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.

Daily Dare

For a while now, I've been toying with ideas about how to make a habit of doing things that are not routine and that I'm afraid of (and thus, gradually increasing my "comfort zone" and decreasing my tendency to be afraid of non-routine tasks).

What I've come up with is to start a kind of game in this thread (and I hope I don't violate any PA rules or step on anyone's toes with this – please tell me if I do!):

The Daily Dare

  • Every day, someone can post a dare in this thread.
  • It's up to the individual readers to accept it or not.
  • Whoever accepts it and succeeds can tell it to the world here. (Of course, you don’t have to, and you can also post any other form of comments, and no one will check if you really did it, etc. etc….)

About the dare:
It can be anything, there shouldn’t be too many rules about it. After all, a dare should be something you are unprepared for. Of course, things related to common procrastination issues come to mind and are most welcome – like “Spend an hour on your tax return!” or “Throw away three things that are not part of your everyday garbage!” or “Go jogging for at least a quarter of an hour!” or “Clear half of your desk!” or the like. But it can also be a common dare, like singing a song in a public place. Or a combination of both if you can think of any. If it turns out to be something really dangerous, rude, stupid, or illegal, it’s up to the readers to recognize that and just not do it.

About posting a dare:
Anyone can post dares. The first suggestion for the day counts. If you are really unhappy with the suggestion and think there should be an alternative, post a second dare. (Or a third.)
If nobody posts a dare, well, then there isn’t one for the day.
If that happens all the time, the thread will automatically go to sleep.
If, on the other hand, it turns out there is a huuuuuge interest in this and one thread gets too small for all the daily dares and “mission accomplished”-comments and discussions and whatnot, changes about what goes where can be made in the future. This is the trial phase.
Dares don't necessarily have to be posted on the day they are for. Especially if they can only be done in the morning (e.g. "I dare you to get up 1h earlier than normally!"), or if they need preparations, or are something lasting longer than 1 day (e.g. "I bet you can't do X every day for the next 3 days!"), it makes sense to post them on the day before, or even earlier. Of course, that lessens the element of surprise - of being unprepared for the task. So just use your own judgement - as always!

I don’t know if anyone other than me will be interested in this, or if any of this even makes sense. I’ll just try it now. Have fun!

Dare for Sunday 7/20

Tool #1- break it down. Is there a project that you have been dreading? Can you spend some time today "breaking it down" into small chunks? You don't even have to DO any of the small chunks! But hopefully it will help get the project rolling.

Bonus dare- think of more dares :P

daily dare



good idea for the daily dare!

Dare for Tuesday 6/17/14

Finish up any dare that you wanted to do but did not get around to. And let go of any you don't want to do!

I for one got rid of 1 (ONE!!!) out of the 11 I was "supposed" to last week. I'm pretty sure I can make a little time today to get rid of 10 things, even if it is ten specks of dust.

thanks for theme of kindness to oneself.

Nice dare idea, thanks!

The assignments are piling up! Oh no! (just kidding)

I see the Daily Dare, and contemplate it for a day, and then consider how I'll do it, and then maybe a few days later I get part of it done ... and meanwhile ... more Dares have been added.

My first instinct, as a compulsive procrastinator, is to heap blame and shame upon myself for not getting the assignments done in a timely manner. Of course, I know that's not true. These aren't "assignments"! But my gut level fear tries to waylay me.

Thankfully, I can laugh at my reactions! I know this is classic "demand sensitivity".

I'm just sharing this here because I know a lot of people can relate to my craziness.

Thankfully, I know this thread is intended to be FUN, and a different way to approach things, to get us outside of the overthinking mode. Anyone can drop by and try any one of the dares -- there's no obligation. It's just something to try, whenever/however anyone wishes..

Please do carry on with this thread. It's a tool that helps!


Just trying to think of some fun ways to deal with common things we all have.

Don't overthink moving because then you'll have ME overthinking posting them!!!

FWIW, I didn't do the dare yesterday. In fact, I rarely do them the day I post them HA.

I have tried to make sure they are super open ended. the birthday one, I gave the birthmonth option so the # did not go over 12.

I'm on a mom forum that has a "question of the day" that can be just about anything. I don't always answer it, and I'm a moderator on the site. Just for fun ;)

Dare for Tuesday 6/10/14

Organizing time! I want you to take either your birthdate or birthmonth and get rid of that many things (or set aside to donate/give to friends, etc) !

