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Getting Things Done

What finally gets you up is that you’ve got to pee. It starts with dreams about looking for a place to pee, and of course you can’t find a place to pee in your dreams, because if you pee in your dreams, you’re peeing in your bed and then for sure you’ll wake up and get going, but not really in the direction you want to begin the day.

So you get up to pee and now you’re faced with a choice: Do I go back to bed or do I start getting things done? C’mon, be a man! Be brave, be productive, get started on the rest of your life, get started on those incredible projects that you’ve been brainstorming. Start actualizing all that inspiration you have. Look at each bullet point and make a checklist and outline it and analyze it and make important calls and background checks and fill out surveys and make appointments and send for more information and call in consultants and make a master plan and a business plan, and a meeting plan and …

On second thought, go back to bed. That bed is still nice and warm and the form-fitting Swedish mattress perfectly conforms to your form. Maybe you can pick up that dream of laughing Tahitian island girls right where you left off. But back under the covers you’re wide awake and might as well admit it and go have some coffee and see how the ball team did last night.

This is how you get things done. You have to be completely sick of the last thing before you can joyfully start the next. You really have to be done sleeping before you can move on to coffee and donuts. No matter how much you may love coffee and donuts, if you’ve only had three hours of feverish tossing and turning, you are not going to be in any mood for coffee and donuts, even a chocolate glazed with extra sprinkles.

So then you’re ready to rock and roll and get down to business. But what is the business of business? Making money? Making a living? Making a difference? Do you want to save the world or save up for a new turbocharged Porsche? Are you trying to be the next great man on Millionaire’s Love Nests, or the next great man on Healing The Sick and Raising the Dead?

No matter what you hope to accomplish, you’re never going to get it done without a lot of help from other people. You’re going to need to recruit a staff, or accomplices, or disciples, or at least your grandma to lend you money. You need a group of people with the same general goals as you have to work towards getting things done. But whenever you have a group of people, you have a group of goals. That’s the way the world works. Even if you’re Bill Gates or Mahatma Gandhi or the Dalai Llama, your followers are not going to agree with everything you want to do. Sure, they may be willing to sit and listen while you give your big motivational speech, and they’ll nod and clap and bring you a drink at the afterparty, but when it actually comes down to implementing your plan to take over Google, the British Empire and the Andromeda Galaxy, they may hold back a little bit. They may balk at the necessity of sacrificing their lives for a cause, or putting in 16-hour days in order to meet the latest delivery date of downloadable apps for office staplers. They may not want to travel to Fairbanks, Alaska, and live with Eskimos for six months in order to help you complete your latest merger of caribou and polar bears.

They’d rather be drinking pints with their buddies at the corner bar then canvassing door to door with a petition to put your name on the ballot for Uberlord of Omaha. Getting things done means a lot of steps forward and backward. It means constantly having to motivate the troops by paying them more, or giving them more breaks or more opportunities, or more inspiration, or scaring the crap out of them with hellfire and brimstone, or blackmailing them with the pictures you found hidden under their beds.

There’s lots of tricks for getting things done. For example, you need to have the best, the smartest, the most innovative new tech guys working for you. But you can’t afford them, so instead you’ve got Leroy, your cousin, who took a mail order course in radio repair back in ’74 after he got out of the army and now knows how to set up a website, if he’s not too strung out on the medical marijuana that he doesn’t have a prescription for.

And there goes the phone again, and it’s the real estate agent with the sick dog telling you he really wants to make the deal happen, but his dog is still sick and he’s by her side administering suppositories and so it’s pretty unlikely that you’re going to get the deal done this week, but if he doesn’t call you to come and make things happen, it’s probably dog-related.

This is the message of the day. Anything that doesn’t happen is probably to some extent dog-related, or because you stayed out until 3 a.m. drinking with Leroy. So maybe just roll over one more time and get a few more minutes of shut-eye and then for sure you’ll be ready to get things done. Woof, woof.

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