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Postponing the Rabbits

Ziphen Central – Seeking Wisdom and Sublimity

dsc001101When 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.

2 thoughts to “Postponing the Rabbits”

  1. Very nice. Sometimes I do this when I’m reading one of my mind numbing school books. I’ll be reading along, and I’ll come up with a whole list of little things I need to do. Just be sure and write them down! They can evaporate from your mind pretty easily.

  2. Cool! I get to write my comment on parchment! Ahem…back to the task at hand :-) I think you should be able to do this on the computer too, jotting down the tasks on notepad or something similar, so that you can go back to them later.

    Good habits reap great rewards!

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