Saturday, January 10, 2015

Avoiding the Optimal Way

I often have days in game that are busy and full of things to do but I suspect, boring. I like them. I'm not an adrenaline junky. I don't play Eve to get a hit or a fix of excitement. Exciting things happen and that unpredictability is one of the appealing things.

Today, I finished sorting through my eve-mail. I then started going through blog comments and picking things out of my weekly CSM posts. I assembled stories that people have given me into another document. Somewhere in between that I turned over a Capital build. But that part went slowly because it actually takes quite a bit of time for me to gather everything together for such things.

I play Eve in an oddly focused, careless fashion. I have projects and I love working on them and keeping myself busy. But, I don't ever seek the optimal path or do things by the known best way. Over the years that I have been playing, I've learned that the fastest way to chase myself away from a situation is to try to do things the right way as told by someone else.

My industry is a good example of that. Since I have been awake, I could have rolled over my capital builds and been done by the morning. As it is, I may finish them before I go to bed or I may just go to bed and finish them in the morning. Then the final build will be ready tomorrow evening instead of tomorrow morning. The optimal thing would be to have things ending and starting again with little downtime.

But... why?

It may be that I often play when tired and distracted with other things. It is also that things like that do not push my buttons. I very much play Eve to relax and enjoy myself and sometimes that enjoyment is in puttering about getting things complete. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow.

I sound very noncomittal and that would be completely incorrect. I am somewhat obsessed with my projects. I may not undock every time someone has a butterfly but my hangar is stocked and my ships are fit and ready to go. I may not maximize the builds of my capitals but my POS is fueled and stronted and my materials where they need to be.

I'm not a procrastinator. I am that person that turns things in the day after they are assigned. But there is a difference between not getting something done on time and letting a build that does not really matter complete today or tomorrow morning. I am not disorganized nor do I think I am lazy. I just don't find my pleasure in chasing perfection. The ships will be built. The market will be stocked. My notes will be done. All with buffer time, even.

I used to be more tense.

One of the biggest differences between now and when I started is that I've found relaxation in my playing. I'm trying to shake out the last habits of justifying what I do and accepting that it is what I want to do and how I want to play.

And the best part is that it can still be productive, even if not perfect. Eve is a game that is very easy to plan to death and forget to play.

These thoughts are the rampaging side effect of a discussion about spreadsheets and my lack of using them to keep track of my market. At some point I think it is easy to accidentally kill the desire to do something by giving into the desire to do it perfectly. Something like writing I guess. It reaches the point where you just have to do it and get a result instead of planning it to death.

5 comments:

  1. Perfectionism is a prime cause of burnout, and not just in Eve. You're doing it right; don't change a thing.

    “Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien."

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  2. “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”

    ― Douglas Adams

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    1. The funny thing is that I find deadlines stressful so I get the work done far in advance and never notice the deadline. I don't like being 'late' for things it makes me miserable so plan things out well in advance and I'm never late or rushed which means I'm calm and happy.

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  3. (*frowns at the Blogger software* - it sometimes eats comments without telling, so this may be a double-post)

    " I just don't find my pleasure in chasing perfection."

    I think the emphasis is on 'my' here. There are people who find /their/ pleasure in chasing perfection, but they aren't you.

    In a way, this addresses a larger question. Everyone of us simply doesn't have the time to be perfect at everything. We have to set priorities for us, and decide that some things may be important enough for us to be 'good enough' at, but not that important to go beyond that.

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    1. I do not think that I degraded people who do. Self discovery and acceptance is what it is. I even understand why some wish to share what they feel is the best path.

      It can be a factor of time but I think that is up to the individual. For me it is a want. I do not want to do all of the steps and I accept being mediocre. Others would be miserable where I am.

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