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.

Why I don't finish things

I've tried to explain that I have a specific problem with completion which is not to do with success or failure but to do with moving on. At last I've found a quote which says what I feel so much better than I can:

"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another." Anatole France

Does this make sense to anyone?

Re: Anatole France quote


That quote is perfect.. It makes sense to me. I am wondering why exactly. 

The sense of melancholy does pervade. I hate transitions in general. Or maybe, it's better to say they can make me anxious. Even changes I have decided were good and right.

I know I secretly grieve things as mundane as a car, apartment or office if I have to move on from them. 

I hadnt thought of it, but when it comes to work, it is possible that that does factor in for me too. There are some projects that i almost hoard, as if I like being the kind of person who would do a project like that!

I am trying to get better at letting go, whether it means just staying moving until its good enough, not perfect, and delivering it anyway, or maybe getting help and not thinking I have to do it all myself, or looking and deciding it doesn't actually have to be done now or maybe ever, that life will go on just fine.

Interesting though. I do wish I were more of an achiever, but I think I still make progress overall. Sometimes the hoarded work finds another project to be useful for. And sometimes I force myself to stop feeling bad about being stuck.

Gnothi Seauton ~ Know Thyself

re: "why I don't finish things"

Yes Rexroth, I can relate to that quote.

Hmmmm ... this is making me think.

Perhaps, if I don't finish, then maybe part of my subconscious is wanting more time, or more chances to do it differently, better, etc -- with more perfect results.

Non-finishing means I'm not committed to the outcome, because ... I'm not allowing there to be an outcome.

Whereas, if I finish, then the project is done in all its IMPERFECTION. and there is an "outcome" which might not be what I want.

So maybe, for me, this is a perfectionism issue ... in that I feel melancholy/sadness/grief in the imperfectness of my finish.

Wheras if I DON'T finish, then my subconscious thinks there is *hope* for some magical theoretical unrealistically wonderful outcome.

So maybe, for me, this is a *control issue*?

--- oops. Edit:

I see now that what you said above, is completely different from what I was talking about. My apology for going off on a tangent.

You said that, for you, it's *not* about success or failure.

@ moving

Despite it not being related to Rexroth's thoughts, I want to "like" this.

For me, the blank page isn't a zero but the possibility of perfection (like Plato's elusive forms). When in reality, handing nothing in is just that- nothing!

I can relate to Rexroth's quote as well. Back in the day when I read books for fun, I would put off reading the last chapter sometimes because as nice as it was to find out what happens, it meant it was over!

echoing Katia

Yes, this is how I fail to follow up on great opportunities. As long as I do nothing, I still hold on to some fantasy possibility. It is a way to protect my ego.