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Procrastination Excuses: I Can't Get Focused
and I Don't Have the Time to Figure Out How

by Janet L. Hall

As we continue with our series, Procrastination Demons, I'd like to ask you:

How do you spend your time and what are you focusing on?

Everyday you go through the same routine, many times unaware of what you are really doing or not doing. Your life has become a tangled mess of habits and excuses, especially when it comes to dealing with your clutter and messes, right?

Today let's look at some of the time and focus excuses I hear and ones that you might be saying to yourself and others:

Excuse 1: I don't have the time.

Well what exactly are you doing with all your time? Do you really know where your time is being spent and on what?

You can guess and estimate all you want; however until you really become aware, possibly keep a time log of how you are spending your time, you really won't know for certain. Get a copy of our free time log at:  and keep track for a day or two, or better yet keep track for a week, of where and how you are spending your time. After this is completed you will know what you can adjust, change, or stop doing to become more focused.

Ask yourself:

  • How many of my hours are really productive or generate revenue?
  • How many of my hours are spent looking for things?
  • How many of my hours are wasted watching TV, being a couch potato?
  • How many of my hours are spent gossiping on the phone?
  • How many of my hours are spent surfing the Internet for nothing important?

Excuse 2: I'm too busy.

Let's get honest here. Are you really that busy that you can't take a half hour, half or whole day to tackle and sort through some of your piles, clutter, and stuff? Now I know that when one does get a little extra time they want to spend it doing whatever they want and that's okay. What we are attempting to do is create some semblance of balance.

For instance, if you are curled up in front of the TV or outside playing, whatever it might be that you do when you catch some 'free time,' and your piles and stuff are overtaking your life and environment then you are out of balance.

Remember, if you know what to do and are neglecting those to- do's then you are procrastinating or unfocused. Not too many people want to clean out their closet or sort through paper piles when a good movie is on and they could just lay around and relax without a care in the world. Or go play outside on a beautiful day rather then stay indoors going through piles. After all, you'll get your to-do's done one day, right? Which beings us to ...

Excuse 3: I'll get organized someday.

  • When will your someday come?
  • Will you get organized before family services comes and removes your children from your home?
  • Will you get organized before your spouse, partner, or roommate has had enough and moves out?
  • Will you get organized before you lose a promotion or worse yet your job?

Excuse 4: I'm waiting for the right and perfect time.

Will the right and perfect time be after the above happens, when you are rudely awakened and forced to focus on your clutter issues? Believe me, giving up a TV show or a nice day is much better then going through the hell you will endure if any of the above happen to you.

Excuse 5: I have more important things to do.

Have you ever noticed how you don't mind doing the other little things you've been putting off when you think you're ready to
tackle a project? This could be any project, not necessarily an organizing project. This happens to all us procrastinators, including myself. Just when you're ready to jump into something you suddenly notice that this or that needs taken care of first.

Excuse 6: I'm looking for a quick fix.

If you are looking for a quick fix, well there really isn't one. Every pile, mess, and disorganized area must be sorted through.

Decisions must be made:

  • Toss: Is it okay to toss?
  • Keep, Donate, or Refer: Where to keep, who to donate or refer to?
  • Repair: Will you use it if fixed?
  • Recycle: What can be recycled and how will you handle these items to get out the door?
  • Read: When will you have the time to read and is it really important to read?

Excuse 7: I have interruptions all day long.

First of all let me tell you that when you have clutter and chaos in your life you are interrupting yourself!

Ask Yourself:

  • What or whom is interrupting me?
  • What or whom is 'taking' time away from me?
  • What or whom is causing me to lose focus?

After you have identified your what and whom interruptions ask yourself what you can do to put a stop to those interruptions.

For instance, if you don't know how to properly use the equipment or technology you are using, that's suppose to save you time, then you really need to plan some learning time in order to get the best use out of your equipment and technology or delegate those tasks to someone more knowledgeable.

If certain people are always interrupting you then you need to step up and set boundaries with those people. Create some rules or guidelines of when you are available, and be nice about it.

Excuse 8: I have so much going on I can't stay focused on anything

This is ME! I have so many projects, products, web sites, clients, and to-do's it's very hard for me to stay focused at times. That's just in my business life. I also have things in my home life and outside my job and home that I want to focus on. You too?

Well let me tell you, one of my coaches got a hold of me at the beginning of the year and made me sit down with her and make a list of the things I have going on. Then she told me I had to pick 5 and only 5 items from my list. After talking about and going through all the items I was finally able to determine and pick out the 5 most important items to keep my focus on.
Now that doesn't mean I need to give up all the other items on my list, I don't have to abandon them. I'm just not focusing on them until I have completed a task from my top 5 focus areas.

So, make a list of all the items you want to get organized, focused on, and completed and pick out only 5 items, the ones that are causing you the most pain and chaos in your life and let's start working on them together.

Don't let your lack of focus grow and overpower you - taking over your life, and your environment, let me help you.

Janet is a Professional Organizer - Certified, Certified Pyramid Feng Shui Practitioner, Speaker, and Author and can help you regain control of your life, your time, your stuff, and your environment. FREE newsletter, OverHall IT! at

Copyright (c) 2004-2010 OverHall Consulting
P.O. Box 263, Port Republic, MD 20676
All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted to reproduce, copy, or distribute so long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author is attached.


Janet L. Hall
P.O. Box 263
Port Republic, MD 20676
Email Janet
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