Sunday, August 10, 2008

When Life Happens

I'm often asked how I manage to write with such a demanding day job. My answer is always the same - it isn't by accident. I plan ahead. I make lists. I refer to the lists when figuring out what to do next. Sometimes my day begins at 3 AM. Sometimes I find it necessary to schedule sleep.

Sounds simple, doesn't it? Make a to-do list, prioritize, execute.

But then, life happens. A two-hour freeway tie-up, an 'emergency' from a neice or nephew, a food poison attack knocks me on my butt, a neighbor or co-worker needs a favor - right now, the boss is very sorry, but he needs a special report on his desk by 8 AM. Life happens.

My first instinct - always - is to jump into over-drive and get caught up. This is rarely, if ever, the smart move. It doesn't solve the problem, the right tasks don't receive appropriate attention to detail, etc. etc. So I must wrestle my instinct to the ground and reevaluate the list. Given the new situation, what can move to allow time for the top priorities? Can that two hour list of errands-to-accomplish-on-the-way-home wait for another day?

And on those days when life doesn't intervene - I am ever so thankful.

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