It's a scientific fact that the fourth quarter is the exact worst time of year for all businesses, everywhere. It doesn't matter if you're some scumbag marketing writer cranking out a quick blog in a cubicle or a billion-dollar CEO frustratedly working on his mid-range putt inside his office as he thinks out budgets; By now, it's 10 a.m., you're on your seventh chug of Maker's Mark, and it's more or less time to start wondering if today's the day that the liberating stress-induced heart seizure finally comes.
Is this a little bit of a bleak topic for a Monday? Probably! But I've got some good news for you guys: Not only am I only on my sixth chug of Marker's Mark (that's well below average, for those keeping track), I've got a handy-dandy, time-salvaging, work-perfecting list for you all that will help steer you through this fourth-quarter nightmare. Ready for all that? Good, then here we go!
1) Make a Daily To-do List
You will never complete all the tasks on this list, or probably ever come close, but it's a calming and important lie to tell yourself; That the world is made up of small, manageable tasks and there's no reason you have to walk out of your office, discard all forms of I.D. on your person and wander off to the city park to live amongst the squirrels and larger, more rabies-filled, rodents.
2) Do the Most Critical Things on Your List First
All to-do lists can be divided into two sections: "Fatally combustible problems" and "Things that don't matter." Do the combustible problems first, in order of the explosion size they are likely to wreck upon your life. (Start with the ballistic missiles, work your way down to the hand grenades.) You should have no problem picking out the combustible problems, since they're usually business-killing things like "Our website has been hacked into a series of rotating ads for Chinese pharmaceuticals," or the fan-favorite, "That one guy who owes a lot of money sure isn't giving it to us. Super!"
As for the "Things that don't matter" part, they're best used for a good laugh at mankind's overall folly and/or the general pointlessness of a lifetime spent in ceaseless toil. Also, a chance to work on your spelling and penmanship, which is always nice!
3) There is No Third Item
That's it! Just work on the important stuff on your to-do list until you're done or it ends up not mattering. Every time you cross something off the list, take a second to savor the intoxicating feeling of spiritual revenge you're exacting against our cruel, spiteful universe. These will be your only joys for the next three or four months, but don't worry! If you're not able to sustain yourself off feelings of revenge alone (as all professional writers are trained to do), there is an additional bright side to your suffering and panicked toil: You will emerge as a boulder of combat-tested stone: unpitying toward what burns and able to crush your enemies with the weight of a few million years.
Hooray for learning to crush our enemies! Thanks for reading guys, and see you all next week!
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MONDAY MIKE FACT: I thought I might be getting the flu, but it looks like the adrenaline from my busy Monday has stomped it out of my system. How's that for a surprise benefit of being insanely busy?