Are You a Jogger or a Sprinter?

I just learned that the week of March 6-12 is National Procrastination Week.   I wish I could see the range of reactions to this!  It seems there is a national week and a special named day for anything and everything now a days, from National Hamburger Day (May 28) to Hug your Cat Day (June 4) to National Flower Week (3rd week of September).  There are so many special days that the list can go on and on, but let’s not steer off course in discussing all the other National Days because although it would be fun, that would simply be…procrastinating!

Procrastination by definition 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.

procrastinator_catWe all procrastinate at some point in our lives, some people more so than others, and some of us do it all the time.  But why does procrastination have such a bad rap?  As long as you get your tasks done on time then what is the big deal?  Why is it that people sometimes feel bad about procrastinating and why do others make procrastinators feel bad?

We are all unique individuals and have our own way of working and approaching tasks.  Some of us work better by doing things little by little over time while others do their best work by waiting until the last possible minute to start on a task.  Neither approach is better than the other.  What is important to focus on is which approach works best for you in whatever situation you are in.  Just because someone procrastinates doesn’t mean that they’re not as good at their job when compared to someone who rarely procrastinates.

In one of my first organizing courses I learned about an intuitive concept – the difference between a jogger and a sprinter.  These concepts come from Wilma Fellman, author of “Finding a Career That Works for You”.

Jogger: When faced with a deadline or project, a jogger breaks the project down into small tasks and does a little at a time until tTime Losthe project is complete.  They take a steady approach to projects and complete them in a more predictable manner.  Joggers will oftentimes finish the project well before the assigned deadline.

Sprinter: A sprinter will typically pay nnot-a-procrastinator_comico attention to the project for days or weeks.  They tend to work on tasks in bursts of energy and will oftentimes have lapses of time when they’re not working on the project.  Sprinters tend to start the project right before the deadline and will do most of the work in one long session until the task is complete.

I find these action styles very interesting and have learned that neither is better or correct.  Keep in mind that working with a Jogger when you’re a Sprinter, and vice versa, can sometimes be challenging because they’re such different work styles and approaches to time management.  Joggers have to be patient with Sprinters and trust that the work will get done eventually and not immediately.  Sprinters might have to explain their work style with Joggers at times so that their pace isn’t interpreted as laziness or purposeful in any way.

The idea of Joggers and Sprinters can be applied to any kind of deadline, project, task, and of course organizing.  I’m here to tell you that it is perfectly ok to be a Sprinter, or a procrastinator as it is more commonly referred to.  Whether you are procrastinating during National Procrastination Week or anytime of the year for that matter, focus on how you can be a better Sprinter or Jogger.  Sprinters can work on giving themselves enough time to meet deadlines, just in case a single burst of energy at the last minute isn’t enough.  And Joggers can work on being flexible when the designated time for working ahead may need to be postponed for something more urgent.


So are you a Jogger or a Sprinter?  Share your thoughts on how these concepts apply to your life and work in the comments section.

Leave the Mess on Christmas!

In a few days your house will be filled to the brim with wrapping paper scraps from opened gifts, shirt box pieces all over the place, gift bags on the floor, ribbons and bows scattered around, and tissue paper everywhere!  The mere thought of this honestly makes me a little anxious.  But what I want to say to you is…leave it alone!  Enjoy it!  Relish it!  Take it all in!  Be thankful that you can experience this chaos!


Keep all this in mind on Christmas morning.  All of this untidiness is a wonderful sign.  It is a sign of you and your family enjoying each other, enjoying one another’s company, and having fun exchanging gifts. THIS is what Christmas and the Holidays is all about.  Don’t rush to clean it up, don’t worry about what it looks like, don’t think about the mess…simply enjoy it!  Instead say to yourself “my house looks so colorful with all this wrapping paper everywhere”, ” look how happy everyone looks”, “I am so thankful for all these people in my life”.   These are the moment that we remember. Not the gifts, the moments.  Memories last forever, not gifts.

