March 2005 Anticrastination Tip Sheet

What's the opposite of Procrastination?
An Idea Sheet to Blast Away the
Procrastination Habit
From Rita Emmett
& THE PROCRASTINATING CHILD: A Handbook for Adults to Help
Children Stop Putting Things Off


Quote For March

Life is not a having and a getting, but a being and a doing.
--- anonymous


Special For March

We received some nice comments from happy customers who took advantage of our "Take Care of Yourself" Special last month. So in honor of the High Holiday of the Year, St. Patrick's Day, we are running it again.

There are two new Special Reports on our web site (

Special Report #6: WHILE YOU'RE TAKING CARE OF OTHERS, WHO TAKES CARE OF YOU?: A Strategy to Prevent Burnout

If you buy one, you get the second one free.  Isn't that a sweet deal for you?


With ANY purchase from our web during the month of March, we'll send you free "A 28 Minute Relaxation Break for Those Stress Filled Days" tape or CD.


In addition, we'll send you "Striving for Perfection Can Drive You Nuts (and other thoughts on coping with stress)" tape or CD.

To treat yourself to this special, go here



March Message From Rita

In the Jan. Tip Sheet, I wrote that clutter does NOT come from being messy, disorganized or lazy. I believe clutter comes from 4 ... just 4 ... only 4 habits & working on any one of those habits will reduce that jumble in your life.

Ironically, the first letters of each habit spell SINS. And you're guaranteed to have clutter if you commit one or all of these Deadly Sins of Clutter:

Save everything whether you need it or not
Insist on bringing things home whether you need them or not
Never assign a spot for things to be put
Set things down anywhere instead of putting them away

For this month, let's focus on the first one: Saving everything whether you need it or not.

First, some background. Our generation (including everyone from grade schoolers to retirees) has more "stuff" coming into our lives than any previous generation. So our parents never taught us how to manage clutter; they never taught us key questions to
ask ourselves.

If your habit is saving things you never need or use, ask "Why?" If you're saving it because you (or someone) MIGHT need it some day, isn't it true that when you DO need something, you forget that you have it buried in your clutter? OR If you do remember
you have it, you can never find it anyway, right?

What to do with it? I'll never, ever ask Pack Rats to throw their cherished junk in the trash. Because if they do, at night while we are all snoozing, that Pack Rat will tippy-toe out to the trash and drag back everything they discarded.

But if those Pack Rats know of someone or some organization that will love and value their cherished clutter as much as they do, they often find it easy to get rid of stuff. For that reason, in my soon-to-be-released book, THE CLUTTER-BUSTING HANDBOOK,
I wrote a chapter called "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Clutter." The whole chapter is devoted to people and organizations to whom you can donate your stuff, and they will happily use it and love it.

(Such a sneaky way for me to plug my upcoming book:))

Back to the questions to ask yourself. Are you keeping it because they are memories of a person or time in your life that is important? Memories are in your mind and in your heart, not in a dusty box buried under a ton of other boxes, that you never look at.

A few baby outfits and one or two pieces of your children's art projects will work as well as several outfits & all of their art work. A few photos in some albums or boxes that are manageable will work better than tons of boxes containing millions of photos that you never look at.

Stop being "Clutter Numb" and start questioning everything that seems like clutter.

  • Will I really wear these old clothes if I ever lose weight?
  • Will I ever find time to read these old magazines or catalogs?
  • Do I have to keep every single piece of paper that comes across my desk? Why?
  • Is most of this stuff just junk? Why am I keeping things that are broken, stained & ugly?
  • If I don't like it or never use it, why am I giving it valuable space?

If there's not enough room for all my stuff, maybe I don't need more room, maybe I need less stuff.

You'll think of other questions to ask. And don't you agree that these questions deserve to be answered? Aren't you sick & tired of being smothered by clutter?

Today, try getting rid of just one thing you never need or use. You'll be surprised to observe that the world doesn't come to an end.

Hmmmmmmm, I'm not sure why they've included my March schedule (below). Maybe to warn you that the April Tip Sheet will be a bit late. When you see the schedule, you'll understand.


Where's Rita In March?

3/1&2 Sacramento, CA (Foster & Kinship Care Ed.)
3/9 St. Charles, IL (The Connections Conference)
3/10&11 Columbus, OH (Special Ed Professionals)
3/12-27 giving talks on a Panama Canal Cruise (IS SHE LUCKY OR WHAT??)
3/31-4/4 San Juan, Puerto Rico (World Entrepreneurs' Organization))