I'm watching one of my modmates playing the Sims right now (in particular, they're playing the Sims to procrastinate on doing homework). And I'm thinking about the difference between the way tasks get done in the Sims -- which is the way our brains seem to tell us tasks work -- and the way they actually work.
Which is to say, work in the Sims is initiated as a task, and then it's basically done. You just have to let a timer run down.
And in real life -- well, it's not quite the opposite. You do kinda get started on things and just let yourself run some of the time. For example, right now I'm typing sentences I've finished thinking through, while I watch the screen to see what my modmate is doing in the Sims. They're painting.
But tasks keep stopping. The harder they are, the more often they require a renewal of effort, I find. Or, the more complicated. At every moment that you need to make a decision, even the tiniest possible decision like "What word do I start the next sentence with?," it takes a whole new renewal of effort to keep going.
I wonder if it's like that for everyone, with most tasks? I wrote all that in the second person but I don't actually know that this is a universal experience. For me, with writing, things grind to a halt every time I catch up on the page to the text in my head. It's like surfing. I assume. I've never surfed. Anyway, it's like trying to catch a train of thought, past the very first bit so that it keeps on going ahead of you, pulling you forward, but not so far back that you lose the sentences that you come in on. Not, like, stream of consciousness, because I'm not just dumping stuff onto the page regardless of its relevance. There's curation going on. Focus. Editing.
Do other people's minds work like the Sims? Once you start doing something, do you get all the way through the thing before your brain throws a popup saying "Are you sure you want to continue?"