In which I want to get something done…Posted: August 2, 2010
This isn’t technically true. I don’t want anything in particular done, unless someone wants to tackle my pile of ironing? (Ahahaaaa, this isn’t even true because I don’t iron. At all. Ever.) Now that you are sickened by my straolishness (“straoil” is the Irish for slut and is one of the five Irish words I remember), I shall meander aimlessly towards the point.
If you want something done, do it yourself. Or ask a busy person. We’ve all heard these adages. And we all say them, because it’s true. If you need something done sharpish, ask a harassed mother. She’ll hate you, wonder bitterly why you can’t get up of your arse and do it yourself…but she’ll do it.
This isn’t only a harassed mother trick, it is also true of my authors. If something falls through, which happens from time to time (this is fine, it’s no one’s fault, it’s certainly not as if I arranged this in January and all of a sudden you don’t have time to do it…you know, seven months wasn’t ample enough opportunity…ahem, ok, rant over), you can always arrange a substitute author, of equal or even greater knowledge, at shortish notice. Especially if you ask someone who is particularly busy.
I get emails from very busy lawyer-type people at crazy hours of the night. They are more coherent, knowledgeable and intelligent at 5.30am than I am at 9am, after my first cup of coffee and a good breakfast! It’s actually a little frightening…
So why is this? Why are busy people more likely get things done, and done well, than those who have less on their plate? There is the cruel explanation—that perhaps they are less inclined to be busy (lazy buggers)—or, more charitably, they are just better at saying no. In a professional capacity though, does the disinclination to say “no” and the ensuing whirlwind of activity mean you are a better worker with more ambition, or just a suck up? And, is it better to be busy and productive or to live in a controlled environment with the ability to say no…it’s a toughie.