Friday, March 02, 2007

Life Goes On

I seem to be writing more about other stuff than about the addition and remodel these days. I knew when I started that there would be interruptions and periods when I couldn't work as much on the house as I'd planned, but I had no idea there would be so many of them.

And when you get enough interruptions, you lose focus and get less efficient. Back when I was in the software industry and starting to do more management and less programming, I read various books on managing people, because I didn't have the slightest idea how to do it. I read somewhere that it takes almost 10 minutes when you're interrupted at a task to get back to the level you were at before the interruption. Sitting in a cube writing a document or bit of code, and then the phone rings. Boom...10 minutes before you're back up to speed. It doesn't take a mathematician to see that a half dozen interruptions per day would seriously cut into your productivity, and half a dozen would be fairly few, unless you work alone, turn off email, and unplug your phone. And people still think they can "multi-task" and be just as efficient. Yeah, right.

Well, it turns out to be true on a larger scale, too. If you work at something regularly, say, building a house, you get into a groove. You get used to doing the different tasks involved, you get used to thinking about the types of problems that arise. But if you get regularly interrupted in that, you lose focus and get less efficient.

Lately there have been more interruptions than house building. And stress has come along with some of those interruptions. So I find myself incredibly unfocused and unproductive. Some progress is being made, nothing that's particularly photo-worthy.

But there are certainly things in my life that are photo-worthy, so I share one of them with you now. I call it "Still Life with Flowers":
It took her a while to find, but once I opened the window a bit, Star spent the entire afternoon there. As part of the re-organization in the basement, and to give me a place to work once I start wreaking havoc on the kitchen, I moved an old workbench into the dining room (it was my friend Donald's desk when we were in college at Berkeley; he and his dad built it.) Where there was space for it was near the new dining room windows, which happen to get a lot of afternoon sun this time of year. Sun, fresh warm air, and a comfy bed...irresistible to a cat.

P.S. Fundraising for the Habitat for Humanity build-a-thon is going along nicely. I'm at 13.5% of my goal, and Katarina is at nearly 22% of hers. Thank you to all who have donated!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

awwwwwwww .... I'm sure Star was just reminding you the lesson about sometimes it is better to rest in the sun than scurry around in busy-ness!!