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Post by catcar »

I need some help in figuring out what my message from my HP is in this behavior of mine. Sometimes it could be fear (like when I put off applying for a new job). More often than not, I can not see a reason. I put off little things like getting my kids uniform clean and set out in time for his game and I put off important things like paying bills (even when I have PLENTY of money to pay them). I once carried around a brief case of receipts for a 5k expense report for almost a year before I turned it in. All the receipts were legit and it took me 20 min to do the expense report when I finally did it. Still, I carried it with me to and from work and kept it next to my desk all day for almost a year. This is causing a bunch of situations that set me up for risking my sobriety. How did others out there overcome this character defect? Any opinions on how I can figure out why I do this to myself even in situations where is no reason I can see?

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Re: Procrastination

Post by Duke »

I don't know the why, but I do know the problem. I sometimes think when I do this, it's that small part of me that's still trying to prove I'm a failure. The fact is, I don't really know for sure.

I have a task list on my phone that I see when I open it up. Each night, I pare the next day's list down to what I know I can get done, usually two to three items. When I do that, I'm pretty certain to get those done. If I'm clicking along, I can always go to the larger list and get some others done as well, but by keeping the day's list short, i usually get them done.

For me, it's a matter of having a disciplined routine. Good luck to you. I know it will get better for you.
"If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.", Mother Teresa

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Re: Procrastination

Post by Niagara »

Hey Catcar, good to see you.

For me, I keep it on a business level. What does this behaviour actually bring me...what value is it? The reasons why, my feelings about it, are less important now. I was a huge procrastinator. Sometimes I still am, but it's slowly disappearing. All it brings me is stress, fear and a feeling that I failed yet again. When I look at like that, I don't want those feelings, so I get off my butt and get done what it is I need to do. Slowly, that side of me is disappearing in favour of being productive. When I do procrastinate, it's for far less time than I ever did before...but I had to be willing to get rid of it.

I do believe through praying over it, God me the strength to move past it. If I just try to not procrastinate over anything at all, it's massive change all in one go, and I get burned out real fast. This one is a slow burner for me...and that's good. Gradual change seems to stick better with me.

So yeah, when I get stuck, I inventory it, look at what favours it's doing me, look at the bad stuff it's bringing me, and procrastination never brought me anything good, so it's got to go.

The reason why I procrastinate? I guess it comes down to, that was part of my drinking behaviour. I was totally unproductive. Sometimes a safe place is just that, even when it's not especially comfortable. I didn't relish change much, so I'd stick to old, comfortable behaviours. Fear of change...also valueless. If nothing changes, nothing changes, I don't grow, and if I don't grow, drink will have me back.

Best wishes :)
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month -
Theodore Roosevelt

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Re: Procrastination

Post by positrac »

This is a great topic because this is so much easier to say the why instead of just doing it and I believe for me it is fear. I don't know why exactly although I believe that success and this is at any level for me is hard to accept as I had a very difficult youth. I believe that if I succeed then failure is around the way and boom! Reality is not so and it is fear itself I allowed to control my deal. Everything mentioned in these posts I can do or have done in one form or another and just because I am sober and mostly at peace this thing called procrastination still slides in from time to time to see how I am doing.

If I am around go getters with good spirits and positive attitudes I find that I get more engaged and less likely to falter at procrastination. These are my character defects and they may never leave me and as long as I am aware of them and can keep them under control they won't be as big of a problem.

So keep working on not being last minute person and more on top of things and see if you can see a difference as you have nothing to lose and much more to gain.

Be well.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
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Re: Procrastination

Post by Reborn »

Procrastination is something I'm good at. As far as my higher power removing this it really is about letting go absolutely. Just like working the steps God will reveal himself but only if I'm willing to take the ACTION. I can't ask God to help me not procrastinate and then turn around and say I'll just do that tomorrow...nothing changes if nothing changes!
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132

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Re: Procrastination

Post by Hanna »

I remember putting off submitting my medical bills to the very last day, if I didn't fax them by 5:00 they would not be eligible for reimbursement, approx. $3,000 and I was broke! I worked in an office and had daily access to the fax machine, yet I waited until the last day. In the middle of faxing the bills to the insurance company I had a severe anxiety attack, I stopped the fax, walked to the nearest liquor store and bought 7 airplane bottles of vodka. Procrastination, I don't do that anymore! One of the first lessons I learned my first few weeks of sobriety was, that doing what was uncomfortable but necessary, was easier and more comfortable than not doing it and worrying about it. I keep to a routine today, just do what's right in front of me one day at a time! It works for me and I no longer suffer anxiety attacks. Procrastination, it's one of my character defects that I have to keep tabs on :wink: .
Best wishes on your journey~
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Re: Procrastination

Post by tyg »

I've definitely had my battles with the destructive crutch of procrastination. What I did is....
I prayed about it a lot, asking God to give me strength to complete whatever I was procrastinating on. What was put on my heart to do was this: Ask my sponsor or another person if I can call them and tell them I'm going to do, "so and so" now; then call them back when it was done. This helped, projects got finished. I also had friends come over to my house to "babysit" me while I completed important work projects where the deadline was dangerously near.

It was so hard asking for that kind of help and I felt like a damn fool...after all I'm an adult right? Making lists and checking things off, didn't work well for me in the beginning. I had to take drastic measures and it worked!! I was willing to go to any lengths in all areas of my life. Today, my "To Do" lists, God, daily inventories, do the trick. I haven't had to be babysat in a long time. Today, procrastination is rarely an issue.

