Not quite the IDES of March yet, but today feels special to me. It is Tuesday one day before humpday. One could say that it’s almost the start of the week, but not quite. After a weekend, Monday seems a day to check your calendar, finish up what you didn’t on Friday, and re-organize your desk and current files to prepare for the week’s work, knowing that Tuesday is a full work day. Why would a full workday feel special to me. I have a quick answer for you. I love a full day of work. I love the feeling of accomplishment. It has never mattered what my work has been. When I am engrossed in my work, I am a happy camper. Now I could also say that about a full day of play.

So much of our lives is spent in preparing to work and yes in preparing to play, that actual work or play is almost anecdotal to preparation. I think about the statistics often posted on news programs on productivity, work hours, attendance, hours per week worked per job, part-time work vs full-time work, etc. I know that the measurements used are supposedly scientifically supported. I’m an engineering graduate and remember the history of time and motion studies science. Some things may by their consistency easily be measured. However, when it comes to so many jobs, whether in art, science, music, writing, teaching, management and many more occupations, proper utility measurements often elude us.

A quick example of this is when, as part of your job, you are required to write a collection letter to a valued client. The letter will be half to one page long. You know what you have to say in the letter. It should take five minutes to write, but then it doesn’t. It takes an hour, maybe even, two hours. Why? The answer is that you must prepare to write it. You must examine the mindset of the intended recipient. What are his or her sensitivities about money, the specific situation, or the recipient’s history with you or your company. Perhaps the creative professionalism level of your letter may come back to haunt you. If it results in public relations reverberations up to your management superiors, it may in the end affect a negative analysis of your job performance.

In writing my mystery novels, preparation is fifty percent of my writing. Sometime that preparation is spent in rereading to get the tone of my characters’ recent reactions to a particular situation. So I read and I think and then I finally write. How about you; just how much of your life is in preparation?

K. B. Pellegrino

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