury of this flexibility.....haha.  A blessing and a curse.)

4)  What are the ways that have worked well for you, to support yourself when you're feeling down?  Theres' the list of P.A. Tools, and I have many resources at my disposal regarding changing my negative self-talk... is there anything else I'm missing?  What do you do when you feel yourself dying to procrastinate, or when that voice says "yeah, you're SO WONDERFUL for doing the dishes... what a HUGE achievement *sarcasm*" and then you just want to numb it out by surfing on the internet?

Thank you. 

The journey

Thanks for posting such a detailed appraisal of your fears. I bet you will find that so many people share them and will also find the responses helpful.

Being unkind to myself, in general and when I procrastinate, resonates with me. I quite often get very angry and disappointed with myself when I'm late, waste time etc, and often this surfaces as frustration with others. Developing compassion for myself and examining any unrealistic standards I hold feels like a big part of continuing on this journey away from procrastination. I will re-read tamtam's response for more tips on this.

With regards to goals and lists. I have followed others example in keeping it small. There's even one lady who has developed a 5 + 1 philosophy which sounds excellent. Not to say you must only do 5 or 6 things but of nothing else, you will have done them. I have had days when getting 5 things done would have been awesome. 

Her thread is here

I am also self-employed, and some days I wonder if that was a good plan. My mum is seriously ill and so my list of things needing to be done is both long (or it would be if I were brave enough to write it down) and often emotive.

I wish you luck on your journey. Hope to see you around. I'm off to make a start on my day.


Edited for spelling and to activate link. 

Lovely, thank you

Thank you Knitfisher for your response.  :-)  Seems like starting with super small commitments at first is the way to go!  Thanks for showing me that thread... it's a neat idea, and one that I might try to implement today.

I'll be thinking of you and your mom's health.  If you need to talk and vent your emotions, I'd be happy to listen.

Have a great day!  See you around!


"Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear?"
-- Pema Chodron, Comfortable with Uncertainty

Wow, thank you!

My goodness tamtam, thank you for such a thoughtful and detailed response!!  I plan on incorporating a lot of the things you mention here, especially stopping to ask what I want/need (the best friend), allowing myself a fun break and making sure it feels FUN not ICK!, and wrapping up the day with gratitude.

 I'll also note your daily check-ins. 

Thank you once again for all of your thoughts - it's so encouraging to hear how others are working through this.


"Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear?"
-- Pema Chodron, Comfortable with Uncertainty

Welcome to PA!

These are great questions. For me, making mini or micro commitments is best. Whether it's a 5-minute (or 1 minute or even 30-second) "burst" or just opening the file (rather than committing to writing 5 pages), I find that committing to something so tiny that I absolutely know I can do it is what yields the best results. Here's an interesting blog post about this idea:

Nothing to offer about breaks -- it's definitely a challenge for me.

I don't make appointments with myself anymore, because I never kept them.

The tools that I find most helpful are the PA chatbox, having an accountability partner, and working through my "stuff" by writing about it, using the methods developed by Havi Brooks (

Good luck!

Awesome stuff!

Mollie2007, thank you so much for your input.  That website by Havi Brooks is a GEM! - I spent a while reading through some of her posts this afternoon.  I've already encountered the essence of her work elsewhere (see but her unique way of putting things is simply breathtaking.  I recognized myself there many times.

 Also, I love your picture :-)

Thank you so much for your support, you guys have no idea how much it means to me. ^_^


"Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear?"
-- Pema Chodron, Comfortable with Uncertainty

Good questions, gotmusikk...

Oof! Sorry to hear about the miserable headache!! No answers from me. In fact, you've asked many of the questions that have been circling in my mind recently. I've had occasional success getting something done, but I don't feel like I have a solid foundation to build on. That's probably because I dismiss as trivial any "baby steps" that I manage to achieve.

Your "thanks so much for existing" comment made me grin, so thank you for that! Indeed, despite my procrastination, I do exist. That's a start...

Take care and welcome to PA,


Thank you

Thank you Piqued for your solidarity Smile I'll be thinking of you!


"Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear?"
-- Pema Chodron, Comfortable with Uncertainty