Sunday, June 22, 2008

Something New, #56

"I call it "But-First" Syndrome. YOU know. It's when you decide to do the laundry. So you start down the stairs with the laundry but then see the newspapers on the table. OK, you'll do the laundry.
BUT FIRST you decide to put the papers away. So on your way in to put the papers away, you notice the mail on the table. OK, you'll put the papers away.

BUT FIRST you'll pay that bill that needs to be paid. So you look for the checkbook. Ooops...there's the baby's bottle from yesterday on the floor. OK, you'll pay the bill.

BUT FIRST you need to put the bottle in the sink. You head for the kitchen. Darn it, there's the remote for the TV. What's it doing here? OK, you'll put the bottle in the sink.

BUT FIRST you need to put the remote away. Head for the TV room. Aaagh! Stepped on the cat. Cat needs to be fed. OK, you'll put the remote away.

BUT FIRST you need to feed the cat...

So, do I need to describe what happens at the end of the day? (Hint: Laundry not done, papers on the floor, bottle on the table, bills unpaid, checkbook still lost, cat ate the remote control...)

Perhaps someone enters about this time and asks: What did you do today? And, when you try to figure out how come nothing got done all day, you are KNOW you were BUSY ALL DAY!!

That's "BUT-FIRST" Syndrome."

This is how I spend about 12 hours of each day, no matter whether I'm at home or work.

So today I decided to work on one task at a time and finish it before I moved onto the next.

It was VERY difficult.

I started with clearing off the top of my dining room table, which was covered with all the papers and art projects that came home the last week of school. It was a laundry basket's worth. But I focused, and sorted them and put them in labeled boxes and put them in the basement, while resisting the urge to go look in the box in the basement that I know has the outgrown dancing shoes in, because The Little One had left her dance bag on the dining room table, and that reminded me that I had to go "shopping in the basement" for an outgrown pair of jazz shoes to put in the bag, because she needs those for her lesson on Tuesday.

I managed to focus on one task at a time, and if something came up while doing that task, set it aside until I was finished.

I felt like I got more accomplished, or at least I can see the top of my dining room table, which has probably happened about a dozen times in the 11 years we've lived in this house.

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