Category Archives: procrastination

Ten-Minute Tasking


Part of #2 son's messy bedroom

Part of #2 son's messy bedroom

The venerable Lazy Moms, aka Amanda and Leslie, have dubbed Tuesday as Ten-Minute Task day, and it makes a lot of sense. Chopping big chores into little jobs that can be done in 10 minutes makes the process less intimidating. Very important for someone like me who needs to get so much done but has severe stay-at-home-mom ADD.

Those of you who have it know exactly what I’m talking about: You start out working on one task, say, unloading the dishwasher. Right in the middle of putting the dishes away, you think about the grocery list and remember that you need to buy Lean Pockets (#1’s fave is pepperoni). You stop almost mid-plate and dash over to your grocery list (which for me is on my iPhone) and write or type in what you need. You stand there for a minute or so and write or type in any other items that come to mind. Then you walk into your office to check your e-mail, blogs, and the news. After 15 minutes or so, you walk back into the kitchen and are totally surprised to see that the dishwasher door is open and half unloaded. Or is it half loaded? Then you have to figure out if the dishes are dirty or clean and finish the job.

After all that confusion, you really need a nap!

Fortunately for me, I know the dishwasher is filled with dirty dishes, etc., right now, so I don’t have to deal with it. Hopefully, I can stay on task, because I have a couple TMTs slated for today. The first is to whip up a résumé in my desktop-publishing software for the #1 son, so he can apply for a part-time and/or summer job at the public library. As is typical of me, I’ve had this on my get ’er done list for several weeks. Sigh! But today it will get done!

7182-closetThe second TMT will take a boatload of 10-minute increments to eventually complete: Dealing with the mess in the #2 son’s bedroom. It seems like every time we tame the clutter . . . even going so far as to take everything out of the room except the furniture . . . things creep back in as if drawn to its blue-walled confines. Much of the stuff is sporting equipment, everything from discs to golf clubs to lacrosse sticks to baseball bats. The #2 son almost could open up his own sporting goods store!

And yet amid all the clutter and chaos is one shining star of hope: the closet. Look at it in the photo above; it seems neat! But don’t let it fool you. It only looks that way, because #2 doesn’t wear any of the clothes hanging there. The ones he likes are in dresser drawers (not shown).

#2 son is due to get a new double bed. But we need to empty out his room in order to fit it in. That emptying process begins today . . . for at least 10 minutes!

Oy, the Gray Hairs!


The #2 son coaches the younger flag football team.

The #2 son coaches the younger flag football team.

When my wonderful neighbor, Miss Kim, cut my hair today, I couldn’t help but notice a new crop of gray hairs had suddenly appeared. What caused it? Why, the #2 son.

#2 son on the run during flag football

#2 son on the run during flag football

I truly adore this kid. Not only does he try to play every sport on the planet (and he’s pretty good at most of them), but he gives back by coaching a flag football team of fourth-graders. He’s been the only nonadult coach in the league for two seasons. He has his very own playbook that he’s developed (lovingly desktop-published and bound by yours truly, because I knew the boys couldn’t read #2’s scribbling), and he’s been able to get the best out of them. He also enthusiastically puts together sports pools for the family to compete in, even helping his often-clueless older brother with his picks. He motivates all of us to play disc golf together, dividing us into doubles teams that he thinks will be competitive with one another (mine is if #2 is my partner).

Except for the messy room (wonder where he got that from) and dirty stinkenstein body, he really is a great kid. Except for one detail: Oh, does the boy procrastinate! If he has a project due Friday, he’ll actually say, “Good, I don’t have to start it until Thursday!” I keep telling him that he needs to work on how to pace himself with homework, because it only gets harder in high school. Meanwhile, I’m spoiled by his older brother, who always has gotten his homework done in a timely manner since first grade. Guess it’s something you’re born with.

Today that procrastination habit bit him in the butt but good. He had to take his lumps. He’s known he’s had a Spanish project due today for at least a week. But he also had a U.S. History project that was due Monday (yes, got it done Sunday night), as well as track practice, a track meet, and plenty of disc golf. Naturally, he finally started his Español Monday. He told me he had to do a restaurant menu all in Spanish. I glanced at the rubric and told him to write down all the menu items with the prices (which had to be in euros) and let me know where he wanted everything to go. Did he finish it Monday night? Do you really need to ask? This is my child we’re talking about! Nope, he didn’t get ’er done.

So yesterday he had a track meet after school. And not just any old track meet. No, this was the district meet with all 13 middle schools. Multiple heats out the wazoo. But that usually wouldn’t be a problem, because #2 is a triple-jumper. Three jumps and smell ya later. So, of course, on the one night we needed to be done early to get the darned project completed, the coaches decide to punish me by putting #2 in the 400-meter dash, which is near the end of the meet. For the first time ever. Without any practice whatsoever. Say what?!?

#2 struggles around the curve in the 400 meters.

#2 struggles around the curve in the 400 meters.

Naturally, we don’t get home until 8:30 p.m. #2 still has to eat, take a shower (for the good of all mankind), and do math homework. And finish the Spanish project. I tried to be calm, cool, and collected, even though I knew that every precious minute that ticked by meant I would be up later and later. Finally, #2 hands me his work and goes to bed. It actually doesn’t take very long to format it and print it. If I only had known what the morning would bring, I probably wouldn’t have skipped off to bed. No, I would have been dragging the old bag o’ bones off for a night of tossing and turning.

It’s morning. I wake #2 early, because he needs to go to school early to finish a science lab. I have him proofread the menu and then prepare to output it on cardstock. As I’m printing, I finally, almost fatefully, read the rubric. Really, I shouldn’t have. I should’ve just printed the menu, handed it to #2 to put in his Spanish binder, and washed my hands of the whole mess. But, no, I just had to tempt fate. So I read the rubric, and the very first sentence . . . in English . . . says: “Name the supermarket.” Supermarket. Not a restaurant. And not even a menu. The first 10 gray hairs start to sprout.

“#2,” I say. “It says it’s supposed to be a supermarket. Why did you think it was a restaurant menu?”

By this time, he’s ready to explode. Not a happy camper by any stretch of the imagination. There’s no time to fix anything but the title, which I change from “Café” to “Supermercado.” The next 10 gray hairs are pushing through the scalp. I drive him to school without mentioning the project at all. But I am rolling my eyes.

Do I think for one minute that my eighth-grader will have learned a valuable lesson and will stop procrastinating AND carefully read rubrics? Then again, do I think I’ll ever get all my get ’er done projects finished in a timely manner? Looks like it could be hopeless for both of us. I could be totally gray by his high school senior year.

A fresh start!

It’s 2009, and I’m ready to make a fresh start and finally get things done! I’m a terrible procrastinator (married to another terrible procrastinator), but I’ve got a load of things to get done this year. I’m hoping that this blog will keep me accountable and will give me an outlet for occasional musings and photos, too.

Today’s get ’er done menu:
• Pick out and upload four photos to our neighborhood’s newsletter (I take action photos for my son’s middle school’s yearbook).
• One load of laundry
• Minimal shopping (got to buy the Mister cornflakes, which I forgot to buy at Walmart yesterday, even though it was on my iPhone list, which I even looked at when I was in the store . . . d’oh!)
• Watch or dvr “Oprah” (Best Life Week! Who doesn’t want that?!?)
• Plan the week’s meals (my weakness)