Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Readuponit: In January, the check-offs come easier

Yesterday, after a week of holidays, snow days and other procrastinations, I finally got back into my office, and found myself reveling in the spirit of getting back to work. Everyone I called was in, nobody was gone, distracted or focusing on things besides work. It's one of the few benefits of this dreadfully cold and wintry time of year. We are post holidays, it's full steam ahead.

I had a lot of things to get done, and per usual, I made my list on my yellow pad for the day. I am a habitual list maker, and I sometimes add items to the list so that I can cross them off. I put on Post Office and Bank Deposit, just to watch more and more of my to-dos become dones. It feels good. At the end of the day, I take the sheet and put it in a notebook. Sometimes it's crossed off items all the way down, often it's got notes that make me think of things I've gotta do later.

January brings a new attitude--it's time to get it done. I got a call late in the day from a vendor who has been dragging his feet with payments--after a brisk voicemail left with an unknown associate at the company, the president called to say the payment was coming by Fed-X. Then a few prospects who I had tried to pitch during the holidays popped into my mailbox with a positive reply--yes they wanted to talk, and yes, they were interested. Then a proposal for my biggest potential sale, one that will set the year up fantastically, all fell together, as if the parts were just waiting for January to fit like a puzzle.

Then a piece that I wrote for the Gazette magically got done, and the editor's revisions were minor--another check off!

Ok, so its nine degrees out, and my driveway is a hazardous sheet of grey ice. But business is getting done, check offs are being made, and it's a great time to be alive in Western Massachusetts.

Max Hartshorne has been the editor of the GoNOMAD.com travel website in South Deerfield since 2002. He travels to write stories and post daily blogs on GazetteNET and on his site. Follow him @gonomad.

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