Gregory Ciotti explains the science of productivity and the Zeigarnik Effect – read his full post here.
This effect was well-known long before the advent of electronic distractors such as Facebook and Twitter – in 1900, Gelett Burgess described me to a “T” in his book, Goops and How to Be Them:
Soon he found he had to stop and make a little broom;
But the garden needed weeding, so he set about it, quick!
So he went into the cellar for the hammer that was there;
And that’s why Tony’s father called his son a “good beginner.
In his powerful book When Good Intentions Run Smack Into Reality, the late Brian Klemmer described four different ways of approaching problems:
With the star representing a given goal and the rectangle a given obstacle,
- No. 4 thinkers have no goals at all
- No. 3 thinkers focus on too many things at… hey, squirrel! (This is my home quadrant. I’m very happy here, thank you, but I am practicing my No. 1 skills.)
- No. 2 thinkers focus on the problems, and
- No. 1 thinkers set their sights on a goal and persevere until they have attained it.
I do best when I make and prioritize to-do lists and stick to them. The old saw “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” I have heard often enough to make me want to slap every HR manager ever minted, but there’s truth in it.
I’m going to do better…
The Old Wolf has spoken.