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.

Starting Where I am

Cultivating awareness and mindfulness. Working to be mindful of behaviours that embody criticism, frustration, annoyance, perfectionism. Taking care of myself. Accepting what is and where I am. Recognizing difficulty, discomfort, joy, happiness without attaching to them. This may help with the tendency to procrastinate for emotional reasons. Just keep swimming. Just keep starting, wherever I am. 




05 June 2013

I can't recommend enough the podcast I linked to below. It's filled with great fun ideas for managing getting work done. 

 I tried a version of it yesterday but find I am prone to distractions (shocker, I know) and have difficulties making boundaries around how long my work will take. e.g. I resent that my work takes me so long but I find it difficult to do less than I perceive to be acceptable. (perfectionism at work). 


Last week of May- reflection

-lots of b*tching ---> feel immediate emotional relief and validation but then remorse for wasting time---> resulted in A LOT of tasks undone

-observed thinking at the moment is often: topic comes up that is emotionally intense  = urge to release and discuss --> dump out thoughts, feelings onto coworker  ---> guilt for lack of self control, emotional overshare, and regret for tasks not done as a result

   ideas: notice the feeling of intensity: what can i do when I feel that? breathe, regular writing about my thoughts and feelings to help manage them better; be mindful of the time of others and ask (myself and them) before launching into a full blown discussion 


-feeling guilt now and overwhelm due to being "behind" (SO BEHIND) in my work. and with so much to do at home. EVERYWHERE. Ugh. Triple ugh.

-really enjoyed this podcast; some fantastic implementations of procrastination management strategies:

I like her rotation of projects, structured schedule, unpredictable rewards, and self-challenges to keep things interesting.

I would love it right now if someone would start a group for time management for procrastinators and/or people with ADHD. It's less expensive than 1:1 therapy, provides social support and accountability and is still led by an objective, experienced facilitator. But maybe I can use some of those fun strategies to improve my chances of being successful on my own. It was exactly that kind of rotation approach that I used in university first year that was very useful, but I haven't quite been able to harness it since.  

What will I take from that today? I will listen to it again. :) I will rotate a few projects through today; I'm going to check ins right now to make my list.



" I would love it right now if someone would start a group for time
management for procrastinators and/or people with ADHD. It's less
expensive than 1:1 therapy, provides social support and accountability
and is still led by an objective, experienced facilitator. "

Can I join?!?!? Actually I think I might need 1:1 attention. Where can I hire someone to stand over me and say 'come on Hooch, now write the next sentence?'


When you find out where to hire a "shadow buddy" (I've heard that term before somewhere for this kind of help) to stand over you, let me know...I'm next in line  ;)



Shaddow buddy, is that what they are called - i am going to google it right away. I have thought maybe a psychology stuudent could be pressed into service for a small fee. Alternatively, maybe I should set up in business! Who better than a procrastinator to know how the procrastinators mind works.

All the best to you AOTP


Success and...of course...overwhelm

I edited this post as it had a little too much crazy in it. 

Had an accomplishment today of a personal project. I still stayed up too late, rushed, was stressed, felt disorganized, compared myself to blogs and Martha Stewart wannabees and spent too much money overpreparing. But the actual project is done as of a few hours ago. 

But it's the emotional drop that comes afterward: the review: did they like it? I can't believe I forgot that/didn't do it/that person didn't do what they said....rumination...

And there was a mass amount of clean up to do afterwards. And I had something for work I had to get done. Then I got upset with my spouse for not hauling butt on the clean up portion of things, knowing that this mess will stay ALL WEEK if it's not cleaned up today.

Then I lost my s*it; raised my voice when I've really been trying not to do that. I'm fatigued.

I was judgemental and felt ugly in my thoughts about how I was judging others. It felt like an uncontrollable tirade of critical thoughts about them- they're not doing enough, they look sloppy, they are not trying hard enough, moving too slowly...

Is this because I project my own feelings of inadequacy onto someone else? I can't stand to be so critical of myself so I make them the "bad guy?" Is it a result of my perfectionistic tendencies that I have unrealistic expectations of pretty much everyone? Argh. 

So yay on the project completed and nay on the emotional crazy following.  


Sputter sputter...b*tch and moan..

New Part:

After writing this post (older part, below) I wondered what it is about this familiar lifelong pattern that is so engaging. Perhaps because I am never good enough as I am. To write that report, well, when I get that other information, look that up, get some sleep...I'll be better. Implication: as I am right now is not good enough to meet my expectations (or the expectations of my invisible, imagined audience).

