by Cheryl Ford, Sr. Organizing Specialist and Designer
As we roll into the month of April, I’m wondering if you knew that the second week of March was “National Procrastination Week.” You might wonder why I mention it now, since it has already passed. Even though I procrastinated bringing it up, it is still worth discussing. Everyone procrastinates. Sometimes we just need to be made aware of how much and how often, and find ways to avoid losing so much precious time to it.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines procrastination as “a postponement, often with the sense of deferring though indecision, when early action would have been preferable,” or as “defer[ing] action, especially without good reason.”
“Indecision” and “action” are the key words from the definition.
Chaos, whether at home, work, or when it comes to personal commitments is a bunch of unattended decisions waiting for you to deal with. Every time you defer something through indecision, you are making a decision, and every time you defer an action, you are actually taking action. When you stop procrastinating about something and make a final decision or take a final action, you have already lost precious time to the procrastination process itself. I’m not talking about important decisions requiring more research and information, professional advice, or deep thought and analysis such as; selecting a college, financial investing,or weighing options for solving a major health issue. I’m talking about the chaos created from things such as:
Clothes taking up space in your closet that you don’t wear or are worn
Uneaten or expired food taking up space in your pantry, cupboards or refrigerator
For example, in order for Eliminate Chaos to e-mail you the newsletter each month, I must start thinking about an idea for the article long before I start writing and putting the newsletter together. In other words I had to make decisions, preferably early enough so that there is time to do research, write the article, find appropriate images, get it to the “editing” department and update other areas of the newsletter.
It so happened that I started working on this month’s newsletter during March’s “Procrastination Week.” It actually gave me my idea, sooner rather than later. If I decided to celebrate along with the rest of those who were supporting that so named week, and ignore the upcoming deadlines you would not be reading this newsletter right now. In the end, I would have made a decision twice, once to postpone the task, and once to actually start the task. How many times have you made a similar “not now” decision over and over again before you actually dived into the task, completed it, got it off your plate and out of your head? Have you ever added up the time lost from all of those duplicate and triplicate decisions? Probably not.
Indecision IS a decision. You are deciding to decide later.
No action IS an action. You are taking action to take action later.
Could it be that it’s just too hard to make so many decisions or take actions on what to do with your pile(s)? First, realize that it is just stuff, but stuff that you made a decision about (with good reason or not) to originally let into your life and now it wants a chunk of your time and attention on a regular basis. Next, as you are subject to new offers of magazine subscriptions, rock bottom clothing sales or unneeded freebies from a friend, think about how they will contribute even more to the long list of decisions you already need to make. If you focus on a mindset of telling yourself “no” you don’t need or want to add to the (decision & action) pile, then it will be much easier for you to say “no” to those people and things as those offers are dangled in front of you. Finally, “life happens” and none of us are perfect, so when you really must procrastinate on something, take control and decide ahead of time what it will be… then move on. Don’t procrastinate on the easy stuff or those items you can make quick decisions on. Save your time, trouble, and worry for the bigger issues in life.
Popular phrases like “JUST DO IT®” or “GIT-R-DONE®” are just that, phrases. They are helpful when you implement them by making quick decisions, and taking action. Go ahead, march right into April by opening the mail and see just how much ends up in the recycle bin. Pick up those piles of year old magazines and see how stale the articles and advertising has become, and then go to your pantry and double check the expiration date on the box of crackers that you are planning to use with the cheese plate that you are serving to your guests tonight.
~ Cheryl Ford
Organizing with Laura Blog
Keep up with our blog on Real Estate.com. Here is a list of topics from March:
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Upcoming Classes and Seminars
Topic: Eliminate Chaos: The 10-Step Process to Organize Your Home & Life
This seminar has been CANCELLED and will be rescheduled for a later date.
Date: April 30, 2013
Time: 7:00-8:30 pm
Place: Monroe Library
Topic: 10 Techniquest You Must Use to Increase Your Productivity & Profitability
Organization: MPI - NW Chapter
Date: July 30, 2013
Place: Seattle - TBD
Topic: Increase Productivity and Organize Your Workday Using Microsoft Outlook 2010
Organization: Puget Sound Business Journal - BizDev Series
Date: November 12, 2013
Place: Seattle - TBD
Click HERE for additional classes being offered in 2013!
Bookmark this page and check back often for places where Laura will be speaking that you can attend at no charge or for a nominal fee.
Time - Use it or Lose it
Tick tick tick tick. Time just keeps marching on whether we use it or not. If you procrastinate a lot or just a little, the first step may be to keep track of your time, and find out where you use it and where you lose it. Instead of searching for yet another "APP" to improve your productivity with pretty lists or calendar alerts, try using a common mechanical kitchen timer to see how long a task actually takes you or to budget the amount of time you can afford to spend on it...either way you will be surprised by how much time you use and lose. No kitchen timer in your house? You may want to check out the "Pomodoro Technique®" and how it incorporates it's adorable 25-minute timer that looks like an Italian tomato.
Better Late Than Never
Tired of procrastinating and in need of a little nudge with managing your time and tasks, or creating a workable system for you and your lifestyle? It's never too late. Pick up the phone or send us an email and tell us what is on your project list, big or small, and we'll let you know how we can quickly accomplish your organizing projects so you will have "More Time for Life®".
Eliminate Chaos is Hiring
Eliminate Chaos is hiring Organizing Specialists. We are looking for Specialists in the Greater-Seattle area, as well as the Tri-Cities and Spokane, WA. If you are interested in applying, please click here for more information. No phone calls please.
Give us a call at 425.670.2551, 509.392.7064 or 877.342.8592 to discuss your needs and see how we can put together a team to help.
"Laura’s calm, respectful help reassured me through the whole process. She worked so quickly that I was energized to continue at that pace. Her clear “homework” suggestions helped me keep up the progress between her visits." -Christy L.
A great way to try us out and get some organizing done at the same time! For a limited time, we are offering an amazing NEW client organizing special. If you are not an existing client this is a great way for us show you how we can eliminate your chaos.