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Procrastination through over-focus on unimportant details?

I tend to get very absorbed in small details of papers I read, or things I write. It's almost a compulsion, and it keeps me from getting anything done even if I spend a lot of time working.

For example, suppose I'm reading a book on a technical subject and find an aspect of a proof I don't understand. I can spend hours on it, to the detriment of my understanding of the rest of the book (which I have to rush through later) and of my other projects. But when I try to switch to something else, the nagging question about the technical detail pulls me back.

Basically, I am not comfortable with skipping something that may be important and coming back to it later. Has anyone else experienced this problem?

Berko's picture

I experience something similar to...

I experience something similar to this when I am doing web design. I have a situation right now that is similar to this. A javascript I want to use on a client site works in Safari, but no other browsers when viewing the client's site. The same script applied to my website which runs the same CMS displays in all major browsers (FF Mac/PC, IE 6, Safari; haven't tested Opera or OmniWeb though). I have been racking my brain trying to figure out why, and it has kept me from working on some other design elements. But I must know! I even created a workaround that is perfectly functional, but that isn't the point! When my wife notices me being like this, she says I'm being obsessive and to just let it go. I usually try, but sometimes it's just impossible.




An Oblique Strategy:
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