Some people are very organized. They plan ahead, parse out what needs to be done when and seem very relaxed when the deadline arrives. Like my sister who packs a whole week before leaving on vacation. Me? I’m still washing the clothes I want to take the night before leaving. Or how about the hostess who has the table set before the guests arrive—even family. I’m working on that. When we had several family members over to celebrate my husband’s birthday, I didn’t wait for my four-year-old granddaughter to “help Nana” set the table—maybe because we were using my good china. Not really. I had decided I wanted to enjoy the company instead of doing tasks that could be done ahead of time. That was so not my normal routine.
My daughter puts me to shame with how organized she is. Once we were talking about an invitation to a wedding and she said she always puts the respond card in the mail the day after it comes. Holy cow! I’m usually trying to find the card right before it’s due. That got me thinking about how I deal with mail. Organizers say to touch a piece of mail once—toss it, pay it, file it. Yeah, right. I am getting better about tossing junk mail. Deciding between what’s junk and what needs to be paid is the easy part. It's the "I might want to do something with” mail that's the hard part. Of course, I’d rather “junk” the bills, too, but credit card and utility companies frown on that.
I try. I’m trying harder to be organized. But I think I’m missing a relay in my brain. You know, the one that triggers an immediate reaction to a task. On second thought, I do have a reaction. My brain says “you’ve got plenty of time, you don’t need to get started yet.” Then, I always underestimate the amount of time a task will take. If I’m supposed to leave at a certain time, I try to do one too many things before then race around at the last minute.
Now here’s the weird thing. I procrastinate terribly in my personal life only. It’s different with my work. At every job I had, I could see what needed to be done, worked up a schedule and completed the task ahead of time. I do the same with my writing. Instead of my boss telling when a task needs completion, I set my own deadlines. When you self-publish, you don’t have an editor (or agent) setting deadlines for you. Posting this blog each Monday is a self-imposed task which (so far) I’ve been able to accomplish. I’m amazed at how much I can accomplish when I have a deadline. Now, if I could only parlay this into my everyday life.
How about you? Are you organized or a procrastinator?