Is this you? Your to-do list has 10 items. You do nine of them. Are you pleased? No! You feel guilty about the one left undone. Here are 7 ways I improved my procrastinating without remorse.
- 1) I Decide if it really needs attention now. If your toddler dashes into the traffic, unfortunately, you may need to take immediate action. Walking the dog also may require immediate attention in order to avoid getting out the Resolve and spot-cleaning the carpet. Sometimes I have to take action. I just chalk it up to a bad day and try to get over it. (I’ve discovered that cats are easier. You can avoid cleaning the litter box for several days, the length of time to depend on whether or not you have a room mate.)
- 2) I do something else first. Through the years, I’ve found a number of things that relieve me of immediate action. Taking a short walk is an admirable delayer. We’re all supposed to be getting more exercise, right? So this has the additional merit of being good for us. If you are facing an especially onerous task, then make it a long walk. Living in Hawaii, I’m able to walk outside 340 days of the year–it would be 365 if I wore a raincoat.
- 3) I Don’t unload the dishwasher (or wash last night’s dishes). If you really enjoy unloading the dishwasher or hand washing the dishes (I suppose there are some people who do) then have at it. If you don’t, you can always put this off, too. Have you run out of dishes? If not, it won’t hurt to delay this for another day. I put pans and dishes to soak. So much easier! You can also apply this tip to (not) doing laundry, but maybe not the soaking part.
- 4) I Let the faucet drip. I’ve found that you should not, under any circumstances, get out your toolbox to replace the washer. If you do, you very well may be tempted to dig in and do the job on the spot without realizing what is happening. Many people inadvertently let habit take over and go into auto-drive.
- 5) I’ve learned to never take that first step on other projects, too, such as turning on my computer (except to play on Facebook), getting out the bucket and mop, taking the hand vac down to the car, etc. etc.. When you do that, force of habit and lack of concentration may find you in the midst of accomplishing something you had no intention of doing today. Tomorrow fondly awaits, but alas! The task is done.
- 6) No longer do I balance my checkbook. When I became a widow, for a full year I obediently balanced (or tried to balance) my checkbook every month. That’s what responsible people do, right? Then I caught on. If I started each month with $2,000 in the checking account, then there was no chance on God’s green earth that I would overdraw during the month. No checks would bounce. And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Keeping our checks from bouncing so our credit rating stays up? I’ve successfully managed to procrastinate about checkbook balancing for four years now.
- 7) Oh yeah. There was supposed to be seven tips. But…I’ll add that one later.