The Ill Prepared Housewife's guide to procrastination


It’s a new year, and as always, I think this with be the year that I get a handle on procrastination. But really, guys, I have a handle on it.

I’m actually really good at it. (Whomp, whomp!)

So, how do I run a household?

A few things that have kept me going . . .

1. Which would you rather

If you can’t help procrastinating, then make sure you are not doing something that you don’t actually need to do. This is a Class A Mind-fuck, but it works. If you really need to get the tax information together, that is a great way to put off doing the dishes. Pretty much anything is better than doing the dishes. For me, it goes like this: I would rather fold the laundry than wash the dishes. I would rather wash the dishes than vacuum. I would rather vacuum than organize the crafts. I would rather organize the crafts than go through the clothes the kids grew out of. The trick is to always have something you really never want to do that won't topple the whole household if you actually never ever do it (I’m looking at you photo albums. Oh my god, I’m the person who won’t have a photo album to save if there’s a fire! I’ll just grab my phone and hope for the best.)

2. Add in a bonus

You have to market the mundane tasks, especially to yourself. If I know I can listen to my favorite podcast while I’m making the bed, I actually like it. And there was a time when I described making the bed as soul-crushing. One caution though – if you make a chore more bearable by watching TV, beware of the bingewatch. That little feature they have in which the next episode just automatically pops up a few seconds after the last one ends is probably as close to a crack addiction as I’ll get. (OK, it’s not THAT close, but you get the point).

3. Talk yourself into it

I am most vulnerable to procrastination when I am alone at home. Which is great, because no one will notice me jabbering on about why even the instant pot can’t save me if I don’t put the pot roast in now, before I watch another episode of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.. Saying it out loud is a really good way to call yourself on your sh**. This also works during exercise class (I’ve been known to mutter through a grande finale hold at Barre3) but there, it’s not making you any friends.

4. Set a deadline

I am the daughter of a newsman, so I know how a deadline can motivate a person. In fact,  I started blogging as the result of a series of deadlines. The trick is to have something riding on it. We have 1,000s of followers of this blog, and I feel like if I don’t get my posts up every Tuesday, it’s like I blew off a coffee date with all of you. And there’s really nothing worth missing a coffee date for, even whatever it is I do when I'm not doing what I'm supposed to do.

 A version of this post originally appeared at The Ill Prepared Housewife.