Don’t read. There’s time for enrichment and enjoyment later. You’ve much more important work that needs to get out the door now.

Don’t exercise. Moving from bed to desk chair to bathroom to kitchen to table to laundry room and back to bed is enough movement for now.

Don’t slow down to write thank you notes. You’ll still be thankful later.

Don’t turn on any music, it might distract you and make you forget what needs to be done now.

Bubble baths, leisurely walks in the wood, afternoons spent behind a book are indulgences you earn by getting things done. And since you haven’t gotten nearly enough done, head down and back to work with you.

When you can’t sleep at night, just lay there and think about how awful it is that you can’t sleep. Or get up and get something done. But don’t you dare get up to write or draw or read or stitch.

Just keep saying “Yes” and eliminate every form of “no” from your vocabulary.

Put your friends on hold. If they’re really true friends, they’ll still be around when you’ve caught up.

Don’t waste time putting things up – out of sight equals out of mind. Just pile things up on your desk, on the floor, on tabletops throughout the house. Consider creating mountains as creativity, if it makes you feel better.

Buy a gross of sticky note pads (okay, make it 2 gross) and write one item – only one – from your to do list on a single sticky note. Pretty soon your walls, ceilings, even your furniture will be colorfully shingled. (Of course at the rate you accomplish things, the sticky will eventually wear off, so be sure to write yourself a reminder to replace fallen notes.)

Accept every offer to go out to eat – every single offer. Just remember to eat fast so you can get back to work. The extra weight? Bah, you can lose that later.

Writing retreat with friends? You can do that one day when you’ve whittled down your to do list. You’ve already put it off for 8 months, anyway.

Want to be a writer? Just keep telling yourself that writing checks and meeting minutes and grocery lists and to do notes is writing. Then quit the whining and get back to work.

I’m so glad today is February 1.