11:06 May 3, 2011

chores

So there are three kinds of tasks:

  1. Tasks that you do once and are done. These actually seem to be in the minority. These include things like publishing a novel and taking the SATs.
  2. Tasks that need to be done over and over again. These are things like cleaning your apartment. It is tempting to say, "Well, its just going to get dirty again, so why bother?" However, if you don't then you'll have a messy house.
  3. Tasks that are stupid and repetitive and meaningless. Every month or so, Capital One sends me checks for my credit card. I never use them. But they're a security hazard so I ink them out, write VOID on them about a million times, and shred them and throw them out. The net value of this is negative resources to me and negative resources to Capital One. Its just a wash.

People often assume that I favor tasks of type 1. and disfavor tasks of types 2. and 3. Not so! While there is something satisfying about type 1. tasks, in reality its not realistic. Even for the examples given, there may be follow-up to the novel and the SATs are just a step towards college. I'm quite content with type 2. tasks...that is the bulk of life.

Its the type 3. tasks I don't have much respect for. When effort is duplicated, or worse, when effort results in more effort, this is the beginning of untenability. Let's quit tolerating this