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Procrastinating by reading about how not to procrastinate

May 25, 2007

I love organizational tips, time-savers, workflow theory, etc, etc.

Excuse me, I love reading about these things. Anyone who has met me in person knows I am the queen of clutter, a maven of disorganization and have a brain like a sieve. So why do I check sites like Lifehacker (motto: Don’t live to geek, geek to live) and 43 Folders (home of the special kool-aid system “GTD” – that is -“Get To Done”, but what happens when you’ve arrived at done? Supposedly you can do things you really want to do.). I am instinctually wary of the word “productivity”, it makes me think of the movie Office Space and overeager corporate consultants. I have had some of my best ideas when staring at what used to be my floor and is now a pile of stuff (yes, yes post hoc, ergo proper hoc fallacy). Except when I actually am productive. Then, good times.

Like I said, my non-work time is usual a meandering maze of “huh, that sounds like a good thing to do” combined with the particularly strong ablity to walk away mid-task and forget it ever existed (this often creates problems when I start to boil water for pasta and then decide to check my e-mail). But I continue to read up on the latest time-saving applications, technology combinations that help you find prices of food on your cellphone or when the next bus is coming without ever implementing it myself.

Except, you can tell my obsession for “lifehacks” has invaded my consciousness a little. Since when do I use words like “implement” and “task” in daily conversation? Buy notecards in the eventual hope that I’ll make a hipster PDA (you might know it by its non-interweb name: the “notebook” or “stack of index cards”)? And spending so much time reading about how to be productive that has ultimately taken up a lot of my time. A conundrum of impossiblity.

I’ve decided to slow up on the productivity crazy for a while (or at least reading about it) and spend hours and hours doing nothing but reading books. Perhaps after I “Get To Done” on Absalom, Absalom, I can “close the loop” on a philsophical dilemna: what ever happened to wasting time?

Time to clean the room?

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