June 2013
The Anticrastination Tip Sheet

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

Quotes for June

Remember that lost time does not return. -- Thomas A Kempis

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right! -- Henry Ford

Humans need order in their lives to function at their best.
The order of our days in many ways gives us our images of ourselves. --- L. Tornabene

Message from Rita


A perceptive reader recently asked a two-part question about living with a person who procrastinates. First, how do you change people who put off everything and won't get rid of anything, even though they agree it should go?
She wrote of having storage units for years, piled-up useless stuff in the garage, and maintaining un-needed & unused items that eat money, and she asked for tips for a peaceful resolve.

Second, is there a danger that it will "rub off" on you and turn you into a putting-off person?

Her questions are great and fairly common because I've heard from many of you with the same issues. The big problem about it is that we don't have the power to change anyone else but ourselves. So you will probably never get those procrastinators to change. BUT if they ever decide they WANT to, then get them a copy of The Procrastinator's Handbook. (End of commercial)

Next, when it comes to tons of tasks that are being ignored, only you can figure out "what you can get away with". If you want to keep your sanity, you need to decide what is important to you, then use some creative problem solving and figure out what YOU can do about it.

Our neighbor could not stand that her husband put off mowing the lawn till the grass was almost knee high. So she hired a lawn service for $25 per week, and canceled their Friday night pizza/salad. When her hubby complained about missing pizza, she reminded him that money was going for the lawn guys but then she made a big deal of going BACK to pizza night from Nov. to March (too cold in Chicago area for grass to grow)
In April, the grass started to grow again, the lawn guys started up again, no more pizza night. This went on for two summers.

Guess what. This past summer he started mowing the lawn and no more need for lawn guys. Now I think most people would NOT "convert" this easily, but would just keep complaining about missing pizza. However, it worked for that couple and this might inspire you to think of something that fits your situation.

Many times, procrastinators agree to get rid of stuff but never get around to it. If the garage, the storage units or any cluttered place are truly important to you, consider the possibility of "sneaking" out a few boxes each month and just dump them or donate them. If they've been there for years and nobody needed anything in the boxes, then just open a box and glance inside. Why bother spending hours going through it? If you are saying to yourself "I can't do that" go back to the quotes at the top and ponder what Henry Ford had to say.

If you go through boxes for one hour every week, in two months time you will start to see progress, and in six months time you will see a change in that cluttered space. If you are paying for storage units that are filled with things you don't need or use, and you don't even know what is in there, then that's where I'd start. Why pay hard-earned cash to store stuff you never need and sometimes you never even "visit"?

Solutions to living with procrastinators vary -- some people take over doing the work themselves, some "sneak" stuff out & get rid of it without the other person ever noticing it, and some hire a person to do the work and take the money out of some "luxury" like pizza night.

If the person you live with MUST have clutter, then set boundaries. After much discussion (and weeping & wailing & gnashing of teeth), my" King of Clutter Husband" agreed that he will keep his clutter out of the living areas of the house, but can have all he wants in his office, model railroad room (that's right, I'm married to a train nut) parts of the bedroom and parts of the garage. We are both happy with this. I maintain my sanity because I never go in his office or train room, and avoid looking at his stacks of stuff in the bedroom.

The important thing is, don't let THAT person's procrastination become YOURS. If you live with a procrastinator and want to start getting things done, there is help. Seriously, I'm not pushing book sales. You don't have to BUY my books, but you need to read them. Go to the library, get a copy of The Procrastinator's Handbook, and read it. THEN read The Clutter-Busting Handbook. Those books will help you move forward and "resist" joining those people in becoming a pack rat or procrastinator yourself.

And once you take charge, and figure out ways to get around what they are procrastinating about, you will start to get clear space in your living area, start to get chores done and accomplish goals, and clutter will begin to disappear. And you will feel terrific. You will start to feel more control in your life, no more guilt or embarrassment over how cluttered your home is, you can actually FIND what you are looking for, and -- there's no guarantee but -- most people report they feel a new energy and vitality.

You can't change that other person, but you can change you -- and that will lead to huge changes in your life. You don't deserve to live with unfinished jobs and clutter everywhere. Once you take charge, you'll find that your home … and your life ….will become less chaotic and more enjoyable.
No sense putting it off. NOW is the perfect time to begin.

Chicago Area Folks -- Want To Meet Rita In Person?
Rita is doing a fundraiser (2 seminars & a book-signing) for the IBVM Sisters at Loretto Convent in Wheaton, Illinois.
Saturday, June 22
1:30 - 2:45 Blast Away Procrastination
3:00 - 4:15 Got Clutter??
$20 per session or $35 for both programs
To Register & for directions, call Loretto Center at 630-653-7918
You will love the beauty of the Convent & surrounding land. Come & have a fun afternoon learning to break the procrastination and clutter habits plus contribute to a great cause.


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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