This is something we all do. Me especially. I’m a paint-watcher by nature. Not literally. I have never seen anyone literally watching paint dry. But metaphorically, we do it all the time.
Instead of setting a task in motion, then leaving it alone to sort itself out, we keep on popping back to check.
Click the install button, and watch that little circle spinning round, chasing its own tail, as if there’s a hidden message in there we might decipher if we stare at it long enough.
Hit the download link, and watch that green bar creep towards 100%, slowing inexorably as it goes. ‘50% done,’ you tell yourself smugly. ‘67% done,’ like it’s nearly there. It’s getting slower all the time. ’92 fucking percent done.’ You’re slowly losing your mind now. By the time the green bar reaches 100% you’ll be completely gaga. We’re all just watching our own lives slowly ebb away.
Publishing posts on WordPress is another good one. Write the post, publish the post and walk away. Don’t sit at your keyboard anxiously waiting for likes and comments to appear. It will drive you nuts. If you aren’t already.
I do the same thing with Google Analytics. It’s there to be checked every single day, right? Because every single day is unique and important, and completely different to all other days? No. This is not usually a productive use of time. Just don’t do that.
Hell, who am I kidding? Sometimes I check Google Analytics several times during a single day. This tells me nothing and is simply stress-inducing.
So don’t do that.
Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. No. No. No.
Paint the wall. Walk away. Leave the paint to dry. Come back 4 hours later to check it’s done. Just like it said on the tin.
Don’t be that guy watching the paint dry. Because if paint could laugh, it would be laughing at you.