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.

Introductions and Procrastination Discussion

If you're just joining, please introduce yourself here. This is also the section for general discussion about procrastination topics - articles you've read, questions, thoughts, insights, etc.

I'm a newbie with a school tale (and I'm only 42)

I'm whipped. I was dropped from a biology class today for not making up an absence assignment. Thirteen weeks gone up in smoke. I could give you the details but I'd only end up making some excuse for my being withdrawn.
I have been in community college for two years and have just skated along. The procrastination and organization problems are staring me in the face now. I know what I want but sabatoge myself. I can't blame anyone but myself.

A New Technique for Foregetful Procrastinators...Routine Clusters

Hi, I hope this helps somebody. It helps me. I am a forgetful procrastinator who wakes up in the morning absolutely overwhelmed by life. I can walk past an emergency and be oblivious to it for weeks, but in odd moments, remember and forget it again. So, that is why it has been so helpful to me lately to cluster routines as a memory prompter. Example:
FIRST CLUSTER: Every morning, it is a given that I WILL definitely get out of bed if I wake up alive. I cluster three small projects with that. I make my bed before I leave the room. I choose my clothing. I take any laundry out of the room and put it down the chute.

new and already grateful

Hi, I'm Rita and I have been searching the web since about 10pm (it's now 3 am)looking desperately for answers to what is wrong with me. I've been feeling out of my mind periodically for months, and today was horrible - sunk in depression punctuated by terror, way beyond anxiety, about the work I am NOT getting done when I feel like this...helpless and hopeless. I could not really find a name for what was wrong, just this dread about the fact that I have no concept of time at all and can't get a grip on time, that time is some mysterious powerful enemy I cannot master no matter how smart I am or how hard I try.

Codependency & Procrastinators

I am a procrastinator married to an extreme procrastinator. Sometimes I wonder if somehow I am an enabler to this problem in some way. When we first married, he did a little to help (he's retired and I work (very hard and very long hours). Now, his help is limited to feeding the cat -- period. My house is turning into a wreck and I feel so overwhelmed it's driving me nuts. It was this way when I was raising kids, too. I wound up feeling responsible for everything, because nobody would help . . . and I never could handle it all. I'd look around at the mess and be totally confused as to where to

Computers vs people

I would like to ask any members if they find the computer to be a major distraction for them and a reason for their procrastination. I know that having grown up with computers (my first was a Commodore 64) that I have always almost 'hidden' behind them. I'm going through my 'looking back phase' here but they have always been a reason for me to remain stationary and away from society. I used to game but never really had anybody to play with so i'd zone out and chop heads off until the evening! Since then if I haven't been 'learning' about computers i've been sitting in front of them to 'design' web sites and the like. I do it only because I can and I went to design college so I don't like the thought of my education going to waste (another story!) I don't know if really I should be in employment that involves me communicating with people more. I enjoy talking to people on the phone and tend to be spurred on by the environment I am in.

Hi PA Group :)

Hi everybody. I'm new here so I thought i'd write to as a sign of appreciation of your postings and advice. Things haven't been too good for me recently and I came to a stage where I had to investigate what the problem could be. I've had many events to look back on and take into account. Why have I lost jobs? Why have I let relationships fizzle out and find it difficult to formulate new ones? Why was I so dependent on cigarettes, alchohol and soft drugs for over 10 years? These are just some of the questions I have been asking myself.
In the last four years I would say i've hit 'rock bottom'. I've become a hermit and a regular caller to The Samaritans. Communication, even just chit-chat has sometimes been fractuous (even with the Samaritans!). I have found that even the people that do care ask 'why are you so hard on yourself' etc etc.. it gets tedious after a while. You question yourself, it stops you doing normal everyday things that most people take for granted. Basically it's a vicious circle until one day it gets so bad that you realise it's turning into depression and the reason why you change outfits three times a day.

Procrastination and housekeeping/hoarding/squalor

I've been to Squalor Survivors and Reclaiming Dignity over the last few years because of my hoarding troubles and while I've made considerable progress I seemed to have plateaued. It's been horribly frustrating, but now I think I've finally found the problem. Chronic procrastination. And of course the truth is that I've clearly known that all along.

