February 2008 Anticrastination Tip Sheet

What's the opposite of Procrastination?
THE ANTICRASTINATION TIP SHEET
An Idea and Tip Sheet to Blast Away the
Procrastination Habit
From Rita Emmett
Author of THE PROCRASTINATOR'S HANDBOOK, and
THE CLUTTER-BUSTING HANDBOOK

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Quotes for February

Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.
--- Harold Whitman

When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it.
--- W. Clement Stone

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Message From Rita

Doin' The Clutter Shuffle

Are you are prone to doing the clutter shuffle? Is your idea of clutter-busting to gather up your clutter, rearrange it, maybe dust it off, and put it right back where it was - but just kind of shuffled around a little? Then here are two facts you need to grasp.

First, trying to get organized while surrounded by clutter is almost impossible; while trying to get organized when the clutter is gone is almost effortless.

Second, if you have clutter and chaos in your work space or living space, you have clutter and chaos in your mind and in your heart. You can't think clearly and often don't even know what you feel.

I used to play the clutter shuffle back in the days I was a Pack Rat. I would take everything out of closet, toss out one blouse and put everything back in - but rearranged. Take everything out of the garage, sweep the floor, and put everything back - but rearranged. Same with stacks of papers, files, everything.

How to stop the clutter shuffle?

Well, before you start clutter-busting, get a clear vision of what you want to accomplish. Don't focus on all your clutter, focus on how you want that space to be.

How do you want your desk, your kitchen, your office, your life to be?
Do you want to clutter-bust so things look better?
So you can use that space for something else?
So you can find stuff?
So you can function better?
All of the above?

What problems does your clutter cause?
What is it keeping you from accomplishing?
Does your "stuff" do a good job reflecting who you are and what you value?

One of the biggest points made in my book, The Clutter-Busting Handbook is that clutter does NOT come from being lazy, messy or disorganized. It comes from only 4 habits, so don't fall into the trap of feeling labeled as a slob or disorganized dimwit. Your clutter does not define you that way. It is simply a habit.

Where to start?

Begin with understanding that clutter-busting involves making decisions. Tons of them. So limit your clutter-busting sessions to one hour at a time, then take a break before your brain explodes from all that decision making. To kick off your clutter-busting spree, we have developed a special Procrastinator's Online Course that includes audio and video clips, plus work sheets to guide you in getting started on your project. More info at the end of this Tip Sheet.

If you are determined to spend the whole afternoon clutter busting - maybe clearing out the garage or basement, then ask friend to help you.

They can encourage you to get rid of things when you hit the wall and have no decision -making ability left within you. Plus, they can offer to put your bags of donations in their car and deliver it to Goodwill for you.

This is especially helpful if you are a person like I used to be. I would put the bags in my back seat, drive around for months with them, and then when I needed room for someone to sit back there, I would schlep all the bags back into the house. Ohhhhh, I was great at doing the clutter shuffle.

But make sure you ask a friend who isn't in to clutter. The reason is obvious. A friend who is also a pack rat is will convince you to keep that coffee can filled with rusty nails because "somebody might need it some day" or "It's just too good to throw out,"

You need someone who will help you decide to get rid of those things you don't need or use. And if you decide to keep something, that friend might even help you find a place (or make a place) for it.

One more tip today. You don't' have to clear out the whole closet, just a shelf, Not the whole basement, just a corner or one box. Not the whole car, just the front seat. Not the whole office, just the top of a file cabinet or one stack of stuff on the floor.

Success breeds success. Every time you look at that one clear space you'll feel that you accomplished something and that you can do it again in another spot. Clearing out clutter gives a terrific feeling and you might start finding things. Plus you'll feel lighter and more energized.

Happy clutter-busing!!