The March 2010 Anticrastination Tip Sheet
From Rita Emmett
Author of The Procrastinator's Handbook and
The Clutter-Busting Handbook


Quotes for March

We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depths of our answers. -- Carl Sagan

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore -- Andre Gide

It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new -- Alan Cohen

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear -- Ambrose Redmoon

Message from Rita

Clutter Courage

When I give talks based on my book The Clutter-Busting Handbook, I ask “Why do we keep things we don’t need or use?” and although the audiences are always different, their answers tend to be the same, such as:

  • I’m afraid if I throw it away, I might need it later. (OR if I know that I will NEVER need it, but SOMEbody SOMEwhere on this planet at SOME place in time might need it….. so I’m in charge of hanging on to it)
  • It was a gift.
  • What if it comes back in style some day?
  • It’s been handed down in our family. (or I’m saving it for my kids)
  • It is too expensive to get rid of.
  • I’m a collector.
  • I’m just afraid to throw stuff away.

Each response to my questions simply sounds hollow and nonsensical when we hear it said out loud, start asking questions about it, and come up with realistic answers. Most of these responses are based on scarcity thinking (If I need it later I will NEVER be able to find it or to afford it)or guilt (If someone ever needs this and I threw it out, it means I wasn’t kind to them -- not thoughtful – and they won’t like me)

The solution is to shift to abundance thinking (if I ever need this, I will have what it takes to get it, but I know I can never need ALL this stuff, so let’s pass it on.) And when you stop wallowing in guilt, you stop living up to your unreasonable expectation of yourself to be able to provide “stuff” for everyone in this universe who needs it.

Next - a few words to collectors. DO YOU KNOW YOU CAN STOP??? I hear people tell me they can hardly move in their place because of all their stuff. Then I ask, “Why do you keep bringing in more?” They look at me as if I’m demented. “Because we’re collectors.”

A friend told me her daughter’s room was over-run with stuffed animals. I asked if she needed help getting rid of any of them. She replied, “Well, she can’t. She collects them.” YOU ARE ALLOWED TO STOP COLLECTING!

Sometimes people are simply afraid to get rid of something. Fear is odd, isn’t it? What are you afraid of? You know, courage does not mean to be without fear, it means to be terrified but do the right thing anyway. Do the thing that scares you. It is time to become courageous.

Then pat yourself on the back for having “Clutter Courage”.



That’s right. Every time she’s going to be on TV, she can’t sleep for weeks ahead of time.

If you have access to Chicago TV, she will be talking about how to prevent burn-out based on her book Manage Your Time to Reduce Your Stress: A Handbook for the Overworked, Overscheduled, and Overwhelmed on:

ABC-TV Chicago (Channel 7)
Sunday, March 14 at
11:00 am CST
The show is “Chicagoing” with Bill Campbell


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