Sometimes, a difficult task or obligation hangs over a person, and is said to be “heavy” or “crushing.”
However, until now, there has been no way to properly represent a person’s currently unresolved obligations in a three-dimensional space.
In order to reduce procrastination and make it easier for a person to determine how far they are along in resolving their current to-do list, the proposal is as follows:
- In certain important rooms of the user’s house, or potentially in their workplace, a huge metal plate is installed on one end of the room, immediately in front of a wall. (Ideally, this location would also be directly across from a door on the opposing wall, although this is not mandatory.)
- This metal plate is attached to a telescoping arm that can push the plate away from the wall and into the main space of the room.
- In this fashion, the metal plate can take up as much of the room as needed, partitioning it into a “still usable” space and a “hidden behind the crushing wall” space.
- The crushing wall would be linked the user’s email and calendar programs. If the user has many un-resolved email messages from days ago, and a large number of outstanding obligations (for example, “do taxes” or “repaint living room”), the wall will extend to take up a large amount of space in the room.
- When the user resolves these tasks, the wall will retract back towards its origin. For example, if the user only has a few minor tasks to do (e.g. “go shopping for bread”), the wall will retract so that it only takes up a few inches along the wall.
Fig 1: In this figure, the crushing wall is mounted on the left wall. The remaining usable space in the room (right side) has only a table and door in it. Judging from the position of this wall, the user has a large number of currently outstanding tasks that they need to resolve if they want the crushing wall to retract.
Fig 2: Side view of a room similar to the one above. Blue area (left): a heavy-duty mounting bracket to attach the crushing wall to the floor and ceiling. Green: a telescoping hydraulic arm to allow the wall to move. Yellow: the crushing wall. In this diagram, the wall is taking up approximately two-thirds of the room.
This new room furnishing will make it easy for a person to visualize how many un-resolved tasks they need to work on, and will provide a satisfying sense of accomplishment when a task is complete and the wall retracts a few inches.
PROS: Provides sense of accomplishment. Reinvents the classic to-do list in three-dimensional form.
CONS: May result in injury, especially if the crushing wall is installed in a fashion such that there is no door on the opposing wall. More details, including a video re-enactment of this scenario, can be found by doing an Internet search for the term “Death Star trash compactor.”