Bikeshedding

Do you know what ‘bikeshedding’ is?

That makes two of us.

I ran across this term while researching some information for one of my online classes. So of course, I looked it up and it means…

*The act of wasting time on trivial details while important matters are inadequately attended.

So I asked myself...how often do I practice ‘bikeshedding’? I had to have a sit-down talk with myself on some things that had come to my attention about how I was actually spending my time. My time that was never coming back. I then realized what it was costing me at all kinds of levels and decided there were things I needed to give up right away including…

  • Pretending like I was going to work what was important later
  • Trying to convince myself that this work was more important than what really was important
  • Getting psyched about feeling like I had really accomplished something important…not
  • Just giving in to the brainlessness of it all

Not a pretty list. But honest.

So what did I do? I became uber clear about what was the most important thing I needed to work on every morning, before turning on the computer…even if it took hours. And then I actually did that thing.

Amazing what can happen when motivation, focus and proactive behavior has a happy dance together.

*This term originates from Parkinson's observation of a committee organized to approve plans for a nuclear power plant. As Parkinson noted, the committee devoted a disproportionate amount of time to relatively unimportant details -- such as the materials for a bicycle storage shed -- which limited the time available to focus on the design of the nuclear plant. Source.