"Perseverance is not a long race;

it is many short races one after the other.” - Walter Elliot (1842-1928)

Good advice for me. I have a tendency to look too far out and see that the final goal is seemingly unattainable. On the other hand, I have to work on reasonable short term goals. I find it easy to set trivial short term goals, unfortunately, achieving them doesn't satisfy; it is the difference between busy work and meaningful work.

Also, I have a tendency to try to do too much, instead of just enough. For example, I might decide to reorganize my chemistry books (despite my best Hell paving intentions, my books have a tendency toward chaos), but I will end up trying to reorganize everything - possibly even catalogue them. Consequently, nothing gets done. Need to focus on just reorganizing what needs to be done and forget about the rest.

Today's thought (no promise of thoughts tomorrow).


mattbg said…
Sounds like you may have a perfectionist streak, just like me :)
Barbara Martin said…
I, too, have that problem with not focusing on one thing, which is why my current WIP manuscript is lagging. I'm blog hopping instead. I try making deals with myself: work 30 minutes then play.
acey said…
nice 1! makes a lot of sense.
Richard said…
mattbg: I am not sure if it is a perfectionist streak. There is no question that I like to do as well as I can whatever it is I do instead of just doing it without any regard for quality. For me, there is a lot of antipathy in doing mechanical and rote tasks just for the sake of advancing. Once I understand a problem and see its solution, continuing to the conclusion / completion seems pointless (unless it is absolutely necessary). But how many things in our life are really, really absolutely necessary?

barbara: I'm not very good at making deals with myself, they seem too artificial. I find coffee (lots of it) helps me to focus. Real deadlines are good too. If I am really into something, 30 minutes will go by without notice. The problem is in trying to focus on things I am not into at the moment.

I think this is a problem with our culture placing a high emphasis on focussed, goal achievement rather than a more carefree, holistic approach to life. So much of what we do is not really urgent of important, but we are told it is.

acey: I like it. I have to keep reminding myself to just keep moving forward instead of looking up at the end and deciding the effort isn't worth it.
carra said…
I know what you mean, I'm just the same. I set small targets for every month in everything and then I have annual targets and five year ones or so, just like the communists. It sounds scary I know, but without a target I'm lost. I always take up more work than I can do, that totally improves my performance, the more things I do at once the less I am distracted by unimportant stuff so the end result is much better. I always start something small and end up doing something big, it's just my curse and I love itĄ

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