I have this problem a lot. It’s easy to complete math homework or send emails, because there is a quantifiable way to know it’s completed.
Working in construction, I have to review drawings (think blue prints, but no one says that) and specifications for constructability (or, looking for errors/missing information). It’s very difficult to start a task that has no end date.
A novelist, who’s name I can’t remember, was asked how he was able to write so many books without any large gap between publications. His response: “Write 200 words per day”. The simple act of beginning a task would usually result in doing more than the daily goal. I’ve found the same is true.
In regards to constructability, my goal is to spend one hour a day, for a week, reviewing the documents. Instead of my metric for measuring the task being ‘completed’ it changes to a specified amount of time.
Sorry, I was born with a great memory. So much so, that I was in trouble when I didn’t score at least 93% on tests, because it meant I wasn’t paying attention. I also did far worse in classes that required both reading and lecturing. My first question, while reviewing the syllabus in college, was: ‘Are tests based on the book or lectures?’. The professor always assumed I was the kid who never showed up to class and was hoping they’d say it’s all in the book. Ha, I hoped they would say it was all lecture, that way I wouldn’t have to buy the book… any ways, I digress.
The answer to how I fixed this is: I started. If it was unusually difficult to start, I would employ one of two things:
- Set 15 minute increments of the activity, followed by 5 minutes of something I enjoy.
- I would set punishments for myself if I didn’t complete the task.