Out of Sight – Out of Mind (Part 1)

by Janice

I have a problem. (Well of course I have quite a few – but lets keep this post focused.)

I am a procrastinator and a messy one at that. (Okay – I suppose a have two problems that apply to this post.)

You see, if I don’t like to do something, I tend to put it off – and off and off. (Just ask my husband – but you might want to remind him about that pot calling the kettle black story.)

And so piles begin to grow – and grow and grow. My mother has tried to convince me that the solution to my problems is to get more organized. That sounds reasonable to me and so every once and a while I purge and organize. I file and sort and make urgent folders and tidy up my world.

And oh – it feels so nice. Everything has a home and my surfaces are clean and inspiring. I feel so great that of course I get right to work and create. Since creating is what I love to do, I tend to not procrastinate over that. And with all those nasty piles gone, I have time to do what I love: I write. I work on photographs. I work on our sites. Oh – it is so great…

But is it really? Did you notice what happened in there?

You see – as I said I am a procrastinator, a very gifted procrastinator. And the only time those unpleasant tasks get done is if they are constantly in my face, bugging me to tend to them.

But they aren’t in my face anymore. They are in files marked urgent. They are in “To Do” folders. They are put away.

Ah – so you see it now. Yes, to a true procrastinator a folder that simply says urgent is too easy to ignore. Trust me!

Want an example? A few years ago my mother decided to get me organized. She filed and labeled and stacked on shelves. And it was all lovely. She gave me a clear plastic container – like a plastic folder really – and said this is your URGENT folder. You need to continually go through this and put your “To Do” items in here. Sounded great.

But did I do it? Did I use this lovely container as it was designed to be used?

You guessed it – no. Not only did I not use it properly, I barely ever opened it again. It is somewhere in my basement, filled with urgent items I never dealt with. I live in fear of opening it now.

You see it was too easy to ignore. All those irritating papers were now quietly tucked away. They couldn’t yell at me from in there. And oh I loved the silence. So why would I open that cover and hear their loud hollers for attention? Of course I wouldn’t. Besides, it sure looked organized.

So this is the way I have lived: in shame of my messy piles, (although the piles do tend to have most of the urgent items eventually dealt with) and then periodically cleaning up and filing away my troubles.

But I didn’t really understand that this was happening until…

Check back tomorrow to find out what helped me see this pattern in my life…



Email Author    |    Website About Janice

Janice is co-founder of 5 Minutes For Mom. She's been working online since 2003 and is thankful her days are full of social media, writing and photography. You can see more of her photos at janicecrozephotography.com.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Liza January 28, 2007 at 12:50 pm

Oh my gosh! OMG! This is my life story…
can’t wait to read part 2.
I am hoping for some epiphany and mighty revelation on how to conquer my procastination ;)

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2 Kassandra January 28, 2007 at 1:08 pm

I could have completely written this myself!!! You seemed to have peeked into the reality of my personal life!!! Who let you in??? I must ask you to leave immediately before you give away any of my other horrible secrets! LOL

As Liza said, I am hoping for a wonderful revelation!!!!! Can’t wait to read Part 2!!!

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3 Robyn January 28, 2007 at 3:14 pm

Hmmmm, that does ring a little too true for comfort, lol!

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4 jen January 28, 2007 at 5:02 pm

I am a procrastinator too about housework

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5 Ruth January 28, 2007 at 7:05 pm

oh janice
me too
me too
me too
busted on every angle

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6 Jennifer, Snapshot January 29, 2007 at 8:43 am

Janice–I have to go on to find the “cure,” because you sound like a kindred spirit, here! I really put off those things that I don’t want to do, and yes, if they get tucked away, it doesn’t happen.

But what I really agree with is that if I get rid of the mess (yes, I’m messy, too), then I can focus on what I want to do more.

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