I was wondering why I always need to "start again" with some new food menu, fitness regime, (ha ha, I use those terms loosely), or for work, an overly rigid schedule that inevitably doesn't work out. They all include putting onerous demands on myself to achieve unrealistic standards because if I approach it with just me, I fear it's not good enough. And if I postpone or create the perfect regime, then I can at least delay the "judgement" because I'm working on fixing this issue that is my current 'self'. But it actually just increases the discrepancy between my ideal self and who I am at this moment. And though it may serve to momentarily decrease anxiety e.g. by putting off the project by doing more research, or revising it one more time, it actually increases it in the long term.

I'm not sure if that makes sense, but I'm tired. and I need to go to sleep. The rest that follows is the first blurb I wrote this evening.  

Older part: 

It is funny that I can put in efforts to be mindful and then it's as if I was drunk and all of a sudden sober up and realize...oh YES, I remember, that "being present" in the moment thing...seems to help in staying with whatever I'm doing. And then it's gone again.

I had energy to do the most urgent parts of my job this week. But the paperwork gets left behind again. I drag home loads of work, make bad faces at it and carry it back next week without doing much, if any, of it. (and repeat).
Oh, and I did lots of whining and complaining this week. Justifying my inaction. Indulging my need for emotional soothing through venting. And it's just nice to talk to people I like.

Breathe. Bit by bit.

I am not sure I have the abilities to achieve my goals as I see them. That might not be a terrible realization. It sucks to keep running head first into the glass door, forgetting it's there.  I seem to consistently be overestimating the volume of work I can take on, and underestimating the amount of time and energy required. And not taking the time to figure either of those numbers out, but just forging ahead.

I sense an underlying fear; fear of not "catching up", of being "found out". The illusion if I "try a little harder" I can achieve my own high expectations. If I lower my expectations I may do better. I wonder if I am compelled to keep aiming higher because of some deeply held subconscious beliefs about how I "should" perform my work. I can avoid judging myself because I have not yet tried hard enough to justify my greatest efforts...there's always another reason why it's not working out properly...yet.

Ah, perfectionism, you ugly bugger. Your twisted ways exhaust me.    


I have felt many, many times as you described.

My situation: i have concluded that when i want to put something off--for any reason--it is "a hit on my drug".

There is some scientific evidence that helped persuade me: studies of gamblers (a pure BEHAVIORAL addiction, no chemical substance like alcohol or narcotics involved) shows their brains resemble addicts'. From my limited reading i believe there's not a consensus yet, however.

My program of recovery is now structured to just do all those things, i once resisted. I cannot say how i got here, i believe it was God's intervention, but this website, chat, the phone meetings, my 12 step study, and "15 points for an alcoholic to consider when confronted with the urge to take a drink" (which i translated to procrastination) had a lot to do with it. I believe what finally triggered me into acting on this theory was pro's post on "The Procrastination Equation" by Piers Steel at url But it had been building for a long time.

What i have to report from my approach is that overcoming the resistance for me has been harder that experiencing the resistance. Ie before i might have said "it's really hard to for me to get myself to do this" but that was without actually ever doing it. When i did start to act thru the resistance, it was harder than i anticipated. Sometimes i shake my head and say, why the heck am i putting myself thru this misery? And then i remember that it is healthy for me. It is Hope for me. It is the promise of a life in which i am in control of my tasks and time.

It is always hard, but sometimes i experience what i suppose are withdrawal symptoms: headaches, stomach aches, nausea, twitches, anxiety, stress. It is not as bad as DTs for chemical addicts, but it is very distressing.

I wish you recovery :D

the touch of the master's hand:

fall down seven times, get up eight - japanese proverb



thank you clement. your comments are very helpful. I appreciate you taking the time. I also identify with the gambling analogy with some other neuroses thrown in as well. 

I have looked over the post re: procrastination equation previously, but will look at it again in more detail. I also bought the book on perfectionism posted somewhere in the forum and that has been quite useful though I'm still working through it.

I admire the hard work you put in everyday that is evident in your postings. I find I am good at starting but almost forget as I am going along (I just go into autopilot) but I think I need to get better at recognizing the powerful triggers/temptations that arise instead of going so readily into distraction (if that makes sense).  

thank you :) I wish you recovery, too.  


Thanks for writing this AOTP! I could really relate to what you write. I am always putting things off till some imagined future where I stay on-plan with diet, work schedule, exercise and basically I am always setting myself up to fail.

Sending good wishes your way,



thank you  :)


Solidarity. So much of what you say rings true for me. How often have I wished for a fresh, clean start. To sweep away the responsibilities of past failure, and start again.

