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The plan of attack when feeling sick: 3 piles of work, no more

I have had abad cold. It has kept me down for almost two weeks now and I am feeling totally overwhelmed, unorganized and out of control.

I had enough energy to face the planner this morning and tackle my paperwork, but I knew I wouldn't have much energy for very long. So this was my plan of attack: Three piles (no more, no less).

Pile No. 1: Things that will need doing as soon as I have energy to do anything (beyond keeping meals on the table, the laundry done and the house sort of cleaned up and neat.)

Pile No. 2: Things that will need doing when I get back on my feet and have enough energy to THINK and WORK for more than 10 minutes at a time (and still keep meals on the table, the laundry done and the house sort of cleaned up and neat).

Pile No. 3: Things that will need doing when I get to them. Some things just have to wait, a long wait maybe, but wait for sure.

Be liberal in telling others that because of your illness you can't do it now, maybe won't be able to do it later and possibly won't get to it until after the holidays.

It is better to surprise people by being early after such a caution than to have the personal pressure of keeping up pretenses when you haven't felt well.

Maybe we can start a revolution. Get sick without worry, be able to stay down while we are sick, and then, when we are up and energetic again, tackle life (and our paperwork) with order, stamina and confidence.

Good luck with coming back after your next illness. I hope you don't get this bug. It was a big, black, ugly one!

Marie C. Ricks is the host of Utah's Radio AM 820 "Home and Shopping Show," Saturdays from 10 until noon. She is also a motivational speaker and the author of the "House of Order Handbook" and other home organization materials. To order her products, offer comments, suggestions or questions, go to