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.

learning for exam!!!

As I worked yesterday until four and then watched the football (we won!!) I was pretty tired. Went to bed early and didn't learn for my exam tomorrow.

That's why I want to get done a lot today!

I am going to get dressed now and have breakfast and then walk my puppy. If I plan two hours for this I should be able to sit at my desk at 9.30 am.

last check in for today

- finished one topic for my exam: structuralism (signs etc) -> still a lot to do tomorrow, but I can't change that now
- had a small meal
- put away my dishes and shined my sink (normally I leave the stuff to dry but I put it away!)
- prepared breakfast table (I've never done that before)
- fed my puppy dog
- brushed my teeth

- I quickly let my dog out and then get in my pyjamas.
- will have skip two classes tomorrow so I can get at least a minimal amount of learning done...

Normy: maybe I should set up a reward/ penalty system and tell you about it. Then you/ members here can help me really doing it?

Good night to everybody!

P.S. I am REALLY glad I found this group!!!:-) :-) :-)

Good night Anouk!

You've done really well today. Have a good rest.

If you want to do the reward/penalty system here is the original idea I got from the EZBoard Procrastination Support Forum:

'Make a vow to yourself, another person, or post to members of this forum for one specific thing, one thing
only, you have been procrastinating about. Include a consequence and
a time schedule. Sample: I will deal with one pile of paper
(designate the pile) by such and such a date and, if I fail to do
this, I will give five dollars to somebody today. Sometimes you can
say: I will not eat a meal until I pay the overdue water bill.
This is not the only way of attacking procrastination but it is a
powerful one. If you have something you really must do, but you
haven't, use this method.'

Personally, I don't think it's a good idea messing with meals like that - it's unhealthy and woe betide anyone who comes near me if I'm hungry!

I find I need to mix and match these little 'games' - if I keep doing the same one all the time it wears thin and stops working, so I just have plenty that I can revolve around!

So if you want to make a vow tomorrow Anouk, I will join you, and we'll be support for each other! Hopefully, pro will be feeling better too and may want to play.

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great job today, Anouk!

Sounds like you did GREAT today, Anouk. What kind of degree are you working on? I think you said in one message that you already had a Master's degree (or had written a Master's thesis).

This will probably be my last post today because typing is making my migraine symptoms work. See you all tomorrow.


I have an Magister Artium (something like a M.A.) in Canadian Studies and American Literature.
Now, I am doing more training for the state exam in order to become a teacher (English, history, ethics).


Went jogging. It is really hot outside but that was good for my knee. Have been out for about 90 minutes. Had a very quick shower and am back at my desk. I will do 2 other 15 minute sessions.

Have an idea for tomorrow. I will do 15 minutes before breakfast and walking the dog. That will get me started right away and it won't give me so much time for thinking about reasons why I can't start yet...


What level do you want to teach at?

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check in after 2 sessions

I got quite some stuff done :-)

I put my timer on 15 minutes. When it rings I put on the stop watch if I don't want to stop right away because I am in the middle of a topic.
I did 17 minutes - break - and then 37! even though I had only planned another 15.

My original plan was to stop learning at 6 pm which is in half an hour but that is illusionary because I started so late. I will take my puppy and go jogging, take a quick shower after that and then continue to learn.

check-in after lunch and 15 minutes

I think I managed to have lunch in 3o minutes incl. doing the dishes, drying and putting them away!

Did another 15 minutes but there is still soooo much to learn... I am a bit scared...

I will do another 15 minutes now. Then have a break and then do another 15 minutes

try to forget fear, just focus on the task

Anouk, many years ago I worked as a counselor at a university, and one of the things I did was help students with test-taking anxiety. In coming up with ways to help them, I read a lot about the problem. I learned that the main reason that test anxiety is harmful is that the student is thinking about their fear rather than the subject matter. I suspect that the same thing can get in the way when you are studying. If you are feeling overwhelmed and scared, you might think about this rather than the subject matter, interfering with your ability to learn.

So my advice would be to try to put the fear out of your mind and just focus on what you're learning. You can only do what you can do, and the best you can do has to be good enough because you can't do more! Try to just focus on what you are reading about, and maybe see if you can get interested and curious about it.

thank you - I try :-)

Thanks pro!

I try to do that. Fortunately I am not too scared of exams. I have learnt that there are always alternatives if I don't pass and that it is not so bad if I am not getting the best mark ( although I am more disapointed about it than I should ;-) ). But this has also lead to starting too late. And that started my feeling overwhelmed by what I have to learn.

