Six productive days I’ve had, six in a row. Things began to wane yesterday though. It was still a productive day, but the rot was beginning to set in.
ole P‘s favourite trick when you’re in a productive patch is to overload you. He makes you think of any number of little tasks that weren’t on your to-do list, and sets you to work on them. So you’re working productively on all these little side projects that aren’t at all what you’re meant to be doing.
I mean, a couple of weeks ago I was sweating because I had this mountain of work I thought I could never get through. I get a few productive days, and I start to make some measureable progress. So how does Procrastinor deal with this? He can’t get you to go from productive focussed work straight to completely wasting your time with nothing inbetween. So the trick he pulls on you has to be fiendishly clever:
First of all he points at all the marvellous productive work you’ve done, and starts telling you what a wonderful genius you are, gets your ego all puffed up. He starts telling you that you’re a superman, hyper-productive and ready for anything. So next thing you know you’re looking around for other projects that could benefit from your superpowers. Before you know what’s what, you’ve bounded into your supervisor’s office with an exciting plan for a new sideproject. He gets excited about it too and tells you to go for it.
You’re getting an idea a minute about all the different things you could do, and you’re firing off emails left, right and centre about things that you could do. Before long you’ve got a list of things to do as long as your arm, things that you weren’t on your to-do list last week, but you’ve just gone and promised to people. So after six days of solid work, you’ve actually got more to do than you started with!
Procrastinor laughs and says:
Ha-ha you fool! Look how much you have to do! You can never possibly hope to do it! Give up, give up now. You might as well spend your days reading about Stalin’s purges on wikipedia! And the Zimbabwe slum clearances of 2005, yes, yes! You must be an expert on that, mwa-ha-ha!
Well it’s 13:36, and I’ve wasted the day so far. If I can work solid till 18.30 – 19.00 then I will declare a productive day, making it a 7-day streak and perhaps one of my most significant victories over Procrastinor. Victory from the jaws of defeat, no?