robert benchley how to get things done

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In 1986 The Penguin Dictionary of Modern Humorous Quotations included the adage and credited Robert Benchley without citation [RBPH]. The psychological principle in this: anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment. Then it's ho! A GREAT MANY PEOPLE have come up to me and asked me how I manage to get so much work done and still keep looking so dissipated. We workers must keep cool and calm, otherwise we would just throw away our time in jumping about and fidgeting. The psychological principle is this: Any one can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment. And, as there are no nails or brackets in the house (or, if there are, they are probably hidden somewhere) the next thing to do is to put on my hat and go out to buy them. "But I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous." If you'd welcome some advice on how to skip all the preliminaries, see Writers on Writing: Overcoming Writer's Block and Writing Rituals and Routines: Advice on How to Become a More Disciplined Writer. True, it is from a friend in Antwerp asking me to look him up when I am in Europe in the summer of 1929, so he can't actually be watching the incoming boats for an answer, but I owe something to politeness after all. (The sharp pencils are for poking holes in the desk-blotter, and a pencil has to be pretty sharp to do that. If you've never seen him in action, it's a treat. A great many people have come up to me and asked me how I manage to get so much work done and still keep looking so dissipated. Robert Benchley (1889-1945) American humorist “How to Get Things Done,” Chicago Tribune (2 Feb 1930) Thanks for sharing this and have a good trip. You can format HTML codes of bold, italics, and links: SleuthSayers, (We've been out of town, and so, here's a reprint of one of the classic works on how to write, by the master, Robert Benchley.). Pushing my chair away from my desk, I am soon hard at work clipping. And here is where my secret process comes in. And there is the shelf, standing beside the pile of books! In 1949 the column “How to Get Things Done” was reprinted in the collection “Chips Off the Old Benchley” by Robert Benchley [RBCB]. You would die laughing). Here are additional selected citations in chronological order. Now, if there is one thing that I hate to do (and there is, you may be sure) it is to write letters. And here is where my secret process comes in. And to think he managed all this without that true sink of time the internet! Let us say that I have five things which have to be done before the end of the week: (1) a basketful of letters to be answered, some of them dating from October, 1928 (2) some bookshelves to be put up and arranged with books (3) a hair-cut to get (4) a pile of scientific magazines to go through and clip (I am collecting all references to tropical fish that I can find, with the idea of some day buying myself one) and (5) an article to write for this paper. The only trouble is that, at this rate, I will soon run out of things to do, and will be forced to get at that newspaper article the first thing Monday morning. There does not happen to be one on snake-charming among them, but there is a very interesting one containing some Hogarth prints and one which will bear even. And, as there are no nails or brackets in the house (or, if there are, they are probably hidden somewhere) the next thing to do is put on my hat and go out to buy them. Let us see how this works out in practice. I never get as much done as when I'm playing hooky from some more important project. Then, being well in the letter-writing mood, I clean up the entire batch. Good one, Benchley! But as Benchley was quick to admit, he had an even greater talent for not writing: A master procrastinator, Benchley is remembered for his work at The New Yorker magazine in the 1930s—and even more for his deadline-defying high jinks at the Algonquin Round Table. Reddit. My eye catches the pile of magazines, which I have artfully placed on a near-by table beforehand. But the fact remains that hundreds of thousands of people throughout the country are wondering how I have time to do all my painting, engineering, writing and philanthropic work when, according to the rotogravure sections and society notes I spend all my time riding to hounds, going to fancy-dress balls disguised as Louis XIV or spelling out GREETINGS TO CALIFORNIA in formation with three thousand Los Angeles school children. How to Get Things Done, Robert Benchley (1949) [pdf ... ... Search: The magazines being within reach (also part of the plot) I look to see if anyone is watching me and get one off the top of the pile. …. It Will Be A Way Poorer World With Less KUSFs And ... How Does One Get To A Politician If You Can't Writ... Visit the DownWithTyranny Book & Music Store. I will feel all the more like writing after a turn in the fresh air. So instead of putting a fresh sheet of copy-paper into the typewriter, I slip in one of my handsome bits of personal stationary and dash off a note to my friend in Antwerp. And, as I put on my hat, I realize to my chagrin that I need