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How Can Procrastinators Be Good Gardeners?

We have all sighed and thought, “There’s more I can be doing with my yard,” and then we turn away from the window and reach for the TV remote. It may seem overwhelming: “My yard is so big! What plants should I buy? This is going to be exhausting!” Yet when we procrastinate we continue inefficient landscaping practices, allow pests and disease free reign, or let a piece of our hard-earned mortgage go to waste.

Productivity expert Chris Bailey shared with the Harvard Business Review key strategies to overcome procrastination (read it here). He explains that procrastination is emotional with different triggers (boredom, difficulty, etc.) that repel us from completing a task. We have to figure out and conquer what we dislike so that our good intentions can follow through. So let’s stop dilly-dallying and see these ways to motivate!

  • Reverse procrastination triggers. If you don’t know how to change your irrigation timer, chances are you’ll continue to let it run as is. If you find mowing your lawn the dullest activity in the world, it’s fairly easy to delay it another day. Take a closer look at practices you dislike, pinpoint why you dislike them then brainstorm how to make them entertaining. If you think it’s boring, try listening to music or a podcast while you’re at it. If you don’t know what to do, ask us! If it seems too big, then…

    Susan weeding

    Work within your resistance level. Garden in sections.

  • Work within your resistance level. The size of your yard and the work ahead of you can be daunting! Remember gardening too long can put you at risk for heat stroke, dehydration, or exhaustion. It’s important to pace yourself. Break your goal into smaller pieces and take breaks if need be. Do sections of your garden at a time. Long-neglected, big cleanups or re-designs will obviously take time, but frequent weeding, scouting for pests, adding new plants, and other landscape assessments will go much quicker and smoother in the future as long as you keep on it.
  • Get started! Taking the first step makes you far more likely to complete the task. Buy that milkweed to begin your butterfly garden! Get up and calibrate that sprinkler system! Read the EDIS publication on bat houses or any of the other dozens of gardening how-to’s! Once you start something you will feel more compelled to finish it. The first step is the biggest step you could take!
  • Tally the costs. Procrastinating is hurting you in the long term. Your delay is costing you. If you haven’t realized it, start adding those costs up. How much water are you wasting? Reducing irrigation by a quarter of an inch saves 13,558 gallons of water/1000 sq ft/year! If you are fertilizing at the wrong time or in the wrong amounts, you’re polluting our waterways. The tree you haven’t bothered to plant is preventing countless animals from having more food or shelter.
  • Disconnect. The final procrastination tendency is that you turn to distractions rather than focus. What’s your distracting excuse? Is Facebook keeping you from gardening? Today we have so many ready outlets to grab our attention. Gardening is a great way to unplug from all the hubbub. Get your hands in the ground, pull weeds, look for plant damage, and let your mind wander.

For more information on Florida-Friendly Landscaping in Seminole County email Taryn at fyn@seminolecountyfl.gov or visit our county webpage.

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