Putting things off

January 30, 2009 / Breaking goals down into specific tasks makes it easier to get things done. I know this because…

When things are growing outside, Elena’s in charge of the usable plants like fruits and vegetables, and I’m in charge of curb appeal. I love red geraniums, so during the summer I bought some and stuck them in two big pots on either side of the front stoop and they grew and they bloomed and they brought happiness.

Months passed.

So those pots were still there, yesterday afternoon, when I got home from work. I had noticed, the day before, while shovelling appallingly heavy ice from the front path, that each vessel had developed both a magnificent, domed crust of hard ice, and some decisive splits running from top to bottom. They looked, on close inspection, like two large, cracked terracotta eggs.

You know as well as I do that I had been meaning to move them for some time. Mainly it was that I didn’t know where to put them. Every time I thought about moving them I had trouble visualising what to do. I was thinking of two different places, both unsatisfactory. They’re also really heavy.

A week ago, an article called “Motivating Minds:”

A team of researchers led by Sean McCrea of the University of Konstanz, in Germany, reckon they have found a piece of the puzzle. People act in a timely way when given concrete tasks but dawdle when they view them in abstract terms.

I saw those cracks in the pots and immediately decided to deal with them. They were even heavier because of all the ice. But there was only one place to put them now (garage), so the decision was made. When they thaw out they are going to melt all over the concrete, the hard specifics of which seems to be exactly the kind of thing that getting things done requires.

2 responses

  1. W. Ifey

    crap you mean those pots are kaput? i didn’t notice they were gone. they were only 10 bucks each i think. but worth 50!

    February 18th, 2009 at 11:49 am #

  2. Adrian Cooke

    Yep, I killed ’em, well and truly.

    February 18th, 2009 at 12:37 pm #

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