OK. I am the world’s worst procrastinator. I put off big things because they are too hard and I put off little things because they are too easy. I’m hoping to get procrastination listed as a bona fide disability so I will be covered by the ADA. I want a special calender with no due dates on it. You get my drift?

I’m looking for two things from the teeming millions – understanding and advice. Any others out there like me? (Write in soon! Do it today!) And any reformed procrastinators who can tell me things that worked to get over the worst of their bad habit?

p.s. I realize this is a great setup for a lot of punch lines – “I was going to…but I never got around to it”, etc. Go ahead if you must. But still advise me.


“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”

Can I get back to you on this?

Seriously, Pluto, I am also a terrible (or should I say very good) procrastinator.

I find that making a short, achievable list in the morning for the day ahead (and no farther) helps me to get round to things.

Make it up in the morning as soon as you get up: not the night before, and don’t wait til after breakfast.

What do you think we’re all doing here?

Seriously, I was a big procrastinator until I had kids. It really hones the ol’ organizational skills.

Well, since you insisted, I was going to open this exact thread, but … :wink:

Seriously, different things work for different people, and I gotta disagree with Rodd Hill on this one. (BTW, he posted while I was composing. Really!)
A solution I have often found to work (and man did I procrastinate) is to break up large tasks into a series of smaller ones. Set firm intermediate deadlines over the course of a project and deny yourself whatever you do while procrastinating (TV? Sleep? Workout? Surfing? Doesn’t matter) until you are on schedule. And list everything, preferably on a PDA with an audible alarm.
To-do lists are also important, but what works for me is different from what works for Rod. I don’t allow myself to go to sleep until the next day’s to-do list is compiled. If there is a carry-over from today’s list, I also list a reason I didn’t get to it. Looking at how ridiculous my reasons are helps to get them done the next day.
Also, prioritize. I make a little box. It reads “crucial” to “insignificant” on the top left to right and “now” to “anytime” on the side top to bottom. Work from the top left diagonally down, periodically moving tasks as deadlines loom or importance changes.
I have found to be of enormous help the PC version of Daytimer. Much easier to use than that cumbersome paper thing your Mom gave you for graduation, and it links to several PDA’s. I’ll follow the rules and not post their commercial link here, but I’m confident that with a little imagination you can deduce what might be the URL of a company called Daytimer. They’re on the World Wide Web. They’re called Daytimer. And they’re a good COMpany.

Most importantly, keep trying different stuff until something works. I must have tried a gazillion different ways of organizing things until I found one that worked for me. But I eventually found one, and now I have so much free time that I can post to the SDMB and hold a job! Good luck.

Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine

I darn near killed my college career. How’s THAT for procrastination?

You need to put your head down and get to work. There’s really no easy way to do it. You have to tell yourself “yes, damn it, I am doing this NOW,” and refuse to take no for an answer.

I’m going to be suffering the effects of what I did for the rest of my life. Serves me right for thinking I can blow things off. I’m STILL tempted to blow things off, even now. I should be doing homework now, to be honest. So I’m going to log off after sending this message and get it over with.

– Sylence

“The problem with reality is the lack of background music.” – Anon

Cher3, I absolutely agree about the having kids thing. Boy, does that ever make a difference! And so did marrying someone who procrastinates worse than I ever dreamed I could. I don’t know if that’s an option for you, Pluto, but let me tell you…marrying a procrastinator just shoved all that stuff right into my face. I realized just how annoying I must have been to other people, and shaped up FAST. Now I drive my husband nuts with my constant “HEY! I asked you to do this DAYS AGO. Do it NOW before I cause you great bodily harm!”

Good advice – keep it coming. I have an overdue expense report (They owe ME money!) that I have put off for weeks. I’ve put all the paperwork right on top so I can’t get to anything else. Now I’ll HAVE to get it done – first thing tomorrow! (Well, I’m getting a little better!)

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”
– William of Ockham

I’m the president of the procrastinators club …but we haven’t had our first meeting.
I procrastinate at work – because I don’t like my work,which is paper-pushing in a local government agency. I procrastinate by playing solitaire on the computer (the only game on it). I even make up little rules about playing solitaire and say I’ll finish a project if I win, say, 3 in a row. But then I don’t finish it anyway. But, when push comes to shove and a deadline is staring me in the face, I CAN move fast and get the work done. Getting a new supervisor who is strict about deadlines is the only thing that’s helped me.

Hi. my name is Suzette, and I’m a procrastinator. I am, right now- trying to do a system (AGAIN) to pay my bills on time. Anyone else struggle with this? I am a terrible procrastinator. I think it’s a horrible personality trait, and I try hard to overcome it but so far, no dice. I’m getting a little better, though. I found if I just schedule things, they go a little better. I don’t know, just wanted to let you know I hear ya’, brother…

An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; A pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.

Judy Tenuta: “My mom said I’d never amount to anything because I always procrastinated. I told her, ‘Oh, yeah? Well, JUST WAIT.’”

And now the rest of the story …

Zette said –

That reflects my feelings pretty well, BUT–

About four years ago I put it all together. I had working to-do lists. Every day I accomplished something in about five different areas of my life. I had long-range and short-range, monthly, weekly and daily goals. I kept track of my progress. I even lost weight! I was the living embodiment of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

It lasted about three months. My life fell apart. Everyone was telling me how happy they were with me, but it was killing me. Outwardly I was finally the person I had always wanted to be and the person I thought people wanted me to be, but I was no longer me! It was like living in a box.

Now there were other things going on at the same time – my wife was very ill, financial troubles, etc. So I can’t say definitively that it was the well-organized life that was so troubling to me. But it has sure made me leery of getting too “effective”.

So what’s the big deal? (I know I started this!) Zette and I think it’s a horrible character trait but at the same time I’m pretty sure it is not just a bad habit but a fundamental part of my personality. And life isn’t so bad – I have a good job, a nice family, etc. Do I really have to change?

Maybe what I need is a solution for the anxiety associated with procrastination! Is it all self-imposed? If I just relax will it all be better?

Does any of this reflect others’ experience?

Neurotically yours,

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”
– William of Ockham

Oh. Well. Piss off, then! I was just posting while blowing off an important project anyway! :wink:

Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine

I just turned in the expense report. Only two months late!!


“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”
– William of Ockham