By Jean MacDonald, DTM
: to be slow or late about doing something that should be done : to delay doing something until a later time because you do not want to do it: to put off intentionally and habitually
Most, if not all of us at some point in time have been guilty of procrastination. We know we need to make that call or start that project yet for whatever reason, we put it off. Whether we do this because of poor planning or because it is an unsavory task or just because we would rather do other things, it can lead to added stress, missed deadlines or even worse, the loss of a client or business opportunity.
I plead guilty to it! Sometimes I want to kick myself for letting things go. It is something I work on every day and I want to share some tips that have helped me overcome my wandering (I choose this word over procrastination…it just sounds better!)
I work best when I play more. - I fill my time doing things to make work more fun so I don't put projects off until the last minute. I work best with a deadline so I give myself little rewards for completing small tasks. I've started journaling…it's fun, helps with generating ideas and allows for creativity.
Get up and exercise. - Use the quiet of the morning to start the day and get focused. I watch speakers and listen to podcasts and audio-books while I am on the treadmill. I feel like I am feeding my brain as well as taking care of my health. It will give you more energy and is a great stress reducer.
Set deadlines. - Goals are great and placing deadlines on those goals will keep your business on track. It is quite frustrating to start a project and then months go by because other things pop up. Then you find yourself wondering where the time went and nothing has happened. Like goals, short-term and long-term deadlines keep things in motion and help with planning.
Get your office in shape. - My office is sunny and has a warm feel. I keep it very “zen” with background music playing to keep me motivated. Clutter kills productivity so take the time to get yourself organized (see tips from Rita Emmett below) and clear your brain to let new ideas surface.
Get out the door, but be prepared. - While I've set my office up for success, I tend to be on the move and not there too often. I love being with people, having coffee and connecting the dots. I have no trouble getting out the door but I have really had to make strides in making sure that at the end of the day I am making an appointment with myself and taking the time to figure out my day/week, to know where I need to be and to make the preparations to make each meeting count. It also helps keep check on the deadlines I've set to stay ahead of the game.
Finally, with some great tools, detailed assistants and marketing people by my side I am learning…yes, I said learning…that I simply cannot afford to “wander.” I know I need to plan ahead and stay in action and follow through on those goals and deadlines.
When you put your pulse on the things that make you wander, change can happen if you are willing. I challenge you to sit down and think how you can tame your procrastination. Take small steps and have fun doing it.
" Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday."
~ Napoleon Hill ~
21 TIPS TO CULTIVATE CLUTTER-BUSTING HABITS
By Rita Emmett
Our clutter comes from four goofy habits:
Saving things that we never need or use.
Insisting on bringing in things that we never need or use. Never deciding on a place for things to be put.
Setting things down instead of putting them where they belong.
So how about trying to incorporate one new habit to counteract clutter habits? Here are 21 ideas:
1. If you haven’t used it in a year, get rid of it.
2. Every day, before turning on your computer, toss or put away three things on your desk.
3. When you buy 1 thing, get rid of 1 thing. (a toy for a toy, a shoe for a shoe)
4. Glance over your left shoulder every time you leave a room. Pick up the clutter you spot and take it with you to where it belongs.
5. Decide now. Clutter is often caused by putting off decisions.
6. Make a place for everything, such as special papers, and each child’s school papers. Make a place for mittens, scarves, hats, boots, and so forth.
7. Put everything in its place. Teach your family to put things where they belong. One way to teach: “If everything is where it belongs, you can come with to the mall or you can watch TV. If not, you can’t.”)
8. If you take it out, put it back.
9. Ask a “non-clutter friend” to help you sort through your closet or other clutter. Some people will be delighted to help you de-clutter. All you need from them is help in deciding what to keep or not keep.
10. Take five minutes whenever you can to tackle a small section of clutter (or do it during the commercials of the first hour of watching TV).
11. Find a person or organization that will love & cherish your stuff as much as you do. That makes it easier to say good-bye to things you don’t use or need.
12. Decide on one place to put your keys (a hook or bowl near the door, a certain section of your purse) and cultivate the habit of putting them there always.
13. Live simply so that others might simply live.
14. When you want to buy something – no matter how sensational or adorable it is – think if you have a place to put it. Even if it’s the greatest bargain in the world, don’t buy it if you don’t have a place for it. What a life changing way to think!
15. Always open mail next to a wastebasket. Get BIG wastebaskets for every place in your home that you need to encourage tossing or recycling paper, magazines, catalogues, newsletters, newspapers or other paper clutter.
16. Never leave a room empty-handed until the only things in the room are ones that belong there.
17. Never go up or down stairs empty-handed as long as there is something that should be taken up or down.
18. Have company over once in a while so the house gets cleaned.
19. Pay bills, fold laundry, sort through catalogues & magazines, and so forth during TV commercials or while visiting on the phone.
20. When de-cluttering a room, start at the doorway & go right or left. Then if you’re interrupted, you can see where you stopped.
21. Don’t de-clutter & clean the same day. You might keel over, poor thing.
Just making one of these habits a regular part of your day will impact the amount of clutter in your life.
I had the pleasure of meeting Rita at the Speakers Academy for National Speakers Association. She was a wonderful speaker with a powerful message. Her words resonated with me as she spoke about how procrastination can paralyze us. I hope you enjoy her tips. She has published several books which you may find on her website www.RitaEmmett.com along with some other enjoyable reading. You can also Email: REmmett412@aol.com
Live! Coming to you from cyberspace, New Website
It has been a work in progress but with the right team of people you can have your thoughts and ideas come to life. The revamped site gives a clear definition about the business I am conducting; how I can help others and above all, how to use the tools in your toolbox to connect the dots. The site just launched and we will be consistently adding new videos and information.
A special thank you to web designer Leslie Lipps of www.leslielipps.com for all her hard work and listening.