By August 25, 2010 Read More →

Rome wasn’t built in a day…

Rome wasn't built in a day - to-do listLike many people running a home business doing something they are passionate about, I have the patience of a flea, and nothing ever happens quickly enough for me. Last evening I was complaining to the long-suffering (and fortunately patient) A that my to-do list wasn’t shrinking fast enough. Ideally I would prefer each item to take just a day, I told him, and then I’d feel I was making progress. Yes, do SEO for the whole site, and write a new section for writers working from home, each in just a day.

‘Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day, was it?’ was the answer. Not very original perhaps, but I had to laugh, imagining the Ancient Romans’ to-do list:

Monday – build Rome
Tuesday – conquer all known Western world
Wednesday – conquer all unknown Western world
Thursday – whoops, collapse of empire

The most flattering description of this affliction of impatience is by Barbara Winter, who helps people to be creatively self-employed or ‘joyfully jobless’. Barbara says ‘Impatience is the curse of the visionary’, which is balm to my impatient spirit. Who wouldn’t be seduced by the possibility of being a visionary?

Her phrase also captures the frustration I feel when I’ve had a good idea and I can so clearly see what it’s going to look like when it’s finished, only to realise that, not having attained the art of instant manifestation, a lot of time and effort will be expended before it’s complete.

By the way, having said nothing ever happens quickly enough, I tweeted Barbara to check I was quoting her correctly – and her reply came back immediately! The marvels of Twitter – even quick enough for impatient visionaries! If you like the sound of Barbara, you can follow her on Twitter for regular pithy reminders and links to thought-provoking articles.

OK, time for my next task – now, how far did I get with my SEO yesterday?

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Posted in: Routine

6 Comments on "Rome wasn’t built in a day…"

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  1. Chrissie says:

    Have you thought of renaming your To Do List and calling it an Action List instead? I always feel the word Action has more ommph about it.

    I’ve also recently stopped making LISTS of things to do and been using Mind Maps instead. I find them to be far more fun / creative / colourful / inspiring:)

  2. judy says:

    That’s a point – words are very powerful. I often wish there was another name for ‘work’ when it’s the thing you’d do anyway, not because you have to.
    Andy, my partner, uses Mind Maps and comes out of talks, meetings etc with beautiful, colourful pictures, including little drawings.

  3. Chrissie says:

    Work = Playtime when you’re self-employed:)

  4. Jo says:

    LOL – yes I am SO impatient I have to sit on my hands. I can procrastinate, but then when I act I get impatient with other people for not getting on to it immediately!! I’m not as bad as I sound because I do manage to reign myself in.

    I write stuff down in a note book and refer back. Amazing how much you forget if you don’t write it down. A sort of to do list without actually calling it that I suppose.

    • judy says:

      I can identify with that, Jo! As soon as I’m ready to go I would like the world to fall into step – I suppose that petulant 2 year old self is still in there! It can also be frustrating waiting for a response from elsewhere before you can get on with a task, but as you say, one just has to stay cool and wait. Quite often something will happen in the meantime that makes the end result much better than it would have been.

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