April 1, 2009

Project: FAIL

Posted in Guilt, Nerdiness, Project: Fail, The OCD at 8:42 am by Dagny Taggart

Along with the End of Snooze I wrote about yesterday, there are a few other habits I’m trying to break.  I call this Project:  FAIL because (1) it is a set of things at which I currently FAIL, (2) it is entirely possible that by trying to fix all of things things at once I am setting myself up to FAIL, and (3) I just like the sound of it.

Note:  I only hit snooze once, and was out of bed before the snooze actually went off.  Progress!  Then again, I did not get up early enough to go to the gym this morning, and will therefore have to go this evening.

So, our categories:

1)  Snooze.  We’ve been over this.
2)  Nail Biting.  I am a grown woman who bites her nails.  This needs to stop.
3)  Sugar.  I’ve now tried giving up sugar approximately 30 times more often than I tried to quit smoking.   The person that said nicotine was the most addictive drug?  Obviously never had a crêpe Nutella, or a Cadbury egg.
4)  The English Professor Organizational Method.  More on this in a moment.
5)  Excuses.  Maybe there are reasons something didn’t get done – but nobody wants to hear those.  When you start justifying failure to others, you’re really just offering excuses.

So, let’s talk about The English Professor Organizational Method (TEPOM).

Of the 132 credit hours I took for my double major (30 credits each) at Ye Merrye Olde College, 47 were spent in the English Literature building.  Ergo, I know a little something about TEPOM.  I also know a little something about houndstooth blazers with leather-reinforced elbows and the grumpy old men who wear them.

TEPOM generally results from tossing things on top of something else as soon as one walks through a door.  English Professors do this because it is simply not possible for organization to take a higher priority than the two dozen intellectual pursuits vying for attention at any given moment.  Though I have apparently adopted TEPOM, I assure you that I am more lazy than scholastic.

Unfortunately, I am NOT an English Professor.  And I do, in fact, feel much happier when things are properly organized and put away, which probably has something to do with the relatively small (650 sq. ft.) nook in which I reside.  Ergo, TEPOM has got to go.

Mail must be sorted before it hits the dining room table.  Before I go to bed, it must be opened and read.  And not fewer than once a week, it must be dealt with and filed appropriately.  Clothes shall be hung at the end of the day, or deposited in the hamper.  Dishes shall be washed nightly.

I think we shall call this the “SBALGOM” – Stop Being Such A Lazy Git Organizational Method.



  1. Beach Bum said,

    I need to pick up the SBALGOM too. So far? I have unread mail on my dining room table, clean folded laundry on top of the couch, my volleyball clothes from last night on the bathroom floor and dishes in the sink to be washed.

    I need a nap just at the thought of it.

  2. AliasFaux said,

    My brother (and both parents) attended Ye merrye olde college, so it never fails to make me laugh to hear you describe it, having visited it a number of times.

    But the important thing is that I am a HORRIBLY organized person. I’m the worst organized person in the world, but I’ve found a couple of tricks that help me.

    1) The first thing method. If I take care of something the first thing I get through the door (e.g. the first thing I do when entering work is to read my mail, and allocate my corporate charge card, or the first thing I do when I get home is place my wallet, phone, keys, and Ipod on the same corner of the coffee table, to remain there until I leave) I can manage to get through the day.

    2) The spare minute method. If there is something that always needs to be done (e.g. laundry, or dishes) I wait until I’m in the room, and have more than 2 but less than 5 spare minutes, and I do a little chunk of it. You’d be surprised how much you can get done that way, and also surprised how much free time you actually have, that you tend to waste.

  3. Belle said,

    Oya! That’s a lotta stuff to tackle at once. Good luck!!! (Personally, I find I only have so much will-power to allot to personal change in any given period of my life… Again, Good Luck!)

  4. Beach Bum: I think Alias Faux is onto something – if you just take 2-5 minutes to do a little bit of something (that’s even a commercial break, or one of those really awkward scenes in a movie that you just can’t watch, if you’re me), it might seem less daunting.

    Alias Faux: Both of those methods sound good – I’m trying to establish good habits, so I can do some of those organizational things without having to think about them.

    Belle: It IS a lot, but I tend to get lazy if I don’t overload myself. Thanks for the luck!

  5. Jen said,

    Sigh. You stress me out.

  6. Ryane said,

    I love that: SBALGOM. My nook is smaller than your nook, 500 sq ft., and my mail is almost always the clear winner in the Clutter-Wars. I always start out with the best intentions…I use my letter opener and shred all the unsolicited junk! But in the end, I still find stacks of it on my desk. I think my mail thinks IT’S the English Professor!

  7. At the risk of sounding like a dork…You should look into Psycho-Cybernetics by Dr Maxwell Maltz. It will fix EVERYTHING.

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