As I've been getting back into the work routine, after the distance which taking two weeks off and watching a new life come into the world provides, one of the things that has been striking me is that my tendency to focus, something I've often prided myself on, is something of a double-edged sword.
On the bright side, when I really make a problem my own, I'm pretty good at gnawing away on it until it's solved -- even if this involves a few sheepish calls home that, "Uh, hon, I said I thought I'd be home by six o'clock, but it's starting to look more like seven to eight." And on small problems, I can usually finish things off pretty quickly and then devote my time to searching around for that illusive, "Something interesting on the net" or writing.
However, when a problem comes along which actually requires waiting on other people to get back to me, rather than just pounding away at things on my own until they're solved to my satisfaction, I tend to either lose focus entirely and move on to something else, or else obsessively check to see if Anyone Is Doing Anything Yet, even when I know this is highly unlikely. And find it very hard to focus on anything else.
The which is not at all a professional virtue, and indeed is at times well neigh crippling if one can't go off and find some detachment very quickly.
Fortnightly Book, March 29
2 hours ago