Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Art of Responsible Procrastination

It’s official. I’m a worn-out woman.

The kids spent the better part of two weeks with some kind of stomach flu. Isaiah got the worst of it. I won’t elaborate any further - except to say that there were some really urgent trips to the bathroom and a lot of cleanup.
When the kids are home from school, I get very little done. I’m sleep-deprived (what else is new?) and feeling behind in my responsibilities. The house is a mess.
With Isaiah finally back to school today, and I was so looking forward to the two hours I would have to myself this morning so I could get back to work.
So when the house was empty and I had the first moment of peace in some time, I knew I have settled down with my computer and to do list (I still wasn’t going to start with cleaning) and get some much-needed work done.
Instead, I gathered some craft paints and brushes, my iphone and earbuds, and I painted this on Isaiah’s bedroom door:

and this on Amali’s bedroom door:

Isaiah loves all things red. And he loves Elmo (who doesn’t?) so I knew it would be a hit.

Amali is currently obsessed with the movie Monsters Inc., and she has been asking me to paint her door look like Boo’s door. Much aside, if you haven’t seen Monster’s Inc., I HIGHLY recommend it. It is great for kids, but I wouldn’t hesitate to watch it without them.  It is a wonderful story about how joy is far more powerful than fear. SO worth it.

Anyway, it felt really good to sit on the floor, listen to my favorite music, get a little dirty and DO something – and I knew that my kids would be totally psyched when they saw it.
Isaiah chanted “Elmo! Elmo!” when he saw his.
When Amali saw her door, she hugged it and said, "I want to keep it forever! Even when I die - I'm going to unscrew it and take it with me!" Now THAT was worth it.
Thankfully, I’m feeling a little less worn out. I still have a to do list, but I am not bound by it – it is all within my control.  THIS project was important for me today.
By the way – it’s no brilliant creative work – but it gave me a few moments to myself, I enjoyed it, and it made them smile. I also know that doing something I enjoyed during those two hours made me a better mommy when the kids got home from school.

Practicing responsible procrastination can help to put a to do list into perspective. We are overloaded, overscheduled, and stretched to the limit.

Take some time to consider your commitments and decide what is urgent and what can wait.

What would happen if you dropped everything to go visit with a friend?

Or let go of some shoulds and oughts for some fun time with your little ones?

In fact, what can you strike off your to do list entirely?

What might be called procrastination* could actually be really good medicine for your soul.


The darn trouble with cleaning the house is it gets dirty the next day anyway. So skip a week if you have to. - Barbara Bush

*Procrastinate responsibly

Eyes Turned Skyward, Inc.
Personal and Executive Coaching