Ziphen Central – Seeking Wisdom and Sublimity
When I set myself to do a certain task—such as, let’s say, clearing off my desk—it usually goes something like this: I turn on some upbeat music, jump right into the job at hand, and attack it with great gusto as I put things in their respective places. But life is never so simple as that, and sure enough I come across something that doesn’t exactly have a place just yet, and I need to make it one. Or maybe I find something on my desk that reminds me of something else I’ve been meaning to do. “Ah! Here’s my bank statement—it’s the twentieth and I haven’t made my budget yet! I should do that right now.” Then one thing leads to another, and after a few hours I find myself with a few minor tasks completed, a desk that still has papers on it, and me thinking “Now where was I…?”
Yes, I have trouble focusing on one task long enough to finish it, since I get distracted by other things that need to be done as well. It doesn’t matter which one is more important–the fact is that if I start something, I need to finish it, or else I feel like I haven’t really accomplished much.
But this morning was a different story as I cleared off my desk. It began in much the same way—I turned on some Fresh Aire by Mannheim Steamroller and worked fast to see how much I could get done before breakfast. But this time, thinking of all the rabbit chasing I had done in the past, I decided to get out a piece of scratch paper and just write down every task that I thought of while in the process of clearing off the desk.
My idea worked wonderfully, I am glad to report. You can now tell that my desk is actually wooden, and I also have a lengthy list of things that need to be done but that were patient enough to wait until the task at hand was complete. I plan to make this technique a habit, and now I wonder if it would work with computer-related tasks as well. Sometimes I’ll get on my computer to do my language flashcards, and then a while later find myself reading about some random subject on Wikipedia, doubtless because I had thought of something else I was going to look up, or work on, or find…
I will have to see about that. But right now that list of secondary tasks is calling me, so I’d better see what I can do about them.
It may be that you are an incredibly focused individual, and can knock out things on your to-do list without having to worry about distractions. But if you are like me, I hope you will try my idea out and see if you can use it to your advantage.