December 2013
The Anticrastination Tip Sheet
From Rita Emmett
Author of The Procrastinator's Handbook and
The Clutter-Busting Handbook

Quotes for December

Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are ~~ Marianne Williamson

The more I want to get something done,
the less I call it work. ~~ Richard Bach

God created company so the home gets cleaned. ~~ Rita Emmett

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...woo hoo...what a ride! ~~ Anonymous

Message from Rita

Dear Readers,
Last night it was foggy, rainy, icy and slick in the far suburbs of Chicago. We pulled over on what looked like a shoulder of the road, and the car slowly and almost softly slipped into a deep ditch. Bruce had been driving only a week since his knee replacement surgery five weeks ago, but it wasn't due to his driving or his knee. It was poor visibility and super-slick mud.

The car was tilted to my side, so the door couldn't open, and for Bruce on the "high side" it would mean climbing up and out of the car but the door kept slamming shut on him. I slithered through the window, but the bank of the ditch was so high, steep and slippery with mud and ice, that I kept sliding back.

At least 5 cars stopped to lend a hand. Two guys helped me to the top of the ditch, then one lost his footing and slid down. The other guy & I helped him up. Three of them held the door for Bruce and helped him up and out. They all stayed with us till a police car arrived. Then these kind, helpful, angelic souls continued on their way and the cop drove Bruce over and around to my side of the ditch.

It took two huge platform trucks and a tow truck to pull the car out. It didn't run, and our good pals, Cliff and Cathy, who we planned to join for dinner, came to our rescue and drove us home. Nobody was hurt, it wasn't traumatic or horrible. In fact, it was kind of exciting and watching the 3 trucks pull the car out from way down below was pretty amazing.

But it sort of rattled thoughts in my mind and when those thoughts settled, there was clarity. An "awakening". As I sat down to the computer this morning for a final proof reading of the Tip Sheet I was ready to send out about streamlining holiday decorating, I decided to toss it or maybe use next year.
Instead, I want to share some of my "thoughts from down in a ditch". (but if you're interested in help with decorating, I'll include at the end a very cool email with ideas from one of our perceptive readers.)


Sometimes, at this time of year, people feel so overwhelmed with all they have to do, that they dread the holidays instead of thinking of this as a joyful time.

Sometimes people focus so much on decorating and buying gifts to make people happy, that the stress and tension of all the work makes them cranky and they snap at the people they are trying to make happy.

Sometimes, all the "things-to-do" keep people from connecting … so that there is not a spare moment to play with a kid, or visit with a friend, or spend time with family or have a snowball fight. (Reminder: I'm writing from the Chicago area. Snowball fights are not simply tradition; they are compulsory.)

Sometimes people are so swamped that during the season of giving they don't have any chance to pause and think of the person going through their first holiday without a loved one, or the spouse of someone serving in the military who is trying to be mom & dad to the kids, or the friend's first time away from home for the holidays or that lonely neighbor who doesn't have anyone to celebrate with.

Sometimes people want dearly to celebrate the spiritual meaning of the holiday, but are so busy there is not one spare minute to pray or meditate or pause for a few quiet moments in their place of worship.

And so, here's hoping this can be a reminder that magic memories of holidays seldom have anything to do with all those "things-to-do". People remember times with others. They remember connections. They remember kindness and caring. Most people remembering happy holidays often don't even remember the gifts they received.

What can you do for yourself to make this a holiday you enjoy?
Need to streamline or omit some things?
Need to add something important to you? Maybe quite time or time connecting with someone special or time simply doing something you love to do? (snowballs anyone??)
May you find time this year to not only count your blessings, but to actually enjoy your blessings.
We celebrate Christmas, so to our friends all over the world who read this Tip Sheet, Bruce and I, and our Dream Team of Mickey, Maria, Deb, and Erik extend to you and your loved ones our best wishes for a

Vrolijke Kersttmis
Joyeux Noel
Froeliche Wihnachten
Kinga Shinnen
Ichok Yilara
Glaedelig Jul
Felice Pascuas Boldog
Karacsonyi Unnepeket
Feliz Navidad
Sarbatori Felicite
Tin Hao Nian
Felice Natale
Glad Julen
Boas Festas
Wesloych Swiat
Veselele Vanoche
Sretan Bozic
Mele Kalikimaka
Nollag shona dhuit
Merry Christmas

& a Joyful, Peaceful, Loving, Healthy, Prosperous New Year!

DECORATING LITE: Tips from a Perceptive Reader

Hi Rita,
I've finally tamed the holiday procrastination monster, at least when it comes to Christmas decorations. A couple of years ago I finally organized my decorations after being inspired by one season of putting out just a small amount. I organized that group of decorations in one big plastic storage box called "Christmas Lite". This year I was able to bring it up from the basement, unpack, and decorate in just under two hours.

Here's the key: I had to forgive myself for not using ALL the other decorations. My husband was proud and impressed that we had a "plug and play" Christmas. There will be other years when I have the time and energy to do more decorations, but until then, I'm very happy with "Chirstmas Lite".

Wishing you the very best holiday season, Rita,

Oh, and the house is getting cleaned and a few "honey-do" projects done because out of town relatives are visiting for the your quote about "God created company so the home gets cleaned"! So true!~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

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.