Don’t Let It Get The Best Of You!

By Jerry Lambert

Hello and welcome back to The Brown Parachute Club.  This week I want to talk to you about a topic I have put off writing about for a long time: Procrastination.  Ba-dump-bump! Thank you, ladies and gentlemen!  I’ll be here all week, don’t forget to tip your waitresses!

is09ak00dSeriously though, there is no subject that will derail your dreams and goals faster than Procrastination.  Not knowing where to begin and putting off projects, can lead to getting nowhere fast, but it can also lead to severe psychological problems.

I was inspired to do this article because of a “Hoarders” episode I saw recently.  Watching this show makes me feel like Adrian Monk by comparison. This particular episode was about a guy who had tons of junk on his property outside (not to mention the colossal mess on the inside).  The city was getting on him to clean it all up.  Something he said struck me.  He said that the reason that he had all this junk was because he had “projects” for all of it.

How many of us can relate to this guy?  Not the hoarding, but the fact that many of our projects never get past the planning stage and move into the action stage.  Many of us go through life this way.  We are struck by Divine Inspiration, but the project never gets off the ground, because we just don’t know where to begin.  Or, we are drowned by the responsibilities of day-to-day life and never to get to the stuff we really need to work on.

For people who are still working the 9-to-5 grind, this can be especially distracting.  You ask yourself, “Why is it I don’t get ahead in this job?”  Maybe you’re doing too much of the stuff that doesn’t matter and you don’t have the guts to go after the really tough stuff!  I know I have been guilty of this.

is09ak2rnWe’ve all been there.  How can you get ahead, when you feel you are constantly spinning your wheels?  Wikipedia defines Procrastination this way: “Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task which needs to be accomplished. It is the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, or carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones, thus putting off impending tasks to a later time.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.  This subject is addressed in the Time Management classic, “Eat That Frog!”  I know, it’s a weird title, but it makes sense when you hear it in context.  Mark Twain once said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

600-02055770That’s the premise of Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy.  It’s a book that introduces a list of Time Management principles that will help you Eat That Frog, and finally get somewhere with your projects!  Click on his name above for a short YouTube video where he explains the concept and how it can help to change your life!  (Skip the initial ad.)


Tracy states that the three biggest principles of ETF are:

#1: Eat your frog first thing in the morning.

#2: If you have more than one frog, eat the biggest and ugliest frog first.

#3: It doesn’t pay to sit there looking at it, gulp it down!

The whole book is pretty much summed up in those three statements.  The rest of the book goes into greater detail about why you should follow these three principles and introduces the ABCDE concept as well as other ideas that will help you, in your quest to become an experienced “Frog-Eater”.

For me, procrastination comes down to two things: lack of knowledge and the inability to make a decision.  There is a third factor, the pain-in-the-butt factor.  However, if you manage the first two items, the third one becomes a non-issue.

In this day and age, lack of knowledge about a particular problem is no longer an adequate excuse.  Hell, you can practically learn how to do open heart surgery on YouTube, although I wouldn’t recommend it!

This blog is an example of gaining knowledge, in order to eat a frog.  I knew that I wanted to create a website with WordPress, but all I had done before on WP was to create a simple blog.  I put off getting this website off the ground for quite a while because I didn’t know where to begin.  I bought a book on WordPress, learned what I needed to know, and now I am thinking about creating another website as well.  All because I gained the knowledge necessary to get the job done!

Once you have gained sufficient knowledge or skill in a certain area, making a decision is much easier.  The important thing is to decide to decide.  Even if your choice isn’t perfect,  many people are paralyzed into inaction because they want the end result to be perfect.  If you make a decision and it doesn’t work out, simply make another decision!  Once you have gained the knowledge and made the decision, you’re 90% of the way there.  The other 10% are tweaks that may need to be done, but then you’re done with that project and it’s time to move on to the next frog!

Tropical Red-eyed Tree Frog (Agalychnis callidryas)Brian Tracy describes the endorphin rush that you get by eating an ugly frog.  You know that feeling when you finally finish a project that you have been putting off for a very long time!  Doesn’t it feel great when you finally have it done?!  That’s the rush he’s talking about!  That feeling can become addictive, in a very good way.

Although this article has focused on dealing with Procrastination, the other side of that coin is Discipline. Discipline is the character trait that will enable you to go after your ugly frogs and KEEP going after your ugly frogs, day after day after day.  My next article will go into that topic in greater detail.

I hope that this article has inspired you to go after the ugly frogs in your life.  Don’t be a “Mental Hoarder” of a bunch of great ideas that never get off the ground, simply because your life is cluttered up with too many tadpoles!

