The Anticrastination Tip Sheet
From Rita Emmett
Author of The Procrastinator's Handbook and
The Clutter-Busting Handbook
Quotes for August
Time is not measured
by the passing of years
but by what one does,
how one feels,
and what one achieves.
God created company so the home gets cleaned. --- Rita Emmett
Time wasted is existence;
Time used is life.
--- Edward Young
Message from Rita
Our last two Tip Sheets covered what is "Hypocritical Procrastination"
and what to do about it. Here is another facet of that phenomenon. It's
Did you ever look around and wonder "Where the heck did the morning
go?"And sometimes you don't know where the whole day went and you don't
have a clue what you did … because …. um …. it seems that … you sorta
did… nothing? It's not like being a ship without a rudder; it's more
like being a ship without a destination. Some drifters start several
jobs and never finish any; others putter around without really
Drifting occurs under a variety of circumstances - when you're
depressed, have too much on your mind, are feeling overwhelmed, are
distracted or excited, or you haven't planned what to do with your time.
It most frequently occurs during unstructured time.
What's that? Well, if you were living a day of totally structured time,
you would know the precise moment to wake up in the morning, when to eat
breakfast, and when to leave for work. You would know what time to start
work, take breaks, and be finished for the day, and after that, the
precise moment of whatever your evening routine is. We don't usually
find ourselves drifting during a highly structured day. It's those
unstructured days that tend to do us in.
Imagine a day of totally unstructured time. No alarm goes off because
you have nothing planned. You get out of bed whenever you want; there's
no reason to get dressed. You kind of hope the phone will ring soon, so
you'll have an idea if anything is going to happen today.
Most of us live our days somewhere in between these extremes. Or we
bounce from fairly structured workdays to fairly unstructured weekends.
Some people function fine in either type of time schedule, while others
deal better with one than the other. Many who are high achievers and
never, ever procrastinate during the structured time at work, fall into
patterns of "drifting" (and procrastinating) during unstructured time at
home. And you know who you are, don't you?
Some occupations are particularly unstructured, such as homemakers,
clergy, real estate and insurance agents, and people who work out of
their homes. If they are prone to drifting, these people can find
themselves wandering in circles and never getting anything done for
several days at a time. Unstructured occupations call for more target
deadlines, more planning, more dedication to list-making and
prioritizing, and definitely more anticrastinating than a more
structured situation might need. But every occupation and life
circumstance has those goofy little pockets of time where people can
The beginning of a cure for drifting is to recognize it. "Eureka! I'm
drifting." The next step is to gear-up and finish one task. Just as the
saying goes, "Success breeds success," so too "Failure breeds failure,"
and looking back at a lump of time spent on uncompleted tasks can make
you feel like a failure and, sometimes, cause you to act like one.
In addition, realize that half-done tasks can create more work. For
example, we used to have a grumpy cat who loved to roll around and
wallow in freshly washed and dried laundry. If I didn’t put away the
clothes before the cat got to them, I not only had to wash everything
over again, but I, too, would get grumpy and feel like a loser for not
putting everything away when I should have.
Try this: every day, write on a post-it the six most important things
you want to accomplish that day. Smack it where you can see it from
where you work. Then, when you get interrupted, (and you know you will)
and lose your focus, you will see those six in front of you and perhaps
-- instead of turning to facebook or texting or other forms of drifting
-- be inspired to get back to what is important ... such as … oh … I
dunno…. maybe work.
Drifting is a style of procrastination that not only wastes time and
prevents us from getting things done, it also undermines our sense of
self-worth, leaving us feeling stupid and disorganized … and grumpy.
Watch out for it. Catch yourself when you're drifting. Turn yourself
around by finishing one task. Then another. Then another.
I am always interested in Before and After photos of your
clutter-busting projects. I have no idea what I would do with them, but
if you have some good ones, please send them . I promise to neatly file
them and not let them clutter up my computer …or office.
Attention: Authors in the Chicago Area
Frequently people call me asking about writing a book or getting
published. They -- and I -- don't have the hours and hours it would take
to explain what they need to know.
So here's my Weird Idea: I am inviting 5 to 7 authors to my home in Des
Plaines for one or two full days of personalized, in-depth information
on becoming a successful author.
We've done this before and it helped people to buckle down and finish
their books. Here is what one attendee said:
This course is the "meat and potatoes" of book writing that every
aspiring author should know. Rita uses her own experience in becoming a
best selling, international author to present a practical plan that can
be modified to work no matter your genre or writing style. She doesn't
pull any punches either; we learned what to do, what not to do and what
to look out for so we don't get caught in the traps and schemes that
target new authors. -- Brenda
Here is a sample of some of what we will cover:
Saturday, September 8
10:00 AM till 4:00 PM
- strategies to stop procrastinating about writing your book
- a super-fast way to write & complete your book quickly and
- a system-that-works to MAKE time to write your book
- ten things you can do to jump-start your writing when you
start to slow down
- a simple, quick way to lay out your book, especially for
people who hate outlining and won’t do it (clue: They won’t have to)
- a great way to organize your ideas & feel confident you
have included everything (People LOVE this.)
- a process to spot when you are sabotaging yourself
- the pros and cons of deciding whether to self publish or
- five secrets to start thinking like an author
- a trick to keep from "forgetting" about your book when
life gets crazy & you tuck it away
Saturday, September 15
10:00 AM till 4:00 PM
- how to either find help & resources to self publish or get
an agent/publisher interested in you
- why you might want an agent &how to select an honest,
ethical, hardworking one
- how to write a query and proposal quickly and easily
- why you never have to be afraid or intimidated about
writing a proposal
- what is a platform and how to develop one
- five promotion secrets to help you sell tons of books
- how to get endorsements from celebrities and best-selling
- how to be brilliant on radio & TV interviews (I will tell
you what it was like being interviewed by Katie Couric)
Trying to cover all this in hourly coaching sessions every week would
be difficult and not as effective (plus this will be a lot cheaper than
The cost is $79.97 each or both for $137
Cost for one Saturday covers:
list of resources
afterwards you will be allowed to join our Exclusive Author's Master
We meet by phone once a month, I am always on the call, and each meeting
we answer questions and writers offer to read each other's work. Also,
every month we set a goal for the next meeting and report on last
This is for serious writers only. If you have not decided what you want
to write about, this is not for you. To register, reply either via email
or call 847-699-9950.
Also, if enough out-of-towners are interested, in the future I can offer
these two sessions back to back, so that in one (two-day) trip, you can
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:
Author of The Procrastinator's Handbook,
The Clutter-Busting Handbook and
Manage Your Time to Reduce Your Stress: A Handbook for the Overworked, Overscheduled,
Des Plaines, IL 60018
No trees were destroyed in the sending of this message,
but a significant number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.