Does anyone else here have troubles with simply keeping house because of this? And I mean to a pretty dramatic degree?

Aha moment - why I'm sometimes late

This may seem obvious to some of you, but I've only just realised this because it happened to me today. Sometimes I'm late for something because it's getting close to time to leave, and I realise I have done ~nothing~ towards progressing the thing I 'should have' been doing beforehand.

Today's example was that I'd set myself the task of going through my in-tray before going to exercise class. The timer dinged - it was time to go - I hadn't 'got round to' looking in the in-tray (I'd been doing other 'busy' things), so I thought I'd just scoop up some of the easy stuff and deal with it (because nowadays I build in a little extra time for the journey - sigh - it's ~not~ supposed to be used for doing extra things before I go!).

hi folks

Hope this is the right forum for introductions..

My name is Ben. I'm a student in Newfoundland, Canada.

I just wanted to say to Pro, first of all, thanks and congratulations for making this site. I've just started looking at it now (got here from a Wikipedia link).

I'd categorize my own procrastination as chronic though maybe not severe. I'm pretty functional, but it always (10+ years) dogs me and cuts into my productivity. I've started to think about it more because I'm leaning towards doing more academic work which involves lots of writing.. which I've always had a really hard time with. Especially because my father was a writer and struggled with procrastination his whole life. Figure I better tackle this now or else...

where to begin?

My name is Bill, and I'm a 40 year old male in Boston. I've wrestled with procrastination nearly all my life--since elementary school actually. It's escalated through the years and affected my psyche and my finances (I'm self-employed).

Outwardly I am a happy-go-lucky guy. But inwardly I'm a mess who can't seem to slay the 'dragon' that is procrastination. I walk around with constant guilt specifically because of my procrastination habits. I have countless projects (over 50) that have been dormant for years (years!). I have over 300 incomplete tasks on my to-do list logged. I'm in over my head with debt (way over my head).

Saddened Student

Hi,
I'm really struggling, and I need help...badly. For the past two years, I have had a tremendous battle with procrastination, especially when it comes to school. I think I've always been a person that puts things off, but it never became as pronounced as it did until these last two years. I was getting straight A's in the "easy" classes, despite my procrastination, because the work load was simply undemanding. So I thought, hey, I must be smart enough to take on more challenging classes, so I did. My course work was full...but I just wasn't doing as well as I had...and I'm not doubting my abilities, because I'm very much able, I just almost always distract myself with something else. I mean, at first, I thought it was just like any other feeling a person gets when he/she just isn't up to doing involved Calculus or Lit papers, but after reading some posts on this site, I recognize everything that I've been doing for the past two years. For instance, when there's a long, involved reasearch paper due, for which I have months to complete, I don't start freaking out until the week before its due, and then don't actually attempt it until two nights, or THE night before. On almost every assignment I have, I tell myself, "I'll do it after this." or "I'll just take a nap, and then finish." When people ask me, "Did you turn in that paper?" I'll lie and say, "It was a close one, but I got it done." When really, I've barely started, and then try to make up reasonable excuses for why its late. "I emailed it to you, why didn't you recieve it? Oh I must have messed up the address...I'll send it again." And then I'll rush home hoping an extra 24 hours will do the trick. Even though I've become more determined to beat this, it always seems to beat me. Its even affect timed tests, where I can't think of a word, or a perfect phrase, and I stop to think, or cross out for at least 1/2 my time, if not more. By the time I'm done, my whole paper is a mess of what looks like censor boxes, and inserts, even though my thoughts are often very complex, and very intelligent. My grades this year are even worse than the previous year, although I try harder. It's really frustrating, and gets me extremely depressed, making me feel like a failure, and that I don't even deserve to be in school. How do I cope with this? And even when I learn to cope, is this condition serious enough that I could explain it to those that will be judging my grades, and hope that they will allow me enough time to get control of this before they decide on my capabilities?

Looking for procrastinators....

....and I guess I came to the right place.

I am researcher in the Psychology Department at the University of Windsor and I am looking for people, and especially procrastinators, to participate in an online study. This online research study focuses on how personality, stress, and time influences how and when you get things done, and how this may affect your health. For this research to be valid it is important to include the opinions and responses of true procrastinators, which is why I am posting this to your group.

