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
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. ---
Message from Rita
WHEN YOU LIVE WITH A PROCRASTINATOR
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
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
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
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:
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.