October 2013
The Anticrastination Tip Sheet

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

Quotes for October

Live simply so that others might simply live. -- anonymous

Clutter isn’t just the stuff in your closet. It’s anything that gets between you and the life that you want to be living, whether its in your home, in your head, in your heart or on your hips. — Peter Walsh
Message from Rita


During this past month, I gave talks and presented seminars in St. Louis, Albuquerque, New Orleans and two in the Chicago area.
Was it stressful?

Why? Because I knew ahead of time what my schedule would be and I put in place some steps to simplify life. Usually I'm writing about how to simplify by getting rid of clutter, but in this instance, it wasn't just clutter-busting THINGS, it was also a clutter-busting of my calendar.

Hubby Bruce -- who is my partner in every level of life --- is having a knee replacement soon, so he is hobbling around and not in a position to do much. (all the more reason to streamline)

There are a few things around the house I usually do to streamline during busy times

  • since we don't have clutter in our house, it is sort of "self-cleaning"
  • we ate simple meals or ate out more frequently than usual
  • I have systems in place for wrapping up the talk I just finished and preparing for the next one
  • when packing and unpacking for a trip, I have systems in place to make the process quick but complete so I don't forget anything.
  • I love gardening and find it very relaxing and invigorating, but if I have only a few days available to tend to it it's not fun to be forced to maintain our plants when I can't give them the time they deserve. So because September is usually super busy for most professional speakers including me, a few years ago, I started to plant autumn perennials that don't need a lot of attention. Added to that, I've learned to use mulch wisely for water retention and weed prevention, so I can sit and enjoy looking at our yard without feeling guilty that I'm not working it.

But it is clutter-busting the calendar that helped the most, so we:

  • planned no social activities for last month. But the month before, we had cook-outs and gatherings with several family and friends so we didn't feel "disconnected" during the month when I wasn't available
  • made sure to not agree to any deadlines for that particular month
  • cut down on extra meetings and phone conferences. Even those times I WOULD be in town and available to attend, I needed that extra time just to unpack, re-pack, do laundry, prep the next talk, and recharge my battery, so I told people ahead of time to not plan on my participation.
  • just zipped through emails & social media. I didn't reply or make comments to any unless absolutely necessary. It might seem un-friendly on my part, but doing this saves literally hours each week.
  • alerted our kids that nobody is allowed to have a crisis while I'm on the road
  • didn't even schedule any radio interviews. Even though most radio programs are easy and pretty convenient to do, I just needed to see some empty space on my calendar.
  • Bruce & I made sure we have some quality time together so we don't feel like two ships passing in the night.

And last but not least, I'm giving myself permission to send you a shorter-than-usual Tip Sheet.

Everyone has times in their lives where it feels as if the world is spinning faster than usual, whether it's the holidays or out-of-town company or a crazy-busy time at work or whatever.

So I ask you, our Perceptive Readers, what are YOUR favorite ways to streamline your life during those tiring, demanding or hectic times? Send us your favorite "survival tips" and we'll pick a few to share with our readers.
After all, NOW is the time to enjoy life (every day).

WANT TO MEET RITA IN PERSON? (in the Chicago area)
Rita will be among the 30 selected authors at
IBAM (Irish Books Art & Music)
Sat & Sun. Oct. 12 & 13
Irish American Heritage Center
4626 North Knox Avenue in Chicago.
There will be tons of activities going on, including workshops, panel discussions, song and dance, artists, authors to chat with and have books signed and a Samuel Beckett exhibit. Rita will be in the Authors' Section both days, and giving a talk on "GOT CLUTTER?" at 4:00 PM on Saturday. So check out the web at www.IBAMChicago.com and see if something interests you. IBAM offers plenty of opportunities to chat with Rita and she LOVES meeting her Perceptive Readers. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

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.