Focus: why I don't notice the trash is overflowing.

The Dial

People have a dial.

It measures their ability to notice something, and their will to act. This is one kind of dial:

My wife has this dial. Most of the time, she’s in the 4-7 range. She notices stuff, and acts on it in a moderate way. She’ll notice that there are dishes in the sink

and she’ll wash a few, so we don’t get behind.

She’ll notice that it’s a couple of hours until meal time

and she’ll leap into action, cooking up something amazing.

She’s responsible, and awesome! We've had frustrating time understanding why I don't work this way. For a while I thought I was broken, but it turns out that I have a completely different dial.

My dial

My dial looks like this:

this means that my ability to notice and act is either INTENSELY CRAZY or nil. Here’s what that looks like in real life:

If I have to do a task that doesn’t warrant ALL OF MY ENERGY EVER, then it’s miserable. Why? Because if I’m not on a “10” at that task, I’m a “1”, no I have no energy or motivation to do it. If I just am trying to do a few dishes out of a big pile, it’s miserable.

If left to my own devises, this is how dishes work:

This happens because there are two distinct ways that I see something, based on my dial setting:

If I ever try to function at a 5, and notice+act on some things, but not everything, soon all of my mental energy is directed at the managing of my attention and energy.

So now what we do: Sonia takes care of a lot of day-to-day stuff, and then a couple of times a week, she’ll leave the house to go shopping or something for a few hours, and I clean up a little bit.