Bill Bryson's book, Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words, A Writer's Guide to Getting It Right, is one of those books I like to dip into.
When I found his note about "advance planning" it got me thinking. I don't have much trouble with planning for things at all. It's actually doing the things I planned that I get stuck on.
Sometimes it's procrastination. Sometimes I've planned so much that I could never get it all done. Sometimes I plan something that sounds good but it isn't really something I want to do.
Cleaning is a good example.
I plan my cleaning. I have a schedule that makes sense. Does the cleaning all get done just like I plan?
OK. Once in awhile.
Every other decade or so.
In the meantime, there are guests to talk with. Flowers to plant, weed, or water. Cookies to bake. Books to read. Walks to take. Dinner to fix - or eat out.
With all those other things, when do I have time to clean?
And don't get me started on laundry!
Coaches are fond of saying things like "plan your work and work your plan." This makes a lot of sense when things like footballs are involved. It's harder to do when small children and dogs are added to the mix - when's the last time you saw a toddler or a golden retriever on the football field?
I think Bryson has it just right - all planning has to be done in advance. It gives me time to think up reasons for why my plans aren't working.