One day my 16-year old son came home after a hard day at high school, collapsed with head in hands at the kitchen snack bar, and said, "I wish I could stay home all day and do nothing like you do."
What! My mind flipped through the list of my accomplishments that day. I did work at home so I was around the place most of the time. However, I was managing editor of a local newspaper. I was producing a musical comedy presentation. My volunteer work was time consuming. And in my spare moments I was raising four children, managing a home and trying to see my husband once in a while.
Now my son was telling me that I didn't do anything. After my anger faded, I analyzed the problem. By using techniques I had mastered over the years, I made housework, cooking, cleaning, child care, budgeting and auto maintenance look simple. Home life wasn't perfect, but things went chugging along and my son was fed, clean and comfortable.
For a reason beyond sanity came the words, "Write a book. Let your kids and others know how you manage." So I did write a book. It was a long-paged manuscript called The Organization Book Your Mother Should Have Given You. It was filled with information and blueprint for successful living.
"Finally," I mused. "Here is the answer to help my children and other disorganized folks." I began teaching seminars extolling the virtues of my book to others. Yet when I looked in the glazed eyes of the participants, I knew they were not going to change. My fabulous new information was not translating into new habits. After my lectures, the audience and I smiled at one another and went our separate ways--both of us wishing this information could work.
The final blow came when I gave the book to my husband and children. To my surprise, they were not interested. It was too complex. There were too many facts and these facts took too much time to learn. On and on went the excuses.
Now I was getting upset. First, no one seemed to understand the amount of work I accomplished. Now I couldn't get them to read my well prepared and researched book. Didn't they know it would help them build better personal habits? At this point I was ready to give up. People needed this information. How could I relay my knowledge to them?
My mind started creating again and came up with a new concept. I tore the book apart. I simplified the book into short lists. I trimmed the wordy fat and came up with lean information for people who want lots of information in a hurry. The basic tool used for organization is a List. Yet many people never make a complete, orderly usable list. So I did it for them. Pushing along with my new objective, I formed a publishing and seminar business. My business sells products your mom might have given you if she'd found the time to develop them. Now all you need is a little time and my Lists.
And I still teach revised seminars. Only now the participants are happier. They are not as overwhelmed with facts and tasks and new habits. I make time management easy. Habits change. I let everyone choose how much they want to get organized. No one has to be totally organized. Even my children and my husband.
My company has been featured in Lifestyle Sections in newspapers across the country. I've appeared on television talk shows and taught for colleges, schools, church and business groups. The final conclusion was to put it all into a book, Lists for Muddle Management, so anyone can read it and find their own path to organization. A compact disc lets everyone print out their own Lists, as many as they want. The book and KayLee were selected to sell on QVC home shopping network. It's been listed in Cosmopolitan magazine, Wall Street journal and too many other media outlets to mention.
And all this because my son thought I did nothing all day long.