The Anticrastination Tip Sheet
From Rita Emmett
Author of The Procrastinator's Handbook and
The Clutter-Busting Handbook
Being happy doesn't mean everything's perfect. It means you've
decided to see beyond the imperfections! ~~ Helen Keller
Ring the bells
that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack
That's how the light gets in. ~~ Leonard Cohen
If what I say resonates with you, it is merely because we are both
branches on the same tree. ~~William Butler Yeats
Message from Rita
SYSTEM FOR PACKING
Did you ever think that your life, your hobby, your taste in music, or
interests or something like that is perfectly normal, until you look at
it through the eyes of an outsider …. and you recognize a fact? This
might not be "normal" for everyone.
Last month, I wrote about a super-busy time of my life and gave several
tips that helped me get through and keep my sanity. They covered all
kinds of what-I-thought-were-normal activities, including streamlining
conference calls, omitting radio interviews, having systems in place so
I don't forget anything when packing to travel, and most brilliant of
all, informing our kids that no one is allowed to have a crisis while
I'm on the road. (Note: My kids are normal … which means … once again…
they didn't listen to me.)
Then an email arrived from a Perceptive Reader that said, "This really
does not apply to normal life or help with normal demands." And it
helped me realize that offering a tip of "omitting radio interviews"
might possibly NOT be something for everyone.
Yet on the other hand, many people (who might lead other-than-normal
lives) emailed to tell me how helpful they were. The biggest request
from many was "Rita, you say you have systems in place for packing to
make the process quick but complete so as not to forget anything.
SO if it's not normal for you to have to pack for trips, skip the rest
of this Tip Sheet or adapt this for your vacation travel. And I promise
to shoot for "normality" next month.
SYSTEMS FOR PACKING
- Every-Trip Necessities
- Reading bag
- Uniform for plane
- Lists for long trips
In our smallest roll-along, I keep 3 containers/small bags. Even if
we're not using that piece of luggage, I always make sure the first
things packed are these three:
- any liquids or tubes of less than 3 oz. go in a zip lock
bag to get through airport security.
- a small bag of pain reliever, cold meds, aspirin, stuff
- small zippered container with duplicates of everything
else I use for daily living (toothbrush, Q-tips, chap stick, comb,
deodorant, nail clippers, small scissors, etc.)
Canvas bag contains a book, magazines, spiral notebook and pen. It can
go in a roll-along or be carried separately. For some reason, I write
pretty good stuff while traveling.
If they announce at the airport the plane will be delayed, some people
moan, some get angry, I think "Oh good. I can finish that chapter". On
the back page of the notebook, I enter thoughts on things to do or
reminders for anything in the "Necessities" bags (above) that needs
UNIFORM FOR PLANE
This seems silly, but I used to feel overwhelmed with all the decisions
to be made when packing so now my decisions about what to wear on the
plane are automatic. When traveling, I want to be comfortable but need
to be in something that I can wear on stage to give a talk just in case
my luggage is lost. So I came up with a "uniform".
- good quality slacks, always black in case I spill when the
plane hits a bump in the air.
- black high-quality tee shirts I bought from Travel Smith
that never show stains or wrinkles & can be easily washed & dried in
a hotel room if needed.
- over that, a short sleeved shirt with buttons (I have them in
several colors). If plane is too cold, can take off and use as a
blanket to cover my arms, but I don't wear long sleeves cuz' the
plane might be too warm..
These 3 pieces give me a lot of versatility while at my destination
-- everything from going for a walk to meeting with the client the night
before the talk or even for working out.
- one more thing. In spite of all the travel I do, I'm still
a bit of a fearful flyer. So I don't wear heels or even dressy
flats; I wear black walking shoes. Why? Because when flying, I don't
dress for fashion, I dress to be able to scramble out of a plane and
survive a crash. (Did you not pay attention? Fearful Flyer here)
This uniform, along with the "Every-Trip Necessities" eliminate the
need for a ton of packing decisions. So I finally stopped feeling
LISTS FOR LONG TRIPS
Here's where you might suspect a bit of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
(Well, I've already admitted I'm not normal, so why not come clean that
this, too, is a bit weird.)
Days before a vacation, I set up a file on the computer and every time I
think of something I might need, I jot it down. When time to pack
arrives, I edit out anything I can live without, and it is so much
easier to pack with a list. It eliminates the feelings of panic that I
might forget something outrageously important and diminishes that
Hope you find something that's helpful, especially those of you who feel
overwhelmed when packing. Above all, realize even with these tips, your
packing might not be perfect. The best you can shoot for is hope that
whatever you forget isn't all that important.
Bruce's Knee Replacement
Thank you all who wrote about Bruce's knee replacement surgery that was
briefly mentioned in last month's Tip Sheet. So many of you have been
through this yourselves and advised him to do his exercises ahead of
time (he didn't) and warned me that he might be cranky (he is) and
encouraged that the rehabilitation process will end eventually (Will it?
Really? REALLY? Promise???)
He is doing very well, great attitude and hobbling around with a cane
and sometimes a walker. Thank you for sending your positive thoughts,
good wishes and prayers. That means a great deal to both of us.
Subj: I finished my assignments!
This is Laurie from the Procrastination talk you gave yesterday. I just
wanted to let you know I finished the two things that were hanging over
my head. I feel so accomplished right now. You really solved the problem
of procrastination for me. Seriously. With other self-help books or
seminars, it's always just a goal to beat something. It's like a
difficult process that you can't quite achieve. But with your advice,
procrastination is beaten. It's not going to control me anymore. Your
STING idea really leaves no room for failure.
Thank you so much for coming to our group. You were so warm and funny,
and your advice is so practical. I wish you all the best.
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.