When you ARE ready to start cleaning up, have the following items on hand to make clean-up easier:

  • Large black heavy duty garage bags. These bags can hold a large amount of wrapping paper, boxes that are not recyclable, objects with sharp edges, and any other gift-opening remnants.  Using these bags versus smaller or thinner bags can save you time and hassle because they will rip less, and you can fit more in one bag than in several smaller bags.  Garbage bags that stretch are also good options.
  • Large paper bags or Empty Bins. You can use large paper bags or bins for putting away shirt boxes, gift bags, and other items. Storing these items in bins will make them easily accessible for next year.  Also, having bags and bins on hand are also great for corralling gifts.

One important thing to note about wrapping paper is that it isn’t recyclable.  While it would be really easy to just throw it in the recycle bin, please don’t do this.  Wrapping paper is often dyed, laminated and/or contains non-paper additives, glitter, etc., all of which cannot be recycled.  Consider saving some of the wrapping paper.  It could be reused for kids art projects, on smaller packages next year, you could put it in the shredder and use the strips for packaging material, or make confetti for another celebration, etc.


I can’t stress enough how important it is to enjoy the mess. I have to admit that I do feel odd saying that because I don’t like chaos and untidiness, but this is something that I will force myself to do this year.  It will force me to slow down, look around, and be thankful – I hope you can do the same this year, and every year. Be thankful for the gift that was given to you, the time people took to pick out the perfect gift for you, and most importantly be thankful for all the wonderful people in your lives!

My warmest wishes to you and your family for the Holiday season and New Year!

Holiday Gift Lists: “The Christmas List” App Review

Welcome to my very first blog post!  I’m super excited and eager to share lots of updates and useful information and tips with you over time.  Let’s start by talking about my favorite time of year, Christmas and the Holiday season!

Since the hustle and bustle of the Holiday season is upon us, I wanted to start off by saying that I know we all have so many things to do – preparing the house for the holidays, baking and cooking, making time for gift shopping, and most importantly setting aside time to enjoy the wonderful Holiday spirit with family and friends.  There is so much to do, and it can certainly be stressful, but hopefully I can help you ease some of the hassle by discussing one of my favorite things…making lists!

In terms of gift lists for family and friends, I have always resorted to making a detailed list in Excel complete with names, gift ideas, check boxes for purchases made, stores to purchase gifts from, and numerous color codes to help guide my progress.  It worked for me, for several years, but I found myself sometimes forgetting the list at home, not updating it regularly, and overbuying! This year I decided to try something different, and it has been an amazing discovery that I wanted to share with you.

I decided to download an iPhone app called “The Christmas List” by ERIK Eggleston.
The app costs $1.99, and is well worth the small investment.  It can be installed on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 3.2 or higher. “The Christmas List” app is easy to use and has a number of fun and useful functions that allow you to organize all your Christmas lists and budget.  We’ll go over all my favorite things about this app, but I especially love that it saves you time by having all the information you need in the palm of your hand, and you don’t need to spend time writing and re-writing lists…or even worse be in a store ready to shop only to realize that you have forgotten your list at home.  Here are some of the many great functions of this fun and user friendly app that you can do:

  • Easily add people from your iPhone contacts
  • Group your people by family, friends, coworkers, kids, etc.
  • Enter multiple gifts quickly and easily just like jotting a note
  • Add photos of gift ideas you see in catalogs or in stores


  • Add budgets for every person on your list
  • Add your favorite stores or pick from a list of popular retailers


  • See a shopping list view by store so that you know what to buy and how much to buy at each location
  • Track gifts by status: shipping, received, and even wrapped
  • See an at-a-glance pie chart view of your shopping progress, by the number of gifts purchased per person and the number of gifts remaining
  • Print lists directly from the app and share them with others
  • Archive your lists and sync them by email as a safety backup in case you misplace or break your phone


And there is a lot of customization you can do like change the background to different colors and patterns, add Holiday icons to each person in your list such as a snowman, penguin, gift box, candy cane, and more!

If you have a Holiday gift list system that works for you, I would love to hear about it!  But if you’re looking for something new and want to try an electronic method, consider this phone app for all your gifting needs.  In general, remember the importance of checklists, they help you not rely solely on memory, and there can be great satisfaction in checking off items from lists.  I really hope this information has been useful to you and that you have fun with all your Holiday preparations and shopping!

My warmest wishes to you all for the Holiday season and New Year!