Friday, July 11, 2014

Product or Process?

There are two types of people in this world: product oriented and process oriented.

Product-oriented people are concerned with getting the job done, emphasis on done. We want to finish the hike, get the laundry put away, do the report.

The process-oriented are less concerned with finishing something. They are more concerned with the doing, not with the finishing. If they are doing the dishes and the kids want to play a game, they play a game. Even though the dishes are four minutes from being finished and now won't be done for another hour. No, that doesn't matter to them.

I guess you can tell I'm a product-oriented individual. My mother (a process-oriented person if ever there was one) once asked me to turn off the vacuum to ask me a question. In the middle of the question she stopped and asked me what my t-shirt meant. I wanted to finish the dang vacuuming, so I was highly irritated with her. My response made her justifiably irritated with me.

ANYWAY, I think most people believe their way of being is the best way. I believe my way is best, myself, but that's because the thought of spending three hours to clean a light fixture makes me crazy. Get 'er done! On the other hand, my fixation on "finishing" things is sometimes a problem. I'm trying to enjoy the process more, especially when the product is not important.

Today I took my kids to Beus Park. This is a big park with a playground, but also a big duck pond and some little hiking trails. A product person (i.e. me) wants to walk around the park, perhaps stopping once to feed the ducks illicit bread, then get back in the car and go to Burger King. Process people (i.e. every kid ever) want to check out the little river, throw leaves in the stream, play on the playground, take a hiking trail, throw some more leaves in the pond, walk backwards, check out the bird feather, and so on into infinity.

So that's what I'm working on. Enjoying the ride. I'm trying to remember that we didn't go to the park so I could walk around the duck pond, but so the kids could have an experience. I'm getting better at focusing on that!

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