Tag Archives: procrastination

Organise me. Milk it!

26 Sep

I have just spent the morning writing lists.  I love lists, they are my friend.  I have a generally creative approach to life, and I have always been this way.  Some might say it is a bit organic, others find it a bit chaotic.  My Dad thought I resembled Little Miss Scatterbrain, and I can’t deny he was just a bit right. This is why lists are my friend.  They are a constant for my ever racing mind, they record the fleeting thoughts that are inevitably overtaken by something more important or interesting.

I can't deny that I can relate well to Little Miss Scatterbrain

I know I have written about my procrastination and organisation abilities before, you can read about it here.  But I’ve decided to take my list writing to a new level.  I’ve hit a bit of a speed hump, that seems to be turning into a mountain.  We still have boxes to be unpacked, the messy room still hasn’t turned into an office, my design for our courtyard has yet to be done, and my Drawn Outdoors business plan still hasn’t been finished.  Without a bit of determination and dedication I’m fearing these things will stagnate, hibernate and end up buried under a pile of other well meaning and fantastic new ideas.  Even this blog, as much as I love it, has been suffering from my lack of organisation.  It is now time to take action.

My little sister (yes the same one that gave me this book) gave me an organisation folder called “Did you remember the milk”.  (It has a website, so you can check it out).  It has been sitting on the shelf for a while, I pick it up, start implementing some of the ideas, and then it finds a new home on the bookshelf.  Don’t get me wrong, the ideas that have been implemented have been embraced and some are still in use and have become habit and routine, but there are many many more that are there ready to be tried, tested and transform.  As I turned the pages this morning, I could see my haze of to do lists becoming clearer and more organised.  It’s not that I couldn’t have done it myself eventually, but it always helps to have someone holding your hand.

I now have a bit of a plan, some schedules and a direction to head in.  Hopefully I won’t forget that the oven needs to be cleaned, and I’ll be ready ahead of time for next years tax return.  While I’m very good at writing lists and getting them done, they are generally reactive and relate to the relative here and now.  I now have a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual list of things to do.  These are the things that could easily be forgotten or put off because they don’t jump up and bite you.  I’m being proactive, organised and efficient, actions that don’t come easy but need me to be disciplined.

It is spring, and time for renewal and fresh starts, so I’m shedding my winter coat of procrastination, leaving behind the evil winter illnesses that have plagued us and slowed us down.  I’m starting up the steamroller and running down those speed humps, hopefully it’s smooth organised roads ahead.  I just need to leave enough room for a bit of dreaming, I want to make sure those roads have some gorgeous street trees, and meander their way through life.  No super highways here.  While there are the important things that need to be done, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them.

Job number one, time to tackle that messy room!



To do or not to do?

11 Jul

There’s not been much on TV tonight, but I’ve been transfixed.  I’ve dished up and eaten ice cream.  I’ve read a magazine.  I’ve been the queen of procrastination.  So when Mr Perfect put his foot down and told me to get up off my bum and get on the computer – it is Monday and therefore blog day, he told me to blog about something I know about and am very very good at.  So here’s a bit of a story about procrastination and avoidance.

It’s always simple to do the easy things, the fun things and the quick and painless.  Harder are the things that take a bit more time, need decisions, or are just plain boring or unenjoyable.  I’m a firm believer that life is meant to be easy.  It’s meant to be fun and we’re all supposed to be happy.  Yes, I know that to be really happy we need to feel pain, grief and sadness, that we need to experience the full spectrum of emotion to understand and really feel, but lets face it it’s much more fun when we’re happy and those around us are too.

As for the easy and enjoyable tasks, I wish that life was like that.  I would love to sleep in every day, but the Daredevil has a bit to say about that.  I would love to spend my day at the beach in the sun relaxing, building sand castles and reading books, but we have to go through winter to see spring, and I think the beach might get a bit boring after a couple of months of the same thing.  I would love to cook and have someone else clean up (hmmmm Mr Perfect might say I already have that!).  If I could have room service every day, and a regular large income deposited to my bank account every week without having to work for it I would be a very happy girl, but would I really appreciate it?

We need to work at least a little and earn the good stuff.  It’s fine to get some things handed to us on a platter, but to really appreciate things and be proud of our achievements there needs to be a little bit of blood sweat and tears mixed in.  Having said that, I know we need to work to achieve, I know that things are much easier when they’re not left to the last minute and I understand that you need to deal with the yuck to get to the yum, why do I always try to put things off?

I’ve had some great excuses reasons for not doing the “fun” things like washing up, cleaning, preparing tax documents or getting on the phone to any government department.  They are always valid and believable, but most importantly they are creative and quite often take a bit of effort.  But really I’ve just been doing something that I just find much more enjoyable.  For me, the creative part is important.  I am most happy when I feel that I’m creating something, when my artistic juices are flowing, which is probably why I really don’t enjoy the government department phone calls!

I am the queen of lists.  I have a list for what I need to achieve in the day, what needs to be done around the house, what I need to do to finish my Drawn Outdoors business plan, basically a list for everything.  I get great satisfaction from crossing off completed tasks.  There is nothing more pleasing than seeing a completed list at the end of the day, if you have managed to complete all on the list.  This is where I hit a snag.  I should write my list and then work out what are the most important tasks for the day, what needs to be done and then get those things done first.  I don’t.  I pick and choose.  I do the fun stuff first, a bit like having desert before your main course.  You never want to go back for bangers and mash when you’ve had the chocolate mud cake.

I grew up with a father who’s favourite saying was “never put off until tomorrow what you can do today” so you would think I would have learnt, but alas, no.

How can I change this habit of false achievement?  I get to the end of the day and I’ve achieved a lot.  I’ve checked Facebook, prepared my blog post, made some brownies and played with the munchkins (yes, all very important I know) but we still don’t have milk, I’m not sure what we’re having for dinner and the laundry is still sitting in the machine (woops!).

I need to adopt the same discipline I have in my landscape design process to my every day.  I have a list for a design process .  It is methodical, and if I have a set timeframe I know how much time I can spend on the fun conceptual stuff and how much time I need to commit to the not so fun detailing and documentation.  I know I need to finish things in a certain order and at the end of the day I have achieved something creative, unique and generally pretty good fun, despite the yuck bits.

So heres to a bit of prioritisation and discipline so I can really enjoy my place in the sun building sandcastles and catching waves. And heres to Mr Perfect for being… well…. right again!!


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