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.

Still struggling with master thesis and guilt


feb. 28th, 2013 

Hello, I was supposed to finish my thesis by decembrer and I didn't, I have been given an extension, but my thesis director quit due to my constant procrastination, so I am now also faced with the task of finding a new director, which is what im working on these last weeks. I try not to beat myself up for that. I just couldn't follow with my ex director's quick rythm of work. I try very hard not let that fact makes me feel inadequate or worthless. However, what is really bothering me inside is that because I wasnt able to finish my thesis by last august, I had to reject a scholarship that I was granted (around last july, when I still thought i would finish by august) to study what i really like, and the best, it was abroad. For me it was like my BIG chance to move and meet a new place, new people, and start a new career, a new life doing what I really enjoyed. And i rejected it, i let it go. I can ask for it again this year, sure, but Im stuck with my thesis and I have until may to graduate if i want to do the paperwork to apply (I cant apply if i dont graduate from this master). Obviously I also rejected my admission to the university (twice, in august and december) and well, im basically throwing away these great opportunities because i  cant seem to move on with this degree, which I understand, because i dont like it. But i need to finish in order to move on to what i DO like and love, and still, i get stuck every 10 minutes. Days and weeks pass and although ive made small progress, it seems i need to finish a full draft, at least 3 chapters, in like one month if I want to be able to apply to the university, get the scholarship and finally (after 10 years of studying what i dont like) studying what I now know i do like. And also i need to take in count the fact that it is not a sure thing i will be given the scholarship again after I voluntarily rejected it last year. Guilt and frustation and despair have been the latest feelings these past weeks. I so want to move on, but it seems i keep sabotaging my dreams myself. I want to think I can finish this thing, but can i finish it by the actual deadline? I really dont want to let go this opportunity this year. I cant stand another year postponing what i consider is my dream career. I started this career path 10 years ago to please other people, I never actually asked myself if I really liked it until recently. I already feel a lot of guilt for that, and i dont want to add to it the guilt of letting go AGAIN this chance of changing career paths and my country of residence. I just hope i can manage to get out of this degree any way i can and by the deadline. I'll keep checking in to achieve that. I still have at least march. I'll try at least keep the hope for this coming month. Thanks PA. 


I found this site very useful, just wanted to pass it on


Dear Recoverers

An4ever - I so understand your challenges. I too am doing a writing project that I did not choose myself and that I do not enjoy. I too am doing this project in the hope that this will lead to employment doing what I love. I have missed huge opportunities of employment because of my lack of timely completion of the project.
All I can say is acceptance of what has passed us by is important. Those opportunities have passed us by but with practice we can overcome our procrastination and change our life for the better little by little. I have found that being hard on myself does not help and kept me feeling hopeless and thinking why bother at all. I have been so bad, that I have threatened myself - that if I don't start working on this, then... This is terribly unhealthy but I was at my worst and hating myself instead of separating my hate towards my actions from my self.
Since then, I decided to just accept where I am right now and also to not have any high expectations of where I should be or what I should be, given my intelligence and opportunities and so forth. It was only when I let go of these burdens that I have been able to start to change my thinking and become more organised and hopeful. Yes, we have had wonderful opportunities pass us by because of a lack of activity but we are not like other people, we have a challenge of procrastination, which if looked at positively, may well be one of our greatest teachers.

Peace and Light,


Thank you for your share, I so agree and so needed to read it today so thanks for the reminder.

We are not alone anymore and I am may not be where I want to be but grateful I am not where Iwas and can accept that with baby steps and support here I can move forward with the help of my hp.


i feel for you- i am stuck

i feel for you- i am stuck too writing my doctoral dissertation, for a field that is clinical and therefore, we were really not trained sufficiently to write a dissertation. i can relate to so much of what you've said. i too have to many incentives and reasons for why i should be finishing, and how awful it feels when i dont do the work, and how great it feels when i do.  but i get stuck in hating the diss, with no deadlines, no boss of me, no end in sight. and i hate that i have to explain to ppl that they cant understand what this is like. there is absolutely nothing else in the world like the dissertation process. anything else that anyone does in life that they hate, there is either a boss, a deadline or an immediate ramification if it's not done. the fact is that it is hard, and we must figure out how to perservere. i agree with hooch that having a peer group is great. one of the cohorts ahead of me had that, and they found it very helpful.

@ an4ever

I sympathise with your frustration an4ever. This unfinished thesis is really standing between you and your next move. While it would be possible to see all kinds of (perfectly reasonable) issues about why you dont finish it - fear of failure (?), fear of success (?), fear of telling these other people who are happy you are studying your current subject that you are changing job and country (?) - I wonder what would be the most practical way you could just get the damn thing done.

When I was writing my doctorate (in fact, mostly I was avoiding writing it.... but anyway..) I used to wonder how much I would need to pay someone (I thought perhaps a psychology student would do) to sit next to me at the desk and say 'that is good Hooch, you wrote a sentence. No, dont go away, sit back down on the chair. Write another sentence.' Rather like the famous scene of Douglas Adams procrastinating over one of the Hitchhiker books, locked in his hotel room with his editor.

Can you enlist someone to help you here? Or buddy up with you? Or find another person writing a masters who can tandem write with you? What would be your perfect strategy if you could choose any method?

All the best,


@ an4ever

Thinking of you!
Sending you thoughts of Solidarity and love.

hi- you can do it:)


 thanks so much for sharing. I just want to say a few things

1) have faith in yourself and your hp

2) the past does not equal the future

3) trust yourself and your hp 


i am tackling the issue of writing for my phd, am really at the point where i have decided i am going to turn things around, i hit rockbottom last week and the weeb before, when i missed a deadline for writing a bookcha[ter, and felt very unsupported academically by my supervisor, and am really digging deep now to turn things around. as well as relying strongly on the resources on this site (12 steps and tools) and also a few books i have bought recently- am focusing on 1 book at the mo and it gives advice on how to build writing muscles, i can let u know the name if u like, but i would also refer u again to the above 3 points:-) 


Cal Frances