There’s this story Mel Brooks tells about writing the title song for his movie, “The Twelve Chairs”:
“I was gonna get somebody to do the title of ‘The Twelve Chairs,’ and Anne [Bancroft, Brooks’s wife] said, ‘No, you’re a songwriter. Go up to the attic and don’t come down until you have a version of the title song for ‘The Twelve Chairs.’ ’ So I went up to the attic, walked around for a while until I’m sure she could hear me. And then I got an idea, and I sat down, and three or four hours later, I came down with ‘Hope For The Best, Expect The Worst‘ [which became the title track].”
I had one of those moments this week. I’d been procrastinating on a big project. It was one of those days where I was crossing stuff off on my to-do list, which made it feel like I was getting stuff done, but really, I was doing other work to avoid the big thing I knew I had to do.
And then Sally, who’s wonderful at holding me accountable, told me directly and sternly: “Go to your office and do your work.”
It was just what I needed. Everyone needs someone to hold them accountable from time to time.
So I went to my office, and a few hours later, came out with a finished project.
That photo of a clock is what comes up when you search for “deadline” on Unsplash. It was taken by Towfiqu barbhuiya.