Everybody procrastinates, even Professional Organizers. This summer for me has been a long overdue vacation mixed with the completion of a lot of long over due tasks. Tasks that yes, I have procrastinated on. When you are juggling kids, bills, laundry, meals, school, and work, things that you have been meaning to do but aren't top priority tend to get shifted to the bottom of your To Do list over and over again.
And then, in comes that person in your life. You know, the one you can't hide anything from or lie to. He/She is the one you call when you need motivation or coddling or a good kick in the pants because they will tell you the truth. They will give you what you need. They are your accountability partner.
Sometimes these people are friends, sometimes family, and sometimes even someone you hire like a Professional Organizer. Mine is my mom.
My mom has flown in from out of state this summer to see her grandsons, spend some much needed downtime here after retiring, and, in a nice way, help me get my butt in gear by finishing up old tasks. For instance I have been talking about refinishing or painting this ottoman I own for years. It always got moved to the bottom of my list. With her help we brainstormed ideas, bought supplies, and finished it up in less than a week.
Was it a difficult project? No. But sometimes people (even Professional Organizers themselves) need a little prodding to get things done. Especially things that aren't emergencies like one of your "someday I want to do X" projects.
(Click here to read a post about how the chalk paint held up on the ottoman 2 years later)
Another want to do project of mine has been this hutch I've had since 1983. My grandfather made it for me so it has extreme sentimental value. But after all of our cross-country moves and being in storage in various places, it has seen better days long ago. I already had the stain but I was too nervous to sand it in case I made a mistake.
My mom's answer? It's worth a try. And it's funny because that's exactly what I would have said to a client myself. I forgot to treat myself like a client and be objective. I was too close and personal to the situation - yet another good reason to hire a professional organizer instead of family to help you with your home.
I'm sure refinishing the hutch doesn't appear as dramatic a change to you as the ottoman. But taking a leap on this project was a huge one for me because I'd built it up to be much more of an issue than it was.
The fear of ruining it was much bigger than the ottoman because someone I love had taken the time to build it for me.
It actually needed to be re-stained because of water damage and lots of nicks and dings it had sustained so it should have been higher on my priority list. But I kept procrastinating over the years and coming up with other things to do before this one in case I made a mistake.
The fear of making a mistake held me back from doing something I truly wanted to do. The fear of "what if" was much more powerful than it should have been because I made it that way. The more I procrastinated, the bigger the project seemed.
So if you've been procrastinating over a task lately, remember that everybody does it. But what you can do differently is to not let it get you down. Solve your problem by finding that objective someone in your life to help you see through the fear. After they help you accomplish your big task, breathe a sigh of relief and return the favor by helping them with one of theirs. Think of how good both of you will feel. You may even be inspired to keep going like a procrastinator's ping pong game, completing task after task for each of you until both of your lists are done.
Think about that for a moment. Just imagine how good that would feel.
Find your list.
Pick that task you've been dreading.
Hunt down your accountability partner.
Get to work.