Procrastinator’s Mantra

I’ve been listening to some training on making a blog profitable and learning from some amazing ladies. I have come to the conclusion that there are a lot of other people out there who also struggle with procrastination … so I’ve come up with a mantra we can repeat to ourselves to help reprogram our brains.

Here it is:

 

It doesn’t have to be perfect.

It doesn’t have to be great.

It just needs to get done.

So don’t wait until it’s too late.

What do you think? Let’s see how our lives will change if we repeat that over the next two weeks.

Blessings!

Procrastinator’s Lament

Did you know procrastination is a four letter word? Yep, it’s true. At least it is for those millions of us who have been stricken with this sickness for most of our lives. According to the professionals (aka those with the affliction), it is a genetic thing. Passed down through the ages from parent to child. In my case, it was a dual disaster – both parents had an abundant supply to share with their children. We’re talking world class, here, friends.

I grew up learning the best (read quickest) places to hide our accumulation of stuff from the time a visitor pulled up into the driveway to when they knocked on the door – the oven is handy for kitchen clutter (do not use the oven if they are staying for dinner); the washing machine can hold a massive amount number of items and the bedroom doors are never to be opened when guests are in the house.

Now, according to psychologists, procrastination is a result of perfectionism. Their theory is that because we want things to be perfect, we shy away from the idea of not making it so. Therefore, if we put things off and they don’t come out ‘perfectly’, we can always blame the fact that we didn’t have enough time. Sort of a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Unfortunately, that has a tendency to roll over into my school life. Not that I’m not thinking about the assignment. No, I’m just cogitating on the best way to complete it. And it needs thought. Lots and lots of thought. And then it needs research on the computer. I’m good at research – there’s just so much good information out there. Therein lays the problem. I accumulate stuff on my computer like we used to accumulate stuff in my home. Which is a good thing up to a point, but then it all has to be perused for said school project which takes more time. Usually, I over research and the perusal takes much longer than anticipated. (Does any of this sound familiar to you guys? Oh, good, I’m not alone).

It always comes together in the end, even if it means I stay up until 4:30 am to make sure it does. Not a good way to live health-wise or life-wise. So, I’m going to attempt to help you and myself overcome the problem by setting down some rules:

  1. Realize that even if given plenty of time, the due date will arrive sooner than you can imagine.
  2. Start thinking/researching/working on it as soon as it is assigned.
  3. If necessary, use ‘bubble’ blocking to see what ideas fit together in a reasonable way.
  4. Narrow your topic to include only those ideas (helps to keep from being overwhelmed).
  5. Outline your choices, ideas, actions. You know, Roman numeral I, capital A, lower case ‘a’, regular 1, etc. (just remember that every item goes in pairs – A I needs a II, an A needs a B, an ‘a’ needs a ‘b’. Yes, I know we don’t like to do this, but I’ve found that if I do this, the project almost writes itself.
  6. Plan on completing said project at least a few days early and forget about it. This will give your subconscious a chance to figure out if you’ve said all you wanted/needed to say.
  7. Do the final edit the day before based on what your mind has come up with.
  8. Viola! A complete project without stress or excess adrenalin ruining your heart or other organs and a project you can be proud to own.

Now, how about we all join together and start up a self-help group to work on overcoming this pernicious dis-ease? I’ll get back to you on that….tomorrow.

Let the Summer Begin!

Ahh, the glorious joy of completing finals and being Out-Of-School for 4 whole weeks! I had to wait to post about this because I needed to process the fact that I am really, truly free from book “larnin’”, at least for a little while. It really didn’t hit me until this Monday when I realized that I didn’t have to get up to go to my 8 am class on Tuesday. Hurray!!

Don’t get me wrong, I love school. I love learning (think I’ve said that a time or two), but this freedom is wonderful, it’s marvelous, it’s invigorating. Now, I’m set on filling up the time, glorious time, I have to do what I want without the specter of a test looming over me.

For those who are wondering, I aced my Speech class, learned an awesome amount in my computer class and decided that Macroeconomics is a class I’m glad I’m through. Got A’s in them all ; not sure how to rate a class when the average score on the mid-term was a 60. I have no idea what the final test’s average was, but I got a 76 on it. I am very grateful that our blogs were heavily weighted in the overall scheme of things (thank you, Dr. Fleury).