To continue to struggle through it is a victory in itself, no matter how messy or seemingly ineffective. 

thank you @knitfisher

:) keep on struggling on; it is a victory in itself. I like that. And it is very messy!

Remembering, reminding

I am filled with embarassment that already I forgot I had started this post here. Similarly, I start out many weeks with good intentions but difficulty with follow through. 

Overwhelm and exhaustion are full force this week. Too tired to begin to get better, too overwhelmed with all the tasks and time required so I allow myself to be bounced from task to task. At the end of the day I convince myself that tonight, tomorrow, or next week will definitely be the time to catch up.

My expectations = too high, consistent disappointment (again, focus on the essential first, give option of going back later)

change=discomfort=easy to avoid today, better tomorrow

It is easy to focus on venting, being angry at the "powers that be" for making work so difficult. But they don't ask me to have my high standards. So again, it comes back to what NEEDS to be done? And leave the option for doing the extra after the NEED part gets finished. 

But what do I do with the stuff that came before? How to deal with a grand backlog?  

Just keep going forward, and chunk away at it, bit by bit.



Frozen.. trouble starting...the cycle of the start of the imagining of perfection. AKA shooting myself in the foot. Pick a spot -start, move forward. I'm not sure where these images of perfection or rigid expectations come from, but they are so limiting. And they fill my body with adrenaline... deep breathing becomes a very conscious effort.

I can approach this with mindfulness and compassion. Just one moment at a time. Observing where I am and noticing it without getting carried away with it. 

One step at a time. Breathe. Step. Breathe. Step. OK just as I am.

Think about essentials of what needs to get done, start. Smile. 


@ aotp

I very much relate to this post AOTP. A little bit at a time i tell myself all the time!  And that 'something done' is good enough! Perfectionism is my biggest challenge because it stops me from even starting sometimes! 

Sending you wishes for a very good day today!

In solidarity,



Thank you  Smile 

Friday May 17

I look at my posts from Sunday, where there is optimism (and naivete?) and switch to Thursday where it shifts to complete overwhelm. So much so fast. 

Today I was just completely exhausted. I think the excitement of the initial start keeps the adrenaline pumping as does the busy-ness of all the projects. But when it slows down and comes to the next steps, I'm tired and confused.

Expectation- so high; leads to taking on too much, creating more complex activities and more work than can be completed realistically.

initial plans---->excitement--->overestimation of time and energy available---> desire to please others---> overcommitment--->tired--->anxious----> disappointed -->feelings of failure -->desire to abandon efforts  ---> desire for fresh start instead of messy reality


-restating my minimum productivity expectations into maximum ones since I seem to have problems taking on too much; helps to ensure I will have enough time to complete necessary mundane tasks 

-creating system/routines...something to work through scheduling and planning in a less labourious way- I will need to put in more time in the beginning to learn. Just like doing the dishes, these things just need to get done. There is just no way around them. 

Night 'all. Thanks for letting me air my thoughts. 



16 May - reflection

Not sure whether to laugh or cry. There seems to be a point where I feel completely overwhelmed and I just go like a pinball from thing to thing at work, waiting until I can just collapse in exhaustion. 

Part of it seems to be from:

1. overbooking myself and

2. not booking sufficient time for (often mundane but) necessary tasks

3. not thoroughly planning my week i.e. plan the beginning; this took a long time this week. I run out of time AND I feel better since part of the week is planned. Then I get to midweek, feel overwhelmed and just go into survival/bitterness mode, often blaming others or "management" to justify my high level of stress.

Though there are all sorts of problems with the management, I can still choose to focus on the things I can influence rather than b*tch about the things I can't. It's easier that way, though. It's become a cycle, actually. Interesting.... 


Here I am on Tuesday May 14

Thank you so much Jalla and knitfisher for your kind words. I'm still sore today (Tuesday) from my workout on Sunday! 

I packed my lunch today, quite an accomplishment, along with some relatively healthy snack. The least healthy snack I ate in the car on the way to work. ;)

I dedicated time Monday planning the schedule for my week- it takes a long time (some perfectionism in there...) Still worth it. Today was a whirlwind and I'm exhausted; at the end of the day I was too tired and ended up spending way too long at work instead of finishing and leaving. This happens frequently. There seems to be a point of overwhelm where I easily get caught up in impulsive behaviour instead of prioritizing and acting with intent.  

I have some downtime tomorrow -I plan to catch up on yesterday's trails and finish planning the rest of my week. 


@ AOTP No better place to start :-)

Best wishes on your journey.

Happy Mothers Day!

Happy Mothers Day AOTP! Well done on committing to taking extra special care of your extra special self! Inspiring to read! Best wishes to you! Smile