Ax Sharpening

There are two time sinks I encounter: Saw sharpening and ax sharpening.  Saw sharpening occurs in cases where a little prep work could save a lot of task time.  The name comes from someone having difficulty cutting wood with a dull saw.  Someone suggests they sharpen the saw to which they reply “I don’t have any time, I’ve got all this wood to saw”.  Ax sharpening comes from a story of a guy who wants to cut some wood but first sees his ax is dull.  So before he can cut he needs to sharpen his ax, but first has to replace his whetstone, but first he needs to fix a flat tire…

My boss was out to meetings most of today and at the end asked me what I did.

Me: Depends, either one thing or eight things.
Him: What was the one thing?
Me: Installed a UPS
Him: What were the eight things?
Me: I  added InstallCleanup to fix an Office install, so I could add Java, so I could add Firefox, so I could overcome network configuration, so I could load the configuration url, so I could set the “boot on power return” to “no”, so I could use the UPS.
Him: Sounds like an efficient wasteful day.