If you like what you’re reading on TBPC, please leave a comment and share the website with your friends.  Also, if you would like to be notified of new posts to this blog, please click on the “Follow” button in the lower right corner.  Until next week, may your parachute fully deploy, and may you have a soft landing!

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Organized Home

Start The New Year Organized!

By Jerry Lambert

Hello and welcome back to The Brown Parachute Club.  Since this is the time of year when people start to think about getting organized, I thought this would be a good time to talk to you about a website I discovered a few years ago. The name of the website is Organized Home.
Paper in filing cabinetI discovered this website while looking for a Christmas Countdown Checklist. The website had a countdown checklist and so much more.

The website is the brainchild of Cynthia Ewer.  According to her Google+ page, she has been “Helping folks get organized online since 1995”. That’s quite a track record in my book.   I have always considered myself a pretty organized person, but I’ve got nothing on this lady.

Her website is broken down into seven different categories.  I’ll cover each one individually.  Plus, two bonus categories that are just priceless, Organized Christmas & 101 Days to Christmas.

Clean House:  I know what you’re thinking, yuck.  However she breaks it down by season, so it seems much more logical, at least to me.  She even goes into getting your kids or grandkids involved.  Plus, how to tackle cleaning out the refrigerator.  Yuck, again!

Cut Clutter: This is something we all need to learn how to do.  It covers everything from de-cluttering your closet, holiday clutter, room-by-room, creating a storage plan and much more.  I know at our house, any flat surface can become “Clutter-Central”.

Getting Organized: Seems redundant to me, but whatever.  Anyway, this is an excellent area that has articles on starting the New Year organized, kids rooms, yard sales, getting organized on a budget, moving, paper management (Thank God!), plus a lot more.

Kitchenware on wallKitchen Tips: Boy, do I need this one!  This area covers all things kitchen.  Party planning, setting up and organizing a pantry, menu planning, school lunches, organizing your refrigerator, and much more.

Family Ties: This section mainly deals with preparing for back-to-school and the routine of getting your kids out the door, fully prepared to take on the day.  Since my sons are 27 and 24, this is not an issue for me anymore.  However, some of you may be in charge of getting your grandkids moving in the morning.  Lots of good advice here.

Seasonal Spin: This area groups together many of the previous articles by season.  It’s easy to see all of the articles about New Year organization, spring cleaning, daylight savings time, back-to-school, family vacations and so on.

Printables: This category has calendars, meal planners, events and travel, health and safety, crafts and hobbies and so on.  Each section has multiple documents that can be printed out and added to your to-do list.  A really excellent resource.

And last, but by no means least, Organized Christmas and 101 Days to Christmas!  These sections are so big, they have their own websites.  These are indispensable tools in preparing for Christmas.  This past Christmas, I resolved to really dig into the Organized Christmas website and implement the Christmas Countdown.  There are so many terrific ideas and articles, it can become a little overwhelming.  Tabs on the website include Christmas Countdown, Holiday Plans, Simplify Your Holidays, Gifts / Crafts, and (even more) Printables.

Christmas baublesBy following the Countdown Checklist, I was able to complete the majority of my Christmas Planning early and I actually enjoyed a RELAXED Christmas.  I know what you’re thinking, “There is no such thing!”  I beg to differ!

There are 2 Christmas Countdown plans.  Regular and Crazy!  Regular (Organized Christmas) starts on October 23rd and finishes up well before Christmas, so you can actually ENJOY the holiday, which is the whole point!  Crazy is 101 Days to Christmas.  This one starts on September 15th!  I told you, CRAZY!!  However, Christmas Eve is at our house this year, so I plan on going with CRAZY.  101 Days to Christmas has a Daily Message Index and Christmas Planner.  I’ll wait until after Halloween to put up my Christmas Lights, I promise!

Unfortunately, I recently read that Cynthia Ewer is retiring from running the websites.  Hopefully, she will hand over the reins to someone who has the same passion for organization that she does!  If you want your own personal copy of the Organized Home website, get it in book form.  Cut The Clutter is available on Amazon.  I will definitely be ordering a copy.

I hope this article has inspired you to tackle your own “Mountain of Disorganization”.  I know going over these websites in such great detail has inspired me to get my butt into gear!  Happy Organizing and De-Cluttering!!!

If you like what you’re reading on TBPC, please leave a comment and share the website with your friends.  Also, if you would like to be notified of new posts to this blog, please click on the “Follow” button in the lower right corner.  Until next week, may your parachute fully deploy, and may you have a soft landing!