May 2012
The Anticrastination Tip Sheet

From Rita Emmett
Author of The Procrastinator's Handbook,
The Clutter-Busting Handbook

Quotes for May

We do not stop playing because we grow old;
we grow old because we stop playing. --- Unknown

You will never find time for anything.
If you want time, you must make it. --- Charles Buxton

What gets rewarded gets done. --- Unknown

Unless each day can be looked back upon by an individual
as one in which he has had some fun,
some joy,
some real satisfaction,
that day is a loss.
--- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass
under the trees on a summer’s day,
listening to the murmur of water,
or watching the clouds float across the sky,
is by no means a waste of time.
--- Sir J. Lubbock

Message from Rita:
A Secret To Help You Stop Putting Off Stuff You Hate To Do

Here is an email exchange that you might find helpful.

Hey, Rita,
 Enjoyed "The Procrastinator's Handbook" cover-to-cover, and will be re-reading it immediately. I saved the 'Extra Credit' work for the second reading...

But I have a question: why do I procrastinate doing things that I love? I've had a spa gift certificate for more than 4 years, for example. I love swimming and have been to a pool and a beach once each this year.

It seems to me that I procrastinate what I enjoy at least as much as I procrastinate what I dislike, and I wonder if you've run across this before? Any suggestions or ideas or pointers to articles?

Thanks for all your suggestions --many of which are making a huge difference already!

Linda in Victoria, BC, Canada

Dear Linda,
You nailed it. Yes, you are right. Years ago when I first started giving seminars about procrastination, people put off what they hate to do. Now, the biggest change I've seen over the years is that they still put off what they hate to do, but they also put off what they love to do.

I hear it all the time -- people tell me
I love to read novels but I have so much other stuff to read... I haven't read a novel in a year.
or I love to go to the movies,
to concerts,
to plays,
to the museum,
to the zoo,
or spend time with my kids,
or my family,
or friends,
or God,
or myself,
or out in nature,
or with my favorite sport,
or favorite place,
or just loafing,
or listening to music,
or watching TV,
or reading magazines (even the trashy ones)
--- but haven't done it in ages. No time.

People put off time time to have fun, time to relax and time to make love.
Always because they are too busy.

So here is my suggestion.
This is a great solution especially if you have tried to find a reward that will get you to stop procrastinating and do something that you really don't enjoy doing.

What if you take one of the things you love to do (that you are not doing because of no time) and make THAT your reward.

"When I finish this big project, I will FINALLY use my spa certificate. Guilt free -- because it is a reward for FINALLY finishing my project.

Or "Today I'm allowed to MAKE time to go swimming because I spent one hour clutter-busting. And I can do it guilt free:"

Start bringing back into your life those things that you LOVE to do but have put off because you are too busy and use them as rewards. You will find that not only are you breaking the procrastination habit, but you also will feel more energized. Try it!

Thanks for writing. I enjoyed your thoughts.

A "Clutter Poem" from one of our perceptive readers

Cast Off

I am ready
to cast off

cast off coats
cast off cold
cast off the mask
of the outcast.

I am ready
to cast off

loose the line
rev the motor
slip into gear
and go.
Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 1996
On my CD, Full Blooming
Also in my book, As Easy as Breathing
(winner of a 2010 Eric Hoffer Award
Honorable mention: Self-help/ Spiritual)

Please share this Tip Sheet with 2 or 3 friends who would be interested. And feel free to use this message in your blog or newsletter, as long as you include my bio and contact info:

Rita Emmett
Author of The Procrastinator's Handbook,
The Clutter-Busting Handbook and
Manage Your Time to Reduce Your Stress: A Handbook for the Overworked, Overscheduled, and Overwhelmed
2331 Eastview
Des Plaines, IL 60018

No trees were destroyed in the sending of this message,
but a significant number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.