I discovered this morning that an action plan is much more than a list – which is what I’d created and actually started working my way through as I thought of what I needed to do in the coming week and months. To be honest sometimes I write things on my ‘to do’ list that I’ve already done just for the pleasure of crossing them off. Not any more apparently, HWIOO announced that not only was this cheating but that my listing technique was all wrong. I must, because of my new freelance status, have an annual action plan.
An action plan prioritises tasks, breaks them down into their component elements, sets target dates for completion, identifies who is doing what and when. There’s also a final column for monitoring. This is a worrying development. Somehow I feel that I won’t be monitoring myself and I’d have thought most of the outcomes will be fairly clear. At one end of the spectrum either HWIOO will go to his underwear drawer and find a neat pile of clean undies or he won’t. At the other end of the scale either I will deliver a manuscript to my publisher or I won’t be speaking at next year’s Words by the Water at Keswick. To avoid either of the disasters, I am now told, I must think what to do and when to do it by….I’m not sure just doing it as I think of it or multi-tasking comes into the equation. I think HWIOO might be getting work withdrawal symptoms despite what he says to the contrary.
Having left me identifying the fact that a mountain of ironing was my most immediate target HWIOO took himself off to bed. He’s definitely experiencing pay back for all that festive merriment. He feels as though he’s run the marathon and doesn’t feel any better after several hours of sleeping. However, looking at it positively I’ve been able to do half the ironing, set up my Etsy account and do some writing as well without any managerial intervention. I’m not sure if all that should have been broken down into component parts before I started but I can cross something off my list.
HWIOO went to sleep at midday, it’s getting on for four-thirty now. It just goes to show how much we’ve got used to HWIOO’s Rip Van Winkle tendencies. Three years ago I was starting to panic about the amount of sleep he required and had just done the thing that everyone tells you not to do…yup- that’s right I googled his symptoms on the quiet. The Doctor had already ruled out diabetes and I thought it was fairly safe to assume that HWIOO wasn’t pregnant which left a whole lot of things that you really don’t want your nearest and dearest to catch or to develop. As I recall it was May before the panic subsided and by that time we were grateful for a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue/ Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
Actually whilst I was doing the ironing I worked out a cunning plan for HWIOO to earn money during the summer months. He could become a living statue. I thought that if we provided him with a very long beard, a tunic and cloak and lots of cobwebs and then spray painted him silver he could be a statue of Old Father Time. I’m sure I could find a giant egg timer from somewhere…perhaps I should add it to the action plan. I thought that perhaps I could dress the little madams as fairies who could skip around with the collection tin. On second thoughts scrap that idea – they’d probably demand all the takings or leave HWIOO sleeping peacefully while they went off and purchased ice-cream and chocolate.