Many of us approach our workday with the same fears that Dorothy and her friends (the Scarecrow and Tin Man) had upon entering the dark forest. Somewhere, lurking among the shadows -- "Lions and tigers and bears! Oh, my!" We, too, look at the myriad of memos, post-its, periodicals and lists and we are certain that there is something in there that's going to sneak up behind us and take a bite out of our...well, you know...
And then -- the lion strikes! Dorothy, et al. race around in fear, trying to avoid certain disaster. Mortal peril! What shall we do???!!! Suddenly, Dorothy turns and confronts that lion and finds out that he is, in fact, a coward, unable to stand up to her scrutiny with any power.
That clutter on our desk is the same. We build up an imaginary scenario in our own minds in which we are eaten alive by deadlines that we've missed and looming projects . We find ourselves confronted by a lion in the form of a memo we were supposed to respond to weeks ago. We race around in fear, trying to avoid certain disaster, knowing there are other lions and tigers and bears waiting to pounce...!
The New Year is all about new starts. Most of us, whether we admit it or not, make at least one resolution or goal of some sort. We like the idea that the new year is a blank slate. In fact, we look on the beginning of the month, the beginning of a week, even the next day as being a better day to handle things. In the words of Scarlett O’Hara, we choose to “think about it tomorrow” – “it” being whatever difficulty we are currently faced with and desperate to avoid.
I fell into that trap on December 29.I was feeling discouraged and tired. Kind of the antithesis of “New Year” feelings; I was acting and thinking more like the worn out “Old Year”, or really, to be honest, a lame duck. My thought process: “Why bother calling clients tonight; it’s almost 6:00 p.m.? Most of them probably aren’t home or have company. I’ll start fresh on January 1. Well, not on the first because everyone will be sleeping off New Year’s Eve. And not the second or third because that’s a weekend. So first thing Monday, January 4, I’ll work my business!”