When you were a youngster and your Mom gave you a task, you coped by dawdling, delaying and hiding. Eventually you she caught up with you and forced you to do the task. But you did it as slowly and dawdlingly as possible. That always hacked Mom off.
Now you are grown up. You have a wife or significant other. You realize that the boyhood task-completion strategy didn’t work. Your mom was on you every two minutes, and finally she stood over you and supervised the work.
As a mature individual you have learned better than to follow that boyhood strategy. You have adopted a new one. Now you jump in and get the task done as fast as possible. You’ve learned to your chagrin that strategy doesn’t work either. If you do it fast, you’ll have to do it over. Guaranteed. So here’s some counter-intuitive advice: Go back to you boyhood strategy, but with a slight adjustment.
Accept the task cheerfully. Then—this is the counterintuitive part— you do the task slowly and methodically—in other words, you dawdle. If you take 20 minutes to do a task that your wife can do in five, your pace is about right. She will assume that, because of the time you are taking that you are being thorough. Even if she inspects and finds something amiss, you’ll get credit for giving the task your full attention. That’s the thing. You respected the task and the task master. She might even pat you on the head.
Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co