Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Top 10: What We Do When We Should be Doing Other Things

As I see it, there's approximately ten reasons that my life's achievements have not progressed as speedily as I imagined they would when I was a young girl growing up in the throbbing heart of this fine country, gazing at the stars and thinking about becoming the next Shirley Temple and/or Nolan Ryan and/or Beverly Cleary.

10. Small cleaning projects, large daunting cleaning/organizing projects I will never complete but enjoy contemplating, general housekeeping, room/apartment set-up projects.

9. The possibility that someone has tagged a photo of me on facebook or that I appear in the background of a photo taken of Harlem Election '08. My interest in the latter is due to my obsession with figuring out exactly how large the crowd was and therefore where exactly we were positioned relative to the masses. Why do I care about this? I have no idea.
9a. Perhaps there are new photos from Carly's Halloween Tabloid Trainwreck Party, or from the No on 8 Rally or the Sex-Blogger party?

8. Twitter, the most distracting and brain-damaging and delicious application ever invented in the history of the universe, right after Twix Peanut Butter Bars and alcohol. I actually feel twitter is useful in that it's just enough distraction to satiate, but not so much that I get sucked in forevs.

This philosophy is behind my new week-long initiative to post a lot but with brevity. I'll try to pull off at least one traditional long-form piece this week, but I'm mostly testing if bits and pieces is more efficient/entertaining/enriching.

7. "If I read a few more pages of this book, I bet the book I'm actually writing would get a lot better."

6. Perfecting my i-tunes playlist. I've even saved tracking down a few of my reader-garnered suggestions for the next time I'd like to be distracted in a way that feels, ever so slightly, productive.

5. My dream job is probably on mediabistro right now.
5a. But look at this new article on gawker/jezebel/the ny times about how there are no more dream jobs and we should all surrender to the lure of the U.S. Sanitation department or day-care operation.

4. I owe emails to (a lot of people). This is cyclical, 'cause after I write back, they write me back. This is obvs the point, as these are people I enjoy hearing from, but nevertheless this becomes a daunting task 'cause it does not end, like filling a lake with an eyedropper.

3. Haviland blackberry messages me every time she has a feeling or thinks she has a feeling, and she has a lot of feelings. If I'm looking for a distraction, I can just pick up my phone and there's a 60% chance there will be a Haviland message awaiting my input.

2. Is it time to eat again yet? Probs time to eat again. I'm not hungry but I should probs eat more food, because that will give me the energy I need to succeed. Or a drink. I'm so funny when I'm drunk! SOOOO funny!

1. "I should write a blog post."

[Now that I do this, I realize there are so many more than ten. I haven't even gotten into tweezers, facial analysis, re-watching old vlogs, re-organizing files and folders and reading about reading!]


Jo said...

For a few minutes, this post was my reason for not being productive. 12 page paper due tomorrow, and so far this comment is longer than what I've written for the paper.

The Spaz said...

I have given up on productivity. I just haven't gotten around to telling my boss yet.

MoonKiller said...

When I should be doing other things I'm usually staring into space, myspacing, facebooking or reading your blog.

And they make Twix Peanut Butter Bars?! I guess they haven't made it across the atlantic yet. I will have to make do with Peanut Butter KitKat Chunkies and Reese's Peanut Buttercups.

DH said...

It's only 8:10am and I've already ripped through all of my usual procrastination websites/habits that usually keep me from delivering my deliverables. Having outsourced all of my work to you over the weekend, I don't really have anything to do today. I don't know for sure who the real winner is in this arrangement of ours, but it could be me.

caitlinmae said...

Making sure my googlereader has incorporated everything on the internet I'd like to read/might like to read has essentially ensured I'll never get anything done, ever again.

And oh how I look forward to your contributions to that this week!

That being said, the little distractions are not nearly as fulfilling as meaty, time consuming efforts- like reading a new york times article or a really great autopost.

Razia said...

I'm sooooo feeling this post right now. It's a productive little chain of unproductivity we've got going here- you procrastinated novel writing to write this post, then I procrastinate essay writing to read and comment. Then when you feel like procrastinating again you'll most probe reply to commenters like myself and it goes on and on and on

Razia said...

Fucking iPhone tries to correct my spelling and then replaces "probs" with probe. How irritating.

