Task Preview

Dear J-

I find myself skipping ahead in the problem sets and glancing longingly at questions that look a lot easier than the one I’m working on; the same thing happens when I’m reading a book, where I’ll contrive ways to read the last couple of pages or look it up on the Internet. I don’t know when I started but I’ve already demotivated myself out of reading the rest of the Charlie Bone series and countless other novels. I think maybe I thought it was a little carrot I’d throw out there once in a while — see, this is where you’ll be, so work hard and you’ll get there sooner or later — and eventually became an expected privilege.

I think this is why I tend to procrastinate more often than most — the motivational technique of visualizing the desired future state doesn’t work for someone who’s always looking at it and can’t keep his mind on the task at hand. Maybe it’s also why work has been a drag: I see new things every day, but they end up being the same old problems with thin candy coatings, and it’s hard to work up the gotta-care attitude I need.

I’m impressed by folks who run their businesses, but I’m sure it helps to do something you love and know that your actions have a direct effect on your profit margins. In the end I suppose I do it because I want to, and kindling that fire inside isn’t easy for anyone. Meanwhile you end up waiting in line and biding time until the decisive moment; how fo you know it hasn’t already passed?

Mike

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2 Responses to “Task Preview”

  1. Sarah Says:

    Don’t act like you need to study. Ben told me about you being super smart. Ben could use a little motivation to do his homework, asking him to take naps with me as soon as he gets home from work isn’t helping.

  2. dearJ Says:

    I would seriously dispute that, but Ben’s life has been plenty busy too: you guys have a way more active social life than us. Right now is my penance time for enjoying, say, the last twelve years of relative stupidity a bit too much.

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