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Thursday, May 20, 2004

Diversionary tasks

Whenever a big project needs to be done around the house, I manage to lose focus and invariably end up finding an unrelated random task to take its place.

Purely for purposes of illustration, consider the following hypothetical scenario:

Let’s say my wife mentions that the kid’s rooms need painting. No problem! Before we can paint I have to mask the windows and doorframes. But before I do that, I need to use a razor blade to clean off the drips and smears from the last paint job. Now, where is my box of one-sided razor blades? It must be in my toolbox! You know what? I think this afternoon I’ll just organize my toolbox so that I'll be better prepared for this kind of a project.

Big Project = Painting the kids rooms
Unrelated Random Task = Reorganizing my Toolbox

See how that worked? Good.

Another completely made-up example:

My wife wants to put in some flower bulbs, and has picked out a likely spot in the yard with just the right amount of sun/shade/humidity/feng shui/karma…whatever… it’s perfect! It just needs to be dug up a bit, have a border of boulders/railroad ties installed around it, and be filled with a few metric tons of bovine excrement.

No problem! Before I can start, I need to take my pickaxe and shovel out of the shed and bring home the excrement / border materials. But you know what? Once this new flowerbed is in place, the grass is going to grow up around the boulders / railroad ties, and I’ll need to use the electric edging tool to keep the whole thing looking neat. Now where is that edging tool? Crap! “Honey, I’m almost out of that plastic string that goes in the edging tool, so I’m gonna run over to the hardware store to pick some up.” [Exit stage left!]

Big Project = Raised flower bed
Unrelated Random Task = Trip to hardware store for nylon WeedWacker® string.

These fabricated examples should have most of you feeling my wife’s pain. Keeping me on task is a lot like herding cats. There’s a good reason that her favorite saying is a sarcastic, “Hands off girls, I saw him first!”

OK, now that we’re all on the same page about my A.D.D. work ethic… my ‘Big Project’ at present is getting myself back into the writing zone. The completely Unrelated Random Task that will forestall any real progress on that front is the tinkering I've been doing with my Good Readin’ list (again).

What got me off on this tangent was the return of one of my journaling heroes, Steve Amaya (who fortuitously chose this exact moment to reemerge from a self-imposed, one year hiatus).

Just to provide a little history: The inexplicably riveting tale of the Mohave Phone Booth that I read about first on Chuck Atkins' site, and then on Steve's, was my first exposure to online journaling. After that I spent an eternity wandering through the archives of these talented writers, and realized that this was something I really, really wanted to do.

So, as long as I’m not really 'writing' at present… I may as well invite everyone to check out the new (and old) talent on the Good Readin’ list. You'll find that there are enough topics, lifestyles, politics, and religion to destroy even the most open-minded dinner party... truly something for everybody. Enjoy!

As for me... I should be back on task soon. Really!

Posted by David Bogner on May 20, 2004 | Permalink

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Oh my goodness! I hate to break it to you, but you are normal.
Well, gotta go; gotta fold the laundry.
But, I should really tidy my dresser drawers first...

Posted by: Lisa | May 27, 2004 3:10:54 AM

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