Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Karinthadillo's Law of Momentum

It's funny how things snowball, isn't it? One moment things are going along just fine, and the next, things are at a standstill and it looks like a huge mountain has suddenly sprung up out of nowhere. Of course, it works the other way too - if you can keep things ticking over, even the largest task seems do-able as small pieces get picked off, and all of a sudden the most of it is done. I've found that managing momentum is one of the most important, and probably most frustrating, parts of what I have to do. It isn't simply activity, it's regularity and - hopefully - productivity. It's more than simply being very hardworking for a while, but finding that rhythm that allows and encourages it to continue at a manageable, yet useful, pace - except from my perspective, rather than motivating myself to do this, I have to motivate others.

There's a hump, I've come to realise, that once you power through it, things seem to come together by themselves and the finish line comes into view very quickly. Of course, until you can see over this hump, it looks like things are never-ending and it becomes difficult to believe that it will ever change. Hence the decision, as described in my last post, to take things on in smaller chunks, to get that sense of achievement and regular completion of useful things.

I can see this from the player's side too, that they too want to see things completed regularly (which they cannot control, as well), in order to keep their spirits up and justify that investment of so much recreation time. So, the work has these pressures, too. And to put a twist on it - what if you deliberately want to lose momentum? I mean, there are negatives too. What if you don't want someone to continue playing, if you'd really rather they lost interest and wandered off? Of course, the benefits to all of the others tend to outweigh this most of the time, though it still remains a constant thought back there somewhere.

Sadly, this is not a topic that I can draw a neat conclusion on, and it will likely remain that way for a long, long time. Momentum is a seriously fragile thing, in any environment or scenario, really. The easiest chore will, without it, become a lesson in needless procrastination. Learning how to produce, encourage, manage and control it is something that is definitely an ongoing, challenging process. Or maybe I'm just not able to see over the hump yet?

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