Avoiding dithering (14 to 24 tips)


II. Procrastination at Home

Tip 14 Avoiding dithering is to Keep it simple

Avoiding dithering. This is a common advice. Simplifying your life means a simpler, uncluttered way of living. Get rid of grit and gunk from your house.

When your house overflows with objects, it tends to distract you. And we all know what happens when there is too much distraction. It prevents you from thinking and acting intelligently, hence you procrastinate.

Go around your house and make a list of everything you don’t really need. For instance, do you really need three toasters in the kitchen? One hasn’t been working for months. You either dispose of it or have it fixed.

Tip 15 Avoiding dithering; Ask family members to do an “inventory”

Ask your husband and children to do an inventory of clutter. Your husband can do the garage and the basement. Your children can do their bedrooms. Stipulate that you need their lists in three days, no later. Explain to them why junk has to be eliminated from the house.

If you explain your intentions clearly, they will understand and would be more willing to cooperate. Tell them that the house needs a much needed airing, and when all the junk disappears, so will the distractions.


Tip 16 Avoiding dithering is to Encourage them not to replace old junk with new junk

It can be a vicious cycle. Just as we managed to clear the house of unwanted bric-a-brac, in come new ones. Explain to your family that there was a specific reason for clearing junk. Old clutter should not be replaced with new clutter. Encourage them to think twice before acquiring additional material possessions. Examples:

  • Will I consult this book more than once, or is it just for one school assignment? Maybe I can borrow it from the library instead?
  • The hubby loves tools. He spends his weekly allowance on them. He just filled up an entire wall with all kinds of tools. Ask him which ones he hasn’t used for 6 months and ask him to throw them away.
  • The clothes in your closet. Which of them have you not worn for six months? Call the Salvation Army or the recycling center.As soon as the closet is half-full, and you can finally see the wall of your closet, you’ll be inspired to re-organize your whole bedroom: dressers, commode and night table drawers – shoe racks included!

Avoiding procrastination

Tip 17 Avoiding dithering is not to let your house budget stick out like a sore thumb

Budgeting for house expenses is a chore people put off indefinitely. They know something is wrong with the budget; bills pile up and remain unpaid for weeks, and the only time you jolt out of your complacency is when the utility company calls to advise you that power will be cut off in a week if you don’t settle your bill.

It’s not because you need to earn more; it’s because your budget needs fixing. Nurse it back to health. Procrastinating will only make the problem worse. If it’s easy for governments to get into a deficit, it’s even easier for individuals to fall in the same trap.




Tip 18 Avoiding dithering; With the help of family members, identify time wasters at home

Solicit the cooperation of the entire family and ask them to come up with potential sources of time wasters. Here’s a handful:

􏰀 miscommunication
􏰀 misplaced objects and personal effects
􏰀 documents and papers not filed
􏰀 too many magazines and CDs strewn about 􏰀 mistakes
􏰀 indecision
􏰀 inefficient use of family vehicles
􏰀 too much TV viewing
􏰀 different meal times
􏰀 non-adherence to curfew rules
􏰀 friends who hang around indefinitely

Tip 19 Avoiding dithering is to Divide and delegate house chores

Obviously you can’t do it all. So it’s time for a strategy: plan a nice dinner for your family on one long weekend, and tell them in advance that you have something to announce. Cook them a special dish or two and whip up a dessert that everyone will adore.

At the end of the meal, tell them that you want to make some changes at home. Say that you’ve been procrastinating in doing some important chores around the house because you lack their support.

Bring up your divide and delegate plan, ask them for suggestions, and get everyone’s commitment. Your concrete, well laid-out plan will get you the results you want.



Tip 20 Avoiding dithering is to Set up chore chart after division of labor is decided

As the initiator of the plan, you must be the first to set the example.
If you committed to re-organize the cupboards and clean out the fridge once a week, do it. When everyone sees you’re doing your part, they’ll do theirs.

Set up a chart in the kitchen or in the TV room where everyone can cross out the task once it’s completed. Check the chart once a week; tell them how pleased you are with their progress. If some members have been delinquent, ask them why. Don’t scold, give them another chance. This chart is an effective way for you to identify who the biggest procrastinators are, and you may need to supervise them more closely.





Avoiding procrastinating

Tip 21 Avoiding dithering is to Begin with small chores first to get everyone’s cooperation

If a huge job is assigned the first time, that person may tend to procrastinate. You may consider dividing up the chore in small parts.

Let’s take re-painting the entire garage as an example. If your husband works the usual 8 hours a day, don’t expect him to paint the whole garage on one weekend.

Remember that the old paint needs to come off, some sanding has to be done, and primer needs to be applied. If you have a closed, double-car garage, divide the job by walls, or by a quarter of a wall at a time.

That way your husband does not feel overwhelmed, forcing him to think of excuses to put it off.


Tip 22 Avoiding dithering is to avoid major house repair bills

There are certain appliances we take for granted. If routine maintenance isn’t exactly one of your favorite hobbies, motivate yourself by saying procrastinating can lead to major house repair bills.

Here’s an example: the water heater was working fine until one cold winter morning, everyone started shouting “There’s no hot water!” Experts say that water heaters need to be checked once every two years. Deposits collect at the base of the heater over time, interrupting with the smooth operation of the heating coils. Why wait for it to break down, necessitating costly repair or replacement bills?

Prepare a check list of appliances that need to be inspected and ensure that your maintenance records are in order.

Avoiding procastination


Tip 23 Avoiding dithering is to provide Healthy eating – plan the menu ahead of time

Procrastinating leads to fast food. We can prove this easily. Last weekend, you ordered pizza and cokes for the family because you didn’t have time to cook.

You vow that from now on, your family will eat only healthy meals. You decide to shop for ingredients early in the week. The weekend’s here and nothing was bought, because you kept putting it off.

Tip 24 Avoiding dithering; Oh, what a slimy garden…

The garden is one part of the house where everyone loves to spend nice summer evenings. But spring arrives and no one dares to stay in the garden because it’s unkempt. Someone’s got to pick up the shovel and the pruners soon; include the garden in your list of tasks for next spring. Remember to share the work: let someone take the lawn, someone else take the flower beds, another member the fence, and so on. Make it a communal effort.

Avoiding procrastination


Joelle Butler

What’s On In East London