Our brain often attempts to negotiate something different from what we want to do. Procrastination sets in. Dr. Timothy Pychyl defines procrastination as “the voluntary delay of an intended action despite knowing this delay will most likely undermine task performance and/or create psychological stress.” There is rarely or no benefit to procrastinating. Putting things off because you don’t want to do them is different than putting things off because you don’t know if you want to do the task.
20% of the population are chronic procrastinators. If you “voluntary delay” you have excellent self-deception skills according to Dr. Pychyl. I see it in my work as well. My clients didn’t get to their organizing tasks because they were too busy; there were other things more important. Aren’t we all busy?
What’s to be done about it? I think you have to fess up to the fact you have a problem and not treat it lightly. Don’t put things off when you know you need or want to get them done. Don’t have low priority items on your To Do List when you aren’t getting your priority items done. Be realistic about your energy level and commitment to the task. Get moving and get it done.
Make sure you continue:
It’s a little tongue-in-cheek but, honestly, unless you simplify and decide what’s most important to your family, you will wonder where the time went.
Buy or make a few colorful clipboards to help you stay organized throughout the day. Load the clipboards with paper you like: lined, plain, graph, colored, white, or perhaps a variety. I saw plenty of beautifully designed clipboards like http://bit.ly/bFnsva Busy Mom Boutique. You could decorate your clipboard with wallpaper, scrapbook papers, ribbons, whatever suits your personality.
Next, hang your clipboard over a hook near your desk or other area where you’d like to be reminded of things to do throughout the day. If it’s easier and quicker to use a nail, go for it.
Now you have an easily transportable list you can take with you. It’s inexpensive and fun.
Let me know if you end up designing your own. I’d love to see a picture of your clipboards.
I like writing with sharpened #2 Ticonderoga pencils. I throw them out when they get shorter than 3 inches. I prefer the Uniball Signo 207 pen because it doesn’t smear or skip.
Why write with pens that are frustrating? Toss out all writing instruments (or donate) that don’t work for you. It isn’t wasteful. What is wasteful is time spent being frustrated writing with an awful pen that was a give-away that you have to scribble on another piece of paper to get the ink flowing.
How many coffee mugs full of pens do you have around the house. I’m guessing it’s around three. Go through those and clean them out. It’s one small step toward a more organized home.
Children are dumping their school papers who knows where now that they are out of school, or soon to be. What to do? Buy a binder and put in page protectors. Insert school work that is just so wonderful that 30 years from now you’ll still enjoy reading the report or looking at the artwork. Most of it should be dumped. I’ve had four children and came to realize with the passage of time, that the most precious keepsakes were ones that expressed their personality.
If you keep too much, you value it less. Editing is really important.
If you have a question and would like to ask an experienced organized mom who works with lots of clients just like you, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As you are organizing, make sure you leave some room for growth. If all the shelves are full, there won’t be room for anything new. Don’t be afraid of empty space. It’s essential to organized living.
Glass votive candle holders can be used to contain a lot of little things cluttering up your medicine cabinet
They look nice and are inexpensive. You probably already have some just waiting to be used. Send me before and after pictures of your beautiful, organized cabinet.
Highly recommend Buried in Treasures to help you sort, discard, and keep your treasures. If you have a relative or friend who is struggling with keeping too much, this book will help you understand them better.
One of my favorite books is Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell. As he’s going through Navy Seal training, he talks about Rear Admiral Maguire, Commander, SPECWARCOM. The advice Captain Maguire gave Marcus and the other men applies to all of us.
First of all, I do not want you to give in to the pressure of the moment. Whenever you’re hurting bad, just hang in there. Finish the day. Then, if you’re still feeling bad, think about it long and hard before you decide to quit. Second, take it one day at a time. One evolution at a time.
Don’t let your thoughts run away with you, don’t start planning to bail out because you’re worried about the future and how much you can take. Don’t look ahead to the pain. Just get through the day, and there’s a wonderful career ahead of you.”
It’s difficult to get things done when you give yourself too many options.
Let’s say you decide your child should take ballet lessons. If you live in a big city, you could spend months visiting ballet studios, checking on-line, asking your friends, and driving yourself nuts in the process. Some decisions require more investigation than others; however, decide what your top decision making criteria is for this project. Is it distance to the studio, cost, quality of instruction, near your favorite coffee stop? What’s the most important factor? To make the most of your time, narrow your choices. Tom Kelley, author of The Ten Faces of Innovation, says “provide a small selection of excellent choices and have a point of view about why you chose those few among the many.”
Too many choices make decision making more difficult than it needs to be.