Friday, March 18, 2011

FOCUS Falls to Distractadon and Procrastinatrix

I have so much to do. And my Achilles Heel is trying to finish the cleaning up of all my sewing areas, primarily my dining room.

So, I do what all right-brained, visually-oriented people do...I buy an organizing book thinking that by buying the book, I will get organized.

I actually really found this book incredibly useful. I'd always felt disorganized when reading most other organization books....

That's because most of those books are written by linear thinking, left-brained people who organize everything in alphabetized files and have everything put away in its place.

But this book explains that those "out of sight" files and drawers and cupboards are largely unsuccessful for right-brained creative types. We like to see everything.

The problem come in when everything is out in plain sight and too much clutter accumulates --it can become a hindrance to finding things eg. my dining room.

So yesterday, I was bound and determined to tackle the task of clearing up my dining room (aka my sewing room), and to follow the FOCUS method described in the book.

FOCUS = Follow One Course Until Successful

The "One Course" = Clearing the Dining Room

The "Problem" = Those horrible beasts, Distractadon and Procrastinatrix

You see, if you're visually oriented, you are tempted with each and every "sighting" to do a different task, instead of focusing on what you're already doing. The book recommends keeping a list nearby to write down those additional tasks with the intention of doing them later...stick to the one up the dining room. The other idea is to treat yourself as your own employee...and you, the boss, will evaluate your performance over a fixed period of time on the ONE task. OK. I can do that.

Well, yesterday I completely blew it. Distractadon and Procrastinatrix were here in full force.

While cleaning, I found this old Remains of Alice journal cover with the little bits and scraps from my Alice project last year.

To be honest, I had stopped working on it because it was really ugly. But there it was, Distractadon...challenging me to make it better.

My sewing machine was up and out. All the threads were out too. I would just spend a few minutes trying to improve its condition.

Four hours later, the journal cover was still not finished though it does look a bit better...AND the dining room did not get cleaned up...AND that journal cover has nothing to do with my immediate task list. Procrastinatrix.

So I suppose I should fire myself for poor performance yesterday? I did the next best thing...I admitted to Jim and Jack last night that I had a failure of a day. And, after four hours of working on my project, though no longer an ugly duckling, the project was not yet a swan. AND, this journal cover, on a scale of importance from 1 to 10, is a "0"!

Jack said, "I don't care about that Mom. You cooked an awesome dinner!" (His favorite -- corned beef, cabbage and potatoes).

Maybe it wasn't a complete bust. I think I'm beginning to like this journal was inspired by an online class I took with Maryanne Moss called Remains of the Day.

The idea behind the class is to re-purpose scraps of paper, envelopes and magazines that would normally be tossed out, into a useful journal. The cover is made over a card stock pattern and will fold up with the "book" inside. (You can see lots of beautiful examples here.)

I was so inspired by all of them. Something about using the Remains of Alice to make a journal that I could use and carry around, really appealed to me.

This will become a swan. I just know it. It has to...because this little Alice traveled all the way across the Atlantic from my friend Carol Ann in England just to be charm on the end of its bookmark.

I still have a way to go. But today is a new day and I'm back to being my own boss. And today, I have a new chance to alter my bad behaviors.

Today, I will FOCUS.

Right after I finish writing this blog post...

The Fridge Magnet says it ALL.
Have a great weekend!


FlowerLady said...

Distractadon and Procrastinatrix, Boy do I know those two terms. We can make plans to do one thing and end up doing something else entirely.

Look what fun you had though.

Don't be hard on yourself. Focus when the mood strikes or tomorrow, or whenever. :-)

Hugs ~ FlowerLady

Anonymous said...

I wish you the best of luck. Like you, I buy the book. My sewing room is about fifty percent done. I had a horrible bout with a cold yesterday and stayed in bed all day...unheard of. Today, I should grade. Sigh. ~Kelly

unDeniably Domestic

Ruby said...

I can relate to this! You have named my dragons! So 'focus' is the sword that will slay them? Even FUN is no longer fun.

MosaicMagpie said...

Oh those dreaded monsters, Distractadon and Procrastinatrix...they visit me all too often. I have found what works for me is to work as hard as I can for 10 minutes. Stay on track and focus on that one thing for 10 minutes. Often times the 10 minutes stretches out to a longer amount of time but I can focus for 10 minutes.
The Alice project called your name and you answered, that is when we are most creative when we listen to the inner call of our muse.

