How to get stuff done in extreme situations.

By Wendy the Other Half

 Part of series on Techniques for Motivating Other People the way you want, without manipulating others or being devious…. Honest.  For more motivation tips and tricks see the “Stuff from the Other Half” category

Right, we’ve already established that patience is our key weapon, carrots are nearly always better than sticks and that nagging is counterproductive BUT we all have our breaking points. Now, I don’t know what yours is, mine, I’m sure, will sound daft, but we all have our own little foibles, that’s what makes life interesting.

My breaking point is Christmas! Now I know that it sounds a bit daft that I can put up with 7 year trike builds and window waiting and not have hardly any patience if Christmas is involved.

Christmas is the one unarguable. For six weeks of the year Queen Christmas reigns. She has to, if I’m slogging my guts out from October onwards to make sure everyone has a good Christmas (including Stuff Doer who, in the main, Christmas just happens to) then it’s going to happen the right way (ie. My way).

Christmas has a routine, things have to be done. Family traditions have to be followed, old and new. If things don’t happen the right way Christmas will just not be the same and we will just not enjoy it so much.

This is when I found out that gentle requests building up to full on nagging just doesn’t work. The Christmas trees have to be up for the first of December (or at least the huge main one) in time for the kids coming down to open their advent calendars. Obviously cakes puddings and mincemeat have been made in October, so everything else doesn’t have much of a deadline as long as it gets done  (usually by me).

But Father Christmas needs at least a few days to sort out presents so letters have to be sent up the chimney by the 22nd at the latest ( I don’t care how old the kids are, it has to be done as it always has been done). I had started asking for the computer desk to be moved from in front of the study fireplace (at the time the only working on in the house) for some few days. No joy, nagging commenced, still no joy. What to do? This called for extreme action, Christmas must happen at all costs.

Now, being a Victorian house, it would have had fireplaces in most rooms. I had a cast iron  one to install, but it wouldn’t be working as our room is above the old shop so we need to pinch this chimney for our front room (currently used as a storage depot for windows / panneling). But, we didn’t need to pinch it yet. I knew the front room was going to be one of the last ones done and we’d only been living here a couple of years by then.

Patience spent. I found the sledgehammer and opened up the old fireplace, enter Stuff Doer wanting to know what was happening. So I sent him out to check that the fairies were about and we burnt the children’s letters thereby making sure Father Christmas had plenty of time to organise his sleigh.

Needless to say it was a bit draughty for the next few weeks, but the fireplace was eventually installed and our bedroom finally decorated. I don’t advise that we lose our patience, this is normally the way to get stuff done, but even though we hardly use the front room for the rest of the year, it’s ALWAYS cleared of stuff by the end of November!

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