THAT OLD BUGABOO, PROCRASTINATION

 

 

 

 

Who has never procrastinated? It’s not always a bad thing, but most often, it is. Here are some ideas on how to cope:

PROCRASTINATION CAUSES AND TIPS FOR OVERCOMING:

  • Overwhelm (break the task down into small parts)
  • Task is unpleasant (hold your nose and get it done—probably best to tackle the whole thing at one time, if you can)
  • Space is too disorganized (take 15 minutes a day to deal with it)
  • Perfectionism (learn to tell yourself “good enough” when something is good enough. Being perfect is impossible)
  • Difficulty making decisions (not making a decision is a decision to keep the status quo. Is that what you really want?)

HABITS TO OVERCOME PROCRASTINATION:

  • Do your most important task first every day when your resistance is lowest. Later, it has built up because you keep thinking about it and putting it off.
  • Check in with a friend on progress (perhaps you both have a similar problem; discuss what you’ve accomplished or not)

MAKE A PLAN:

  • Use the five-minute rule. Tell yourself you’ll only work for five minutes on whatever-it-is. You can do five minutes! Usually that will be enough to make you continue
  • Schedule your day, daily
  • Try to stick to your plan as much as possible, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get to everything every day
  • If you work at home, tell your family what your plan is and ask them to help you make it work
  • Learn how to get rid of distractions (that would be another post, but examples are to turn off electronic devices, close your browser, and shut the door to your office, if you have one

Here’s an example of my own plan:

DAY OF WEEK TIME OF DAY ACTIION AMOUNT OF TIME
Monday 8:45 Exercise 10 min.
9 am Current writing project 1 hour
10:30 Exercise 10 min
1:30 Marketing 1 hour
300 Exercise 10 min.
3:15 Housework 30 min
4:00 Marketing/social media 1 hour
7:00 Short story brainstorm 1 hour
8:30 Marketing 1 hour
Tuesday 8:45 Exercise 10 min.
9 am Current writing project 1 hour
10:30 Exercise 10 min
1:30 Marketing 1 hour
3:00 Exercise 10 min.
3:15 Housework 30 min
4:00 Marketing/social media 1 hour
7:00 Short story brainstorm 1 hour
8:30 Marketing 1 hour
Wednesday 8:45 Exercise 10 min.
9 am Current writing project 1 hour
10:30 Exercise 10 min.
1:30 Marketing 1 hour

Sorry about the wonky chart formatting. Can’t get rid of it, so it’s the best I can do. I think it’s good enough!
For more in-depth ideas, check out Dr. Patrick Keelan

Use action plans to achieve your resolutions in the New Year…and at any other time

And there’s Lifehack:

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/29-ways-to-beat-procrastination-once-and-for-all.html

Procrastination is a problem for most of us at one time or another. Learn the reasons for yours and how best to deal with it. Good luck!

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LUCKY 7 QUICK CLEANING TIPS

1) QUICK DUSTING:

Use your hairdryer to “dust” lampshades and curtains.

2) CLOSETS:

Add hooks on the backs of closet and maybe even bedroom doors to hang up various items. For example, the one on the back of your bedroom door could hold your robe, either just overnight or all the time. You can hang scarves, handbags, and of course clothes, on the other hooks in closets. Or maybe an outfit you wear for certain occasions, such as gardening, cleaning house, or loungewear.

3) TILE FLOORS:

Use toothpaste to remove black scuffs.

4) DISPOSAL:

Run used coffee grounds through the disposal to eliminate odors.

5) COOKING:

Use time while waiting for the water to boil or something to cook a while before it needs stirring or other attention, to clean up—load the dishwasher, wipe counters, empty the trash, scrub the sink, straighten out items in a drawer, etc.

6) SHOWER AND TUB:

Use a squeegee to wipe down the glass and tile after every use. Train the rest of the family to do the same. Only takes a minute. Get one you can hang with a short handle, and have a dedicated hook for it.

7) REMOVE ONION, GARIC, FISH ODERS FROM YOUR HANDS:

If you have a stainless-steel sink, rub your hands over it when finished chopping onions or garlic, or handling fish. If you do not have a stainless-steel sink, there are “stainless steel chef soaps.” To use, handle it just as you would a regular bar of soap to wash your hands. Available at Amazon, of course.

http://amzn.to/2qxCO2g

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REVIEW: THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP

SUBTITLED
THE JAPANESE ART OF DECLUTTERING AND ORGANIZING
BY
MARIE KONDO

This is a best-selling book about getting rid of all your clutter in one day.

