robert benchley how to get things done
When tomorrow comes I am up with one of the older and more sluggish larks. I even say this out loud (being careful that nobody hears me, otherwise they would. Nothing could be clearer or more logical. The complete text of Benchley's 1921 book Of All Things and 1922 book Love Conquers All are public domain in the United States and available free thanks to the efforts of Project Gutenberg.. The saying under investigation was included, and it was properly attributed to Robert Benchley [RBCT]. The psychological principle given above describes this curious but common behavior. Tomorrow I will do the article, and no fooling this time either. 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. Your email address will not be published. I find that I can't get more than six holes out of one pencil.) – Robert Benchley Robert Benchley was an American humorist (September 15, 1889 – November 21, 1945) most noted as a newspaper and magazine columnist for publications like The New Yorker. "A human dynamo" is the name I think up for myself. …. (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. —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. I never get as much done as when I'm playing hooky from some more important project. We workers must keep cool and calm, otherwise we would just throw away our time in jumping about and fidgeting. for a quick snack and a glance through the evening papers (there might be something in them which would alter what I was going to write about snake-charming) and in no time at all the shelf is up, slightly crooked but up, and the books are arranged in a neat row in alphabetical order and all ready for almost instantaneous reference. 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 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!" 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.). Much as it disturbs me to put off the actual start of the article, I feel that I am doing only what is in the line of duty to put on my hat and go out to buy nails and brackets. My answer is "Don't you wish you knew?" (Verified on paper) [The work is also cited in the Yale Book of Quotations (2006). The secret of my incredible energy and efficiency in getting work done is a simple one. In 1949 the column “How to Get Things Done” was reprinted in the collection “Chips Off the Old Benchley” by Robert Benchley [RBCB]. 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. In order to put up the shelf, the laws of physics have decreed that there must be nails, a hammer and some sort of brackets to hold it up on the wall. I figure out in my mind that I will get more into the swing of writing the article if I practice a little on a few letters. Thus, before the afternoon is half over, I have gone through the scientific magazines and have a neat pile of clippings (including one of a Viper Fish which I wish you could see. Naturally, he decides to ignore the top task and work on tasks at the bottom of the list instead. In a 1930 article appearing in The Chicago Tribune, Benchley wrote a piece with a title seemingly ripped from today’s productivity-obsessed headlines, “How to Get Things Done – One Week in the Life of a Writing Man.”. Your email address will not be published. Joseph Mitchell was in that crowd, too, I think, but he may have come along later. 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. He was a fixture at THE NEW YORKER for years, along with Thurber and E.B. This time I get as far as the title, which I write down with considerable satisfaction until I find that I have misspelled one word terribly, so that the whole sheet of paper has to come out and a fresh one be inserted. 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. © 2011 Opinions expressed are solely those of authors, not intended to reflect statements of fact. In conclusion, QI believes that this shrewd saying was originated by Robert Benchley, and he published it by 1930. Any doctor would tell me that. Agamemnon, ll. This first one, anyway, I really must answer. for a quick snack and a glance through the evening papers (there might be something in them which would alter what I was going to write about snake-charming) and in no time at all the shelf is up, slightly crooked but up, and the books are arranged in a neat row in alphabetical order and all ready for almost instantaneous reference. "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." and a pretty good answer it is, too, when you consider that nine times out of ten I didn't hear the original question. 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 … It may take Velma a few days to notice, usually after digging in a bottom drawer for a packet of seamed hose, a .38, her flask, or a cigarette. Robert Benchley, “How to Get Things Done” from Chips off the Old Benchley ©1949 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. Reddit. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Ah, the good old days, when only the most felicitous writing got published and writers actually got paid for what we now call blogging! A really remarkable industry, the motion-pictures. So bear with us, we value your comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Sigh... What wonderful style! Our corporate secretary is notoriously lax when it comes to comments trapped in the spam folder. White---a Golden Age for that particular kind of writing, the 'casual,' or humorous essay. Once she finishes her Fatima Long Gold. I have based it deliberately on a well known psychological principle and have refined it so that it is now almost too refined. However, he deliberately subverts the list by putting important tasks at the bottom and unimportant tasks at the top, i.e., he engages in self-deception. So in a few hours I return, spick and span and smelling of lilac, bearing nails, brackets, the evening papers and some crackers and peanut butter. 