Do you ever procrastinate? There are several reasons why we put things off, and even a pithy saying that admonishes us:
I’m pretty good about getting things done, but the things I put off fit into one of these three categories:
I’m overwhelmed by the task, I’m anxious about completing the task, or I have task aversion, in my case, usually boredom.
This past Tuesday, knowing that I had an unscheduled day, I hauled out my “one-day” projects and evaluated them with a hard eye. I started with several easy tasks, then graduated to the area in my craft room where projects lurk. They haunt me, they taunt me, yet I’m the one that gives them power.
First, I started with simple tasks. My son is coming home from university in a week, so I needed to ready his room. I had a stack of my unread books on his nightstand, packaging I wanted to recycle, and bedding that needed washing.
Easy peasy. You can see the clean bedding in the corner. I’m hoping that the cats don’t notice.
Small successes can motivate you to keep going. My son’s room is ready to go.
I had items to return, but I misplaced the receipt. I used Procrastination Tuesday to find the receipt, but then I needed to drive to the mall. Driving to a deserted mall to return two items is a bore, but it’s Procrastination Tuesday, so on the list it goes.
Now to the hard stuff, the things that overwhelm me and why. Three years ago, I bought some beautiful purple fabric for my sister Sharon. She wanted me to make a bolero-styled shrug. We found a used pattern online, I washed the yardage to remove the sizing, and then life got busy. Enter the pandemic when we all had time. Determined to get it done, I hauled out the pattern and prepared to cut and sew. The pattern pieces are too big for any of my surfaces, so I took them downtown, where I volunteer. None of those surfaces were large enough either, so I brought it back. I have three painful labrum tears across my right and left hip, making crawling around on the floor painful, so I gave up. I used to sew in high school. I also sewed in the theater department in college and beyond. The procrastination part of all this was feeling overwhelmed that I could no longer complete a once so simple task, coupled with a sense of sadness about all of it.
On Procrastination Tuesday, I drove to an alterations place, checked my ego at the door, and dropped off the fabric and the pattern with the purveyor. I’m providing income to a small, local business, and I will finally be able to deliver on that soft, purple shrug. I took along my sister’s beloved wool coat, which is now too long for her to wear. They’re going to shorten it so my sister can wear it while using her mobility chair. Relief!
Procrastination Tuesday continued with a Kiwi in the Koru pieced cushion kit. I bought the kit in Arrowtown, New Zealand in a moment of confidence and bliss. I call it holiday fever. I’ve never pieced a quilt before, but one cushion couldn’t be that hard. The colors are gorgeous. The finished cushion would be a nice reminder of a great trip.
Somehow, I couldn’t get started. I felt overwhelmed and out of my league. I procrastinated, thinking that I just needed to be in the right frame of mind to try again. As part of my Procrastination Tuesday, I made a plan. I’m going to offer the kit to someone that will enjoy the task and the finished product. It can be a stand-alone cushion or part of a larger quilt. I’m feeling good about letting it go.
As I continued with the “one-day” projects, I unearthed my crochet tote. Remembering how relaxing it is to move the soft yarn around a hook, I placed the bag near the couch. I’m a beginner, so I won’t crochet anything complex, but it will be nice to pick it up again. I also have this gorgeous case hand-crafted by Kate to keep me motivated. Isn’t it stunning?
Two more items in the stash took less than five minutes of research! So it goes with procrastinating. The length of time needed to complete a task is only a tiny part of why we put things off.
Tomorrow you’ll see the outcome of one last item from the stash. I brought home an oversized paper shopping bag from a trendy store called Anthropologie. We received a donation of clothes in the bag for our program downtown, and even and even with a torn handle, I couldn’t bring myself to toss it.
My small reward at the end of Procrastination Tuesday included some time at my crafting desk. The biggest prize, of course, is making decisions and getting things done. It felt great dropping off the packaging material for reuse at the UPS store, returning bras at the mall, making decisions about all my sewing projects, and seeing all that space under the desk.
Do you procrastinate? Where do you find the motivation to move ahead?
