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.

new here

Hi everybody,

I am new here. I am 27 and I think, I already procrastinated when I was a little kid (homework).
Then I had a really bad time around my early 20ies when I got really depressed about my procrastinating. I am still procrastinating but don't feel as bad about it anymore.

I found the aspect of addiction very interesting. I have to put away my TV regularly because I sit in front of it for hours even though most of it doesn't interest me. I eat all the sweets in one packet almost at once. When I go out with a smoker, I smoke even though I hate the feeling in my lungs and the taste the next morning.
I sometimes sit there and think that it would actually be fun to work on my stuff for uni but I don't do it. Like something is keeping me from it.

I am also really bad in celebrating successes. If I get a good mark, I only think, I could have done better and that it was pure luck. Or that people are giving good marks too easily because everbody tells me that my presentations are good even though I finished them at 4 o'clock in the morning and thus don't feel very fit when I present them.

I like the idea about doing things for only 13-30 minutes. But how can I get myself to really stop?

Hopefully, this isn't too long :-)


Just found this web sight

Hi, I just found this sight and have printed out the tools.  I was wondering how helpful you are finding this sight.  And have you found any phone meetings for this affliction.

meetings - online, phone, face-to-face

There are a lot of people who want meetings - online, phone, face-to-face - but no one seems to want to start them. They want to join a meeting that someone else started.

You can be the first - if you want a phone meeting, start one! Take initiative! :)

Seriously... All the meeting materials are on the site. It would not be hard to put together a meeting. It would just be a matter of scheduling it, posting information about it, and showing up.

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

I could start an on-line meeting

I coud do it. The only problem is the place. I do not know how to find a meeting room. The chatroom of this site is only available for members so it is against the 3 rd tradition to keep on-line meetings there because evrybody cannot participate.

the chatroom of this site

> The chatroom of this site is only available for members so it is against the 3 rd tradition to keep on-line meetings there because evrybody cannot participate.

That's not true. Anyone with a desire not to procrastinate can join. The reason joining is required is to keep spammers out. They're a problem enough as it is - it would be much worse if joining wasn't required.

The chatroom is perfectly suited for online meetings. That's why I installed it.

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

Hi Everyone - I'm the newest here!

...but not the newest among hardcore procrastinators! I'm 37 & still going strong.

Pro - Thanks for creating this site. It's great. An interesting set-up. And a great way to procrastinate...

It's nice to find a support group though. For me, it might result in some "pr work" (procrastination) but it does quiet the nasty voices inside to know that it's a problem others struggle with. It helps to feel less isolated.

I have been feeling that a lot lately. I have a small design practice (i.e. just me here at my desk and a group of independent contractors out on the job sites). And I'm procrastinating like crazy lately. I haven't dropped any major balls lately but I'm getting dangerously close!

I think it's a life-long process. For me, it definitely peaked when I was in school. Being a student is a lot like being self-employed, alone in a home office. I fully sympathize with those of you who are students.

Sometimes I get much better. Lately, I'm in the middle of a rough patch. It's sad, draining and self-perpetuating. I'm hoping I have already hit the bottom and I can bounce off now. I'm excited about finding this site!

Well, sort of... I'm not a very quick writer and this might be the end of me. I just spent at least 2 hours on reading, registering and now posting. :( But no, I'm happy to be here.

- Julia

life long learing

Hi Julia,

I just had a very bad rough patch. And as you might have seen, I am pretty new to this group too. The bookending really helps and if it is "only" for a small task. That's the most important thing: start with a small step and others will follow. I guess, it's a bit like a vehicle: it takes a lot of energy or power the get it started, get it rolling, but once it rolls much less effort is needed.

But I know that sometimes it is really really difficult to do this first step. But I wish you good luck to do it.


no, no - this site LOWERS procrastination! :)

Hi Julia,

Welcome! I strenuously object to the idea that this site encourages more procrastination. Does not! :)

Seriously... I use this site for bookending, and that's a very effective "anticrastination" technique for me and others. Give it a try!

I agree with everyone, LOL!

Sometimes I come here to procrastinate (like now) and I usually end up motivated to get something done! I'm self-employed ~and~ a student, and I think the self-employed stuff is worse because there are elements of it I'd rather not be doing myself. I agree about the getting started - that's probably my worst bit too. Is that a general procrastinator problem? I also have problems finishing the last bit of things, so I realise there's potential for procrastinators who can start, but not finish. What's the experience of others?

