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Yak shaving describes doing some seemingly useless task that is necessary to complete another task, which is necessary to complete other tasks, which eventually will allow you to complete your initial goal.

I think the term can either be positive or negative:

  • It is positive (or neutral) when it describes a series of small tasks necessary in order to accomplish a larger goal. For example, "I spent most of the day yak shaving, but I finally finished my project".

  • It is negative when used to describe how you let distractions get in the way of accomplishing a goal. For example, "I intended to finish that project today, but ended up spending the day yak shaving".

Here is an example, paraphrased from Don’t Shave That Yak!:


You start with the desire to wax your car.

To wax your car, you need a water hose. Only, your water hose is busted so you need to go down to the hardware store to get a new hose.

To get to the hardware store, you have to drive across a bridge. The bridebridge requires a pass or ticket. You can't find your pass, but you know your neighbor Bob has one.

However, Bobyour neighbor won't lend you his pass until you return a pillow that you you borrowed. The reason you haven't returned it is because the pillow is missing some stuffing.

The pillow was fancy, andoriginally stuffed with yak hair. In order to re-stuff the pillow you need to get some new yak hair.

And that's how you end up at the zoo, shaving a yak, when all you really really wanted to do was wax your car.


Yak shaving describes doing some seemingly useless task that is necessary to complete another task, which is necessary to complete other tasks, which eventually will allow you to complete your initial goal.

I think the term can either be positive or negative:

  • It is positive (or neutral) when it describes a series of small tasks necessary in order to accomplish a larger goal. For example, "I spent most of the day yak shaving, but I finally finished my project".

  • It is negative when used to describe how you let distractions get in the way of accomplishing a goal. For example, "I intended to finish that project today, but ended up spending the day yak shaving".

Here is an example, paraphrased from Don’t Shave That Yak!:


You start with the desire to wax your car.

To wax your car, you need a water hose. Only, your water hose is busted so you need to go down to the hardware store to get a new hose.

To get to the hardware store, you have to drive across a bridge. The bride requires a pass or ticket. You can't find your pass, but you know your neighbor Bob has one.

However, Bob won't lend you his pass until you return a pillow that you borrowed. The reason you haven't returned it is because the pillow is missing some stuffing.

The pillow was fancy, and stuffed with yak hair. In order to re-stuff the pillow you need to get some yak hair.

And that's how you end up at the zoo, shaving a yak, when all you really wanted to do was wax your car.


Yak shaving describes doing some seemingly useless task that is necessary to complete another task, which is necessary to complete other tasks, which eventually will allow you to complete your initial goal.

I think the term can either be positive or negative:

  • It is positive (or neutral) when it describes a series of small tasks necessary in order to accomplish a larger goal. For example, "I spent most of the day yak shaving, but I finally finished my project".

  • It is negative when used to describe how you let distractions get in the way of accomplishing a goal. For example, "I intended to finish that project today, but ended up spending the day yak shaving".

Here is an example, paraphrased from Don’t Shave That Yak!:


You start with the desire to wax your car.

To wax your car, you need a water hose. Only, your water hose is busted so you need to go down to the hardware store to get a new hose.

To get to the hardware store, you have to drive across a bridge. The bridge requires a pass or ticket. You can't find your pass, but you know your neighbor has one.

However, your neighbor won't lend you his pass until you return a pillow that you borrowed. The reason you haven't returned it is because the pillow is missing some stuffing.

The pillow was originally stuffed with yak hair. In order to re-stuff the pillow you need to get some new yak hair.

And that's how you end up shaving a yak, when all you really wanted to do was wax your car.


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This is yakYak shaving (paraphraseddescribes doing some seemingly useless task that is necessary to complete another task, which is necessary to complete other tasks, which eventually will allow you to complete your initial goal.

I think the term can either be positive or negative:

  • It is positive (or neutral) when it describes a series of small tasks necessary in order to accomplish a larger goal. For example, "I spent most of the day yak shaving, but I finally finished my project".

  • It is negative when used to describe how you let distractions get in the way of accomplishing a goal. For example, "I intended to finish that project today, but ended up spending the day yak shaving".

Here is an example, paraphrased from Don’t Shave That Yak!):

 

You start with the desire to wax your car.

To wax your car, you need a water hose. Only, your water hose is busted so you need to go down to the hardware store to get a new hose.

To get to the hardware store, you have to drive across a bridge. The bride requires a pass or ticket. You can't find your pass, but you know your neighbor Bob has one.

However, Bob won't lend you his pass until you return a pillow that your sonyou borrowed. The reason you haven't returned it is because the pillow is missing some stuffing.

The pillow was fancy, and stuffed with yak hair. In order to re-stuff the pillow you need to get some yak hair.

And that's how you end up at the zoo, shaving a yak, when all you really wanted to do was wax your car.

 

This is yak shaving (paraphrased from Don’t Shave That Yak!):

You start with the desire to wax your car.

To wax your car, you need a water hose. Only, your water hose is busted so you need to go down to the hardware store to get a new hose.

To get to the hardware store, you have to drive across a bridge. The bride requires a pass or ticket. You can't find your pass, but you know your neighbor Bob has one.

However, Bob won't lend you his pass until you return a pillow that your son borrowed. The reason you haven't returned it is because the pillow is missing some stuffing.

The pillow was fancy, and stuffed with yak hair. In order to re-stuff the pillow you need to get some yak hair.

And that's how you end up at the zoo, shaving a yak, when all you really wanted to do was wax your car.

Yak shaving describes doing some seemingly useless task that is necessary to complete another task, which is necessary to complete other tasks, which eventually will allow you to complete your initial goal.

I think the term can either be positive or negative:

  • It is positive (or neutral) when it describes a series of small tasks necessary in order to accomplish a larger goal. For example, "I spent most of the day yak shaving, but I finally finished my project".

  • It is negative when used to describe how you let distractions get in the way of accomplishing a goal. For example, "I intended to finish that project today, but ended up spending the day yak shaving".

Here is an example, paraphrased from Don’t Shave That Yak!:

 

You start with the desire to wax your car.

To wax your car, you need a water hose. Only, your water hose is busted so you need to go down to the hardware store to get a new hose.

To get to the hardware store, you have to drive across a bridge. The bride requires a pass or ticket. You can't find your pass, but you know your neighbor Bob has one.

However, Bob won't lend you his pass until you return a pillow that you borrowed. The reason you haven't returned it is because the pillow is missing some stuffing.

The pillow was fancy, and stuffed with yak hair. In order to re-stuff the pillow you need to get some yak hair.

And that's how you end up at the zoo, shaving a yak, when all you really wanted to do was wax your car.

 
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This is yak shaving (paraphrased from Don’t Shave That Yak!):

You start with the desire to wax your car.

To wax your car, you need a water hose. Only, your water hose is busted so you need to go down to the hardware store to get a new hose.

To get to the hardware store, you have to drive across a bridge. The bride requires a pass or ticket. You can't find your pass, but you know your neighbor Bob has one.

However, Bob won't lend you his pass until you return a pillow that your son borrowed. The reason you haven't returned it is because the pillow is missing some stuffing.

The pillow was fancy, and stuffed with yak hair. In order to re-stuff the pillow you need to get some yak hair.

And that's how you end up at the zoo, shaving a yak, when all you really wanted to do was wax your car.