Not all our problems get solved at once. Keep living the spiritual principles and, day by day, EVERYTHING keeps changing for the better!!

Alcoholics Anonymous tells me...
Now we try to put spiritual principles to work in every department of our lives. When we do that, we find it solves our problems too: the ensuing lack of fear, worry and hurt feelings is a wonderful thing. pg 116:3

My friend promised when these things were done I would enter upon a new relationship with my Creator; that I would have the elements of a way of living which answered all my problems pg 13:5

We ask Him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what He would have us be. At once, we commence to outgrow fear. pg 68:3

How true these statements have been for me. All I have to do is...
Trust God
Clean House
Work with Others
~The secret to the AA program is the first three words on page 112~

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Re: Procrastination

Post by maurits »

catcar wrote:
How did others out there overcome this character defect?
Niagara wrote:
Slowly, that side of me is disappearing in favour of being productive.
oh yes, i can relate, struggled with procrastination since i was a teenager,
this is certainly one of the most frustrating symptoms of my dysfunctional past,

looking back, especially step 6 and 7 dealt with this particular issue,
but of course, as it turned out, the process of working the previous steps was needed first,

more will be revealed,

step by step, one day at a time

thank you all for sharing

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Re: Procrastination

Post by Mary »

Hi, I suffer similarly though the condition has improved some. I can hear my old sponsors voice as I was reading what you had to say and she was saying " Your HP is telling you your a procrastinator" . Whenever I said to her 'how do I stop....?' she would say, you just stop. I did not find it helpful at the time because I was not yet willing to give up that defect. On one occasion she told me to stop praying on it, stop reading books about it, stop making lists (all things I was using as more forms of procrastination) and just do what I needed to do. She would probably suggest I get of sites like this which can also be used as a tool to promote procrastination.

If you want to stop feeling how your feeling, stop doing what you are doing. When the fear of staying the same gets bigger than the fear of change, we change.

Keep The Faith :-)

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Re: Procrastination

Post by leejosepho »

When the fear of staying the same gets bigger than the fear of change, we change.
So totally true, and now I try to at least no longer put off until tomorrow what should have been done yesterday and get it done or at least started today.
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)

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Re: Procrastination

Post by Tosh »

I keep a white board by the side of my desk. It's within reaching distance. If there's something I have to do, it gets written down on the whiteboard and I can - occasionally - get OCD about getting the jobs done that's listed on there. And when I've done a job, I wipe it off the board; it gives me a bit of a dopamine hit to wipe the job off the board.

Of course, I'm not perfect, there's 'jobs' that I don't write on there, like call my sponsor, and they get procrastinated over.

And sometimes I forget all about the white board, nothing gets written on there, and I try to hold lists of stuff to do in my head. And when things get unmanageable, the pain forces me to do the white board thing again.

Progress, not perfection.

It was interesting to note that Steps 6 and 7 were mentioned earlier in the post; I'm currently reading 'Drop the Rock' which is a commentary written on these two steps. Personally I think it comes under Step 10, 'Continued to take personal inventory...'. Okay, it's not the kind of four column inventory we do at Step 4, but taking an inventory on the stuff we should be doing, but aren't.

I still swear by the white board though. It's no good praying to God for potatoes if we haven't got a derogatory in our hands.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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Re: Procrastination

Post by Db1105 »

I found my procrastination's root was simply because I was lazy. It was no surprise when I stopped being lazy, my procrastination defect almost went away. I still have my moments.

One of the benefits of getting old is forgetfulness. So I write everything down and do it , so I don't forget.

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Re: Procrastination

Post by matthewrp »

My name is Matt and I've been an alcoholic addict for almost a decade. I've had bouts of sobriety throughout the years and Though I know my problem is with drugs and alcohol, I am fully aware that my underlying issues and personal flaws are what hold me back. For instance, I have always considered myself one of the biggest procrastinators I know. I will wait till the last second or even pass then to do the things that I need to do, to take care of the responsibilities I need to take care of. In the real world I'm a full-grown adult at 27 years old, but I still act like I'm 17 and not looking further than today. I've lost so many jobs because of procrastinating and being late, I've failed so many college courses from procrastinating. An alcoholic addict has so many character flaws, some self-aware and some not. Procrastination is definitely one of the worst of those that can hold us back in recovery. Something so hard wired in our brain is tough behavior to work out of. The last few days I've been focusing on simply trying to do things just a little bit sooner than I usually do, and I'm trying to get to places on time or early instead of always late. I needed to vent this out for my own sanity, so thank you. God bless.
One day at a time.

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Procrastination? Maybe see 'Think and Grow Rich'

Post by No.3 »

Why on earth would anyone recommend a 'not AA' self help book that has sold over 25 million copies?!
Why even bother, if it was written was first published in back in 1937?
Isn't it just a coincidence (!!!) that our BB borrows so many peculiar phrases, stylistic tropes, topics from Napoleon Hill's classic?

"More will be revealed."
FYI Hill's best-seller likewise borrowed generously from Frank Channing Haddock's The Culture of Courage; that title is free to read online, you can google the title.

If I understand how to use Hill's and Haddock's books, to get positive results you must:
1) precisely identify the Defect to be changed
2) practice autosuggestion, consciously deciding to embrace the Virtue (Opposite)
3) focus & exert willpower, to act yourself into the person you wish to become.

I've recommended the whiteboard to young sponsees many times. Almost none take that suggestion. "Got an app for that?"
"The Group demands total loyalty to the inner group. Some have had to leave the movement because of the Groups' demands which conflict with truth or duty." The Oxford Groups by Herbert H. Henson, 1933, pages 73-74.

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