Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Smokers Have Nicotine Patches. What Do I Take For Procrastination?

The sad reality...

I am sitting in my school library. Ulysses, the book I have to read four chapters of (and WORSE write a comment on for my whole class to see) is sitting beside me with my phone on top of it. I should have been reading this for the past hour and a half - I'm already at least three chapters behind in the reading (and that's not counting the readings I STILL have to do from the previous book, and for my other classes). 

I am obviously NOT reading Ulysses. I am on my laptop (which I brought for work - lot of good that did me) and have been on my laptop for the past hour and a half. Obviously, no work has been done. 


Instead I have gone through every mode of social media I can think of. I've sifted through facebook, gchat, stumbleupon, tumblr, twitter. 

I thought about how ridiculous I was being. 

"How unproductive," I thought, with an image of a posh 1850's Englishman in a suit, shaking his head disapprovingly at me. 

And what was my reaction to this? Not to get food - which I should do before I need to go to work in less than a half hour, not start reading Ulysses from Chapter 5 so I'll be prepared for my writing about Chapter 8. Oh no. I thought I'd write about it on my blog. Because at least then I'll have the illusion of productivity and still procrastinate. 

Man, I'm such an enabler. 

And while I did find some every interesting things (as shown through said social medias):

A funny picture of the relationship between books and reality shows:

A cool picture out of a series of AMAZING sandcastles: 

An awesome book shelf I would buy were it not a United Kingdom product (damn the currency difference) and expensive (one of many check them out!):  

And a cute link about what you pets do when you're not home: 

I can't really say I've done very much. At least, none of what I needed to get done in the first place. And this is the problem, this procrastination, and then enabling process of pretend-productivity. 

I need a procrastination patch, or a drug like the from one from Limitless to ensure I get SOMETHING done. With the way things are going, my brain will turn to mush, my gpa will drop, and its goodbye gradschool (if I even have hopes to get in somewhere now). 

And the thing is,I've tried various methods of ending procrastination. I've tried making a schedule for myself. If anything, its another thing I can procrastinate with - making lists of things I have to get done (and then not doing them). In fact, I'll copy these lists into several different agendas and notebooks (sometimes even my whiteboard and calender) in order to prolong not having to actually do something.

I've tried used my phone calender which honestly just serves as a reminder that something is due the next day and I probably won't get it done until the morning its due at 3am. 

I've tried willing myself to get things done obviously, I'm not most strong willed person on the planet.... 

I'm at a loss here. If you have any suggestions on who to kick the habit - a step program, tea, some sort of Harry Potter spell or superstition, you let me know. I'm willing to try anything other than prescription meds. 

Till Next Time

Thursday, October 6, 2011

It's The Rule

This'll be a short one I swear.

Now, it's been a while since I've seen this film but I love it all the same and something that happened to me today made me think of it. The movie is Zombieland and in the film there are several rules that the protagonist, a very socially awkward pre-social-network Jesse Eisenberg, makes in order to keep himself sane in a post-apocalyptic world.

This is the rule that struck me right while I was riding the train home today.

I was on the A train on my way home and I had just taken a seat (finally) after the long gap between 59th street and 125th street. Unfortunately for me, a family walks through the train doors (a mother, father, young child, and baby in a stroller). Not being so self-serving I wouldn't give up a seat for a child, I stood. The child was immediately told to sit down by his parents.

They offered me no word of thanks.

Now, I already know where this statement might lead you - you're not supposed to do acts of kindness in order to receive gratitude. And while I agree, I think it's only human nature to yearn for some sort of recognition every once in a while.

Now, two stops later, the man I had been sitting next to before I'd given up my seat (a tall black man with glasses holding what seemed to be an encased cello), got up and before the station came up, obviously meaning to get off the train.

He may have said excuse me, I don't remember, but I was moving back, balancing myself as the train moved forward not at all worried about my equilibrium. But I'd moved back too far and brushed against another seated passenger's shoe.

"I'm sorry," I said.

"You didn't have to stop holding the pole," the celloist said with a hint of humor.