If you are feeling really rambunctious, feel free to do both the month and the day's #!

Mine is 11-11 tho, so I don't get much of a choice :)

Dare for Friday 6/6/2014

"Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Live each day as if it is your last"

-There are a hundred variations and claimed authors to this quote, so I don't have an attribution. But we can still get meaning from them! So the dare today will be to do one (or all!) of those things. Even if you have two left feet!

re: dare to be exuberant, dance, sing, or live life in fullness

September 1, 2014:
I'm committing now to doing this dare, even though it was suggested June 6th.

This dare is truly a healthy idea.

Too many of us procrastinate participating in the joy of life.  Due to stress/guilt/etc.
But participation in joy is part of our recovery!

I commit to visiting the ocean one day this week.
I shall report back with any exuberance experienced!

"exuberance dare" update ...

I committed to visiting the ocean during the first week of Sept 2014. It's now the end of November 2014 and I still haven't gone.  I just remembered this a few days ago.  I have made new plans to go to the beach, no matter how cold, rainy, or windy it may be. Will report back with any updates.

Dare for Tuesday 6/3/14

Today's dare will be about self care. I like to put self care into two categories- the fun stuff (a hot bath, painting your toenails, etc) and the nitty gritty stuff (exercising, making appts, any regime that is tougher to do). We need BOTH types!

My dare is to do one of each type of self care. It is pretty open ended about what qualifies, as long as it is something that helps you physically or mentally!

Tues Dare success!

I made a dentist appt-important because I might not be able to afford insurance right away once I am off my parents'!

I did *not* skip meals (which is good for me!) and made a healthy homemade dinner. I also was pretty upset late last night about an overheard phone conversation my mom was having about me. Instead of being alone and crying, I went out for about an hour and saw some friends.

Dare done

I skipped a meal (which is healthy in my case). And I took the time to take care of my extremely swollen legs. I tend to get them in summer when I'm sitting at the computer for a long time, especially when barefoot. So I lay down, put my feet up, moved them a lot, massaged them, etc. When they are as swollen as yesterday, it takes a looong time to get them back to normal. But I did. (Yes, my doctor knows about my feet, it's not the veins, it's weak connective tissue. Yes, I have support stockings, I hate them and it makes no sense to put them on once the feet are swollen. I put them on today first thing in the morning. Yes, I know all the other things usually recommended against swollen feet - basically I just had no time or space for them and thus neglected my feet. Will try to do better... don't we all?)

Daily Dare for Monday 5/19/14

Today is Monday. Take few minutes to map out the week ahead, perhaps on a calendar/planner. Are there any pockets of time that you might not have noticed before writing it down? What can be different? For myself, I want to "see" where I will be when and if I can consolidate errands/etc.

(I hope this is an "ok" dare)

Bonus dare- think of another dare to post. I want this thread to come back but need help coming up with creative ideas haha.

re:DailyDare:19th or 20th or 21st of May 2014: Plan next 7 days

Thanks for the dare!

"Take few minutes to map out the week ahead, perhaps on a calendar/planner. Are there any pockets of time that you might not have noticed before writing it down? What can be different?"

It's Tuesday May 20 and I just saw this.

Hmmm ... I can start planning my next 7 days now.

And anyone joining in on Wednesday could plan whatever their next 7 days are.

Begin from wherever/whenever you are.  Why not?
Click to reply to this post.


movingalong: Dare: plan the next 7 days, imperfectly, creatively

I like that the directions for this Dare ask:
"What can be different?"

Challenge accepted.

I will do this imperfectly and report back when done.

katia Dare update

I also did the Dare (and I also started on Tuesday lol)

First off it was imperfect. I wasn't incredibly sure of my work schedule for the weekend so I left it mostly blank. That was OK!

It was helpful in a practical sense as I realized I would have time to run some errands while en route to work one day and thus saved gas. I also planned out what days I would let myself eat out (my one little luxury!) so I would not overspend.

Also it was helpful to see where there were blocks of time where other things could be done. I had a major headache that Thursday and spent most of the morning laying down and it was OK.

I would like to do this more often. Even though the best laid plans go aft awry, no laid plans are worse for me. I also like the idea of having a running list or "menu" of things to do when I have blocks of free time since then I still feel I have a choice.


re: more frequent planning ...

