time management

I Don’t Procrastinate… My To-Do List Is Just Always Full



Few people who know me would list procrastination as one of my traits. I’m a doer. I know the value of starting and completing. I say what I’m going to do and I do it. I’m on the edge of neurotic about keeping things neat and clean, having my blogs done on time, paying my bills, sending out invoices, picking up the mail and having my toenails painted red.  You certainly wouldn’t peg me as a likely candidate for procrastination coaching, but…

There’s that stuff that I ‘should’ do – and I will get to it, really. I know that I have to make it happen, eventually. I’ve been thinking about it. (Sometimes I even dream about it). It’s just not time yet. I’ll deal with it, promise. I’ll be glad when this is off my plate – wish it would just disappear. Someday I won’t even have to think about it any more! I will handle it, really. I know it’s important, but so is all this other stuff I’m doing. My to-do list is just full! And there’s just so much time in a day, you know. Give me time. I won’t forget. It’s on my mental list. I’ll take care of it soon.

And, ‘what if’? What if it’s even harder than I think it will be? What if I screw it up? What if it can’t be fixed? Will they find out I’m not ‘so much’? Will she be angry? Will he be hurt? Would they stop being my friends? What if it’s even more expensive than I imagined? What if the outcome is even worse than my nightmare? Maybe someone else will take care of it. Maybe it will go away if I ignore it.

Honestly, thinking about the crap I haven’t done – and ‘should’ or ‘must’ do – is exhausting. And you just got a close up view of the junk in the procrastination corner of my brain! Nasty self talk that serves only to keep me from doing what I know to do… and despising myself for not doing it.

All of those thoughts pop up… sometimes all at once; loud and irritating! If I really thought about it, I’d probably realize that goin’ all Nike on it (“just doin’ it”) would kill the voices and give me peace. What’s gonna forward me here? Putting ‘it’ off and avoiding whatever fear or pleasure is behind getting it done, or dealing with it and shutting up those damnable voices???

Eventually the voices are too loud, the issue festers and I move into action. Here’s what I find: It’s never as bad as I thought it could be. It’s always easier than I thought it would be. And it feels so great to have done it! So, I got my eyes checked, I changed the air filters, replaced the water filter, joined the gym and finished my book!  Dang, that feels so amazing!

Come on… WHAT’s NEXT?


By:  Sandye Linnetz

Candy Crush

You know the feeling. I had it just an hour ago. It’s that fuzzy headed, stomach tightening, anxiety ridden sense that you’re doomed. You can’t possible get it ALL done, so what’s the use? Why tackle it? I mean, really, where do you even start? Everything is important. Most of it’s kinda urgent. You promised to finish all of it by bedtime tonight…

So you sit down to attempt it (okay, I sat down to attempt it) and found myself first staring blindly at the computer screen and then beginning to ‘surf’. Even though I know better… even though I tell my clients to eliminate distractions, turn off attention grabbing dings, buzzes and rings and tackle the tough stuff first – today I simply vegged! Unfocused and unsure of what to do first, I started out on what I randomly chose to be task #1 – not because it was the most important – just because. Okay, truth? Because it was mindless. Then, almost immediately, I decided to take a smoke break… Went downstairs and remembered that I don’t smoke anymore. Walked back upstairs to my office and checked my email, facebook and my nails. I moved papers around on my desk. I went to the bathroom. I DID EVERYTHING BUT GET TO WORK!

See, this morning I had this whole list in my head (danger! The list was WHERE???) from business stuff to personal calls and from household chores to weights to lift, but I just couldn’t seem to get started on anything! I promised myself that I’d write three blog posts, work out with my weights for 20 minutes and take a quick shower within the next two hours. I PROMISED! Then I had the brilliant thought that perhaps a quick game of Candy Crush would relax me and get me into work mode. Fifteen guilt-ridden minutes and two levels later…


That’s the way it was for me (though perhaps I was a bit more frenetic than the picture I just painted). For a full 37 minutes I did nothing of ‘value’. I was in the process of berating myself and feeling crappy, when I literally shouted: “STOP!” Clearly it was time for me to follow my very wise coaching advice … and a re-frame.

First I congratulated myself on taking the 37minute break that I so obviously needed. I reminded myself that taking care of my needs allows me to be a far better producer! Then, sitting at my desk, I took a few deep breaths, drank some water and began to make a task list. When the list felt complete and the absolutely must dos had been circled, I turned off the ringer on my phone and the sound on my computer and dived into the list – starting with the stuff that HAD to be done.  The new clarity was joy producing!

So here I am, blogging away… checking stuff off my list… feeling pleased with myself and the world. I’ll play a quick game of candy crush later!


a message from Sandye Linnetz

I have always hated waiting. I’m the quick and impatient type, always moving, doing – in action. I was never very good at waiting. What a waste of my precious, limited time! How unproductive! How boring!

You know what I’m talking about.  Waiting for the train to pass or the light to change… You have place a to go and people to see! Waiting in line at the store… You have far more important things to do! Waiting for your appointment when you got there on time! Being left on hold when you have an important question… or answer… or problem.  Waiting for that repair person to show up or the mail or that phone call can be hell on earth! Some of you might even have issues with waiting for a slow speaker to finish a sentence or for the other person to ‘get the concept’.

And then there are the BIG waits: Did I get the job? Where’s the acceptance letter? What are the test results? Is it a boy or a girl? When will THIS be over?

Whoa. Hold on there.  WAIT a minute! (oops, sorry ‘bout that)  Perhaps we would all benefit from a little ‘waiting coaching’. If we could train ourselves to wait – and wait patiently – maybe we would even (dare I say it?) learn to enjoy waiting.

Ready for a shift? Think of yourself as a student who’s been working hard on long division all period long. And envision waiting as recess time. Remember the thrill of the recess bell? We all loved recess, didn’t we? It’s time to go back to those glorious days and relish the break – take charge of it and make waiting your play time.

Decide how you will use your time; will you use it to BE or as a time to DO? Using your time management skills you could do some strategic planning. Make lists.  Make that phone call or write that email. On a more cerebral level: meditate, pray, really look around  – wherever you are – and appreciate what is.

It’s all about ‘reframing’ what is… reframe the annoying wait so that it becomes an opportunity to…

Make the shift from annoyance to relaxation and get good at waiting.

Thought for the day:  If you are waiting for a change… stop waiting!  Go all Nike on it. Just do it.