The paralizing quality of choice

By Garbage Only

Options, choices and time constraints

In the past week I was contacted by XYZ again, to do the job I was initially called for: building the graphs representing statistics about people, publications and references.

The paralyzing quality of choice

Choice becomes paralyzing when you can not define priorities. In my case I chose to do nothing instead and escape in time-wasters. Being who and what I am, this is quite hard. Time not spent doing or creating something is kind of wasted time in my book.

The paralyzing part is what surprised me. Usually I find something to do, but seeing the scope of each of the things on my list and knowing I will not be able to finish them before the new gig starts I do nothing. Which is kind of new for me.

The Zen state of doing

There is a quality in Zen that is about doing without wasting your mind on questioning everything and yourself. You simply pick something to do, define the scope and start doing it until you are done. Like the dishes, cleaning the floor, sending invoices and putting the garbage outside. The kind of stuff I rather do not as I find it a strain.

Like finishing my to do lists. Like writing them in the first place.

The constraints created by earlier choices

One other thing that plays a role is the 110.000 euro per year responsibility that leaves me few other choices but find new gigs as soon as the old ones are finished.

In the past – before 2006 – it was going as the wind blew. No commercial gigs meant I could work on my own stuff. Without a real plan except from creating what I perceive to be beauty. As a freelancer, about 20.000 to 30.000 a year is sufficient to have a decent living and not paying too much money.

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One comment

  1. Recognizable for me: procrastination kicks in when there’s too much stuff to choose from (and esp, when I don’t see a path how to do it yet, and don’t realize the first work to do is define how to do it.)

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