Regarding the dare to "take a few minutes to map out your week", Katia said:

"I would like to do this more often.
Even though the best laid plans go aft awry,
no laid plans are worse for me.
I also like the idea of having a running list or "menu" of things to do when I have blocks of free time, since then I still feel I have a choice."

Regarding the idea of trying to do quick planning more often ...

I was just looking around at existing threads (because we still can't start new threads) ...

... and I found member dotnow's thread here:
The directions state:
"Behavior "A" for Do it now: Make a Schedule daily, 1-5 mins < and do it imperfectly.
I encourage others to join me"

(In this context, "Behavior A" means: whatever is currently the most important habit of *recovery* that you're focusing on learning)

That thread seems to be open and welcoming -- it encourages others to join in -- so I think anyone could use it for logging the times they tried doing "a few minutes of planning". Although he or she suggests a few minutes every day, I would guess that anyone could adapt it for weekly planning or whatever ...


(duplicate post)

movingalong: Update re: DailyDare: 21 May 2014: map out the week

The "dare" was to take a few minutes to imperfectly map out the the entire week at once.

I was dealing with temporary health challenges that made it physically difficult to focus my brain enough to plan a full week. I could literally only think for a few minutes at a time.

But I didn't want to give up. Higherpower guided me to try something workable that my brain could handle with the physical difficulties ...

Instead of planning the entire week at once, I did this:

I made a commitment to plan each day, each morning, or the night before -- Plan each day, one day at a time.  And to do that for seven days.

I consider this revised commitment to be a victory over perfectionistic inaction.

Process: I didn't do it every day, but I did it a few of the days during that week. Also I did a few days the following week. I tried this for a few minutes -- each day for 10 days -- in an attempt to attain a total of seven days successfully planned.

Results: I didn't attain a full seven days of planning; but I got several done! ...

And, despite the health issues during that 10-day period, I got quite a few things done -- due to this imperfect planning. And that is much more than I would have accomplished without this Dare!

Laughing Thank you!


Thanks for the update! I think it is really awesome that you did it anyway despite all the challenges you had. Glad it helped!


Daily Dare -- group thread, all welcome!


DailyDare May 11-12, 2014:spend 5 minutes on an avoided priority

Thanks for reviving this old helpful thread!

Today's challenge, as another member explained:

"So the challenge is to spend 5 minutes working on a task or project that you've procrastinated on for a week or more, because you have made excuses that you have other things to do that are also incredibly important, when this is actually a high priority task. The other stuff is just maintenance."

Posted later in the day -- so do this today (May 11 or May 12) -- or whatever day this week that you first notice this post.

Reply to this post here to join in for this particular dare.

Movingalong: re:Daily Dare for 11th or 12th or 13th of May 2014

Five minutes at a long-procrastinated High Priority Task that is actually quite crucial? Thank you for the challenge.  I'm in.

Will report back when done.

Update:Movingalong: DailyDare: 11th or 12 or 13 or 14th May 2014

Wow this has been an interesting challenge.

On May 11th, I looked at my list of priority tasks, and I've been working on them a little at a time.  Not regularly, but I've done something within the past week on each.

I couldn't find a high-priority and IMPORTANT task. But ...

... this exercise got me to fall asleep that night thinking about it. I asked higherpower to reveal what long-avoided task was important to focus upon.

And, in the middle of the night, I remembered something vital that really matters, that I've never ever put on a list. It's something I needed to do but had not prioritized. I've had occasional reminders but never let it into my consciousness. Yet I've known about this for months!

My task is to compile some papers for an important situation that will have long-ranging impact, and another individual needs my piece of it so that they can work on their piece of it. The results of this are important -- and it matters in a deep way.

How could I have forgotten about this? I don't know. But thanks to this exercise, I asked higherpower what was important, and the answer came that night.

Thus, when I woke up the morning of May 12th, I committed to spend five minutes on it. But then I spent the whole day trying to get started -- but failed.

The "dare" is to spend just five minutes on it. I don't have to do the entire thing right now!

Yet as late as the evening of May 12th, still nothing started.  I even went into the PA chatbox and committed to do something important for five minutes -- but then I failed.

It is now the morning of May 13th, 2014. Today, I shall finally do the five minutes!

Done: movingalong DailyDare for 11th or 12 or 13 or 14 May 2014

Remembered this is actually a vitally morally important task.
... (in contrast to seemingly urgent tasks that are less essential to the future).