a hair-cut badly. Benchley was later known for writing elaborately misleading and fictional autobiographical statements about himself (at one point asserting that he wrote A Tale of Two Cities before being buried at Westminster Abbey). I can kill two birds with one stone, or at least with two, and stop in at the barber's on the way back. Well, the actual purpose I have for publishing this quote is to illustrate my own genius in avoiding the work I am supposed to be doing at this very moment. and a pretty good answer it is, too, when you consider that nine times out of ten I didn't hear the original question. Now, if there is one thing that I hate to do (and there is, you may be sure) it is to write letters. When tomorrow comes I am up with one of the older and more sluggish larks. Once she finishes her Fatima Long Gold. Robert Benchley (1889-1945) American humorist “How to Get Things Done,” Chicago Tribune (2 Feb 1930) I write my name and address at the top of the sheet of paper in the typewriter and then sink back. Gradually the scheme begins to work. This first one, anyway, I really must answer. —Joline Godfrey, CEO, Independent Means, Inc. and author of Our Wildest Dreams "Getting Things Done describes an incredibly practical process that can help busy people regain control of their lives. Dear Quote Investigator: One of the most insightful and humorous quotations about accomplishing tasks is: Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment. Agamemnon, ll. It seems almost like a divine command written in the sky: "If you want to finish that article, first put up the shelf and arrange the books on it!" The secret of my incredible energy and efficiency in getting work done is a simple one. And, as I put on my hat, I realize to my chagrin that I need a hair-cut badly. Welcome. Then, when everything is lined up, I bound out of bed and have lunch. In truth, Benchley had a great talent for writing—comic essays, for the most part, and theater criticism. Benchley died in 1945, and oddly I cannot find any reference while he was still alive. Let us say that I have five things which have to be done before the end of the week: (1) a basketful of letters to be answered, some of them dating from October 1928, (2) some bookshelves to be put up and arranged with books, (3) a hair-cut to get, (4) a pile of scientific magazines to go through and clip (I am collecting all references to tropical fish that I can find, with the idea of some day buying … Maybe in that pile of books in the corner is one on snake-charming! "A true skeptic of most management fixes, I have to say David's program is a winner!" How to Get Things Done, Robert Benchley (1949) [pdf ... ... Search: Ah, the good old days, when only the most felicitous writing got published and writers actually got paid for what we now call blogging! I will feel all the more like writing after a turn in the fresh air. I then seat myself at my desk with my typewriter before me and sharpen five pencils. We workers must keep cool and calm, otherwise we would just throw away our time in jumping about and fidgeting. The Robert Benchley Society announces that our Commemorative Tenth Anniversary Edition of Love Conquers All is available for purchase on Create Space and at Amazon. But I have never seen a reference that says when and where he wrote it. The only trouble is that, at this rate, I will soon run out of things to do, and will be forced to get at that newspaper article the first thing Monday morning. Robert Benchley was born on September 15, 1889, in Worcester, Massachusetts, the second son of Maria Jane (Moran) and Charles Henry Benchley. True, it is from a friend in Antwerp asking me to look him up when I, When tomorrow comes I am up with one of the older and more sluggish larks. Thanks for your question. Of course, it is difficult to find any book, much less one on snake-charming, in a pile which has been standing in the corner for weeks. (ProQuest) [In the original text the word “anyone” is written as two words “any one”. How to Begin an Essay: 13 Engaging Strategies, Definition and Examples of Parody in English, How to Make Non-Toxic Colored Smoke Bombs, The History of Tobacco and the Origins and Domestication of Nicotiana, 5 Examples of How to Write a Good Descriptive Paragraph, 10 ROFL Funniest Quotes That Will Make You an Instant Hit, Explore and Evaluate Your Writing Process, "An Apology for Idlers" by Robert Louis Stevenson, Writers on Writing: Overcoming Writer's Block, Writing Rituals and Routines: Advice on How to Become a More Disciplined Writer, Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia, M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester, B.A., English, State University of New York. “Anyone Can Do Any Amount of Work, Provided It Isn’t the Work He Is Supposed To Be Doing At That Moment.” – Robert Benchley. (Verified on paper), When the Last Tree Is Cut Down, the Last Fish Eaten, and the Last Stream Poisoned, You Will Realize That You Cannot Eat Money, You Can Easily Judge the Character of a Man by How He Treats Those Who Can Do Nothing for Him, Dr. Mardy's Dictionary of Metaphorical Quotations.

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