The Should Monster

She bounds through the door and comes straight to my desk, leaving behind solid gold footprints in her wake. Her brown eyes shine in a way that tell me she’s excited about something. That energy is wholly contagious and as soon as she speaks, I am convinced.

“You really should figure out how to set up an email service. The sooner, the better. You’re networking a lot and you might want to do an email blast or something. Remember that article we read last week?” She is talking like those warranty readers in TV commercials ‘batteries not included, may contain small parts…’

(I hate email), but I’ve heard this recommendation too often from too many smart people to ignore it. Whatchacallit and the other one are always talking about their latest email campaigns, not to mention ALL the cool kids are doing it. I’ll do it.

Twenty minutes later, I’ve done a search for email services and I’m evaluating each one individually.

“You should have standard criteria for this decision. Otherwise, how will you compare them effectively. Make a quick matrix to keep track of all this.”

She’s right and I open Excel, a dear friend I know all too well, but not deeply enough. (I should add Excel training to my development plan.) I’m flying through this category and that criterion when…

“Exactly, but first you should reply to the Executive from Such-and-such you met at the mixer last night. The sooner, the better and don’t forget to mention where and when you met her. She probably met a hundred people at that event. You should stand out.”

She’s right and my email is already open. The Executive’s business card is exactly where it should be in my proper metal business card case. I’m off to the races writing this email when…

“Yes, looks good, but weren’t you going to write that blog post today?”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

And so it goes. My Should Monster is forever focused on the things that are “good” and “smart” to do, though she may think of them too quickly and forget to give me enough time to finish any of it. She is smart and strong, flexible and funny, inquisitive and inviting – all things I strive to be every day in every situation. BUT, she’s out of control and something must be done.