Monday, April 26, 2010

Small Task Moments

I've written before about the need for a Zone of Indifference to which various subjects can be relegated.

A person of complete sensitivity to the issues and problems of the world would quickly go insane. Individuals don't need to have positions on remote or arcane issues and we should be wary of people who are unwilling to leave us alone. Many of them have a totalitarian bent hidden beneath their idealism.

The Zone of Indifference, however, might not be enough to resolve day-to-day problems. It is easy for a non-Bolivian to dispatch the workings of Bolivian politics to the Zone, but what about the minor chores that cannot - and should not - be ignored? Should the Zone have a holding cell for items that can be temporarily set aside or, at the very least, not permitted to drag down morale and productivity? Such items do not merit long-term residence in the Zone and yet they need to be placed outside of the scope of our attention.

The frustration generated by these undone chores - more so than the fact that they are undone - is the problem. In short, it is our reaction, not the substance, that burdens us with guilt.

Designating 10 to 15 minutes intervals as Small Task Moments is far more effective and less intimidating than assuming that a large number of them will be addressed one of these days. It is much easier to tackle portions than a large chunk and we are more likely to do so.

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