March 2014
The Anticrastination Tip Sheet
From Rita Emmett
Author of The Procrastinator's Handbook and
The Clutter-Busting Handbook

If one advances confidently, in the direction of
his own dreams and endeavors
to lead the life which he has imagined,
he will meet with a success
unexpected in common hours. ~~ Henry David Thoreau

What you are is God’s gift to you;
What you make of yourself
is your gift to God. ~~ Unknown

Some of us have great runways already built for us,
so if you have one - TAKE OFF.
If you don’t, grab a shovel and build one. ~~ Amelia Earhart

Message from Rita

Dear Readers,
During the recent Olympics, a Kellogg's commercial opened with the line "The Impossible dream is the one we never begin."

We procrastinate about a myriad of things both big and little - errands, tasks, gifts, moving (up, down or out), relationships, phone calls, deadlines - but one of the most common (and saddest) areas we put off is our dreams.

Tucked away in a secret corner of our hearts is that college degree or that business to start or that piano to play or that mountain to climb or that book to write. They are all being put off until...someday.

When you pursue your dreams you tap into an unlimited source of energy and enthusiasm. When you don't pursue your dreams, there is a sadness and a sense of "I wonder what would have happened if I had...."

A seminar attendee who works with senior citizens told us that the majority of people who have reached the winter of their lives seldom regret the things they've done, no matter how stupid or nutty. But they do regret the things they never tried, the dreams they never followed.

John Greenleaf Whittier wrote:
For of all sad words
of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these,
"It might have been."

When people take stock of their lives and come up feeling empty, it's often because they have procrastinated in choosing the direction they wanted their lives to go. They got lost in the busy ness of day to day routines and put off scheduling time for fun, joy, relationships and future goals. They’ve lost touch with their dreams.
Have you put off relationships, hopes, dreams?
Have you put off fun, relaxation, joy?
Have you put off having a life?

Maybe you find yourself saying, "But my dream is to travel and I can't afford it."

Our son and his family set a goal two years ago to travel to Ireland. He, his wife and all the kids have been focused on this dream -- talking about it, budgeting and saving for it.

Our daughter-in-law, Misha, is a brilliant researcher and last year found cottages they can stay in for one third the cost of hotel rooms. Meantime they've been haunting web sites and found a great sale on airfare.

This trip is already partially paid for, it will cost much less than they thought it would two years ago, and meantime the kids have been researching all kinds of historic sites to go to. It's been so much fun planning that one day Misha said to me, "Is there a chance that the trip itself won't be as much fun as the planning is?"
(By the way, if you are thinking that I'm jealous of their trip…. um….no….because …. we are going, too. It's our dream-come-true to travel with our kids….. We just didn't want to pay for them!)

So the first steps are to IDENTIFY your dream and then DECIDE to make it happen. Many dreams (including dreams of travel) have come true once the decision is made. Author and speaker Anthony Robbins says, “It is in the moment of decision that your destiny is shaped.”

A dream isn't the sort of thing that can be written on your "List of Things to Do Today." Dreams usually involve all kinds of different segments: investigating, learning, gathering, planning, budgeting, saving, setting up, doing. Start by answering the following question:
Can I break down my dream into smaller components?

Dreams can be overwhelming but when you start making a list of all the little tasks involved, you may find that at least one part of it is manageable at this time in your life.

A friend Kathy, when she was a young mother of three pre schoolers, realized that she couldn't possibly become a full-time college student with all the demands of her family. So she set a goal to take just one college class each semester. By the time her youngest child started first grade, Kathy had already completed almost two years of college.

Maybe you don't have time to learn to play the piano right now, but you could find time to shop for a piano or have yours tuned or start checking around for a good piano teacher.

Maybe you don't have time to become a writer right now, but you could find time to join a Writers' Group, or take a class in creative writing or how to promote your writing.

Tackling your dreams could become gloriously satisfying, but also could be a mighty big endeavor. Since making your dreams come true can be life-changing and sometimes can turn your world upside down, perhaps it's a bit too humongous a topic to cover in one Tip Sheet.

Let's continue this next month where we will explore ways to find time to pursue your dreams when you are already overworked, overscheduled and overwhelmed.

Meantime, give some thought to those dreams that maybe periodically surface or maybe have been pushed aside. Do you have an "impossible dream" that maybe… just maybe … might be possible? SO now:

Identify your dream.
Make the decision that you will make it a reality.
Next, write a list of the small steps it would take to get started.

Tune in next month for more ideas and encouragement on how to carve out time for this. (And to add support, take a look at the offer below.)
This can be the beginning of a great adventure. Do you STILL think yours is an "Impossible Dream"?


Dear Rita,
I cannot go another day without taking time to say "thank you". Your books have changed how I live my life, schedule my days, clean my house, prioritize my responsibilities and even the number of hours that I sleep.

I read The Procrastinator's Handbook. What's so different about your books is that I keep rereading them. The one huge, life-changer for me has been the idea of scheduling rewards along the way when dreaded tasks are finally done.

This brings me to my next reason for writing. I remember you shared how you even procrastinated in writing your first book. All I could think about was... "What if you never got it done?" I would still be stuck on the treadmill of life! So, indirectly you have inspired me to revisit my personal goals from years back... publish a CD and also write a book.

Do you have any tips to share with me as I embark on this dream? Please know you have been a blessing to me just by doing what you love with excellence! Please, keep writing!
God Bless You,
Cheryl Johnson
Atlanta, GA
Dear Readers,
For Cheryl (who already read our books) I recommended THE PROCRASTINATOR'S GUIDE TO AUTHORSHIP online course. But to encourage YOU to pour some Anticrastination ideas into your mind, we have a special offer.

You will receive a FREE CD "Blast Away Procrastination" with the purchase of any two books, CD's or DVD's on our web site. The CD is of me giving a talk on Procrastination to a group of teachers.
Our hope is that you will not only purchase those two items, but that you will actually NOT procrastinate in using them. And that they will move you closer to fulfilling your "Impossible Dream".

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.