Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Procrastination should be a four-letter word. Nothing wastes time better, and nothing is as sure to get my guilt feelings dancing around that the house is a mess, the kitchen's messy, nothing got accomplished today. As I heard on FlyLady recently, it's time to get up off your franny and get busy.

Which leads to the other extreme if I'm not careful. Obsessiveness. Perseveration. The inability to let anything go. I can do it, though, if I stick to baby steps and make myself stop at the end of a certain time limit instead of a task. The laundry doesn't have to be done all in one step, as long as it gets all done one piece at a time. If I just put one piece away every time I pass the basket, the whole pile is away before I realize it. I've been doing the chore without noticing! Which keeps me from complaining, which makes me feel happier inside myself, which leads to ten other happy feelings and puts a smile on my face at the end of the day instead of a weary feeling as I survey the mess and make excuses to myself about why it didn't get done today.

I still procrastinate, though. I still carry over undesirable tasks from one day to the next because I don't want to do them. Sometimes it helps to write out the steps for those tasks ahead of time, so that I can just get everything in place to make that call or write that letter in a sudden rush. Sometimes I tell myself that no task can get carried over for more than three days. If it gets carried over that long, the temptation to drop it from the list altogether becomes too great and I conveniently “forget” that it's there.

I'm fighting the procrastination habit. I'm winning in slow steps over my daily chores and my messy house is starting to show the signs of improvement day by day. I think it can only benefit my kids to grow up in a can-do atmosphere instead of the clutter and the guilt-shadow in their mother's attitude. When I look in the mirror, do I see the person I'm afraid to become, or the person I want to be? And how can I become the person I want to be in a way that it'll stick?

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