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

"Dreaming about a future you would like to experience is all fine and good, but don't forget it is the decisions you are making on a daily basis, right now, that determine if you will, in fact, be in a better position to experience that desired future." ~Jeffrey Brand

The only thing people regret is that they didn't live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn't love enough. Nothing else really counts at all. ~~ Ted Hughes, British Poet Laureate

Message from Rita

Here's the problem…. I'm Irish …. it is beyond me to imagine that ANYONE in the world doesn't like a good poem once in a while. So I feel optimistically certain you will enjoy this one by Edgar Guest:


He was born to be all a mortal could be –
None should be stronger or braver than he –
A friend who was troubled and weary, he knew,
Who’d be glad of a lift – and needed it too
On him he would call to see what he could do –

Each morning he’d stack up the letters he’d write –
And he thought of the friends he’d fill with delight –
It was too bad indeed he was busy today
And hadn’t a moment to stop on his way
More time I’ll give to the others he’d say –

The greatest of workers this man would have been –
And the world would have known him had he ever seen --
But the fact is, he died and faded from view
And all that was left here when living was through
Was a mountain of things he intended to do –

When we have regrets because we procrastinated, it is often because we never MADE THE DECISION to do whatever it is that we regret.

People say "I always wanted to …
… return to school
… learn a musical instrument
… switch jobs
… volunteer my time
… travel
… learn a foreign language
… make new friends
… start my own business
… entertain
… write a book
… spend time with my friends & family
… start or spend time on a hobby"

Then they tell us that they never did …. because they didn't have time.

Sometimes it's much more short term, such as summer flew by and
"I meant to go to the beach ... "
"I wanted to gather the whole gang together for a cook-out ..."
"I was going to plant a garden ..."
" ..................... but now it's too late."

Or the weekend or a holiday zipped past and the regret set in because there's so much they dreamed of doing …. but never got around to it. And we say it's because we didn't have time.

But that's not it. For most people, if they never accomplished a dream of theirs, their procrastination was NOT because of lack of time but simply because they never made the decision.

Once you decide, once you make up your mind you're going to do something, it might take years, but the journey of moving toward your dream can be invigorating and energizing.

For many, many years, our son Robb, his wife Misha and their kids said they want to go to Ireland some day. Two years ago, we all decided "Let's do it". And for two years, the whole gang of us planned, saved, researched, budgeted, and made decisions about how our trip would go.

A few days ago, we returned from a three week Ireland adventure with Misha, Robb, and 4 kids. The trip was magical, and we will all cherish memories of it forever.

We stayed in cottages instead of hotels, spent four days each in the North, in Dublin, down in Tipperary and on Galway's west coast.

We toured historic sites, walked the streets of Dublin, spent time with delightful people, climbed the hills of Tara, explored 5,000-year-old ruins, got sunburned on a Galway beach, strapped on an elbow-length leather glove and actually held a magnificent eagle, prowled castle ruins, saw scenery that was beautiful beyond description, listened to heart-touching music, ate fish & chips and scones almost daily, and watched the sun set at 10:30 at night.

One evening, Connor Patrick Emmett summed up the day with "Wow… today we had the Giant's Causeway, Dunluce Castle and the best fish & chips in the world. If I ever have a day better than this, I might not be able to handle it." And if was our first day of touring…. and the days DID get even better. We had a blast.

But it didn't just happen. We all made a decision, and it took a ton of mini-decisions to make it all come together. And then we had a dream-come-true.

If that can work for me, why not you? Maybe you think there is nothing you can do right now to move you toward your dreams. But there IS one thing. You can decide that you are going to do it. Here's a tip. Don't focus on all the reasons you CAN'T accomplish it. Ignore those.

Instead, focus on what's possible. Did you ever hear this quote by Langston Hughes? He asked, "What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?"

Make that decision now, and the adventure begins. Planning can be as much fun as doing.


Hello Rita,
I am a big fan of your work. I wanted to send you a big THANK YOU today. Without your Procrastinator's Handbook I would not have been able to hand in my PhD dissertation today, despite having some health issues. Thank you! Your book is a blessing indeed!
Best wishes,
Isamar Carrillo Masso

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

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