organize your family


Procrastinate Properly
by Tracy Lyn Moland, Author of Mom Management, Managing Mom Before Everybody Else

Procrastination is an excellent way to waste time. It is a great way to really give a project attention – far too much attention. At times, we are all excellent procrastinators but we need to learn to prevent this habit. The most important thing we can do is figure out why we are procrastinating. Once we have determined the why, we may know how to solve the problem. We can then just get going and get the job done. Or we can decide that we don’t really need to do it and remove it from our To Do list. 

If, after we have determined WHY, we still can’t get going on our project the following ideas should help:

1. PLAN AND PRIORITIZE your To-do lists, schedules, dreams, and goals. Organize your life. Follow the steps in chapters eight, nine and ten.

2. BREAK A LARGE JOB INTO SMALLER JOBS and do them step-by-step. Take cleaning your house as an example. For most of us, this is a huge, time-consuming task that we would rather avoid. To simplify the job a number of Moms surveyed divided their chores into daily duties – bathrooms on Sunday, dust on Monday, and vacuum on Tuesday.

3. SET A TIME LIMIT. Work on a project for one hour and then stop. Ignore the phone and email and work for the set amount of time. This works even better if you schedule these chunks of time into your schedule.

4. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO QUIT. If there is a job you know you must do but just don’t feel like it, start, and give yourself permission to quit in 15 minutes. Usually at the end of the 15 minutes you will be into it and will continue on. If not, you have made some progress, and next time you work on it you are that much farther ahead. This also works really well with exercise. 

5. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF POCKETS OF TIME to make a dent in a project. If you have 10 minutes between appointments, why not make two of the eight calls you need to make. Write Christmas cards during naptime or a hockey practice. Wash dishes while you are on the phone. I learned a great habit from my Mom - whenever she had to wait, she would clean out her purse. Carry books or articles from magazines with you so you can get them read while you have to wait.

6. REWARD YOURSELF. Plan a suitable reward for completion of a job or task. Suitable is the key word here - a trip to Mexico because you cleaned the bathroom is probably not a good choice but a bubble bath would be a great idea!

7. CREATE DEADLINES. Inviting company over is a surefire way to get the house tidied. Make an appointment with a client to review some work. Invite your Mother-In-Law over. Sign up for a 5km run. Book a holiday.

8. CREATE SYSTEMS. Are there things you do over and over again? Do you find yourself procrastinating because you have done something so often it seems easy or it is boring? Create re-usable systems. Photocopy and re-use your grocery lists, chore charts, Christmas card list, etc. 

If these don’t work, go back to the beginning and really think about Why you are procrastinating. Once you know why, either do it or try them again! 

Excerpted from Mom Management™, Managing Mom Before Everybody Else © 2003 Tracy Lyn Moland. Used with permission of The Gift of Time. All rights reserved. Order from or 

by Tracy Lyn Moland
Mom Management™

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