Making partial progress on tasks

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by seebs, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    So here's a thing that periodically really sorta screws me over:

    I don't feel like I'm making progress on tasks if I can't complete tasks. And if I have to do prep before I could complete them, and I have good reasons to do the prep in advance, then I spend a while doing things that consume effort, but no tasks actually get done, and I am just so annoyed by that.

    I have too many tasks that are Pending right now, and pending tasks consume some of my available executive function just by existing, even when there's nothing at all I can do about them. So, for instance, I have some reason (long-since forgotten) for which it is of crucial importance that I successfully upgrade Jesse's laptop at some point. But I can't do it until there's a time when I'm free and he doesn't need his laptop for several hours and one of us thinks of it, so there's a laptop sitting on my desk waiting for me to copy his files to it, as there has been for several days. I have a broken iphone that I think I can fix if I can identify the correct part to replace, so I've ordered a part which might show up within the next week, so there's a non-working iphone and some specialized tools sitting on my desk waiting for that part to show up so I can try that. I have a couple of books to mail to an author for signing, but I need to find out details for one of the inscriptions, so I have a box containing two books and an address sitting around waiting for me to successfully get that data. And so on. And so forth. And it's just really frustrating that I can't actually cause any of these tasks to be done.
    • Like x 1
  2. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    I know the feeling and it is indeed frustrating.
  3. kmoss

    kmoss whoops

    Waiting for things is the worst, too, half the things I need to do I can't do until I do something else, and it feels like I have a giant yarn-tangle of stuff I can almost get done.

    On the days when I have appointments or people I have to call, I can't do anything until I do that thing. Which includes when I work on weekends, a lot, and so that is lame.

    I wish life was like the Sims, and I could sit down and write a bunch of nonsense words, hand it in, and work my way up to levels of nonsense words, which I would eventually get a job in.
  4. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    Oh, I wanna be a professional nonsense writer too! Sounds so relaxing
    • Like x 1
  5. albedo

    albedo metasperg

    Any chance that you can split tasks into discrete sub-tasks, or does that not feel like Finishing Things?

    The Agile-style 'task = what you can get done in one iteration/sitting' has been helpful for me, but my task-completion issues are depression-related, not ADHD. (Reward circuit broken, executive function dysfunction, and 'oh god it's scary and overwhelming'. Small tasks are less overwhelming, and therefore easier to do.)
  6. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Subtasks help with one problem, but not the other. The problem I really need is too many Pending Things, and nothing short of making the task be complete makes it not a Pending Thing. So subdividing, then finishing subtasks, doesn't reduce the number of pending things.

    The good news is, I can get three of them off my list today, I believe. Except that I'm now sitting waiting for someone who just asked me if I was around in IRC to tell me why he asked or otherwise communicate so I can go away and do my errand.
    • Like x 1
  7. albedo

    albedo metasperg

    Ugh. Yeah, that's no good. Good luck.
  8. kmoss

    kmoss whoops

    I strongly dislike it when people ask me a question like "hey are you around" and so my default response tends to be just giving them the times I am available.

    I don't like having a fluid schedule, and most people I know are more ok with their schedules being fluid (or, I guess, not having written down schedules at all, which strikes me as horrifying), so I let them know my operating hours and they can work around those as they please.

    for instance: "hey are you around?" "yes, but only until five, and then I get done by seven...and I've got a little time tomorrow morning if that worked"

    I feel like asking questions without any information in them is pretty counterproductive in general
  9. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    It happens a fair bit in our IRC because people will want to ask a question in IRC if you're around, but through another channel otherwise, or something.
  10. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    @boyacrossthestreet In part that comes from fluid schedules, or even no real schedules, but also because I at least have trouble remembering my own time plan for the day, much less that for several other people.
    • Like x 1
  11. Aurora

    Aurora Very freckly member

    Ugh yes. Could maybe putting them in a calendar for later turn them into a scheduled thing, like Christmas, and thus not a pending thing?
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