My name is Kelly and I have never procrastinated EVER…..LOL 😂
Bravo for tying up loose ends. I like to think of myself as a multi-tasker (perhaps in training) more than a procrastinator. Admittedly, I tend to do all the fun things first then go down the list. Sometimes it takes a couple of months to get to the bottom of the list where things aren’t fun at all (aka removing the Christmas tree). But I’m totally OK with it. I think as a Personal Organizer, the force is strong with you to be organized. It honestly doesn’t bother me to see a line up of tasks, I know I will do them sooner or later. It would probably drive you crazy 😁 At some point, if crafty projects aren’t done and I haven’t any desire to do it anymore, I do the same as you, I give it away. I’ve carried my after dinner wine into the front room to do my physio exercises at like 8pm, LOL. Why? Not because I procrastinated, I just did the fun stuff first. See, there’s a method to my madness 😃 xK
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Wine and physio sound like a great combo. 😉 Good for you for being able to let things go when it’s time. I feel so much better getting through the tasks I could do, and finding a plan for the ones I needed to let go or outsource. You’re right on the PO front. I’m motivated to either move through things or move on. xo
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Holy cats, you accomplished a lot in one day. That purple material is so pretty, and I love the poster of Tessa. Because I spend lots of time writing, many things remain undone. But the house is always tidy so that when I have a block of time, I can slide in some chores. I always listen to podcasts on my phone when I am doing chores, even vacuuming. (Earbuds!) Makes it easier to do boring chores.
Hi Laurie, I’ve just come from your blog, and I’m smiling that your comment is similar to what *you* just posted. We’re on what we used to call “the same wave length.” Best of luck with your writing projects. House work with earbuds sounds like a good way to go.
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Listening to podcasts gives me that extra little motivation to tackle tedious chores.
This was so interesting to read and No, I NEVER procrastinate! I don’t tell tall tales either. 🙂 I’ve been doing a bit of that myself this week. Making lists helps me so much. I do know better than to tackle something complex when I’m tired. I’ll botch it up. I finished the promised heart today and cleaned up the sewing room from previous projects, then laid out fabric and foam to draw off new cushions for porch chairs and couch. The drawing and cutting will be done in the A.M. when I can see. China cabinet is packed up and ready to be put up for sale. There are days when I know I can’t do that kind of thing so I wait, knowing that the energy surge will come. I too have given away so much that I know I’ll never do but I do not think I could give away that beautiful batik you brought from NZ. I’m also finishing a quilt a friend didn’t want anymore. She like piecing them but not finishing them. It will look beautiful on the bed in the den. The backing fabric finally arrived and the borders are already cut and sewn on. I can handle the quilting and binding easier than sewing the small pieces together. I’m glad your sister is finally going to get her shrug. That was stunning fabric. I like the idea of procrastination Tues no matter which day it arrives on. I’ve been making many of those same kinds of decisions to let go of some things and focus on things I still find joy in, taking so much pressure off and making breathing room. You accomplished so much in one short day. Wow! I’d say pat yourself on the back but we don’t want any pulled muscles. 😉 Gardens give us plenty of those these days. I’m getting the kids here after the 9th. Sis will be her 8th and 9th. Giant squishy hugs. Deep breath.
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Thanks for your comment. I’ll be back in the morning with a longer reply. xo
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I do procrastinate over administration and other things that I don’t want to do – yesterday’s book review was an example 🙂 My best defence against putting things off is to remind myself that if I don’t do it now I’ll never do it.
We were down in Arrowtown a few weeks ago (I live in NZ…). I too experience procrastination about lots of things, especially ‘wee projects’. Still I did a little clutter clearing on Wednesday.
I love the poster of Tess. Are you planning on making one out of your modelling assignment at the mall? 😉
I like your idea of giving craft projects you no longer have the enthusiasm for to somebody that will complete them. I did give a lot of stuff away before we moved back to England but I still have too much. I joined a Facebook craft de-stash group but haven’t listed anything on it yet – so there’s a bit of procrastination right there.
I mostly procrastinate over paperwork – I can’t bear to do it and it doesn’t help that Mr. Tialys is even worse than me. The guardianship of our daughters are still bequeathed in our Will to friends we don’t even talk to any more and, anyway, said daughters are 25 and 26 now.
Unabashed procrash – I mean, procrastinator. But the list is short and sweet. Mainly it’s projects which are too big to start without a long vista of free time ahead in which to make some visible progress. I’m talking about hand quilting an entire quilt; turning out all the 80L storage tubs under my work table which have not been unpacked since we moved and undoubtedly contain things I’ve had to buy duplicates for; disposing of my most fugly fabric scraps which will never, ever feature in quilt of mine… well, you get the idea. I applaud your tackling of dull and boring and acceptance of what is. I still cherish the illusion that one day I’ll use that book of copper leaf, for example…
I think that sounds like a really successful day Alys! I write lists, which often get rather long, but the list comes out daily and I work through the top priority things and then eventually seem to get things done! In gardening season lots of things get left for a ‘rainy day’ though! 😉 And I always have a crochet project to fall back on to relax. 😃 That paper bag is really pretty, and I know you are going to do something amazing with it. Have fun! 🤗
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