I do things by halves. Sometimes, if I’m lucky I’ll get 80% done before I allow myself to get distracted, just stopping short of completion. Just look inside my wardrobe and see the amount of things completed to 80%. Unfinished bags I’ve started sewing, knitted scarves with the knitting needles still threaded through, unsent postcards that are too old to post, a half assed filing system (the stuff that needs to be filed is in a big fat pile next to the phone).
Look inside my email account and see 10 draft copies of letters I’ve been meaning to send (one is dated back to a year ago), and other countless emails I’ve left unread with the intention to read and reply. If I do eventually finish something, the pressure has to come from an external source (like a boss (which I don’t have at the moment), or an irrevocable deadline). But even then, the journey to completion certainly isn’t a pretty one. It’s sorta like carrying a whinging child up a very steep hill. Eventually, all the noise and distraction stops me from doing what I’m meant to be doing and I’m forced to listen to her concerns.
“You don’t want to keep going?” I say, “What do you want to do then?”
“Okay”, I think, “I’ll let her have her way this time so she shuts up”.
I go to the fridge and feed her. Then I go back, ready to begin the journey again. But she’s still hungry. So I go back and forth to the fridge until I’m sure food can’t possibly be a concern anymore.
“You know you really should clean the bathroom before you start again”, she says.
“You’re absolutely right”, I say. “I’ve been putting that off forever”. After finishing the bathroom, I feel a little bit tired. I only manage to carry the child another couple of steps up the hill before she says, “You really ought to rest. You can’t get anything done in the state you’re in right now. Why don’t you see what’s on TV?”
“But It’s almost 2pm” I say, “I have to reach the top by 8pm”.
“You’ve got plenty of time”, she assures me. “Once you’re rested, you will be able to get to the top much quicker”. I don’t really believe her but I know I need to rest. So I put on the TV. “Oh, it’s ‘Oprah’, great!” One hour later: “Oh, ‘Dr Phil’s’ on. He’s so relevant.” One Hour later: “It’s ‘Totally Wild'”. This is where I draw the line. “Look”, I say, “Totally Wild is boring and educational, and the intro music is driving me nuts”.
“You’re right”, says the little girl, “we’d better get a start up the hill again”.
Finally we’re off once more, but I realise we’re running very low on time. I’m also extremely tired at this point, but I’m forced to keep going or risk not making it at all. At 7 o’clock I begin to sprint with the toddler on my back. Now it’s my turn to whinge to her. It’s a crazy sprint and I’m forced to leave out certain tasks due to time restrictions, but I make it finally, albeit rushed and 10 minutes late. I’ve finished but I’m certainly not satisfied with the outcome.
So the moral of the story is this: Imagine how much stuff we would get done if boring educational shows like ‘Totally Wild’ were on at an earlier time slot?