A warm welcome to you Julia - if you get as much out of this site as I have you won't regret coming here, I promise you!

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Hi Anouk!

So much of your post rang bells with me too.

'I sometimes sit there and think that it would actually be fun to work on my stuff for uni but I don't do it. Like something is keeping me from it.'

I used to have problems getting starte with things like homework (studying) and housework (cleaning) because it wasn't the right time. I don't know what I thought the 'right time' was, but it certainly wasn't morning - it was 'after'. But after what? After work I was too tired or it was time to get ready for bed. So as an experiment I started doing stuff in the morning. Felt weird at first but it works.

'I have to put away my TV regularly because I sit in front of it for hours even though most of it doesn't interest me. I eat all the sweets in one packet almost at once.'

I got rid of my telly altogether several years ago - I recognised it as a time sink. Until recently I ate all the sweets or biscuits in the packet - I concept of saving till later was something other people did. Now I can ~occasionally~ do it!

'I am also really bad in celebrating successes.'

Me too. I've been doing extremely well in my studies since I started addresses my procrastination issues (those of you who are regulars will know I started in earnest January this year), but I don't feel I can celebrate my successes. It feels like if I dared to, then I would rest on my laurels and give up making any further effort - but it doesn't give me much intrinsic reward for work well done.

This was really unexpected. When I procrastinated I ~expected~ my work to be of a lower quality than I could really achieve, so I wasn't particularly happy about it, but now I'm doing my best, and the work ~is~ good I still don't feel happy. I haven't really unravelled that one yet.

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Looks like you went offline just as I posted - blah! Well, I'm going to do my morning routine anyway - it's about time.

I'll start a new bookending thread that we can use today.

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Good idea

I am back.

God idea - working for ten minutes. I will do that just now. I'll be back at 11.55 and report.

Thanks for the support.

(before I wrote that, I tried to make up at least 3 excuses to not do it ;-) )



I spent a little bit more then 10 minutes on typing notes for a linguistics exam next week. Didn't feel bad actually doing it but I am working too detailed I guess.

It felt really hard, to commit to this task in front of somebody else. I don't know why. Either I don't like "authority" from outside being able to judge me if I fail or I fear to fail anyway?? I don't know.
I think, I am always rebelling against somebody which is stupid because I am doing these studies because I chose to do so (already have a degree).

But I guess, this bookending is really useful - IF I get myself to really do it.


Authority vs Support

I'm not an authority in that you're not doing this for me, you're doing it for you and whoever else you choose to do it for (professor or whoever). Think of it more as 'support'.

You ~don't~ get into trouble with the people supporting you, and it helps to report back whether or not you managed to do something - see my bookending on today's thread - quite a lot of goofing off!

It helps to report back even if you didn't do what you aimed to do - it helps you to become more aware of what you can realistically get done.

It's more like talking to your friends about something that went right/wrong at work or college. The next time they see you update them, or they might ask 'how did it go?' - well this is similar except that we don't often ask 'how did it go' because we know it can feel like nagging!

Personally, I'm more likely to 'forget' to do the closing bookend if things have gone well, but personally I ~do~ like people to ask me how things are going - partly so I can celebrate my successes (and try to discover what went right!), and partly because I have a tendency to get sidetracked.

I'm pleased this one worked for you - I also find that making it a challenge or game with someone else helps. At home, I can occasionally cajole someone into what I call a 'workshare'. We're not working together on a project - but we're together in that we're both in the room working on our separate projects. It does help. An online challenge or game helps in a similar way - pros of online: more likely to find someone online than IRL (~I~ am anyway - your college may have study groups or something similar); cons of online: it's easier to goof off or get sidetracked.
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too tired

Hi Normy,

wrote you a reply to your support post last night before I went to bed last night. But I guess, I was too tired and forgot to press "post comment". Only realized it this morning.

I wrote that I know that this group is supposed to give support but that I create an authoriy out of it. If there is no real authority, I will unconsiously create one against I can rebell, I guess. Don't know why I am so eager to rebell. Maybe because I obey to all rules in everyday life and am very anxious to not get into trouble. So maybe that is a hidden kind of rebellion against my own behaviour?

