Don't put off gift another day

Material World

December 07, 2003|By Hartford Courant

Anyone can plan, but it takes talent to pull things off at the last minute, and everyone could use a little help with that.

That's the thinking behind the Procrastinator's Planner, available now for 2004. (When you think about it, it's a marvel that they got it ready in time for the gift-giving season.)

Anyway, the spiral-bound planner -- available for $14.95 plus shipping and handling at www.11thhourpress.com -- is truly a planner that recognizes the delaying tactics we all use.

The planner devotes a page to each week with the usual headings and the ones you don't have the nerve to write in yourself: Gotta Do This Week, Should Have Done Long Ago, Waiting for Inspiration, Trying To Delegate, Holding Out for Pressure, Hoping It Goes Away.

Each week has its own motivational theme and helpful hints from authors Susan Cohan Hoffman and Lila Carroll.

For example, to help procrastinators through the holidays, they suggest, among other things:

* "Decorating: Take the Huck Finn approach and throw a party. Let your friends and family deck the halls for you."

* "Say No!: Be realistic and don't take on projects that -- given your record -- have no hope of being completed. Forgo offering to be Santa Claus at the neighborhood holiday party and spare the little kiddies from inevitable disappointment."

* "Keep Life in Perspective: Not getting around to sending out your holiday cards is nothing compared to being held captive in a Turkish prison. Really."

The truth is, the authors suggest, everything important eventually gets done, and it's best to keep a sense of humor about it. (Case in point: Hoffman started working on the planner seven years ago.)

The Hartford Courant is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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