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January 11th, 2006

There is an essay written by Robert Benchley. I think it’s called, “The Way to Get Things Done.” The process he recommended was to make a “To Do” list, putting the most important things at the bottom and the least important things on top, preferably underlined in red, and starred with “Do this first!” Written next to them.

Since the thing at the top of the list is never the one you want to do first, you’re more likely to accomplish the important things if you can persuade yourself that they have to wait until you do something else first.

With me so far?

I have a 50 page proposal and a synopsis to write. The 50 pages is pretty much done. It’s a rough draft, anyway. But the longer it sits unopened on the computer desktop, the more time I have to convince myself that it’s total crap. And the less I want to open it. And the more I start looking for other things to do.

Today, I was supposed to go to a staff meeting, about an hour away. But I hit black ice so bad that the car was physically unable to get more than a quarter mile from the house. I was literally sliding back down the hill, broadside on the road, not in a skid so much as being dragged back to my own house by gravity.

Must mean I’m supposed to stay home and write. This is a sign from God.

So. I made several business phone calls. Straightened out details on one part time job. Organized my e-mail. Walked the dog. Framed a picture. Took down the Christmas tree. Got most of the ornaments and decorations boxed and ready to go to the attic.

See anything missing from the list?

Started carrying Christmas totes out of the guestroom and up the attic stairs. Which means I’m going to have to clean the guestroom next, because it hasn’t been used for anything other than storage. And I’m beginning to see what a mess it is, now that I’m getting some of those bins out of the way. I mean, the only one who’s been using this room is the cat…

Whoa.

The cat was on the bed, watching me work and generally complaining that I was making too much noise, in the middle of the day, for God sake, when decent creatures are asleep. And he got up, stretched and walked away, leaving…

When did you stop using the box for that, Mohawk? Well, today, obviously. The room’s a mess, but I swear I would have noticed if you’d done that yesterday.

Now, I’m thinking there are four of us in the family. Mo may be ‘my cat’ but he chose me, not the other way around. And the problem is right next to the laundry that needs folding, which would be my husband’s department. But cat box cleaning is #1 son’s department. The fact that the cat missed the box by two stories vertical and thirty feet horizontal should not absolve my son from the duty. But #2 son is likely to be more easily tricked into doing this job, if I can think of anything worse for him to do, that must be done instead. “Honey? Do your homework. Or go upstairs and clean off the guest bed for me. One or the other…”

And right now, he’s singing the Meow Mix theme. God knows why, but I know how to put a stop to it.

But I think what I have to do, really, what I should do right now? Is have a go at that proposal, before it gets any later.