Used the above post as a jumping off point.

Started! Yay! Did my five minutes and more on May 13th.

The committment to five minutes allowed me to just *start* and then I ended up doing twenty minutes.

Now have momentum and will continue in periodic small chunks.

Very grateful for this impetus to do the five minutes!

I feel so much better, having focused on the essential. Thank you for this dare!

fudoshin: Daily Dare: 05/11/2014

I'm reviving this old thread, b/c this thread helped me once before in my life.  I've been fractured in not knowing what to do in order to make my life live-able since I did not do my midterm last week.  At this present moment I would prefer to read rather than write, but the writing is what will get me credit in my course-work.  I don't even know if this work would be accepted at this point, but it's worth a shot, and it's also worth having something so that I can communicate with my professor.  Communicate what? I don't know, but I pray the words will come to me, if nothing else, I can submit something.

So the challenge is to spend 5 minutes working on a task or project that I've procrastinated on for a week or more, because I have made excuses that I have other things to do that are also incredibly important, when this is actually a high priority task.  The other stuff is just maintenance.  I'm scared and I don't want to do this, but I'm appealing to the Higher Power of this board for help. Just five minutes of actually writing.  For you, that may be something slightly different.

Dare for Thursday 27th June

I dare you to do some task as fast as possible - as if it was an athletic contest - and post your time record here.

If you are among the three best in your category, you'll get a virtual medal! Cool

If two or more people agree beforehand - by posting here or talking in chat - to do the same thing, we can have actual contests. But if you are the one and only to compete in your category, that's just as well. (You're sure to win!)

For example, today I'm up for:

  • speed grocery shopping
  • speed hanging up laundry (I'm veeeery slow with that, you're sure to win against me! But I think I'll have two tries today!)
  • speed cleaning the stairs - but only in the marathon category (They painted the walls lately and the stairs are full of paint stains and made from a hard-to-clean material :( )
  • speed dishwashing in the fly weight category (I'll probably have a plate and a spoon or something like that)

But the most important thing is not to win but to take part!

(Maybe I should rather have posted this on a Saturday - but we can always repeat it!)

riddled's speed houseworking results

speed grocery shopping: 53:10 min

That was from computer to computer and included:

  • getting bike out of garage, mounting bicycle baskets
  • driving to a supermarket that turned out to open 1 hour later
  • driving to a second supermarket
  • returning returnable bottles
  • shopping
  • driving home, putting bike back in garage, taking off outdoor clothing
  • storing bought wares, bags & baskets
  • throwing away shopping list and receipt

Not great, but could be worse... Smile

speed hanging up laundry:
1st result: 04:45 min
2nd result: 11:50 min

That was from computer to computer. Washing machine is in cellar.
For the 1st result, I just took out the do-not-spin stuff (just a few items), hung it and set the machine to spinning.
For the 2nd result, I hung up the rest of the stuff in the garden after spinning. (Half an hour later, it started to rain. I didn't take the time when I re-hung it in the cellar. Guess I'll postpone the 2nd machineful of laundry to tomorrow due to the weather.)

Dare for Tuesday, June 25th

I don't know if this is applicable to anyone here... but here goes:

I dare you to NOT read, or listen to, or try out, or look for, any new anti-procrastination, self-help, motivation, time-management, etc. texts, videos, audiofiles or software on the internet (or elsewhere) today. (It's allowed to use tools you already have and are familiar with - e.g., the daily check-in.)

Did the dare

... ok, it was easy and may not have made sense for anyone else. But lately, I found myself wasting time looking for all kinds of such self-helf tips, only to find out every time that I already knew what they said and that the only way to make it work was to read less and do more. So it made sense for me.

Dare for Thursday, June 13th

Reviving this thread...

1h internet fasting

I dare you not to use the internet, or use it only for what you need to survive and to do your job, for one hour.

Did the dare

... from 11:00 to 12:00. I guess I should do this more often.

Dare for Friday, April 26th


Since "score" also is an old word for "twenty", I dare you to do twenty of... something! (I won't even give examples, so your ideas of tasks/items you could do twenty of won't be influenced by me.)


Have done twenty shoulder rolls. 10 forwards, and 10 back. Feeling all hunched up today. My interpretation! Feels better already.

