"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."

Anne Frank

Monday, February 21, 2011

Procrastination: A Different Form of Clutter

Monday’s To-Do-List:
  • Write blog assignments for Tuesday’s class
  • Write query letters for at least three articles
  • Write new chapter one for The Guest Book, my first mystery novel
  • Create CV (writer’s speak for resume’)

Procrastinator’s To-Do-List for Monday
  • Sleep ‘til noon
  • Make pancakes and sausage for husband, myself and Jake, the World’s Most Spoiled Cocker Spaniel
  • Sweep kitchen floor (something I hate doing!)
  • Re-hang all the clothes in my closet onto matching white hangers (um, it matters if the hangers match?)
  • Delete all 357 old emails
  • Organize kitchen cabinet where old rags go to die (after breeding)
  • Read Susan C. Pinsky’s book on organizing (OK, this was legitimate research…just not on Monday’s to-do-list)

Get the picture? Organizing isn’t just about your space. It’s also about your time. We all have the same amount of time. 24 hours, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. So why is it that some people, like my friend Edie, get so much more done in the same amount of time?

Discipline. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing how much you can realistically expect to accomplish in the amount of time you have. Being organized in your space so that you can be more productive with your time. Respect for yourself and the people who depend on you. Being accountable.

Need help?

There are as many books on the market to teach us how to stop procrastinating as there are on organizing our homes. Julie Morgenstern’s Time Management From the Inside Out is just one of the classics. Alec Mackenzie’s The Time Trap, Getting Things Done by David Allen, and How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life by Alan Lakein are other books on this subject.

Websites abound. Try dalecarnegie, mindtools, and organizeyourselfonline for starters.

There are professional seminars, as well, given by companies which specialize in teaching time management.  
Check out franklincovey and pryor for inspiration.

Procrastination is a time clutterer not unlike the rags in my kitchen cabinet. Whether it is a learned habit or an inbred character defect, I don’t know. I do know it is something to overcome before it defeats us.

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