Sunday, July 27, 2008

Clean house, clean mind

Since this blog is all about procrastination, I thought I'd talk about it some more.  In college, my favorite form of procrastination was cleaning.  And I'm generally not a huge fan of cleaning.  And I'm also really really messy.  I try not to be messy, but inertia tends to lead me in that direction.  I think part of my problem is that I like stuff and form stupid superstitious attachments to things easily.  For example, from cleaning out my apartment FIVE years after college:  "Oh, that's the shirt I wore for my ninth grade school picture, I can't get rid of THAT!"

So, as you can imagine, there's clutter.  Thinking back to this room yesterday afternoon:  I still had Christmas cards on display.  I had a calendar on the wall from 2007 (but it has pics of my niece and nephews which I love).  Old phonebooks - check!  Magazines (bridal, Publishers Weekly, Romance Writers Report).  In this room alone were four computers!  And for some reason, a burned out lightbulb in a basket.  With dog toys.  And pens, half of which don't work.  And PILES of mail.

As you can see, clutter.  Even when I get into a mood to throw away, I always have some stupid reason to hang onto things (what if the power goes out and we need the energy company number and can't find the most recent phone book?  Maybe if I scribble enough I can make some of these pens work...etc).

I realized that for the last few weeks, it's been more difficult to write.  Then yesterday, JP and I spent all afternoon cleaning and THROWING AWAY CLUTTER.  Our hurby curby is full!  And suddenly... I'm writing more.

My mom used to say, clean house, clean mind (I think she said that, at least).  I thought it was just a trick to make me clean my room.  But now I think she's right.  Not only was cleaning a great way to procrastinate writing papers in college, it put everything else around me in order so I wasn't distracted.  Sitting here now, with the mountain of mail gone, dog toys put away, a broken piece of furniture moved out, I feel lighter.  We still have a way to go, but the bookcase is in order, the floors are clear, and I can see the top of our huntboard.  JP and I were even able to eat dinner and play Scrabble on the dining room table!

Plus, it feels good to have accomplished a goal that's been hanging on my back for a while.  It's like, if I can clear things away in life, I can clear them away in my head.  

So that's one of my procrastination techniques.  Oddly, it's a circular game because when I don't want to clean I procrastinate by.... writing.  Go figure!  What are some of your favorite procrastination techniques?


Marina said...

Endless blog-surfing.

The Compulsive Reader said...

I try to organize myself. I make lists and charts, organize stuff on my desk according to category. I also rearrange my bookshelves. But you are right about the clean house, clean mind. I can always work better once I'm done doing it.

So does that mean it's not really procrastinating after all? Hm...

Buffy said...

Photography. If I spent half the time writing that I spend ordering lenses and arranging girls' nites as an excuse to do photoshoots..well, there's just no telling.

Carrie Ryan said...

First of all, photoshoots sound like tons of fun and so I hereby declare it not procrastination :)

Also, I'm in awe of your compulsive organization, Compuslive Reader!

And yes, Marina -- blog surfing is the kind of all procrastination!!

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