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Pick Two

May 6, 2008

When assigned to a difficult project, a friend and former co-worker of mine would unfailingly say, “Sure. Do you want it good, fast, or cheap? Pick two.”

In short, if you wanted something done properly and quickly, it would cost you. If you wanted it cheap but right, it’d take a while. Cheap and fast, it’d be done half-assedly.

That’s pretty much how I feel on my work-at-home days. Like there are just too many factors at play, and something’s gonna have to fall by the wayside.

For instance, here are the things that were on my to-do list when I woke up this morning:

  • Two week’s worth of laundry
  • Empty the dishwasher
  • Start dinner
  • Clean the house
  • Take care of the Peep (ie, make sure he was fed, changed, and not in lethal danger)
  • Data-cleanse 300+ records
  • Pull three data extracts with varying levels of detail

Of course, that list changed when I checked email for the first time, and changed every time I checked email thereafter.

So far I’m about halfway through the laundry. Dinner is defrosting in the fridge. The Peep has been fed, changed, and kept safe, although he hasn’t taken his afternoon nap yet. One of three extracts has been finished, a few other fires have been put out, and if the Peep takes a nap, the data cleansing shouldn’t be a problem and I can probably pull off another extract.

But the list never ends! Everything that doesn’t get done today just rolls over to tomorrow’s list, inevitably bumping something off onto the next days’ list. And the day after that, and the one after…

Good mother, good worker, or good housekeeper – pick two…

Note:¬† proofreading this 10 minutes after posting, I realize that I’ve left at least two work-related to-do’s off the list…sigh

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