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Initiating, Planning and Organising Shit

Initiating, Planning and Organising Shit

February 14, 2018   -   Scott B Harris

I used to look at myself and say, ‘Scott, you’re a lazy sack of dogs turd, just do it already… stop being lazy.’ It actually turns out that there’s a little science to this laziness and it’s actually a problem I face because of my injured brain.

‘Initiating, planning and organizing’ is the term that this problem is labeled and it’s very prominent with frontal lobe damage to one’s brain. Because I left my Neurologist Doctorate Degree thingy back at school, I’m not in a position to tell you exactly why this is, but I guess this process takes place in this part of the brain that was damaged. All I know is that I find it hard to get shit done, which in turn makes me look terribly lazy. This is very common with traumatic brain injuries because trauma usually happens head on and this is commonly the part of the brain that gets traumatized.

I’ll give you a brief run-down of what this all means first –

Initiation of a task: This is the ability to take the first step, to even know the first step in fact. Initiation requires the ability to understand what is required to start doing a task.

Planning of a task: This is the ability to work out what exactly will need to be done in order to complete the task and how you’re going to go about it. Here is where we will make a time evaluation, on the task. How long do I have until the footy starts on the TV vs. how long will this take me to complete?

Organization of a task: In this aspect of actually getting shit done, it’s the ability to see which steps will come in which order and then to alter your approach on the fly according to your judgment of what needs to be done.

From the outside, I may look tad lazy. I’m the person that is forever saying, ‘I should do this’ and, ‘it would be great if we did that’, but in actual fact, I never get around to doing this or that. Things just seem to get swept under the rug and drift off by the wayside. Although sometimes I just can’t actually be bothered doing something, more often than not it’s the processing that’s going on in my brain that’s the root of the problem. The root of the problem is the initiating part. The part that is required to take the first step. What is the first step? How do I take the first step? I don’t know. ‘Oh well, I’ll get around to it someday.’ Each and every task that I must do, on a daily basis, is rather daunting. When I think of doing something, the initiating part of the process is what scares me. Actually, to be

Each and every task that I must do, on a daily basis, is rather daunting. When I think of doing something, the initiating part of the process is what scares me. Actually, to be honest, it’s the whole process that’s daunting and scary, but this is the first hurdle to overcome.

Because I like to tell stories, I’ll tell you a story of where this has snagged me of recent times. So a few weeks ago, I finally got around painting a seat that I built (a seat that I built on my own, with an injured brain, one arm and a battery operated circular saw that nearly killed me… but that’s another blog right there). This seat was built about a year ago but I needed to give the new timber six weeks to settle in before I could seal it, after the completion. Six weeks came and went and I never ended up doing it.

The winter then set in and I kept putting it off again and again. Although you are probably reading this thinking to yourself, ‘This is silly, just do it you lazy sack of dog turd,’ the underlying reason why I kept putting it off was that I didn’t really know the best way to go about doing it. By the time I got motivated enough to ask someone it was too late and the timber seat was discolored. It was old and pale now, great. At this point, painting it would have been the silliest thing to do. Instead, I decided that I needed to sand back the topcoat of the timber to expose the raw timber again.

This raised so many questions in my mind, that it overwhelmed me. Ah bugger it, I’ll do it next summer. Summer came around and we went away, so ah bugger it, I’ll do it when I get back. We got back and I had work to do. Ah bugger it, I’ll do it… ah bugger it, I’ll do it… ah bugger it… ok let’s just do it! I finally got around to hiring an industrial-sized commercial grade sander gadget thingy to get the job done. This thing was WAY over the top but hey, it got the job done.

The next day I painted the first coat. Two more coats later and bob’s your uncle, it looks great. I really wish I didn’t put things off like I do and I’m trying my hardest to overcome this hurdle. Here are a couple of tips I have for you… if you’re a lazy sack of dog turd like myself –

Tip #1: I find that I always want to do something on my own because I have something to prove to myself. To prove that hey, I don’t need any help, I’m a big boy with my big boy pants on, your help is unwanted. Instead, I will look at the job and imagine that it will do itself. If I’m to involve just one other person to bounce ideas off, they will be a motivator to get things done. You see, I have an idea of how to do most things; I just don’t know how I will do them. How I will go about them. For some reason, just one single other person there and I will get it done. Maybe I should ask for help more often?

Tip #2: Give myself a deadline. Working with a timeframe helps me to plan out my attack. If there’s no deadline, I’ll just get it done whenever and whenever means never, never ever when ever ever. Ok that’s enough. Never. I think that having someone else there automatically gives me an invisible deadline though. Even if I’m the one controlling the situation, this ‘deadline’ kicks my ass and says to get it done.

Tip #3: Take it one step at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed by the task at hand because the mountain looks too big to climb. Simply take one step, complete the step and move onto the next one. Small goals work really well in this instance.

Wow, maybe I should take my own advice?

To finish up, here’s another story. Before I knew that this problem was a ‘thing’, a couple years back I made a new years resolution to follow through with more things that I said I was going to do. I was just under the impression that I was just a lazy sack of dog turd and if I stopped being so turdy, I would get more things done. Well, it turned out that I might have been beating myself up for no reason. What I usually tell people is, ‘I can’t, I have a brain injury.’ Ha, it’s now a legit reason why I find it a challenge to get shit done!


4 thoughts on “Initiating, Planning and Organising Shit”

  1. I want to ‘like’ this post. I can relate to that. A brain injury made a more profound change in me that I was able to acknowledge at the time and even a few years later. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I want to ‘like’ this as I can very much relate to it. A brain injury creates a more profound change that we are able to acknowledge initially or even a few years later. Thanks.

  3. I don’t feel it’s a question of laziness really. Today’s world is filled with distracting stimuli. I’m watching a tennis match on TV and it is filled with advertising…New York Community Bank, GF Sports, USTA, IZOD…brands everywhere! There are more commercials. Even our clothing is often emblazoned with logos and even slogans. The brand names are almost invariably much bigger than what the actual product is. Finding what a thing *is* as opposed to what the brand is takes mental work. I guess one strategy to try is to simplify life if you can. I believe studies show that walking in a natural environment helps short term memory.

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