Marty52 said...

You're right, we're Sistahs... you just described me to a "T" 'cause that's how I roll, too! When the stacks start to fall over, I know it's time to do something... like sit down and stitch. LOL!!

Carol said...

Hi Susie!!
I'm glad you reported on this book. Remember there was a quiz about right brain and left brain and I was more left than right, but I had a LOT of right to be called left. Anyway, since I have been reorganizing my room...a sort of transition from beading and leaning more to sewing...I have been putting everything in see into boxes, thus the right side can see where it is! And I sure know all about what I call getting side-tracked as I am often called by someone from the laundry room who wants to know if I wanted the dryer door left open.

But even though I can totally identify with this post, the most important sentence I came away with was this:

Jack said, "I don't care about that Mom. You cooked an awesome dinner!" (His favorite -- corned beef, cabbage and potatoes).

Heck, how can you call the afternoon fruitless when you get that much appreciation!!

Looking forward to tomorrow which is National Quilt Day and I will be sure to be FOCUSED!!

XX, Carol

bubbygigi said...

Oh my goodness, you just described me, my dining-room table and my sewing room. I too get very distracted easily and take lots of walks down memory lane. I have a deadline of April 14th to get my areas in order so that I can leave for Empty Spools on April 15th with a clear conscience. Good luck with your organizing.

Gerry Krueger said...

Mother took up my whole morning and I rushed home intending to organize stash for trip... but now I need a nap instead... DH is out of town but sent me an email to remind me of potato leek soup and sour cream rolls... Weren't on my list this weekend... Keep focusing girl.... Ger

Balwearie said...

I think I read the same book... I'm still trying to balance my love of color, texture and variety with my love of simplicity and modernity. I have discovered along the way that I don't necessarily need to have things out in the open but I do need to have it all in the same place. And I do need to have several different projects to work on. And it helps if I can spread it out on the coffee table or the dining room table. And in all honesty I will finish knitting that sock but I need to test this fabric dye first.... Sigh indeed!

Vicky~ stichr ~ said...

I have decided that until I get new glasses, my life can stay unfocused. I will decide on a new way to explain my lack of housely accomplishments after I get a better focus on it.

Peggy Beck said...

Love your blog, your post and your attitude and your lanquage! It described me to a tee. Normalcy is what I call it. Thank you

Judy S. said...

Check out our dining room table. You'll feel ever so much better! And I don't even have a pretty journal cover to work on....

Lynn said...

Think of it this way:

Any organizing you do is (probably) just temporary BUT that journal will last forever!

Karla Hartzog said...

Thank you for the book review! I have several organizing books, but not that one!
Any thoughts on the dreaded monster, Dreadzilla? That one always gets me when I get to a point in my process that I don't especially enjoy.
I looked for lining material for my book jacket project, today, but not very hard because I dread doing the lining. 'Seems I've moved my stash of lining fabric. Oh well, Procrastinatrix got me, too!
'Love your post! Karla

Rachel said...

I like the "Don't Rush Me - I'm Waiting For The Last Minute" in the picture at the bottom. I know that feeling!

Sheri said...

I have to get that book!

Chris Daly said...

Great post Susan. I worked on three projects this weekend and dyed fabrics while I was supposed to be working on my taxes...No taxes but I finished one art quilt :) It was fun finding you on Elizabeth's blog this weekend.

Gina said...

hmmmm....sounds so familiar. Maybe there's hope yet!

FredaB said...

You have just described my life and probably the lives of all that we know. People like us should just enjoy life and not feel guilty about it but I know that is hard.

Sounds like your two guys still love you and wouldn't trade you for the world. Just like my guy. Every time I walk in with something new (usually old) he just shakes his head and smiles.

See you soon. I am so glad I changed my mind and am coming.



Queen Bee's Musings said...

I as well feel everything you posted. Thanks it is always nice to know we are not alone. As in all your comments. Right brain rocks!

Elizabeth said...

I have been wanting and collecting for a Remains of The Day Journal for a long time as well!!! I do so love your Alice mushrooms!! What has happened with that project by the way?????
You and I are so very alike- organizing and cleaning up lasts for about ten seconds and then we are distracted- just like my dogs when they see a squirrel!!!

Hélène H said...

I was reading your post with interest but when I saw the picture of the Alice cover and stuff I got completely distracted... don't be hard on yourself, it's Alice magic that kept you from cleaning !

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