December 2005 Anticrastination Tip Sheet

What's the opposite of Procrastination?
A Tip Sheet to Blast Away the
Procrastination Habit
From Rita Emmett


Happy Holidays

We just returned from "working" a 2-week cruise to Hawaii. It was like having a sneak preview of heaven.

Welcome to all our new readers including the several hundred of you who we met on the cruise.

Up until a month ago, I couldn't advise people how to become a speaker on a ship so you'd cruise free, because I landed this arrangement through a lucky break. I didn't know how to teach a plan or strategy because I never had to use one.

But I've come across an e-book by Daniel Hall that teaches people how to turn their hobbies, interests and passions into talks that cruise lines would love.

It has links to all different cruise lines and takes you step-by-step through the process of deciding what to speak about, what to say when you call, and even how to plan and present a talk, and develop handouts.

If you are interested, we've made it available on my web. Go to

Good luck and happy cruising!


December Message

19 Tips To Keep The Holidays From Leaving You Over-worked, Over-scheduled and Overwhelmed

  1. Back off from the expectation of doing everything.
  2. Stop agreeing to attend a gazillion activities and parties that you don't enjoy. Go to the ones you absolutely have to (your mother's place, maybe?), say no to a few of the others, and call in sick for one or two that you couldn't possibly say no to.
  3. Once you've cleared your calendar during the holidays, plan one event you would love:

    * lunch with a friend?
    * driving around looking at decorations?
    * serving meals to the homeless?
    * spending time with a favorite child (while the parents wrap presents)?
    * a spiritual activity?
    * a nap?
    * a concert, play or pageant?
    * time alone?
  4. Figure out whose expectations you're trying to live up to - your own? your family's? your friend's? maybe even someone who has passed away? Keep asking yourself, "Why am I doing this?"
  5. Make a list of the people you'll buy gifts for & stick to it. No adding later.
  6. Decide on a price range for gifts and stick to it. No adding later.
  7. Get started on your shopping today & try to have it done this week.
  8. Set dates on your calendar to decorate, wrap or whatever, so you aren't frantic and frazzled at the last minute.
  9. Simplify your gift shopping by buying on-line, by catalogs or giving gift certificates.
  10. Simplify gift giving in groups of friends, co-workers or family by suggesting a grab bag.
  11. If you tend to receive gifts you never want or need, offer suggestions. Either specific (these items in this catalogue or web site) or general (candles, flowers). If some people always give you great gifts, leave them alone to do their thing:)
  12. If you always lose & never use gift certificates, ask people not to buy them for you. Suggest some other ideas.
  13. Put up only half your decorations this year. See if the world ends or if anyone complains.
  14. Get rid of those decorations you never use. Donate them to a charity where someone would cherish & love using them.
  15. Clarify what holiday chores you enjoy --- decorate, bake, shop, entertain, etc. See if you can figure out ways to do more of what you like & less of what you don't like to do.
  16. Schedule - actually mark on your calendar - a few days or evenings off just to relax and enjoy yourself.
  17. If you dread loneliness during this season, invite someone else who is alone to join you to attend a concert or somehow spend time together.
  18. Another idea if you're alone is to call the Salvation Army or your church or synagogue to volunteer for something during the holidays. It's a fun way to meet people. You can work on days other than the actual holiday, if you want.
  19. Don't let stories on TV make you feel inadequate. Most families don't have perfect happy endings to every situation like the people in holiday shows. And NOBODY is as hysterically, insanely happy as the people in the commercials.

May you have a blessed, joy-full, peace-full, wonder-full holiday season.


Update On Melissa

Last month, we asked for prayers and positive thoughts for my friend, Melissa Nichols, a Hurricane Katrina evacuee. She & her husband lost their house and businesses in New Orleans, but more important, their baby needed brain surgery and twice it was canceled at the last minute. Once because of the hurricane, & on Nov. 1 because baby Bella had tonsillitis the day before surgery.

The results are wonderfully happy, healthy and positive.

Bella had her surgery on Nov. 22nd in Dallas. She was in surgery less than 2 hours and her recovery has been fantastic and speedy. They were able to remove all 4 plates from her 1st surgery (when she was 8 months old) that held her skull together.

The morning after surgery, she was not only ready for a big breakfast, she was ready to run up & down the hospital halls. She found their play room and spent many hours there painting, playing with dolls and
throwing balls around. Her twin, Max was able to visit and play with her in the afternoon.

All of the staff at the Hospital told Melissa that Bella's enthusiasm, energy level and speedy recovery was a first for them to see in a patient the day after cranial surgery.

Amazingly, Bella was discharged on Thanksgiving, just 2 days after her surgery and is recovering beautifully. If you would like to contact them for any reason, they are staying with relatives:

Melissa Nichols
5500 Craig Ave
Kenner LA 70065

Melissa says she can now start to breathe normally for the first time since the hurricane wiped out the electricity in the hospital. Now she can turn her attention to finding a place to live in New Orleans while
they try to put together their house (it was brand new when they moved into it a year ago this month) and their businesses.

She sends her love and gratitude to all of you who prayed, sent them notes and gifts, inquired about them and sent positive thoughts. She knows she's going to make it and keep her sanity.

Personally, I believe in prayer and ask you to keep praying. She and her family have a long road ahead of them.