2008 Anticrastination Tip Sheet
What's the opposite of Procrastination?
THE ANTICRASTINATION TIP SHEET
An Idea and Tip Sheet to Blast Away the
From Rita Emmett
Author of THE PROCRASTINATOR'S HANDBOOK, and
THE CLUTTER-BUSTING HANDBOOK
Quotes for March:
How you gather, manage, and use information will determine if you
win or lose.
--- Bill Gates
Message from Rita
When the Email File System Becomes Email Chaos
The very first time management tip I ever heard was "Handle each
piece of paper only once." I always applied that advice to minimize
paper clutter in my life and sort of thought I was applying it to
However, one day web goddess Mickey got a glimpse of my email In-Box.
She turned white, and her eyes got funny. I didn't know whether
to worry or not, but she finally regained consciousness and came
after me like some demented crusader.
"OK, Clutter Lady, what's this?" sez she.
"My emails," sez me.
"ALL of these hundreds and hundreds need replies??" choked she.
"No, they are all taken care of." croaked me.
"Then WHY ARE THEY IN YOUR IN-BOX????"
I wanted to point out to her that "In-Box" implies "IN" so that's
where I put them in. However, Mickey was starting to look like a
fire goddess of war. She had grown 12 feet tall with flames and
But perhaps that was just my imagination.
So I very logically explained to her, "That's my filing system."
What followed was a long, Long, LONG conversation that ended with
me whining that I'm a low-tech woman in a high-tech world and Mickey
calling the pharmacy to order a five-gallon drum of Valium. <g>
The result is a list we made up that I'll be working on this month.
Feel free to join me. If I can do this, so can you.
CLUTTER BUSTING EMAILS
(because keeping every single email you ever received is NOT an
effective filing system)
- Treat email - whether at home or at work
-- as you would treat your snail mail.
- Delete the junk mail without opening or
- Decide on set times to work on emails. Twice
in the morning and twice in the afternoon
are adequate. You don't have to check every time a voice announces,
"You've got mail".
- Make decisions with emails the minute you
open them and respond to every one that you can right
away. To say, "I'll reply later" might lead to Computer Clutter
because often - "later" never comes.
- The ones that you cannot reply to right
away should be filed in an "Urgent" folder or marked as "unread"
so you can get to it as soon as you have the time.
- Create a folder called "Responded" or "Done"
for those emails you have replied to but still need to follow
up on. Check it at the end of each week.
- Make a "To Read" folder for all those good
newsletters and great tip sheets. Read them when you need a
break or at the end of the day.
- Rather than moving each person's email to
individual folders, group them together. (Friends, Work, Special
Interest, Committee, Clutter tips, Urgent)
- Read Computer Clutter (page 130) in
The Clutter-Busting Handbook
- Don't get sucked into forwarding jokes,
poems, and stories when you don't have the time.
- Write a descriptive subject that informs
enough so if the recipients file your emails, later they don't
have to open them and read the messages again to know what they're
about. (Web goddess Mickey says writing HELP!! as the
subject of every email is NOT descriptive enough. Picky
- Every time you start to write an email,
ask, "Do I have time to do this. Is this the best use of my
time right now?"
- Start to clear out your emails and set a
goal to have no more than 10 to 20 in your In-Box. You will
gain control of your email clutter and find your emails are
much more manageable.
- And last, for all those emails that cause
a panic attack at the thought you might need it some day, create
a file called "What if I need this" and put all those oddball emails in there. Or, better yet, copy the email and paste
it into a text file or Word document and delete
it from your mailbox.
Let's hear from YOU. What are your favorite ways
of handling emails? Send your tips to
I PROMISE I won't let your email turn into Computer Clutter.
On those days when everything seems frustrating and stressful, think
about how lucky you are that you are not my technology advisor.
Here's an email about how much help
Online Course provides:
Love your "Procrastinator's Online Course." I've taken many assessment
tests and yours is worth more than the cost of the whole course.
It helped me figure out where my strengths and weaknesses were in
my procrastination habit. No small thing, that.
Now I'm almost through the next section and already I've processed
a batch of invoices that have been nagging at me for weeks, and
I've made a huge dent in the inevitable paper clutter on my desk.
Are you proud?
The next section is on clutter and I'm really looking forward to
it. The only other ways I could get all this information is to read
a LOT of books, or to pack up and take a 3 or 4 week class at my
local college. Also, I loved the videos.
This was a great investment in myself and it is paying off already.
Thank you for sharing your brilliance with the world!
Linda Brakeall, author of Unlocking The Secrets of Successful Women
in Business and How To Get Men to Take You Seriously in Business
and in Life
We offered a 50% discount on our
Online Course" last month but after receiving several emails
(such as the one above) about how much the course has helped people,
we have decided to extend the bargain price 50% discount through
the month of March.
If you want to read more about it,