But I will try and remember your advice. By the way: the subject is very abstract: linguistics. It is interesting but I won't need the stuff to become an English teacher and that makes it difficult to sit down and learn..

I love linguistics!

Let me qualify that - I love semantics, phonetics, phonology, phonology, computer linguistics, pragmatics, etc etc. I ~don't~ like literary analysis, and I'm not good at learning foreign languages (I actually did a course on learning and teaching languages, and learned absolutely nothing about how to learn another language - what a bum course!). I did linguistics at Uni (but I think I mentioned somewhere else that I deferred (i.e. procrastinated) when I only had three weeks to go (I hadn't done two of my dissertations anyway) for two years before dropping out. Up until then I'd been a First Class student. Procrastination stole my degree - blah.

I did have other stuff going on too, but if it wasn't for the procrastination I'd have made it. Now I'm getting a handle on the procrastination, I'm planning on having another go, but this time looking at doing a philosophy MA (yoga) (I've forgotten all the linguistics - sorry).

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late lunch

Ok, I give myself 30 minutes for lunch. Then I will do another 15 minutes of learning!!!

post comment

seems, like I somtimes forget to press "post comment" after I previewed it :-(

My "nap" turned into a 2 1/2 hour one :O I sitll don't feel like learning, but I will do 15 minutes NOW on Saussure!

Will report back.

Posting Submit after Preview

I forget to do that too - it'd be more noticeable if we were in the same time zones, but my '6pm TOTH Check In' didn't actually get posted until I came back to do my 7pm Check In.

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cheering you on, Anouk!

I'm cheering you on from the other side of the ocean! :)


thanks pro! Need lots of cheering.
Had breakfast and walked my dog. It all took a bit longer because I phoned my brother: it's his birthday.

Now, I feel really tired although I slept enough last night. Don't feel like learning at all at them moment...


Just do half an hour for now, Anouk, then take a half hour break. Have a nap if you want - personally I find that I can nap for 20-30 mins and it's refreshing, more than that makes me groggy. I had to practise napping though - I couldn't do it at first! I just lay there for 20 mins - with timer - then got up. After a few goes I got it. I feel better now even if I don't fall asleep.

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Hi Normy,

I am normally good at napping. I use it as a (short) refreshment during the day. But on days like this, they tend to become longer...


Wow! That's a skill - definitely!

What I was getting at though is to just get started on the task, rather than focusing on why you "can't" do it. If it's the tiredness that's stopping you, it helps to promise yourself that you'll do something to address the tiredness - and follow through (my mind plays tricks with me if I try to pull a fast one, like not following through on promises to myself).

How do you fancy a quick team challenge?

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Are you still online? Did you see my other post?

I did my 15 minutes. I don't know why I am always so scarred to start. It is not as bad as I thought. Started a mindmap on the topic.
I am a bit overwhelmed by all the stuff I have to learn until tonight, but I try telling myself that I will do as much as I can and not get angry with myself if I won't be able to do everything. Hope it works :-)

I am very hungry. I guess, I'll make some late lunch.

What is a team challenge exactely?

Sorry Anouk

I'm not sure which reply you meant - I get a bit lost because the threads don't go in the order my brain wants them to go in.

What I meant by 'a team challenge' was basically 'I'll do my work if you do yours'. Sometimes it just helps to know there's someone else working alongside you (albeit in a different country!) and that you're going to report in to each other.

There are different ways of doing it. One is just to say what you're going to do, and do it. Another is to write a numbered list. Then you take it in turns to choose a number and you both do that number on a list (you can use a die) - that one's good for getting to horrible jobs that you always leave till last. Doesn't work with things that have to be done in order though. There are probably loads of other ways you could try to make more of a game of it too.

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getting started is the hardest part for me, too

Good job, Anouk. I don't know why it's so hard to get started! Is for me, too.

I've heard of mindmaps, though I'm not clear what they are. Do these help you in studying?


I like mindmaps because they use both parts of the brain and you can be creative while learning. The other good thing about them is that you can't just copy a text (which doesn't help very much when learning) but have to structure it because you only put the most important key words in the map.

I only now German books but I am sure that there are some in English. Here is the wikipedia link:

Hope your migraine is better. I get light ones occasssionaly and I am knocked out when it happens.

I love Mind Maps

I used to teach similar techniques when I taught learning skills at Uni. In fact we did a CD-ROM for a distance learning course I wrote (~that~ was hell! There were four of us writing distance learning courses, and we ~all~ procrastinated, so they had to hire someone to try to get us motivated to get the work done!).

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