Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Procrastination Blah De Da . . . Ack. Spit. Cough.

Whoo hoo!  I finished my second Procrastination Challenge.

Remember earlier this month when I pledged to complete another Procrastination Challenge over at Virtually Organized after winning last month's contest?

When I said I was going to read this book?

Well I did.  Sort of.  No, I did, I DID read it, but I read very quickly and did some skimming after choking down the first 100 or so pages.

Then I got irritated because I was wasting my precious time choking down a book I was not enjoying and not learning anything from.

I then proceeded to share my dissatisfaction with Peanut Head (while he was enjoying his book I should point out). He laughed at me, shrugged his shoulders and said "It's a self-help book, what do you expect?"

Um.  Thanks a lot you big Cretin.

It was awful.  Not awful in the sense that the book was poorly written or anything like that.

Awful because it was so much blah, blah, blah about the reasons why we procrastinate. Psychology. Self-help book psychology. More than 100 pages just on the why.

I read too much of that crap in my 20s and I'm pretty much over it. Remember that book, "Women Who Love Too Much?" Yep. I read it.  I read it and I loved it.  Because I was 20 and S-S-S-S-S-TUPID.

If I were to read it today, I would be doing the book barf boogie.

It was a big psychology barf-o-rama.

And just so you know, I would never read that book again. Why? Because I'm not 20 and I'm not dating immature, undesirable men.

If I could go back to my 20-year old self, I would kick my then cute butt and make me dump my loser boyfriend instead of "wishing and hoping he'd change." Blech. He ain't worth changin,' Sister Girl. 

I'm having involuntary retching and dry heaves going on here just thinking about it, so I really need to get back to topic here. Dang, that was not planned.

So, I was saying . . . I don't give a rats behind about analyzing the whys for procrastinating.

I know why I procrastinate. I procrastinate because the things I procrastinate are undesirable tasks. Kinda like the former boyfriend. Not that he was a task, he was undesirable. Oh never mind.

Geez, I'm all riled up here. I should go check my blood pressure.

So . . . . I was saying . . . I'll just sum up some of the points in this book that were worth taking away and that you might appreciate.

Set a timer for 15 minutes and work on the thing you are procrastinating for just 15 minutes. This is actually a pretty popular technique and one that I find myself using quite often.  I believe it was made popular by the book Eat that Frog by Brian Tracy.  Basically, if you take any daunting task and break it down into bite-size pieces, you can eat accomplish anything.

Be realistic about your time constraints. Don't wait for a big block of time or a convenient time to get started because it'll never happen.  You have to know how much time you truly have to devote each day to the task, and not beat yourself up if you can't work on it every day. This book outlines an "unschedule" where you draw up specifically everything you have to do and when in a week.  You have to include everything--eating, sleeping, commuting, you name it, so that you can see where the little pockets of time are for you to access. It can be surprising to find out how little time you really have. The "unschedule" is important because you see where you have time and you make a commitment where to fit in working on your task.

Learn to use little bits of time. Have the little stuff accessible so you can accomplish something when you have little bits of time. Make phone calls while waiting for kids at practice, make lists (if you're a geek like me) when you have 5 minutes, answer as many e-mails as you can when you have 5 or 10 minutes. That sort of thing.

Delegate. Heh, heh. I love this one. I went on strike last week and told my kids that I was not wiping one more clump of toothpaste out of the sink or wiping down one more counter in their bathroom ever again.  Or cleaning the mirrors. "What are you doing to the mirrors for crying out loud?!" I added a new chore to their chore charts and they now alternate days of wiping down the counters, sink and tub with Clorox wipes every day. I hit pay dirt on this one, let me tell you, it's brilliant. By the way, I don't want them using the wipes on themselves so I told them they were Poison Wipes and they had to wash their hands after they used them. I'm all about scaring my kids into complying.

Don't spread yourself too thinly. Why, oh why do we do this? We do not have to save the world. Yes, you should do your part, but you don't have to do it for everyone all the time. For example, volunteering at school, or church, or wherever it is that you tend to get in over your head, step back and set realistic goals for yourself. You should absolutely volunteer, but I have often found that there are too few people doing the work of too many and that isn't good either. Do what you can, feel good about it, and don't overextend yourself so you end up resenting everything you have to do. In other words, just say no. Don't say no to everything, but know when you do need to say no and do it without guilt.

Make a public commitment. I love this one. Debbie over at Virtually Organized is helping all of us with this one because this is what her monthly organization challenge is all about.  And it works, let me tell you.  Especially if you're a blogger like me and you've announced it to the blogosphere.  Tell everyone what you are going to do and chances are, you will do it.

Work with a Buddy. This is another good one. Get together with a friend to work on those nasty little jobs that you hate.  You could iron together, do your taxes, organize your pictures, whatever.

So, that's a wrap. Don't read the book, take it from me. Use what I've gleaned from the book and check out Virtually Organized because that girl knows what she's doin.'


  1. I think I know this boyfriend, don't I ? Hee hee!

  2. Thanks for saving me the time on that read! I feel pretty good though because I practice all of these techniques:-) So, I know where my pockets are and I use them to blog:-) Hee, hee, hee:-)

  3. I should totally read that book.
    I am the world's best (worst?) procrastinator. In fact, I think it might be my middle name.

  4. I think I had that same boyfriend in my 20s. What in the world were we thinking?????

  5. First, I married that guy. Stuck it out for nearly 5 horrible years! Then the divorce took another 3 ridiculously torturous years.

    But the real point is the awful book. I read an awful barf-er too. I bought "Am-bitch-ous" by Debra Condren online. It had a catchy title and great reviews. Let me tell you! I barely got through the first 2 pages without soiling the book. It was "you can do it, dont let them tell you different, blah psycho blah, it bothers you because you are spineless, go for it and do something about what you want, you dont have to choose between a career and motherhood, dont feel guilty for not having kids, blah give me a break blah blah."

    I could never be a book editor because I would never be able to finish one of those books. Blah psycho babble blah. Not for me. I just embrace my psycho and lose the blah.

    I am impressed by you for a couple of reasons. One, you kept the book a LONG LONG time. Two, you cared enough to try and read it. and THREE, you forced yourself to suffer through at least 100 pages. OMG.... I couldnt have given it that much commitment. You should be really proud of yourself!

    Your "twin" -Anne.

  6. Wow good job finishing that book I would have most likely just read the first and last chapter. But I have to tell you you would be proud I did clean out one drawer in my kitchen thats my new thing one drawer at a time. At least I am doing something. Hey and I made myself a list today I thought you would be proud.