Let's say that you're converting your barn to a workshop (as indeed I am as I write this), and you decide that it really needs sweeping-out. So one fine day you go out and proceed to sweep the barn. It's a big project, as this barn has been accumulating dirt, organic waste (cows, raccoons), and old bits of hay for about eighty years. But you make good progress, and at the end of the day you've swept out half of the dirt in the barn.
What we have here is a project which has a "half life," in the sense that physicists speak of the radioactive decay of elements. Each session, no matter how hard you work, half of what needs to be done remains undone. Forever.
It turns out that quite a lot of projects have half-lives - not just the sweeping out of old barns. This is comforting to realize. You're not lazy. You merely have perfectly reasonable goals which are in principle impossible to accomplish. It's not you - it's the way the universe is structured.
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