For me, it was a mixed bag of good advice combined with dubious advice plus cultural differences which have made other reviewers either totally befuddled or quite angry.

At least it’s short. But it could have been shorter.

The major premise is to start with your clothing, throw everything all on the floor, then pick up each piece and decide whether it brings you joy or not. If it does, you get to keep it. If not, you have to toss it or give it away. And what you keep has to be folded just so—not many things are hung.

After you do the clothing, Ms. Kondo walks you through the rest of the items in your household, insisting on a certain order of going through them.

Big hole there—the kitchen. She mentions kitchen items maybe twice. And how much joy does that measuring cup bring you? If none, I guess you have to get rid of it. Now, the meat cleaver . . . Seriously, if you include decluttering the kitchen, I don’t see any way most people could declutter their whole house in one day.

Ms. Kondo is obviously single and lives alone in a rather small space. Her advice would work well for others in the same circumstances, but for families, not so much.

All that said, though, the basic premise of taking each item in your hand and deciding if you love it (I’d add or really need and use it), then putting it away carefully in its permanent home and getting rid of all the rest, is sound.

Every so often there’s a mention of inanimate objects having feelings and how you should treat them. This becomes more pronounced as you continue reading. You should greet the house when you enter. You should empty your purse every evening and put things away in a certain place you have for them. You should say good-bye to and thank the clothing and other items you are getting rid of. And so on. From what I can determine on-line, this is a common Shinto (Japanese religious) practice. Hey, maybe it works!

Perhaps the most dangerous piece of advice was to get rid of most all the papers in your house. This can be carried too far. I tend to probably save more than I really need to, but that’s better than throwing out something you desperately need later. She says to save those that do need to be saved, and those that need attention, then a nebulous category where you save some for a while. So, I’d be extra careful with this advice.

And maybe the most annoying advice was to get rid of books by throwing them in a pile on the floor and sorting through then, then tearing out any pages that you want to keep (!), and storing the few remaining books in a bookcase (small, I assume) in your closet. Yes, you read that right—in your closet. The author entirely misses the point that shelves filled with books can bring people joy.

Excuse me while I go put this funny little book away in one of the big bookcases in my home office alongside the other books I’ve collected and annotated about personal organization and time management. It’s not that I love the book, but I’m keeping it for when I need to shake my head to exercise my neck.

Anyone else read it? What do you think after reading my review?

HOW MANY IS TOO MANY?

How many activities are you trying to balance every day in your life?

I once listed what I think are the most important ones we need to tend to or work on every day. Here they are:

Personal—health, grooming, education, just taking good care of ourselves.

Family—same here—take care of their health, education, and their other needs that they need you for. These will differ depending on each person—spouse, children, parents, even friends.

Career or other Main Interest—this is self-explanatory, except if you’re retired. Then you should think about doing something fulfilling with your time, not just fritter it away. Travel, volunteering, part-time work, engrossing hobbies can all be considered.

Financial—tend to your finances every day, and you’ll be in good shape financially!

Spiritual needs—again, self-explanatory.

These are not in any particular order, except the first one should be top priority because if you aren’t at your best, whatever that can be, then the rest is much harder to do. After that, they are, I believe, all of equal importance. All are connected. If your career is going well, you’ll be a happier person for your family to live with. If your finances are a mess, it impacts everything else. If your family doesn’t receive enough of your time, everyone, including you, losses. And if you don’t have a strong moral code, have beliefs that sustain you, then you will run into trouble when the going gets rough, and it will. We all know, it will.

When you break it down to these five important aspects of everyone’s life, it’s easier to see what needs to be done each and every day. Some days you’ll need to spend more time on one thing than another. And other days, it will reverse. But it wouldn’t hurt to spend a few minutes at the beginning of your day to consider each one and decide the most important thing you can do that day to tend to those needs. And at the end of the day, do a mental recap, or write in your journal what you accomplished. Then you can nod your head and say you had a good day, or you can decide how you can make tomorrow even better.