Tag Archives: decluttering

Here’s why I don’t plan

I wrote yesterday that I procrastinate on planning – because I fear I won’t stick to it. Then I wrote that I’d start this week with thinking instead of doing. I planned to plan, but I didn’t do it…

Here’s what I did instead. I’ll show you the pictures first, and then explain how I feel about it:

1) A before picture. This is a part of our dinner table. It has been looking like this for more than three months I believe. This even is the already slightly better looking version compared to last week:
2) An after picture… No, not really. This was an intermediate stage. I don’t live in a magazine.

After -I wish

3) The true after picture. It’s more organised than it was before, and I’ve thrown away lots of papers and stuff. There’s still stuff in this pile I have to deal with. It probably won’t happen today.
The real after

If I have enough time and energy today, I’ll clean out the chair first (that pile on the right side of the picture). It stands out like a sore now.

How do I feel now? I’m proud I finally worked on something that I really wanted to get rid of. It’s even linked to my November project: there were papers in there that need to be filed to do our taxes.

I do feel a bit silly for skipping the planning and doing this instead. I said I would plan, and I didn’t do it. Lame. But… That’s my inner critic talking. I’ll hand the microphone over to my inner adult:

This was the perfect day to seize this opportunity. The planning I had planned (yes, chuckles and loud laughter are allowed) can be done tomorrow.

#NaBloPoMo day 13 done. And a mini Mount Doom tackled.

A lucky mistake?

Please read the post first, and then discover what the mistake was… It’s at the bottom of this post!

I’ve made a start on my November project: digging up the stuff I need to do my taxes over 2016. Lisa, if it’s okay with you I might write regularly on how I handle it. One reason would be that it might help others. The other, more selfish reason would be that I’d like to be witnessed and applauded for what I expect to be a struggle (or, share my joy about whenever and however I manage to avoid the struggle!).

My start has been completely different from what I normally do. I didn’t touch a thing. I sat down and thought. I’ve used some techniques from working in projects, a bit like writing a project initiation document (a light version obviously, but something I can use to keep this thing from turning into a big bang and creating an expanded universe I drown in).

The other thing I thought about is: how can I control this as a process? I know 5 things per day will be to little and will not bring me my goal (taxes done). So I’m considering 5 minutes (or 10, or 15, or 30, I think I’ll have to find out what amount suits my levels of energy and the stress that will come up). I’ve also thought about things like: What will my boundaries be? When will I stop or seek help?

A third thing has been to notice how I’m feeling as I write all of this down (my body sends loads of stress signals), what I’m thinking (chocolate! Go binge watch Sopranos!! Don’t start this, it’s too big!!!).

My last thoughts, is how I would deal with my child if he’d feel fears as big as mine feel now.

This took 30 minutes, a bit of more if you include me typing this here. My stress level is going through the roof, and I want to show myself what I’ve learned over the years. So:

– I’m patting myself on the back. Well done for getting this far and facing all these emotions.
– I draw a line. This is enough for today. If I stop know, I’ll feel amazed at the steps I’ve taken. If I continue, I’ll drain myself and feel I’ve failed.

It’s hard to stop now, but I will. I really want to make this project a success. My definition of success is not just getting these taxes done, it’s also feeling I can handle myself.

So what’s the mistake here, and why might it be lucky? I’m part of a private decluttering group on Facebook, called Less Stuff. In the group we work on gentle decluttering, instead of the purge-type decluttering that has been doing the rounds these last years.

I thought I was sharing my post there and there only, in a group where people know what it’s like when you feel like decluttering is like climbing Mount Everest: exhausting, taking a big toll (whether physical or mental or both). To my surprise I received responses of people that weren’t in my group: likes, loves, thumbs up… I had managed to share the post on my own Facebook wall, for all my friends to see.

The responses made it clear to me that I’m not the only one who struggles with this, even outside the fabulous Facebook group I’m in. People were cheering me on, and telling me they’d love to read the rest of the story – a story that still has to be ‘written’.

So I’m thinking about sharing my journey here, on the ‘old’ Procrastination Coach blog. I know that this project has a lot to do with procrastination. Both the fact that my administration is buried in a mess, and the techniques I want to use to get me out of there – both organised and sane.

Like everyone else who procrastinates, I feel embarrassed about it. In my case maybe even more so, because I’m procrastination coach… I should know better! At least, that’s what the critical voice inside me keeps telling me.

Truth is, I do know better. But, well, things happened, in my life. And I fell off the badwagon of doing things, wrestling with the being part of my life. I understand how I got here. It’s human. And now I want to get out.

As Procrastination Coach, I know accountability can work like a charm. So I think I will join #NaBloPoMo (national blog posting month) where you’re supposed to write a blog every day. I still dread the project, so I also dread the NaBloPoMo idea. There’s something atractive about it though. I like writing. I’ll have to make sure that I leave some energy for writing (yay) after the project work (yikes). Which will probably help me stick to my boundaries and not drain myself…