But I am using the bookending forum right now. It is working - but I am "only" cleaning my desk and that might be procrastination too, because i REALLY have to learn. But as a procrastinated cleaning my desk so I don't have to start learning (it is IMPOSSIBLE to learn with a messy desk ;-) ), I guess, it's a step forward.


Messy Desk

LOL, I agree! I've now got certain routines in place for keeping the place looking decent, and anything outside those routines tends to set off 'procrastination!' warning bells. However, I ~do~ find that clearing my desk genuinely helps me with studying. And having everything laid out well - the most commonly used files and books on top of the desk (you'd be amazed at how not-current some of the stuff on my desk gets - or maybe you wouldn't;))

I made a concerted effort to really tidy it up once, and managed to keep it that way for weeks, by putting things away after I used them (that old chestnut - guess what? It works), and doing a '5 minute desk rescue' every morning, but then I neglected those tasks for a while and it's gone back to messy normal now. I timed myself, and when it's like this it takes me about 30 mins to get it useable again (with an in-tray three foot high but at least I can see the desk!).

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no messy desk anymore!!

Hi Normy,

My desk looks very good now.
I used the stupid lecture (which I have to attend) to read something for my presentation next week, but didn't learn when I got home.
Instead I prepared a yummy dinner and watched some football which I normally don't( I am living in the country of the worldcup - by the way).

On normal days, it seems like I can't work after 8 p.m.

I think, I read in another thread that you procrastinate in phases. I think that is the same with me. The bad thing is, when I am in such a phase, I don't do anything to stop it. I don't structure my days or attend a group like this. It seems like I have to get to a point where I really hate myself, my appartment is a big mess and I feel really bad. Then I start getting myself together again. Maybe I like the drama?!

I hope my desk stays clean!

I will go to bed now and wish all of you a good night.

World Cup

I don't actually know what country that is :? I'm wondering what time zone you're in - What time is it where you are now? It's 9.28 pm here.

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Go Anouk Go! That does it - I'm going to tidy my desk!

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Hi normy thanks for your

Hi normy

thanks for your reply. It feels good that there are more people "in the same boat" that understand your situation and don't just think you are lazy.

You can be very proud of yourself facing your procrastination they way you do.
I wish I had the strength but I don't trust myself. No, that is not absolutely true: I trust myself in that I will not do what I plan to do. For example, I make a plan to finish reading a homework until a certain date. In the same instant I make that commitment, I already know that I will break it. I have totally lost confidence in myself. I can't really commit myself. And I really don't know how to get out of this cycle because I seem to be doing everything to keep it that way - even though I hate myself for it.

I had a psychology seminar a couple of weeks ago at uni where we learnt about motivation. Some people are success-oriented and when they have success they tell themselves that they deserve it and worked hard for it. If they fail, they don't take it too seriously because they know they will do better next time.
And their are people who are oriented towards failure. IF they have success they say that it was luck or that it is not good enough. They are not happy about it. And they think, that failing is one of their characteristics.
Both types are formed by parents, teachers etc. They good thing about it: all those thoughts are just cognitions, so we can change them - so far the theory. But it is really hard to change the way you think about yourself, if it's so deeply embedded.

Sometimes, I think, I do not really want to change. I survived with being a procrastinator. It feels save. And doing the things I do when I procrastinate feel so much better and rewarding when I procrastinate then when I really have time for them. Then - somehow - they seem to have lost their kick.
But I hate staying up all night to do my papers and presentations. I hope, this feeling will be someday stronger than my urge to procrastinate...



'I wish I had the strength but I don't trust myself. No, that is not absolutely true: I trust myself in that I will not do what I plan to do.'

BTDT! The thing that helps me break that is the 'just open the file' thing (I can't remember where I picked that up - it was on a website). If I can't face a task I set the timer and, without any preconceived ideas about what I'm going to do I 'just open the file' (or the book, or the Email, or pick up the phone or, the whatever it is - you get the idea).

You're still online here - maybe we could do a live bookending?

I'll get going on my morning routine, what could you do for just 10 mins? (Remember you don't need to do anything other than 'open the file' - no action or anything, so you only need 10 mins) - then let's report back - it's 9.55 am here now, so maybe we could meet back, let's say quarter past to give you time to read this post - don't reply yet! Wait until quarter past to check in!

Well, I've talked myself into it anyway :) I'll check back at quarter past and see how you did....

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