June 2012
The Anticrastination Tip Sheet

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

Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he or she is supposed to be doing at the moment --- Robert Benchley

It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants.
The question is: What are we busy about? --- Henry David Thoreau

Beware the barrenness of a too busy life. --- Socrates

Message from Rita

Procrastination is a game - a game of putting off, delaying, ignoring, forgetting, simply not thinking about what you want to avoid doing. And one way many people play the game is with a style I call "Hypocritical Procrastination." It happens those times you have something important to do or you’ll be in big trouble. But you don't want to do it.

You can't put it off by simply being lazy because the task is too important. No, you couldn't face yourself or others if you procrastinated for no good reason; so you put it off by doing something noble instead.

Here's an example. Back in my procrastination days, I was assigned a typing job for a committee I served on. I hate to type - never took a typing course, use the Biblical method, "Seek and ye shall find", make a lot of mistakes, get frustrated, hate it.

After typing a while, I wandered into the kitchen to get a cup of coffee. Heading back to my dreaded typing chore, I noticed something purple on the kitchen wall - maybe grape jelly, surely grape something. I have no idea how long it had been there. I grabbed a bottle of cleanser and squirted that purple blob right off the wall. The result? A very bright, very obvious, very clean spot on my not-so-clean kitchen wall.

I tried to blend in that clean spot with the rest of the wall; I figured if I "feathered" the dirt just right, I could eliminate that line of demarcation. It didn't work.

So I poured the cleanser into a bucket and washed all the kitchen walls and ceiling. Later that evening, a committee member called to ask me how the typing was going.

"How could I type that roster when I’ve spent all day on my hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen ceiling & walls?” I said, hypocritically. I couldn't have faced myself or anyone else if I had put off my typing duty in order to watch TV or take a nap, but it was okay because I had been busy doing something else that was… um…. important.

Most of us play this game of “Hypocritical Procrastination” unconsciously, and we have endless variations, such as the "Travelers". That is -- people who decided they have some very important chores to do elsewhere. Or they travel elsewhere hoping to find some very important chores to do. They'll travel anywhere: to the coffeepot, to the fax machine, to the basement, to the stock room, to the garage, to the mailbox. If they're near an elevator, they'll go up or down it. If they're near a window, they'll open or close it. If they're near a pencil, they travel till they find a place to sharpen it. If they are near food, they eat. If they are not near food, they keep traveling until they land near food ... then they eat.

If you don't resonate with this so far, here are a few more “Hypocritical” Games

  •  Shuffling through the same papers or clutter over and over
  •  Playing computer games
  •  Facebook, texting,
  •  Long chatty telephone interruptions which aren’t important to you
  •  Lingering with unexpected visitors who aren’t important to you
  •  Surfing the Web
  •  Attending unnecessary meetings
  •  Working aimlessly without objectives, priorities or deadlines
  •  Saying “yes” when you should say “no”
  •  Doing things that don’t need to be done (or that somebody else could do)
  •  Preparing way more than is necessary
  •  Working without a to-do list (no focus, no priorities)

To make a long Tip Sheet short, no solutions today. You get a whole month to ponder and see if you recognize any "Hypocritical Procrastination" in your life. Next month we will tackle solutions to break this sabotaging habit.


Here is your special link to a FREE audio download of a radio interview about Kids and Clutter.

FOR OUR TIP SHEET READERS THIS DOWNLOAD IS FREE FOR THE MONTH OF JUNE Click Here to download or copy and paste this link into your browser:


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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

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