Among the goals written on the abbreviated [to-do] list: a thorough cleaning of his apartment, laundry, re-ordering of checks, buying a bigger CD shelf, signing up for a T’ai Chi course, cashing in a large jar of loose change at the bank, updating his resume, looking for a new job, and “figuring out the whole Melanie thing.”
Olson’s plan to straighten out his life first thing Monday morning was derailed the evening prior.
“I was going to go to bed early Sunday so I could get up early Monday and start on all my projects,” Olson said. “But then I realized I could go to Rocky’s [Bar & Grill], where they have this really cool thing called Rocky’s Sunday Night Record Jam, where this guy spins all these really cool old vinyl records, everything from Curtis Mayfield to The Damned. I normally never get to go because I have to get up at 6 a.m. Mondays, so I figured it was my big chance. But then I got a little more drunk than I’d planned.”
Upon waking up Monday, a hung-over Olson decided it would be a “day of recovery” and vowed to begin first thing Tuesday. After spending most of Tuesday in his bathrobe re-reading Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, Olson finally went to the basement that evening to begin the first of his many projects.
“I decided the first thing I was going to do was unpack all the stuff in the basement,” Olson said. “When I opened the first box marked ‘Magazines,’ it had nothing but a bunch of socks and my electric pencil sharpener. I got so [upset about] my lack of organization, I went back upstairs and started watching TV.”
According to corporate consultant and motivational speaker Jeffrey Hatcher, trying to catch up on years of neglected goals in one week is not a good strategy.
“You have to make a conscious effort every day,” Hatcher said. “You can’t spend years letting things fall apart and then fix it all in seven days. It’s just not possible. Perhaps if Derek had had two weeks off, he might have been able to catch up on a sizable portion of his tasks, but he won’t be getting two weeks of vacation at his job for at least another three years, before which time he’ll most certainly be fired for being so disorganized. So there’s no real point in talking about it.”