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Chapter 18. Put It in Writing > Dear Jane, Thank You for the 1992 Desk Calendar... - Pg. 189

Put It in Writing 189 Forgive me for sounding smarmy, but whenever I hear a newlywed or new mother say, "Ugh, I have to write my thankyou notes," I'm tempted to say, "Get a grip and stop complaining." Instead of remembering that it's a good thing to have thankyous to write (because it means they received lots of gifts), some people equate the writing of the notes with cleaning out a closet--yet another onerous chore on the to-do list. Plus, it's not as if all those gifts came as a big surprise. They had to know that writing thankyous was inevitable, and could've planned for it. So, how do you get yourself to thank someone for that nice desk calendar while you're still in the same year? Try these strategies for expressing thanks for gifts, favors, or hospitality before it be- comes embarrassingly late to do so: · Realize that there is absolutely no excuse for not sending a thankyou note. This is one of the few times when I encourage you to make yourself feel lousy about procrastinating over a task. People who don't send them in a timely manner are being ungrateful and inconsiderate, unless they have a very legitimate excuse. Is that how you want to be? If not, then make it a priority and Just do it!! · Use the Stop, Look, and Listen formula in Chapter 12. You might hear yourself saying, "What a great gift. I can't wait to tell so-and-so how much I love it!" followed by the conflicting thought, "I'll write the thankyou note later." When that happens, stop and say to yourself, "Why don't I write the note now? It'll only take a few minutes." The longer you wait, the harder it will be to write, so try to write the note within twenty-four hours of an event or the receipt of a gift. · If you can't write a thankyou immediately, add the task to your to-do list and also make a note on a daily action page of your planner so that you've scheduled a day to do it. Action Tactic