Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What to do first, what to do next

More than anything, I want to work. I love what I do and always have. In fact, I am addicted to it. It’s like chocolate or, in my case, strawberry shortcake (my other addiction).

“Do you have time for a project?” someone asks, and I automatically reply, “absolutely.” “I am writing a book and need some help,” appears in an e-mail and, without a moment’s hesitation, I respond, “What kind of help do you need? Why don’t you give me a call?” The phone rings with a request for an editor. If the caller says, “I’m looking at your website right now,” I’m a goner.

Lately, my website and little videos on YouTube seem to have hit the charts, and people are actually finding me. It’s a heady feeling to be needed — so heady that I tend to forget time and energy are finite. When it runs out, and I fall off the chair, I'm pretty much good for nothing. Nonetheless, I find it difficult to say, “No” or “Not at this time” or anything that might make the other person think I don’t want the work or can't handle the work or don’t have time for the work.

I mentioned this to my Web marketing guru, who seems to work 24/7, and asked her how she does it. “Priorities,” she said. “You have to set priorities!” I looked it up.

priority |prīˈôrətē|
noun ( pl. -ties)
• a thing that is regarded as more important than another : housework didn't figure high on her list of priorities.

I am taking her advice very seriously. As soon as I finish this post, I’m going to empty the dishwasher, fold the laundry, clean off my desk, water the plants, and set some priorities.