Can you spell P-R-O-C-R-A-S-T-I-N-A-T-I-O-N ??

Sat, November 25, 2006


Unfortunately, that has been my middle name, of late.

I’ve been so overwhelmed by the major obligations, as well as the minutiae, of life that I seem frozen in my tracks a good deal of the time.

Now that Rachel is in first-grade, I figured my life would be magically transformed — a good solid 30 hours a week when she is in school that I could devote not only to boost the amount of paying writing work I have, but also to get this mess of a house into shape. I guess it’s not really that bad, but the general clutter of toys, bills, dishes in the sink, laundy heaped in front of the washing machine and stacks of “filing” overwhelm me and keep me from jumping in to what needs to get done.

I know, I could probably do with a dose of the FlyLady. A year ago, we hired a decorator to give us some suggestions on paint colors for the house and re-arranging furniture (D. and I are both helpless in that kind of creative category). When I asked if she could help out on clutter-management, she wryly replied, “Have you tried behavior modification?”

So, I cut back on assignments for the month of November, thinking that I would have a whole month to “get ahead,” especially with the holidays looming and the accompanying chaos. But somehow, I seem to put-off what I should be doing. I think, “Oh, I have plenty of time later this month to do that task,” and then I end up here — the end of the month with a deadline looming tomorrow, stepchildren and significant others on their way for dinner and the ever-present Rachel who already thinks I spend too much time with the laptop.

So, I admit that I need some major adjustment in the procrastination area. I am so motivated at the beginning of each day, and then get bogged down when I think of it all. I can’t seem to separate it in my head or convince myself to just tackle one thing at a time.

I know that if I don’t do something about my”why do today what you can put off until tomorrow” lifestyle, I will be lost.

How do you all manage the chaos of your daily lives without making yourselves crazy?

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8 Responses to “Can you spell P-R-O-C-R-A-S-T-I-N-A-T-I-O-N ??”

  1. CrankMama Says:

    You know. I find that even though I sometimes despise cleaning.. If the house is orderly, somehow it helps keep my mind orderly and my day more focussed..

    Sometimes after the kids go to bed on friday night, I clean like a madwoman for 3 hours or so. Waking up to a clean house on SAturday (even if it only lasts for 30 seconds) helps the mind…

    Oh. and if it gets too bad… hiring a houseleaner.

  2. Stephen Seckler, Esq. Says:

    Procrastination serves a purpose. It gives your mind a chance to rest and enables you to come back to a project with a fresh perspective. This is particularly important for professionals like yourself who are in a creative field like writing. Here is a short blog posting you may want to read( ).

  3. Anonymous Says:

    OK… from a longtime, full-time working mom in the journalism field. first of all, make sure you aren’t the only one keeping the house clean, etc. everyone, including rachel, should do their part.
    BUT remember that a super-clean house isn’t everything. pick a junk room and stick the stuff there until you can get around to it, if nothing else. but living with a bit of clutter isn’t a bad thing.
    my advice — get a few cats…. they’ll teach you how to put things into perspective. relax. not too many kids think back that fondly on how perfect the house looked… what you did with them, the pets, the fun — those are far more important.

  4. Queen of the Mayhem Says:

    It sounds like you need a cleaning lady. Not the kind you pick up the house before they come, but one who comes in and helps you to organize. I know they are out there, I have friends who have used them. Also, I subscribe to the “When in doubt, throw it out” mentality. Many times it works well for me. Then again, it can get costly when I go a little overboard and toss important stuff. If you get really desperate you could always move and start over again with new surroundings! (hee-hee)

  5. vasilisa Says:

    I’m an absolute procrastinator. Life is totally out of hand, and things are always last minute. I’m trying to improve. I did sign up with FlyLady :-), but I guess I’m not ready for it… So I’m living in a complete chaos, and if you find a solution, please share…

  6. Mixter Says:

    I am constantly busy: I work full-time, attend school nearly full-time, try to update my blog at least daily, and try to spend “quality” time with my hubby and kid. (Fortunately, my kid is much more interested in her friends and boyfriend than hanging out with me most of the time.)

    I would go mad if I wasn’t busy, I think. However, I do tend to go overboard and then my body pays for it. I have lupus — when Mixter gets over-exerted, put a fork in her — she’s done. For example, I went to work on Friday, even though I didn’t have to (but I got a lot done!), went to study group Friday afternoon, and then went to the dog track Friday night. This was all after a busy week, including hosting Thanksgiving dinner. Saturday? I slept late, went grocery shopping, took a nap, did some (minor) Christmas decorating, took another nap, watched a movie on TV (rare for me), took another nap, then went to bed. More naps today, although I did do a teeny bit of yard work.

    So, my remedy? It may not work for everyone — naps. Lots of them.


  7. PunditMom Says:

    Thanks for all the support and the great advice! I will definitely take it to heart!

  8. Lawyer Mama Says:

    I really loathe cleaning up clutter as well and I procrastinate like crazy too. I find that the more I procrastinate, the more depressing and overwhelming things become. What really helps may sound corny but I make a To Do list every morning. Immediate deadlines go at the top and I work my way down to more distant projects and cleaning. Just putting it all in black and white seems to motivate me a bit more.

    For clutter control, I cannot say that we have it under control, but at least a couple of times a year we take 2 weeks and declutter the whole house. We do a room a day & that makes it so much less daunting. Once the whole place is organized, it is so much easier to stay on top of the daily stuff. Of course, the kids destroy everything within a few hours, but at least we have fewer *things* piled everywhere. And the kids are learning, slowly, to “help” Mommy & Daddy put everything away at night.

    Good luck!

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