It’s not always clear which things these are, nor is it often clear (certainly not often enough) how long each long time will be. Maybe that’s the lesson I should take from this minor revelation. I’m not talking about writing (not exclusively about writing anyway). It took me a long long time to realize that thinking about how long things are taking is not only a poor use of time but is counterproductive. In comparison to, say, just slacking off, being over preoccupied with how slow, haphazard, and frustrating the rate of progress is, is and order off magnitude more counterproductive than daydreaming. This assumes that I have realized it, of which I’m not really certain the more I think about it.
Some things don’t take very long at all, such as this blog post, and that might say more than I should really admit about this blog post — which reminds me of an old New Yorker cartoon, which featured a man outside a hippie restaurant seeing a sign in the window which read: Vagueness Spoke Here.
Preposting update: writing this post actually took me longer, a lot longer, than I thought it would. But I learned some things in writing it, and clarified my own ideas (to what small extent they are clarified, anyhow) in unanticipated ways.
Postposting update: (
Good gracious Great googly moogly Great Caesar’s Ghost, will I ever finish this post?) I forgot to include this point: there is a fudge in all of this. Tasks occur in time, and it is impossible to finish anything outside of time. But creating an imaginary bubble in which to pretend time is unimportant in order to get on with the getting on seems to me a useful effort from (heh) time to time.