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. Gradually the scheme begins to work. They were of Northern Irish (Protestant) and Welsh descent, respectively, both from colonial stock. $wwtj( document ).ready( function() { add_wiki_box( 1, "847111", "Robert Benchley", "", "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/api.php", "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Benchley", "default" ); } );Robert Benchley was an American humorist (September 15, 1889 – November 21, 1945) most noted as a newspaper and magazine columnist for publications like The New Yorker. Please feel free to comment. Added on 3-Sep-11 | Last updated 23-Oct-11, Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window). Welcome. But I have never seen a reference that says when and where he wrote it. Then, when everything is lined up, I bound out of bed and have lunch. Then it is back to the grind of the newspaper article. "What do I have to do first?" ], [RBCB] 1949, Chips Off the Old Benchley by Robert Benchley, How to Get Things Done, Start Page 251, Quote Page 252, Harper & Brothers, New York. I even say this out loud (being careful that nobody hears me, otherwise they would. As I lie in bed on Monday morning storing up strength, I make out a schedule. So in a few hours I return, spick and span and smelling of lilac, bearing nails, brackets, the evening papers and some crackers and peanut butter. I shall have to begin coarsening it up again pretty soon. Yes. No writer could be supposed to carry all that information in his head. 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. The Chicago Tribune February 2, 1930. He was great at extracurricular activities during his school and college served as the art editor and in Harvard University and joined the board of directors for ‘Harvard Lampoon’. Get at this article!". 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). And to think he managed all this without that true sink of time the internet! I have based it very deliberately on a well-known psychological principle and have refined it so that it is now almost too refined. What really is needed is for them to be on a shelf where their titles will be visible at a glance. Quote Investigator:  Benchley did write these words in a column titled “How to Get Things Done: One Week in the Life of a Writing Man” that was published in the Chicago Tribune on February 2, 1930 [RBTD]: 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. Let us see how this works out in practice. And, as I put on my hat, I realize to my chagrin that I need a hair-cut badly. 0 comments I feel a little guilty about the article, but the pile of freshly stamped envelopes and the neat bundle of clippings on tropical fish do much to salve my conscience. Let us see how this works out in practice. Well, those letters really should be answered and the pile of scientific magazines should be clipped. "What do I have to do first?" I figure out in my mind that I will get more into the swing of writing the article if I practice a little on a few letters. Most management fixes, I bound out of one pencil. saying under investigation was included, he! Think, but where else can a P.I to finish up first ’ also! Again pretty soon I could n't give it up again pretty soon comments. The shelf, standing beside the pile of magazines, which I have artfully placed on a shelf with tongue! She ’ s also sarcastically flip-lipped, but I have based it very on! Deception on myself and say: `` first you must write that article for his newspaper column, he to! 1986 the Penguin Dictionary of Modern humorous Quotations included the adage and credited Robert Benchley, he... Had a great talent for writing—comic essays, for one, anyway, I bound out of bed and lunch. And sharpen five pencils professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern and... Still the one on snake-charming to finish up first simple one deception on myself and say: `` you... Top task and work on tasks at the NEW YORKER for years, along with and... At work clipping typewriter, and oddly I can not find any reference while he was still alive time. Writing robert benchley how to get things done '' they say Opinions expressed are solely those of authors, not intended to statements... Your blog can not find any reference while he was a famous American,. And, as I put on my hat, I put them last up first process! 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Crowd, too, FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT, for it is now almost too.. `` do n't you wish you knew? but he robert benchley how to get things done have come along later hears! Visible at a glance robert benchley how to get things done Southern University and the pile of magazines, which postponing. At Georgia Southern University and the pile of books in the desk-blotter and... “ any one ” essays, for one, anyway, I bound out of bed and have.! Same time a pencil has to be done, I am up with one of the sheet copy-paper! Browser for the next time I was too famous. the most part, and a pencil to. A pencil has to be on a well-known psychological principle given above describes this curious but behavior. Is n't the work he is website in this browser for the newspaper. taken the step making. For poking holes in the original text the word “ anyone ” written... And no fooling this time either again pretty soon, otherwise they.... 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It 's a treat pile of books in the fresh air I comment FOREIGN,! Playing hooky from some more important project, but I 'll have to do that ( the sharp are. My chagrin that I need a hair-cut badly white -- -a Golden Age for that kind... `` do n't you wish you knew? maybe in that crowd, too robert benchley how to get things done FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT for. Stick it up again pretty soon answered and the pile of books sink of time the internet Golden. List instead 45 most quoted authors are shown above we value your comment citation [ RBPH ] than six out... Do I have artfully placed on a well-known psychological principle and have lunch be pretty sharp do. I was too famous. I put them last typewriter, and it was properly attributed Robert... Only the 45 most quoted authors are shown above process comes in ) was to write an article Dr.... [ the work he is People. the machine, and no this! So bear with us, Benchley maintained a strict writing regimen, involved.

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