Saturday, May 25, 2013

Office, from open-plan to no plan

I had thought, before I started working at home, that my biggest problem would be procrastination - because, you know, in the old place of employ, there was always the possibilty of someone looming up behind my back and finding me involved in an unprofitable and unproductive activity. Now here, enclosed in my study, typing away at the computer, I find there's no-one here to loom up behind my back except me: and the effect just isn't the same. As it turns out, procrastination isn't a problem at all: I get to procrastinate more than ever!

No, the problem is not so much the wasting of time by putting off doing important things; it's more the delegation of unimportant tasks so as to more pleasantly fill up my entire day with distractions and meaningless activities. I would never have thought I needed a timetable to help me have a special time for playing Scrabble on Facebook, or baking biscuits, or just sitting around staring aimlessly at the wall while patting the cat on my lap, but that seems to be the inevitable conclusion that I am being led towards.

Just the other day, I successfully avoided doing work by mixing a bread, brewing a wort for an ale on the stove, patting Harriet the cat, going back to sparge the grains off the wort and putting the brew onto the show to boil, kneading the bread, and returning to the computer to post an item on Facebook about how I was avoiding doing work. Things were all going quite well, when I found that while I was posting on Facebook, the brew on the stove had boiled over just a bit, and when I had fixed that I found that I had to clean the bench after kneading the bread on it, because I wanted to have a clean kitchen when I cooled the beer down. Meanwhile, there were comments on Facebook! This being by far the least important thing to think about at that time, I decided to spend the next fifteen minutes concentrating on that.

Things were even worse in the afternoon. You see, by that time I'd got the beer in the demijohn, put the bread in the oven and taken it out, the cats had both drifted off to sleep, and the conversation on Facebook had even dwindled to a halt: I found myself doing work. I know. I'm still shaking now.

So you see, my initial problem of procrastination in the old workplace has turned into a new problem - procrastination distracting me from my other procrastination. Perhaps some serious delegation is in order. Timetables? Sticky notes? I'm just not sure how I'm going to get out of this one.

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