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.

Procrastination as lack of commitment

The past few days it has occurred to me that my procrastination seems closely related to or resulting from a lack of commitment. When I was a young teen, I set a goal to go to a particularly competitive college. I got the application form as a freshman in high school and then developed a detailed, ambitious plan for high school that was designed to get me accepted into this college. I executed the plan pretty much flawlessly. It was highly motivating to me (e.g., when I didn't feel like studying for an exam, I would say to myself something like - I have to study b/c I have to get an A b/c I have to get straight A's b/c I want to get into college x, and then, I would study). The plan worked & I got into college x. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to come up with a new goal, and for that reason & others, I was miserable. And ever since (for 30 years), I've felt that it was, sort of, a mistake to go to college x (though in all honesty, I probably would've been as miserable no matter where I was at that time in my life).

Pretty much ever since, I've lacked commitment and have had a procrastination problem that waxes and wanes. I am currently ambivalent about work (mostly I think I should close my law practice, though sometimes I think I should change my practice area; I think I want to start a new business, yet I've done little to accomplish that & continue to consider "getting a job"), ambivalent about money (mostly I want more, but some part of me still feels/believes money is bad -- maybe this is why I'm in the midst of bankruptcy!), ambivalent about my life partner (who I've been with for 11 years but am not married to), ambivalent about our apartment (want to leave but can't get it together to go), and on and on.

Today, I made a commitment to bill 8 hours. It is challenging to do that, and I had to really be focused, but I did it. This bolsters my belief in this reframing that procrastination, for me, is a problem with lack of commitment.

I am curious as to whether this view of procrastination as related to lack of commitment/ambivalence resonates with anyone else. Thanks for reading!


I read your post yesterday before there were any other comments, and even though I wanted to say something in response, I wouldn't, because it would mean having to decide...what I want to say, what I feel, what I think, make all that amorphous mess in my head something definite, a declaration!! I don't do declarations, too much. I am a prevaricator (?) and 'ambivalent' could be my middle name.

So, in my adult life, as I've sought various cures and therapies and self-help techniques to resolve my existential angst ('what's the point?' 'why am I here?' 'Oh god I'm going to get old and DIE (one day)!!!!! SHIT!!!!!!!') I keep coming back to that ancient, sage advice, 'Do what you love'. That, and 'all you ever need is already right inside you'. And I think, what do I love? What's my passion? Is there anything that I get that worked up about? Is there something that I would subordinate everything else in my life to? So far...not that you'd notice. I've never committed myself wholeheartedly to anything that wasn't very short-term, like a cheesecake or a game of pool or a good novel. 

Except, I am a mother, and a pet-owner, and I'm in recovery, and I'm a University student, and all those other things I do that make up my life and which I AM committed to, as part of the project to make me Jane a 'better' person. Worthy. Like a 'normal human being' etc. But what I really want is just to be loved! and I think my focus on looking sorted and cool and not needy or vulnerable actually stops people from knowing the real me, and even stops ME from knowing the real me. Like, you can't see the wood for the trees, maintaining an exterior calm has stopped me from exploring the fun bits on the inside that are all aswirl with colour and crazy imaginings and bursting with creative potential (which I fear are slowly losing their fizz as I get older...) 

Hmmm. Connect with that 'inside' bit more. Dare to dream, daydream. Decide, for a change, what I want. What *I* want!!!!! And then commit to it. And, committing, know that the whole Universe will conspire with me to achieve it.. :).

good luck with all your decisions :). 

It's an inside job...

Yes It Does!

Some of teh numbers sound very familiar..
Ithis is definitely food for thought.

Thanks, dotnow

The more I think about it, the more I think it's true for me. It's not the whole story, but it's a big part of the story.


Thank you for sharing, yes it resonates with me, as do the thousands of other views and can be mindboggling.

One commitment I have made was showing up here it it has really helped, especially as a symbol of my intention  to recover in other areas. Progress and hope of change is better than I had before and I do want to change or get back what once was before. Not where I want to be but not where I was and constantly reminding myself to be grateful for the progress. thanks.

Thank you, vic

I appreciate what you wrote about gratitude for the progress -- what a helpful reminder to me.