Done or Not Done

One of the things I hear a lot relating to work big and small is that it is “almost done”, with a close relative “basically done”, often spoken as they reach for the marker to cross of an item on the task list. I can appreciate that it’s useful to indicate progress in a simpler way than saying its 97% complete, but it’s in no way the same as done.

Done is a binary state, it either is, or it is not. That final work, that last 1 or 2 percent, can often take a lot longer than we think, and it’s harder to stay engaged when something is marked as done and now we still have work to do (or supposed to do).

It’s also fun to say because it’s not far from Yoda.

One thought on “Done or Not Done

  1. I can relate to this a bit: I”ve been guilty of “almost done” a couple of times. You suspect a little breather with help that last 5% of by quickly, yet it never does. As I increase in age this becomes more apparent.

    My personal experience is this weekend, during Startup Weekend at UCF. I was the DBA for an app that finds the closest and cleanest bathroom using long/lat. Interesting idea, and fun work on in the context. I was “almost done” creating the tables probably around 1:00pm Saturday, but I finished at around 2:30pm. Sure enough, that last 5% took longer than I thought.

    The break I took after being fully done was much better than if I was :almost done”!


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