I’m not the only one, right?
I’m not the only one who has that little voice in my head that sometimes preys on my fears and messes with me, but mostly provides me with invaluable insights and guidance…right?
And, I’m not the only one who sometimes blatantly ignores this voice, tells it NOT NOW! I”m busy! and goes about my business with an uneasy, ‘but what if…’ feeling…right?
For the last two weeks, I’ve been living on a steady diet of my Macbook, adrenaline and dark chocolate (with a little soup thrown in for good measure). Amongst other things, sleep has been missing. But last night, I hit a wall and decided to go to bed at 8:00 pm.
When I got into bed, my little voice said, ‘Where’s your Blackberry? It sure would suck if it started ringing and woke you up!’ No one’s going to call…it’s fine, I said. My excuse? I was really warm and it was snowing outside. (Though the phone was in my dining room and I don’t have to go outside to get there.) Then, I fell asleep quickly and easily for the first time in, like I told you, weeks.
The phone rang at 9:30.
The phone rang at 10:15.
It’s the loudest, most obnoxious ring you’ve ever heard so that I don’t miss calls from John Stewart, Ellen, Arianna Huffington or Random House (in that order). I also would answer if Oprah called. Or Anderson Cooper.
Oh, and Silas started barking at 4am – anyone want a dog? Just kidding, Silas, I would never – but that’s another story. The point is that my good, long night of sleep was ruined. I am not good at being woken up, my mind starts racing and writing and worrying – and I have a hard time falling back to sleep.
So, I started thinking that scenarios such as this arise in life and work, and that while that little voice is sometimes ignored, there are other factors at play. It all comes down to covering your ass. How can you avoid ruination?
Here are some ways that I cover my own:
1. I just published an eBook. No matter how many times I edited the thing, I found a new mistake. So, I added a simple line in the book:
Oh…and by the way, I’ve tucked some adorable typos into
this book. If you can find them, you get a prize. Something fun
like a link and a shout out on my blog.
Voila, ass covered. If there are typos, they are now there on purpose and everyone’s happy.
2. I have a LOT swimming around in my head: business, creative, family – don’t you? The best ass saver in the world is a machine that not only remembers everything, but also shows me instant search results at the hint of a word cue from me. My tool is my Macbook. In every single application, I can type any word or words into the search bar to find anything I’ve worked on. Doesn’t matter if it got filed wrong or if it was last year. Did I mention the search results are instant? As in, they show up as I type.
3. Always pack food, water and floss. Even if you’re just running into town for a quick errand. If you don’t, chances are that you’ll end up hungry, thirsty and with food in your teeth.
4. I ask for as much information as possible to be delivered to me via email. Many times, especially when meetings are scheduled weeks in advance, I forget all of the details. This applies to countless other situations. But, if everything is documented in my email, I can do a search (see #2) for that topic or name, and read the whole story – re-acclimating myself to the details, actions and expectations.
5. Be completely honest all the time. I’m not trying to sound like your mother, really, I’m not. But if you are completely honest 100% of the time, you will never waste any time, or screw up a relationship, by trying to remember what you said, who you said it to or when you said it. Or so I’m told.
6. Back up. People, if you aren’t backing up your work on your computer, I simply can’t keep talking to you. Do it.
7. Turn off your phone before bed. I’m sure that Ellen will leave you a message…and why would she call in the middle of the night anyway?
Your turn because there must be a zillion more ways to cover your ass, and I’m exhausted from all the not-sleeping.
How do you cover your ass? Go.
(p.s. this post is dedicated to my buddy, James Moreau)