 

Now, let’s see what’s on that list I need to take care of:

Paint the inside of the house

Declutter

Get said house ready to go on the market

Sort, price and post all of my homeschooling supplies and curriculum online. I know it’s been several years since we’ve used it, just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Put my Bosch Food Processor up for sale and get out my brand new Kitchen Aid Processor (gift to myself for my report card – I thought it was well deserved, right? After all, the kids get perks for their good grades, why shouldn’t the mommies?)

Interview for a part time position with a bank; since my degree will be in Financial Management, I figure I should get a head start in the field.

 Whew, I think I’ll take a breather now. Wonder how many of these will be completed by Aug. 22nd when classes start again? Anyone want to hold me accountable?  

Blessings on you and yours. I appreciate you.

One down, two to go.

Wah Hoo!! I am finished one of my classes for the summer session, Introduction to Computers. I’m glad it’s finished on one hand, but sad on the other because my professor has so much more to impart.That is the main trouble with 8 week sessions – there’s just not enough time to really learn.

In addition to that is the fact that there were people in the class who didn’t know how to turn on the computer nor how to load a disk and who didn’t even know what a mouse was.  Seriously, there needs to be a sublevel Intro class, don’t you think?

As a homeschool mom, I was inundated with statistics on how repetition was the key to true learning. After all, how much can one really learn if a project or report is only completed one time? Trust me, not a lot. That’s why the book for the class isn’t going back to the college bookstore but will live on my shelf of useful tomes…as opposed to all of the un-useful books I’ve collected over the last few many, many years.

I have learned a lot in this class, and ended up with an “A” (go, me!), but I think I shall try to see where I can add some more computer classes because they are just so much fun.

Wheelchairs

Have you ever thought about bathrooms from a handicapped person’s perspective? I never did either, until the other day when I noticed how the mirrors are tilted down in order for the person in the wheelchair to check their hair, put on lipstick or in general see what they look like.

I guess part of the reason I never did was because I really didn’t know anyone who had to spend the majority of their lives in a permanent rolling contrivance. However, I now have a nephew who is confined to one until his body is healed.

There are different sizes and layouts of handicapped accessible stalls, some, like those at my school are very large and spacious, with a lot of room to maneuver, but others, like the one at the Denny’s we visited today, make me wonder what the code enforcement people were thinking. There was no way a wheelchair would have been able to get into, much less move around in, the ‘handicapped’ stall in their facility.

Take a moment and truly appreciate what life is like for these folk. That’s what they are – regular folk like us, just without the use of their legs. Make sure you are the one who jumps to open the door or offer to guide them up a ramp that is too steep to easily ascend if they do not have a motorized chair. Of course, ask permission first – after all, it is their prerogative to do it themselves, but I bet they would appreciate that human touch.

And lastly, one very BIG thing – when talking to someone in a wheelchair, make sure to look at them and not any caregiver or companion when speaking to them. It’s rude and to do otherwise makes them feel invisible; something they do not need to have to deal with on top of everything else.

 

I thank you and my nephew thanks you and everyone in wheelchairs thank you.

Blessings.

Worse Than Drunk Driving

I’m having so much fun in my speech class. Not to say that my knees don’t shake nor my stomach get butterflies before I have to give one, but I’m learning all kinds of new information because of the subjects we have to research, and that makes me happy. Here is my latest topic – my hope is to persuade you to change your habits if you find this speaking to you (the speech was persuasive after all). And since it was gleaned through research, I will post my citations at the end.

According to the US Department of Transportation, in the space of one second, a car moving at 35 mph travels 52 feet; at 70 mph, that jumps to 103 feet. That’s per second. What if no one was at the wheel? And in that second a mom with a baby carriage walks out in front of the car. Or a little boy chases his ball out in front of it? Or a bicyclist minding their own business tooling down the bike lane had said car veer into that lane?

47% of adults do this compared to 34% of teens.1

It has 3 components –

  1. Eyes off the road
  2. Hands off the wheel
  3. Mind off what you’re doing

It is…

Texting while driving.

