Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom – Procrastination

Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom


My mother is a famous procrastinator, at least according to my father. He once bought her a t-shirt with a letter printed on it that said, “Ken, I promise to stop procrastinating. Later. -Rosalie.”

Considering that I think my mother never stops moving and doing, I’m not really sure what he was talking about. Maybe’s she’s changed over time. I know that in terms of procrastination, I can change from week to week.

What I find is that procrastination doesn’t save time; it creates work, clutter, and distraction.

Obviously we can’t do every single thing we think needs to be done the moment we think about it, but have you ever found a “to do” on your desk and realize it’s been there a month? How about two months or a year? I have. If it’s been there a year, maybe it never really needed to be done in the first place, or maybe you’ve got a bill or responsibility that is way, way overdue.

Simply in looking around my own house, here are some ideas about how procrastination creates trouble:

  • Clothes left in the washer sour and have to be rewashed. Clothes left in the dryer wrinkle terribly and have to be ironed.
  • Dishes left unwashed attract bugs.
  • Paper left undone creates late notices from the bank and a feeling of shame and disorganization.
  • A pile of stuff by the door that needs to go to the thrift store looks cluttered, encourages mess, and may start to shrink as people sneak items back out of the pile and into the house, where they’ll eventually have to be re-sorted again.

One of the things that amazes me the most about procrastination is often how quickly the job can be taken care of. Obviously, I’m not talking about cleaning the whole garage in 5 minutes. But you can pay a bill, hang the dry clothes, load the dishwasher, and put the items for the thrift store in your car, all within about five minutes.

Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

A stitch in time saves nine.

If it only take 5 minutes, do it now and do it right.

Today’s Mini Mission

 Declutter something from your living room.

Today’s Declutter Item

Here is something that has been taking up plenty of space in my shed for some time. The friend I was giving it to finally came to pick it up and I am glad to see the back of it.

Corner Display Shelves

Eco Tip for the Day

As Cindy’s post indicates ~ Don’t leave tasks linger for so long that you have to redo them such as drying the washing or folding it. This can cause you to have to waste more electricity, time and wear and tear on your appliances.

“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow

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  1. I’m very good at paying the bills and then let them dissapear in my room. Thinking about it, I still have some bills that need to be archived. I’ll get to it the next time I enter my room!

  2. good thing about procrastination: its totally different depending on the task. exam-time = excellent housework. 😉

  3. Cindy, this ties in nicely with the November challenge. I think I have a tendancy to dwadle along until its the 11th hour (do you have that saying?) and then I work furiously fast. I don’t know why I do that but I seem to like the pressure of a deadline or a ticking clock to get myself into high gear.

  4. The stuff I tend to drag my heels on tends to be the things that I knew deep down inside that I would probably never accomplish to begin with – such as most craft projects.
    Also anytime I have to return a phonecall – I will find a zillion other things to do before I finally have to call someone. I don’t know why phonecalls do me in so much but they do. Now if it’s correspondence via email, then I respond in a skinny minute.

    • Jane – you definately are my long lost twin – I avoid making phone calls all the time, text and e-mail I’m there in flash, but I put off and put off picking up the phone.

    • Jane, I have a bit of a thing about phone calls myself. Doesn’t matter what sort of phone call it is either ~ phoning family or friends, sorting out something about billing or even just booking an appointment ~ for some reason I just don’t care for doing it. I thought I would get over this when I got a phone plan that was cheaper but had way more minutes than I would ever need, but no still don’t like phoning.

      • I am the same. I have never liked phoning. Not sure why exactly. Maybe a hangover from being shy as a kid. I would rather email or talk face to face if that is possible.
        If I have a phone call on my to-do list, it stays there quite a while! Occasionally I can just do it, but only if I don’t think about it too much.

        • Hi Ruth, that is interesting. I am sure my hesitation is not due to shyness. More likely not wanting to deal with something or someone at the other end of the line. After too many times of this happening it is just easier to avoid conversations altogether. Oddly enough I am usually a happy chatty person.

      • What is it with this not liking phoning? I’m the exact same way and it drives me crazy. Then, when I finally make the calls it feels like such a load off. I don’t know what my deal is.

    • Jane, like you I don’t like making phone calls. I would much rather send an email. I have decided that it is because of two reasons. 1. I am an introvert and not a talker. 2. I can think things through when emailing.

      • how funny, what is it with you guys?!? I would always prefer a phone call over emails. except for communicating abroad (just too expensive). its quicker (I avoid texting if its possible to get it over with in 30 seconds of phoning), and I can hear the other person reacting to me and I feel safer if I can react again as well. I often have the impression my emails are read in a different way than I intended. miscommunication is just less likely on the phone…

        • Lena, isn’t it funny how people can be so different? I’m not good at small talk so I find it hard to talk on the phone because I say what I want and then get off and people take it as abrupt.

