Sunday, September 30, 2012

Procrastination?

For most of my life, I have been a doer. Get it done now. No time like the present.

Then I hit my mid-30's and something changed. I slowed down and relaxed my sense of urgency. While that's really just a nice way of saying I'm now a major procrastinator, it is true that letting go of, or at least putting off,  not-so-important tasks has helped me cultivate calm.

Today I realized something equally important. Letting go is only good until the undone tasks start to create stress instead of relieve it.

Case in point:
We painted our living room several months ago. I bought new furniture and lamps, and had a vague plan for the wall space over the couch. This is what that area looks like today:

Yep. Still bare. This has been really bugging me for the past few weeks. So much so, that every time I look at that wall I scowl. Not good. The time for procrastination is over. Today I started painting some things I know I want on the wall, and put out a call to Facebook friends for a couple of other items I want. Action feels good.

To maintain my momentum, I am returning to one of my favorite organizational techniques, list making. I am trying something new and making my list time-sensitive by putting my to-do tasks on our family calendar. Everything won't get done at once, but I have a visual prompt to keep chipping away, and a reference that assures me there is light at the end of the tunnel. To maintain calm, I am admitting up front that my schedule may need tweaked now and then to accommodate changes to the kids' schedule (think extra dance practice before their parade in November), and the unplannable, such as my niece who is due in a week or so! Notice I said tweaked, not abandoned!

Are you a procrastinator? If so, are you good with that, or do you find ways to keep yourself going?

1 comment:

  1. I AM a procrastinator! And yes, the tasks do end up looming large & the guilt-o-meter ramps up if the task involves someone else. I've been sending out letters to family members on their birthdays, but I got WAY behind & finally wrote 5 of them yesterday. One cousin's birthday was in AUGUST! Sheesh. I feel much better now.

    I've been wanting to come up with a computer based task program to help keep me accountable. Outlook doesn't work because I'm used to ignoring the tasks on there - ha! I tried Cozi for a while - maybe I'll go back to it.

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