Thanks for the dare riddled 


I'm going to try clearing 20 items from my in-tray, either filing or acting on


Did 14. But this morning I sorted the whole of the pile of 4 trays, all overflowing, and have got everything sorted.  Ok so I've got to do the "acting upon" now, but at least I know what's there, and it did turn up several lost documents.  Many thanks for getting me started.



Still trying to demessify/make an inventory of my home... sorted twenty more items and entered them into the database. (And I hope to do at least as many more today!)

Dare for Wednesday, April 24

Get in your inner critic's face and double down on your intentions!

OK, so what does that mean? Pick a task you are putting off, specifically a task that some inner voice is telling you that you'll screw up, fail at, etc. Instead of arguing with the voice about its obnoxious and possibly inaccurate claims, give it the proverbial middle finger salute. Tell the inner critic "Is that all you got? Bring it on, jerk. I'm gonna get on this task and make a mess of it, just to spite you." Tackle the task from your inner pissed-off place, your "Yeah, whatever" internal sullen teenager...

Making a mess of removing the mess

I only saw this today, but basically, that's what I did today and yesterday: Trying to demessify my home, despite some realistic part of me telling me it won't work, and promptly making a mess of it. Only, until I read this, I wasn't aware that that counts as a psychological success! Some consolation at least.

You think that was a mess? Wait until next time!

Good job, riddled! You'll have some ammunition next time you threaten your inner critic.

Forgot to stay sullen

The dare started off well; however, as I got into the work, I started caring too much about "doing it wrong." My inner sullen teen had schlepped off to have a nap, apparently.

So, I'm gonna try this again when I finish posting this comment, and this time I'll take action to keep the inner pissed-off place stoked up and full of attitude. This doesn't seem like a long-term solution; however, it did get me working successfully for awhile yesterday.

Let the stoking begin!

Inner critic, get a life... If you don't like the quality of my work, you can bite me. In fact, I'm not even going to try to do a good job. I'm going to slap something together, and if you don't shut the <bleepity bleeping bleep bleep> up, I'll turn in the first draft. What will that do to your precious "reputation for being thorough"?

Bring it on!

Ok, so I'm a day late, but this has really spoken to me as I have received a complaint about my failure to write a particular report which is urgently needed.  I loathe writing this particular sort of report, and it's not helped by having been unable to get the expert advice I wanted.

"Oy, inner voice! Is that all you got? Bring it on, jerk. I'm gonna get on this task and make a mess of it, just to spite you."


@ Hypatia

Got your back Hypatia. If things get nasty, we can call the PA team in. :-) :-)



did the dare!

I did it!  it took much of the day, but I got a much hated report complete and talked the secretary into staying and e-mailing it off last night.Thank you for the dare!


I am having a bit of a

I am having a bit of a battle with an essay right now (and a lot of other things). Will try to tackle essay tomorrow to spite myself.
You cannot run away from a weakness; you must sometimes fight it out or
perish. And if that be so, why not now, and where you stand?
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894)

wow Piqued

this came at just the right time. hopefully it works! :)

Dare for Thursday 21st February

Try not to think the word "I", and more generally, not to think about yourself, for half an hour.

(I could go on babbling about how this relates to some procrastination issues, but I'll rather leave you to your own experiences!)

... not really

Did manage it, but not during work. And during some fascinating leisure activity, it's easy, of course - so it doesn't really count. Will try again.

Dare for Sunday 17th February

I dare you to plan an outfit for an occasion you usually don't know what to wear for.

Classic examples would be a job interview or a festive/formal occasion (someone else's wedding, family reunion, going to the opera/theatre). On the other hand, it could also be a set of working clothes in which you could whitewash a wall, a set of protective working clothes with safety goggles and all the rest, clothes suitable for a three-day hike, or for riding your bicycle in the pouring rain, or even just a new swimsuit if you don't have a functional one anymore - whichever situation is most likely to happen to you.

Select something you can wear for the situation, and/or make a list of what you still have to buy for it.

If you really don't think you're likely to get into a situation where you seriously don't know what to wear, you are a lucky person in that respect and deserve some kind of "I'm prepared for almost everything!"-badge. :-) In that case, pat yourself on the shoulder and consider the dare done!

did it

... I got theatre tickets as a present (big theatre, everyone dressed to the nines) and found something for the evening.

@LizzieT: Glad the dare came at the right time for you!