Anonymous said...

the love that meghan and i had for beverly clearly knew no bounds, i wish i had a copy of ramona quimby right now. omg i should get maggie 'muggie maggie' for christmas. anyways.. umm as you know i am not normally super busy, but life lately has gotten hectic and instead of getting my shit done i am watching pot psychology archives and reading about dooce's post baby mental breakdown. i feel like people who just do their to-do lists with no detours are the same people who make my skin crawl. holler, can't wait for your novel.

riese said...

jo: this feels meta then, doesn't it?

the spaz: if the boss doesn't notice then you are an auto-winner.

moonkiller: if i were you i would motor across the ocean and get a twix pb bar. i'm not sure if those latter two snacks are words you made up or actual snacks, but either way, i vote brill.

dh: i can only imagine what you are up to at this point as you are presently also outsourcing me your post 8 a.m. workload. i hope you win another award this year, tiger.

caitlinmae: my google reader is pretty minimalist, actually. if it gets over 100, I stress, so I just keep it to blogs that don't update often, like my friends, and then also all the lit blogs i do read all the time. That provides endless fun with bookmarks when I want to poke around. It's sort of like how i insist on looking for things in the store rather than just asking the salesperson for help.

razia: I know this is not only a chain, but as i said to jo I believe this also counts as being meta. I wish everything was meta obviously, it's my favorite way to be. i think i wrote a post once about fucking iphones. and how my phone changes the word iphone to IPHONEIPHONEIPHONEIPHONE because carly texted that once. i have a different phone now. it doesn't spell either.

anonymous: I obviously have a copy of Ramona the Brave, I like to keep things around. Actually I think I bought this one for reference for something I was writing that I never wrote just like anything. I can't believe you're still reading dooce. let me know if she has any money making tips or wants in on my brilliant blogger ideas. pot psychology sometimes makes me jealous that me and haviland aren't on gawker. obviously i have a lot of issues. i should see if there are any new jobs posted on mediabsitro. i can't wait for my novel either. actually apparently i can, as I'm not writing it right now.

Haviland Stillwell said...

oh, i don't BBM you even 10% of my feelings!

rod said...

Calvin ind Hobbes! Wheeee.
Cannot believe my procastrination levels have sank to a point where I avoid work by reading what someone else does in order to avoid work.
Worryingly, your list just gave me fresh ideas of other mindless tasks to do. I once wrote a mini essay on procastrinating when I should have been working. It was excellent.

autumn m said...

i feel like everything i do is procrastination. i even procrastinate things that arent important. like, i have a sketch of marlon brando i started like a year ago and never finished. i want to finish it, but there are more important things at hand, like reading this blog and commenting. or, staring into space and pretending i am some awesome person. see, two of my fav. things right there. i live a sad life.
and did you know that not one plant/botany shop in NY has lemon trees left?? im not even joking. i called and emailed every single one.
and i love how everyone tells you there word veri. cause half the time i cant read that stupid thing and end up having to type in like 4 different ones. lame.

MoonKiller said...

No I didn't make them up. I mega LOL'd when I read that.

Jezzica said...

I think the "my dream job might have just been posted on mediabistro" is one of the great illusions of our generation. There's going to be a great disillusionment on par with World War I in which all the writers are going to idk, revolt and be really sexily disillusioned.

riese said...

haviland stillwell: oh boy.

rod: The internet provides all matter of unnecessary distraction. my favorite is procrastinating applying for jobs while reading about how there are no more jobs.

autumn m: your first paragraph made me LOL for serious. as long as you've still got the image of marlon brando in your head, i think you are good to go whenever inspiration re-strikes you, you know?

I think I got the lemon tree for haviland at 1800flowers or something like that. but it's okay, i will survive without the lemon tree, I want to give you like three A's for effort.

moonkiller: i need to eat those things stat, then, probs.

jezzica: i think maybe i need to change my dream job to "junior ad sales marketing intern assistant (unpaid) and then mediabistro will make my dreams come true. although actually probs i don't have the 4-5 years of agency experience necessary for that job.

Mercury said...

my procrastination list
1. check email
2. twitter
3. check autowin
4. myspace
5. play bejeweled
6. write in my journal
7. draw in my journal
8. shop itunes
9. redo my makeup
10. draft emails I'm never going to send

my word ver is "unther" which is one letter short of "gunther" who's the plantinum haired guy on Friends who was in love with Rachel who's played by Jennifer Anniston and the singlemost referred-to celeb when people talk about their hair. Yes. people still say, "you know, the jennifer anniston...?" when they want face framing. lmao.

Mercury said...

omg have you seen the ellen degeneres standup comedy about procrastination?? brilliant! go watch it while you procrastinate next time

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