December 2008

From Rita Emmett
Author of The Procrastinator's Handbook
The Procrastinating Child
The Clutter-Busting Handbook and
soon to be released: Manage Your Time to Reduce Your Stress


December Quotes to Ponder

If we consider ourselves so unimportant that we must fill every moment of our lives with action, when will we have the time to make the long, slow journey across the desert as did the Magi? Or sit and watch the stars as did the shepherds? Or brood over the coming of the child as did Mary? For each one of us, there is a desert to travel. A star to discover. And a being within ourselves to bring to life. ~~ Author Unknown

Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why. ~~ Eddie Cantor

God created company so the home would get cleaned. ~~ Rita Emmett (Most popular quote from The Procrastinator's Handbook)


Message From Rita

In 2 weeks, my next book "Manage Your Time to Reduce Your Stress: A Handbook for the Overworked, Overscheduled, and Overwhelmed" will be sent out to book stores. The official publication date is January 15, but it will start arriving at book stores soon. This is so exciting.

So today, let's combine the topic of stress with all this procrastination and clutter we've been considering in this Tip Sheet. Here are 7 Tips to help you ease your stress and get ready for the holidays without having a major anxiety attack.

1. Write a list of everything you need to do for the holidays. Make it a general list. For example: Don't list what you'll get for each person, just write "buy gifts".

2. Next, go through your list, eliminate anything you don't HAVE to do, & rearrange it in order of what needs to be done first. Then hang up your list where you'll see it.

3. Then start a detailed list of the project you have to do first. As each new project is due and you make a new list for it, search it line by line to see what can be eliminated or streamlined. If you serve a dinner, can you ask others to bring dishes? If you HAVE to bake cookies (& just maybe you don't??) can you suggest a cookie exchange? If you have too many gifts to give, can you suggest a grab-bag where everyone selects just one person to buy for?

4. As you go through your gift list, if you spot people who might want to break their procrastination or clutter habits, (get ready --- here comes a commercial) consider giving them some of our Learning Resources
we offer on our web site
If people like to learn by reading, we have books.
If people like to learn by listening, we have CDs
If people like to learn by watching TV, we have DVDs.

5. Don't get crazy expecting yourself, others or life to be perfect. It's not going to happen.

6. If instead of "clutter bust the home" you wrote "get the government to declare this home a disaster area" then start with one room at a time. Remember that clutter busting involves making lots of decisions, so work in one-hour bursts with a reward at the end of each hour. Select a person or organization who will love & cherish your stuff as much as you do, and joyfully give to them anything you don't need or haven't used in the past year. Yes, this even includes holiday decorations.

7. If cleaning the house is overwhelming you, take it a little at a time. Don't try to clutter-bust AND clean on the same day, you might keel over, Poor Thing. Just attack the clutter in the rooms that people will see during the holidays (close all bedroom doors). Tackle the clutter in one section of a room at a time. When in doubt, toss it out. If you can be ruthless in getting rid of stuff, then it won't be around to clutter you up again.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

To our friends all over the world, Bruce and I, and our whole Dream Team of Mickey, Cheryl, Brian and Stormi extend to you and your loved ones our best wishes for a:

Vrolijke Kersttmis                     Sarbatori Felicite
Joyeux Noel                            Tin Hao Nian
Froeliche Wihnachten                Felice Natale
Kinga Shinnen                          Glad Julen
Ichok Yilara                             Boas Festas
Glaedelig Jul                            Veselele Vanoche
Felice Pascuas                         Sretan Bozic
Boldog Karacsonyi Unnepeket      Merry Christmas

& a Joyful, Peaceful, Loving, Healthy, Prosperous New Year!



You read above how exciting it is to watch for my new book to appear in book stores. If you want to have that same experience some day, we are offering lots of help.

You have already received an announcement about, “The Procrastinator's Guide to Authorship” In this new program, you receive an audio and work sheets every few weeks, to guide you through the process of laying out, preparing, writing, publishing and promoting your book.

In sending that announcement, we did not share your name & email address with any one. A fellow named Daniel Hall wrote up the announcements & sent them to us. Then Mickey, our web goddess emailed them to you.

I apologize if these announcements annoyed you, but we had no way of knowing who of our subscribers wants to write a book. So I hope that if it did not apply to you, that you just deleted and forgave the inconvenience.

Our set-up can only accommodate 500 people, and these things are flying off the shelf. There are still openings but not many. So don't ... um ... procrastinate in signing up.

We have heard from several of you asking why are we launching a big program like this during the holidays. Fear not. This is a self-paced program. You aren't handing assignments in to me, and you aren't competing with others. If you sign up now and are not able to get started for another few weeks, you can work at your own pace.

We have already received emails that some people who have for YEARS wanted to write a book, have actually started already. That thrills me because that is the whole point of this program. To sign up NOW, click here


Every winter, Bruce and I leave the cold and ice of Chicago's winters to cruise the Caribbean with Irish Festival Cruises.

For one week we are immersed in Irish dace, workshops and concerts with some of the finest entertainers in the world of Irish song and stories. This all combined with snorkeling, fabulous meals, fun and more laughing in a week than most people do all year with delightful fellow cruisers from all over the world, makes for a sneak preview of what heaven will be like.

If you like Irish music, this will totally recharge your batteries and keep you going for the whole year.
For more information or call 1-800-441-HARP (4277)