November 2015
The Anticrastination Tip Sheet

Author of The Procrastinator's Handbook and
The Clutter-Busting Handbook

One of these days is none of these days. ~~ Old English Proverb

Let us, then, be up and doing
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait. ~~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Message from Rita
Last month, I received this email from our good pal, Robert Jordan who lives in Dublin, Ireland:
Dear Rita,
One garden clutter rule that worked a treat for me: stop the work earlier than you might, but tidy away the hedge trimmings, cut grass and all tools... BEFORE you're too tired.
You MAY get less done, but you earn countless brownie points for leaving everything 'nice and tidy'. Works every time.
Robert Jordan
Dublin, Ireland

Robert nailed it and this might be one of the best tips for clutter-busting that you can implement.

Have you ever been clearing out the garage or shed, and at the end you have a huge stack of stuff that does not belong there? But you’re too exhausted to do anything about it. A month later, it’s still there except for the many items that have found their way back into the garage. Or has that ever happened after clearing out kitchen cabinets or other similar projects?

Back in my Pack Rat days, I sorted through an enormous pile of papers and stuff that had accumulated on our dining room table. At the end, I had about six or seven different stacks of papers – each needing to be filed or brought someplace. Plus a ton of other things that simply didn’t belong there.

To this day, I have no idea how or why an ice skate, gardening gloves and a bicycle tire pump landed there. And why was I being asked to replace these things … instead of looking for them in a logical place … such as the dining room table?

After all that sorting, I had made so many decisions about what stack this paper would go in and so forth, that I was mentally exhausted. So I left the stacks of paper, and everything else right where they were, planning to distribute everything to where it belongs …”when I get the time”.
You guessed it. I never got back to it and everything kind of slithered and slinked (slunk??) back to again become clutter.

A variation on this was when I’d push myself to put those-things-I-don’t-need-but-are-too-good-to-throw-out into big black plastic bags to be donated to our favorite charity. I’d be exhausted from all my clutter busting, so I’d plop the bags in the kitchen to be delivered “when I get the time”. I remember a time when the bags had sat there for several weeks and company was coming. I didn’t “have the time” to deliver them, so I parked them in my car.

Then when I needed the car to transport a bunch of kids, I brought the bags back into the house, decided to peek inside each one, and was amazed to realize that I very much needed everything and kept it.

But when do we ever “get the time”? Nobody is going to say, “Here, Darlin’, you’ve been working so hard. Let me give you a gift. Here’s a big ol’ bucket of time for you.” Never gonna happen.

Along comes Robert’s Rule that is a solution to most clutter-busting: “Stop the work earlier than you might”….so you can “tidy away” and put everything where it belongs BEFORE you are too tired.

Not a bad rule,
Thanks Robert. Now if any of you readers decide to visit Ireland, be sure to stop in on Robert and send me a report on his success in clutter busting.

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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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