Helen (heleninwales) wrote,
Helen
heleninwales

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Tasks that block other tasks

This year, as well as working on the physical organisation of the house, I've been working on my tendency to procrastinate. I looked at the Lenient Word Count graph on my Psion and realised that May's output was feeble, June's non-existent and we're into July already and I haven't written anything this month either.

It isn't the novel's fault; it's because I have what is known on alt.recovery.clutter as a "Frog" to deal with. This particular frog is a friend's novel I'm supposed to be critiquing and it's completely blocking my own writing. It isn't stopping me doing other things, like laundry or reading or even reading Usenet or setting up this new LiveJournal account. But it is stopping me writing. That's because in order to get the frog out of the way, I've had to allocate time that could normally be spent writing to the critiquing. But the critiquing was stuck because there were things wrong with the novel and I didn't just want to send a list of stuff I didn't like without any thoughts at all on how it could be made better. Finally, this week I had a couple of insights into what was missing from the novel, so I now feel enthusiastic to deal with it this weekend. And that will free up my time for writing. Once I've finished marking the Open University assignments that is.

So it seems I have categories of task. A stuck task in one category will affect others in the same category, but won't interfere with others in different categories. And when I have a stuck task getting in the way of other things I want to do, I feel edgy. I really feel I'm boxed in because I can't do this until I've finished that, which sets up frustration.

I may need to think about this further. If I can make my mind process on dealing with tasks conscious, I might be able to do something to improve it. Perhaps I need to re-order my task categories to help prevent clashes?
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