Plan while your ugh field is down

by XFrequentist 1 min read23rd Jan 201412 comments


Here's an example of a mental manoeuvre I accidentally found, and thought might be generally useful (typical caveats apply).

I've had a manageable-but-important Problem for a few months now (financial in kind, details neither relevant nor interesting), of moderate complexity and relatively minor importance unless I leave it unsolved just a little longer.

Unfortunately, this seems to be the precise combination of things that triggers one of my ugh fields, which manifests subjectively as a fuzzy blank inability to maintain focus. Several times last week, it occurred to me that I should really Solve The Problem, but I wasn't able to get myself to spend any time thinking about it. Like, at all.

On Saturday, the Problem found itself top of mind once again. How irritating that I couldn't solve the Problem because it was the weekend, and when it wasn't the weekend, maybe Tuesday when work wasn't busy and the Bureau was open, I should really email Dr. Somebody and call Mrs. Administrator for the ...


I had a solution, and a plan. What the what?

My working theory is that when there's no chance of actually Doing Something, this particular ugh field deactivates. 

To me, this suggests a strategy (of uncertain generalizability): when an ugh field is preventing thought about something important, find a time when action is impossible and use it to generate a plan.

I would feel better about this advice if it had a deep theoretical backer. Anybody?