Car and Driver Magazine did an experiment which was highlighted in the June, 2009, issue. They compared the response times of a 22-year-old and a 37-year-old male driver during a real life test – no simulations here. They drove the course to get a base score at 35 and again at 70 mph, and then compared that to how they did while reading a text, creating a text and driving while intoxicated. (They rented an air strip so they didn’t even have to deal with traffic conditions, roads curving nor pedestrians getting in the way).

The results were horrendous. I’ve put the distances of reaction respectful to their ages.

At 35 mph, the time it took the men to hit the brakes was:

READING A TEXT

  • 21 feet and 188 feet (the 37 year old kept his eyes off the road 4 whole seconds)

TEXTING A MESSAGE

  • 16 feet and 90 feet

At 70 mph, the time it took the men to hit the brakes was:

 READING A TEXT

  • 30 feet and 129 feet

 TEXTING A MESSAGE

  • 31 feet 319 feet (the 37-year-old kept his eyes off the road for 3.5 seconds)

Remember, those figures are when they started to apply the brakes! When comparing those figures to their intoxicated reaction times,

  • The 27-year-old only went 15 feet before hitting the brakes.
  • The 37-year-old reacted at 17 feet when hitting the brakes.

Texting while driving equates more to falling asleep behind the wheel than drunk driving because there is usually some kind of reaction when a driver has had too much alcohol to drink and sees a problem, but there is none when the driver is either asleep or not looking.

We have a family acquaintance that I interviewed for this speech that is in sales and travels extensively in his car. In February of this year when coming home to Largo, traffic on I-275 had come to a halt because of a vehicular fire on the side of the road. A female driver coming around a curve never saw the fire – and never hit her brakes, totaling both cars. The only reason our friend is alive is because he was in a Cadillac and she was driving a Ford Focus – and the metal barrier kept his Caddy from crossing over into oncoming traffic. After asking him how it has changed his life, he responded, “I never drive and talk on the phone anymore, it is just not safe. Your life can end in a heartbeat”. The girl was seriously injured and will deal with those issues the rest of her life.

This is getting long, so I shall end. If, however, you’d like to see how it has affected many more people, check out the documentary special AT&T did in March, 2010, and posted on YouTube. It’s not gory, but very profound; view it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DebhWD6ljZs.

I encourage you to be the role model in your family:

  • Don’t use the phone while driving, especially not to text
  • Make sure your family knows “On the Road, Off the Phone”
  • Get involved with your state representatives and encourage them to present tougher laws against distracted drivers. We must have these laws to protect our citizens! The only law on Florida’s books regarding this issue prohibits any municipality from passing any law regarding cell phones.2 Amazing, when one considers that 5,800 people are killed and over half a million wounded by distracted driving every year.3

As Michael Austin, of Car and Driver, said, “The next time you’re tempted to text, tweet, e-mail or otherwise type while driving, either ignore the urge or pull over. We don’t want you rear-ending us.”4

1 Flores, Marc, IntoMobile, Mobile Technology News Site [Cited June 18, 2010]

2 Governors Highway Safety Association, 444 N. Capitol Street, NW, Suite 722, Washington DC 20001-1534, 2011 Report

3 Federal Communications Commission, 2011

4 Austin, Michael, Car and Driver, June, 2009 issue

What? You can’t abstain 75 minutes?

I know when I was younger and a student, I didn’t always take my classes seriously. But that was when I was in high school and if we were caught not paying attention, it was a lecture and a talk with our parents. Respect for the teacher was stressed at all times, and, perhaps because my own momma was a teacher, lack of said respect was grounds for all manner of unpleasantries.

So why am I seeing so many college classmates using their computers – but not for taking notes! Today in class, a young man in front of me was watching movies and checking his Facebook account … while the teacher was lecturing! In my ethics class last semester, the girl next to me never, ever wrote a note, but I’m sure the Prof thought she was being very studious as she forthrightly pranced into class and set up her laptop – even though all she did was send and receive emails throughout his lectures.

I guess it’s because someone else is paying for their classes; or they’re young; or the sun is shining and they’re (heavens!) b-o-r-e-d. Whatever, I’m really trying not to get into my ‘mom-mode’ and start with the lectures. One, because they wouldn’t pay any attention anyway, and two, I’m really not their mom.

Such a fine line we moms have to walk! I must admit, however, to lecturing my own children on their class etiquette; hopefully, they’ll listen.

Blessings.