Monday, January 30, 2012

The Art Of Doing Nothing Productive

Actually, the name of this post should read "The Art Of Doing Nothing Productive While Seeming To Be Productive Especially When There Are A Bunch of Actual Productive Things You Could Be Doing But Don't Want To Do So You Found This Other Seemingly Productive Activity To Occupy Your Time."

Here's how it works (for me, anyway):

I usually start off with an ambitious plan to get a bunch of things accomplished. Today, for example, the plan was as follows:
  1. Go to the grocery store, and buy groceries - since I have no food in the house.
  2. Pay my 2010 property taxes and maybe even the 2011 tax bill too. Or is it the 2009 and 2010 tax bills... I can't remember... 2 years overdue? 3 years?
  3. Call Sprint and cancel my phone service - which I have just 1 day to do before I get charged for another month.
  4. Text or call everyone who needs to know my new phone number.
  5. Clean the litter boxes - ok that one needs to wait until after the visit to the store - if it ever happens.
  6. Do something with the 2 year old christmas tree I still haven't done anything with (and no it's not a fake christmas tree - it is, howver quite dead) .
  7. Work on Gypsy Magic, Cafe Press, Mandala Madness... or some other website or blog I'm way behind on. 
  8. Do the dishes and fix a nice meal with all those good groceries I theoretically just got.
So, here's what I did. I got up this morning, drank a couple of cups of coffee and then decided that it was absolutely imperative that I check my email. Now, my inbox usually has an average of 1,300 unread messages - sometimes more, sometimes less... but that's usually what it looks like. And what I do, on a normal day, is skim through it, looking for anything that seems important, interesting, or terrifying... and after I read those emails - which I might or might not reply to or do anything about - I'm totally done. And then it's on to facebook for more procrastination and bullshit.

Today, however, I told myself this story about how it would be proactive - and organized - and productive - to methodically go through all of it - discarding, sorting, answering, and freaking out (whichever was appropriate) . Three hours later... I am down to 764 unread emails and thinking of ways to avoid going to the store and doing all that other shit because now I "don't have time." Especially since it's almost noon and I have someplace I need to be at... let me see... 7:30 pm.

And now I'm having all this anxiety because I'm feeling like I'm up against the wall of "what I don't want to do that I have to do" and the more I have to do it, the less I want to... and I'm thinking that maybe my totem animal is a MULE! A stringy old balky one at that... maybe even one that bites!

So, here I am talking about pretty much nothing - as if it's actually something - when really it's just more "Doing Nothing Productive While Seeming To Be Productive Especially When There Are A Bunch of Actual Productive Things You Could Be Doing But Don't Want To Do So You Found This Other Seeminly Productive Activity To Occupy Your Time."

And of course, now, it's imperative that I do an exhaustive internet search for pictures of mules to illustrate this blog post because... well... that's just so important!

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