Procrastinators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.

Ironing, and other "Shoulds"

Reading all the comments to E's list that included ironing sheets made me think about a friend I had as a child whose mother insisted that they iron all the sheets.  My mother had us iron the pillow cases only!  This friend's mother was literally insane and probably abusive.  One time she ended up sniffing gas in all the corners of the house.  I'm not sure what happened to Kathy!

The reason I point this story out is because people do things for strange reasons.  And then we find ourselves following their example.  No wonder we procrastinate.  I'm sure you've heard the story of the woman who always cut the end of the ham.  When someone inquired as to why she did it, she told them that her mother had done it that way.  Finally she asked her mother why she cut the end off of the ham.  Her mother's reply: "So it would fit into my pan!"

Hillary Rettig, who wrote the free e-book, The Little Guide to Ending Procrastination, recommends getting others to do things like ironing sheets, or other tasks that keep us from doing that which we feel is important.  I know I can easily procrastinate doing housework.  Afterall, it's one of the most societal-ingrained "should" for women.

I've been trying to get myself to write at home, but it's not working.  I would rather do housework, believe it or not!!! (I don't, but it's true.) One reason I wanted to force myself to do this was to save money.  My favorite place to write is at a coffee shop.  That involves spending gas money to get there and $2 for a cup of tea!  But I've decided that forcing myself to do anything created that old "demand resistance" in me and nothing gets done.

So . . . I will continue to do my best to save money and still go to NEARBY coffee shops to write and do homework.  Others may be able to write from a home office, but what works for others doesn't work for me! 

Like ironing sheets!!!!!


dealing with housework

I've been getting a handle on it lately, but I have spent a great deal of time procrastinating b/c I feel like my apartment has to be perfectly clean before getting down to any "real" work. 

2 things that have really helped me are Downey's Wrinkle Releaser-I hate ironing!  I just spray some wrinkle releaser on, shake the article of clothing, and voila!  when it's dry, it looks like i've ironed it (sorry for the downey plug-no, i don't work for downey)

the other thing that has helped is buying large baskets. I bought some large wicker baskets for each room, and when i feel overwhelmed by clutter, I just throw everything into the baskets until I have the energy to go through the mess and put it away.  It instantly makes my place look clean, and I'm able to move on to more important things. 

taking notes

thanks, rabble! I don't know if they have that here, but it sure seems like a product I could use!


Shoulds are a big part of my demand resistance: they keep me from having people over because I 'should' have a cleaner house, I 'should' prepare a nice something for friends, etc. These things are particularly difficult now, because the 'shoulds' that exist here are my husband's cultural shoulds - not my own. I have rebelled for years against the shoulds of Greek culture: Greek women should be in the kitchen during social occasions getting food on the table: Greek men sit and smoke and discuss politics in the living room. Of course, these are the mores of people of an older generation, but traditional roles are much stronger here: I do not fit in at all! Having friends over is not a pleasant interlude, it is a major pain in the butt, so I don't: I go for coffee instead!

No 'shoulding' on yourself!

How interesting that you mention having a Greek husband.

My daughter is a director of a pre-school.  One of the mothers is married to a Greek husband and practices Greek Orthodox religion.  She drives everyone crazy because she babies her son so much.  She's constantly watching for the slightest 'wrong' being done to him to the point of inventing them!  Luckily, my daughter is quite assertive and has set up boundaries for this woman to follow.

I'm not  much for entertaining at home, either, and am prone to going out instead, if we can swing it.

Let's give up 'shoulding' on ourselves--especially when it comes to housework!!!!