Procrastinators Wanted: It’s Time to File!

by Michelle

Need help getting organized? Contact Grace Brooke at 707.495.6204Great guest blog post from ClearSimpleLiving.com

There are stacks of paper and mail on surfaces scattered around your home.  You had great intentions to get your home filing system in order this weekend.  You want to be more organized.  The expectation that simply wanting to have a more organized space will make your office more organized instantly is, unfortunately, unrealistic.   Ask yourself how it got this way to start with, are you a procrastinator?  It is time to stop procrastinating and start organizing home filing systems.

Am I a Procrastinator?

Being a procrastinator can stand directly in the way of getting organized.  Some people have no doubt about it, they will loudly and directly label themselves procrastinators.  Others are less willing to take on the title.  So what exactly makes you a procrastinator?

Just because you are keeping busy doesn’t mean you are avoiding this pitfall.  If you compile a to-do list for the day do you begin by completing all of the smaller, “less important” tasks?  If you want to stop procrastinating you have to admit that you are putting off your big, more important or crucial tasks.  With what seems like less and less time in the day to get done what we need to accomplish putting off important tasks until a mythical “later” can have a large negative impact on us.

Why Do I Do It and How Can I Stop Procrastinating?

There are a number of reasons we put off projects that need to be done.  Knowing why you do it is a big step in the fight to stop procrastinating.  Let’s use your home filing system as an example, but these reasons can apply to other projects as well!

  • I don’t know where to start: Big projects can be complicated.  Do you have papers stacked all over your home because you haven’t set up a home filing system?  Many people find the process of setting up a filing system daunting.  Break up larger tasks into smaller steps, this will make it less intimidating.
  • It is no fun: Let’s face it for most of us working on our home filing system is not a fun activity.  So we put it off.  We do tasks that we enjoy more, or at least projects that we think we can finish faster!  The truth is we need to stop procrastinating less appealing activities because they still need to be completed!  Plan a motivator for yourself.  Sometimes you need a reward to get yourself going.  For example, when you clear the papers off your kitchen table you can go on a pleasant fall walk, eat that piece of chocolate you’ve been eyeing up, whatever you find motivating.  Try to choose something that won’t take you away from your task too long, you don’t want to lose steam or get hopelessly distracted.
  • I’m afraid of failure: This freezes many of us, whether we realize it or not.  If we don’t try to complete the task we won’t fail.  The truth is your first try at a home filling system MAY NOT be successful.  Perhaps that is how you ended up with papers all over your home to start with.  It is okay, stop procrastinating and get started!  Sometimes finding just the right solution to a problem can take a couple tries or some time spent researching.  There is a lot of help available out there once you take the first step and get started.  If you are really stuck consider calling in a professional organizer for a few hours to get you started.  Check out Freedom Filers Home Filing System (one of Grace Brooke’s favorite filing systems)
  • I got distracted: The truth is that this is soooo easy to do.  While the internet is a fantastic tool it also offers us an almost unlimited supply of distractions.  Maybe you were just going to check your email, real quick, and then post a Facebook status, and right after that you will get started with your home filing system!  Two hours later you forgot exactly what it was you had started doing but found a fantastic new blog and bought a pair of great shoes!

When you have a project to complete limit your distractions in the environment.  This might mean powering down (gasp) your phone or computer for a while.  Try this trick once you have a home filing system set up, don’t stop moving with the papers in your hand to file.   Don’t put them down in a “waiting” location!

Bring in the mail and make decisions.  Junk goes straight into recycling and the rest of your mail should be shredded, filed, or put into your active paperwork space.  If you put down a stack of papers you are greatly increasing the chance that this pile will do nothing but grow as you give in to distraction after distraction.

Stop procrastinating today!   The sooner your home filing system gets organized the better you will feel.

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