The survey takes about 30-45 minutes to complete and all information will remain anonymous and confidential. I will also provide a brief report with the study results for anyone interested when the study is over.

Hiding your procrastination

I guess procrastination is similar to addiction in how people justify it, how they can't control it, and how they hide it from others. Personally I've been lying about stuff for years, sometimes making up big stories, so that I don't have to explain why I didn't do something. Lots of the time I lie and say I did something that I didn't do, mainly with on-going long-term projects. I find it much easier than explaining why I didn't do something. I don't know why I didn't do it, I just couldn't. There is no rational explanation to give to co-workers, family, and friends. So I lie.

The Now Habit

Thank you so much for creating this website. I got pretty emotional reading the article "Chronic Procrastination is NOT a Time Management Problem" because I've never heard my problem described so accurately. After years of assuming that I was inherenly lazy and going to great lengths to hide this from everyone, this might be finally be a step in the right direction.

I was just wondering if anyone has read "The Now Habit" by Neil Fiore. It's got amazing reviews on Amazon but I'm hesitant to order after finding this site. As a "chronic procrastinator" I probably need more than a superficial approach.

What to do when a block occurs

Hi fellow procrastinators.

I am a chronic procrastinator in many aspects of life. I have recently taken interest in the problem, and started reading some books and articles. I implemented some tips that helped me to an extent; mostly time management stuff.

I find it helpful to break a task to small pieces and schedule my work on each piece by itself. The problem is that although these habits help, I still get into mental blocks from time to time (for example, if I finished the work I planed for the day, and still have time at work, I almost never manage to bring myself to start working on new stuff).

Conscious and Unconscious Procrastination

Sometimes I ~know~ I'm procrastinating. A part of my brain will be saying 'you'd better start such-and-such' and another part will pretend not to have heard, or will stuff the voice down, or say 'I'LL DO IT AFTER THIS' (a common one, which tends to result in whatever 'this' is lasting a long long time - a time binge in fact!).

Sometimes, however, the fact that I'm procrastinating doesn't reach consciousness for a long time (or, by extrapolation, there are probably times it doesn't reach at all). The timer can come in handy for this, but if the part of me that wants to procrastinate has effectively managed to block the task from consciousness, then I won't even be thinking of starting the task, never mind setting the timer. When I'm doing a really big procrastination, I even neglect to look at my Task List, tickler file, and diary - and I don't even notice (these are normally part of my everyday routine).

Celebrating Successes!

I've been so on time for two appointments recently (no small thanks to this website) that I thought I was in the wrong place!

I had a real panic about the second one, because I'd organised it, and momentarily wondered if I'd got it all wrong, and told people the wrong date/time/place. No, I was just first one there. What a strange feeling. I quite like it - I'm definitely motivated to cultivate this being early/on time thing.

How To Learn

I like this excerpt. It reassures me and gives me a sense that I can ground myself and proceed. This is written by a professor who teaches programming. (excerpted here with respect, but without permission).

------------------------
How to Learn

I have all sorts of people come to my class: the bright and the not so bright, the motivated and the lazy, the experienced and the novice. Regardless, the people who get the most from the class are always the ones who remain focused on the topic at hand.

The first trick to maintaining focus is to get enough sleep. I suggest ten hours of sleep each night while you are studying new ideas. Before dismissing this idea, try it. You will wake up refreshed and ready to learn. Caffeine is not a substitute for sleep.

The Remaining Minutes Factor

Some friends of mine have procrastination issues too, although none as virulent as mine. But we've been discussing the issues and one of the things that came up is that we aren't late because we don't understand time, exactly. It's more subtle than that. We actually have a very keen sense of time. So much so that we can almost subconsciously whittle down the amount of time we allot for a task so that it comes in under the wire every time. We call this the "Remaining Minutes" factor.

We've noticed that somehow we have a running time clock that reallly understands how many minutes there are to do the job, and how much longer it is likely to take, but we refuse to finish ahead of time, instead, doing anything BUT the task at hand up until the last possible minute before we sense that we won't make it within an acceptable time.

What has helped you?

What has actually helped you with your procrastination? I don't mean a book that sounded good or made sense to you, but got you to actually do something?

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