          • I get the difference. I am more extrovert, good at small talk and quick with comments or jokes. People tend to like me “in person”, and are more likely to take my emails the wrong way. so I prefer to talk to people.

      • Deb J – that makes perfect sense to me! I’m more a natural introvert but am the extovert type when the situation calls for it, but I find I can think things through via email rather than phone calls. When will phonecalls go the way of the dinosaurs?

        • Jane, I think we will always have phone calls but I have noticed that texting is big and will probably take over for all those who can text on their phones. It will even beat out email.

      • Me too, I hate phone calls. What I hate even more are phone calls with groups of people (as the people on the other end of the line use the speaker) I think, it’s mainly because I don’t know whether the person is really listening and thus I concluded that my general dislike is probably because I can’t see whether the other person is nervous/annoyed/sad/happy etc. I don’t know whether I’m an unwelcome intruder and that makes me really uncomfortable. Some days I can’t bring myself to make any phone call at all.

  5. Oh my, this is the first of november, it’s 2 a.m. and I procrastinate about going to bed. Can you imagine?
    How silly is that?
    I’ll better get myself going according to the november challenge and “put myself away”.
    I’d love to hear about how everyone is doing with the november challenge in the course of this month.

    • Sanna – you make me laugh – its mid afternoon here and I’ve just given myself a stern talking to because I haven’t gotten done half of what I should have today BUT I have started back clearing the upstairs storage room here at work, and I’d “Colleen-ising” it, the goal is to get rid of just one thing per day. I have to keep moving things around to get to things that I can easily freecycle out or recycle, but I’m just viewing it as exercise. There is a lot to sort out but I am enjoying have a real pile of chaos to work thru. Anyway, I listed some old drawers on Trademe, 2 mins later I get a request to view them and 15 mins later a couple turn up with cash and take them away. That made my day!

    • Ha ha Sanna!!

    • haha, yeah. I know that one. I am curious as well – so far (two days) I have been doing well in the kitchen, but I figured this morning that now my living rooms looks out of place again. seems like I cant keep control over all rooms at the same time 😉 lets see what happens.

  6. Procrastination is one of my downfalls, I will admit it. At work, I definitely would rather deal with the easy stuff first. If I have a hard project, I will tend to want to handle that last, but I work well under pressure as long as I know that I can make my deadline. Same with de-cluttering, I deal with the easy to get rid of items first. I know that eventually I will have to deal with the tough stuff, but for now, I have plenty of other things to keep me occupied. I deal with housekeeping the same way. There are certain chores I would rather do first before the ones I least enjoy. Maybe everyone is like that to some extent? I do know that if I just stayed on top of chores better, I would not dislike doing some of them as much as I do.

  7. Hi Cindy, this post does tie in very nicely with my Tuesday post. I don’t know if that was your intention but either way, well done.

    The subject actually reminds me of an idea for a post that I want to write about how we tend to put things off because long term consequences aren’t as distasteful or frightening to us as impending ones ~ I really don’t feel like doing this now is much easier to give into than I may have to pay the penalty later. If only we realised that later can be a much bigger problem.

  8. Flylady calls Wednesday “Anti-procrastination Day”. I try to follow the Wednesday rule as much as possible even though it’s a work day for me. Today (Wednesday) I stopped by a friend’s store (she’s a tea shop owner) and dropped off some magazines we both love which I receive from one friend, read, and then pass them on to my tea shop friend. Now they’re out of my house and car and someone else is enjoying reading them.
    I think I’ll do another drop off tomorrow: recycle the bottles!

  9. I set up a calendar reminder to beep once a week to remind me to pay the bills — and I still ignore it. It only takes minutes to pay the bills online, but I will put it off until the last minute. The other thing I frequently do is decide to declutter something and then let it sit around my house for months while I figure out where to send it.

    • I hear you in the decluttering procrastination. I have a full drawer that contains my decluttered items, which are waiting for me to find a new fate for them. some of them have been there almost a year. most of those is “fleamarket stuff”. Problem: I thought I would go, but I obviously really dont like to sell my things on the fleamarket. I have this plan however, to rent a shelf in the second hand shop, and try my luck there. lets see if I will make it. or live in a decluttered home with a drawer full of unneeded stuff for a little bit longer.

  10. I think at least 80 to 90 percent of housework and decluttering is emotional. It doesn’t really take that much time to do many of the tasks. The hardest things is getting ourselves to do it.

  11. For the most part I don’t procrastinate. I want it done and out of the way. But I do find that I sometimes procrastinate on big tasks if a deadline doesn’t exist or it is far off. I’m finding there are so many little things that take over. Plus usually the ones I put off are the ones I don’t really want to do anyway, like sorting through 52 health insurance possibilities in order to try to find the best one for me. Ugh! Does anyone want to do that? Thankfully, I now have an insurance broker who does the work for me and gives me the top 5 best policies.