"It's alright," I said, "I just don't like being in the way."

And then something odd happened. "Wow," he said, "you're awesome."

I laughed and couldn't find the words to respond.

He made his way out of the train but stopped before finally departing.

"You have a nice day," he said.

"You too," I replied.

Now this may be a very small and inconsequential interaction but I can't begin to express the sense of well being that spread over me after a long grueling day of class and work.

You may also not understand how this relates to the theme of the working college student but it's so rare that you have these sweet New York moments and as a New Yorker, I have to say that rule no.32 is one that isn't often followed.

It's so often that New Yorkers respond to being overworked by forgetting how to enjoy anything, suddenly turning into a cleaner (possibly) more well dressed version of Oscar the Grouch. And honestly, I feel like I may have been that way too before the interaction with the kind stranger.

But to cut myself off before rambling - I just want everyone to stop, take a second, and enjoy the little things. Even if its between school and work, between getting out of work from your 12 hr shift and going home, etc.

Till Next Time

Zombieland Rules

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Conflicts. Of the Scheduling Kind

Now that time has become a much needed and little had luxury, I find myself making death threats to people who mess up my schedule or come in the way of the little down time I may have. Now to make the situation perfectly understood, I go to school four days a week (like I said 4 Literature classes and a Piano class) and work six days a week (Saturday being the only time I don't work and don't have school) and on that day, I expect to do a lot of what I used to do not but a month ago - veg out in front of a television, leave everything for another day, and pretend I have no worries or other responsibilities in my life that require my time and effort.

Now I'm writing about this because today, on my one and only day off, I am being forced to do domestic work that should have been done long ago by my roommate. The argument has been made to me by a third party that I'm 22 and "welcome to being an adult". Also, the fact that my roommate is two years younger than me led to a "you're an adult, she's a kid" argument which quite frankly I don't appreciate.

Yes, I believe that at 20 you should be having fun and not focusing all of your energy on work - totally agreed - but when you only have one class during a semester and nothing else to do but one demanding extra curricular, I'm sorry but I don't have much sympathy for telling you to do the laundry when its just about the only chore you have.

And yes, I understand as someone two years old I should be farther ahead in my life, accepting more responsibility but at the same time, everyone has a breaking point and for this party (who by the way is not exactly responsibility and work ethic personified) to tell me it's life deal with it, honestly just bothers me and has me seeing red.

What does she know of being an A college student?
Not much.

What does she know about having your life dictated by work?
And while I do admit that in these past few years she has become better at her work oriented shortcomings, she still never gets to work on time, makes her own hours despite being expected to follow a schedule, and sometimes just decides not to go to work and telecommute instead - resulting in her doing nothing but watching reruns of The Real Housewives of insert city.

But enough with my complaining over this. The point of this post was supposed to be about clients not keeping their own schedule.

Now when you're a tutor or a babysitter, usually you're following your employer's schedule and your life gets rearranged around that.

What's that? Want to hang out with your friends?
Wait till the weekend, your employer wants you to work till seven.

What's that it's your birthday?
Wait until the weekend to celebrate.

What's that your favorite show is on?
Better Hulu that bad boy on the weekend so you make sure you're not too far behind.

I think you're starting to see the pattern here.

So while I'm putting everything aside, being organized with time and material for other people's children, all I expect is that if an appointment needs to be canceled someone can tell me ahead of time instead of my finding out when I've already commuted and waited for several minutes to be told that the appointment has been canceled and needs to be rescheduled for a day when honestly, I would prefer to have less work.

I swear going through the trouble of getting somewhere and being told never mind is like being Punked.

"What you thought you were going to get into the apartment and get paid today? In your dreams! You've been Punked!!! Now get your ass home."

*I apologize for all of the dry sarcastic humor of this post, I'm not exactly in cheery spirits today*

And then you're in the train ride home thinking about how you could have just gone straight home if you'd been told ahead of time, about how it was a waste of a train fare on the $10 Metrocard you had to buy because your boss STILL hasn't paid you yet and so haven't purchased your monthly card. And then you start to get a bit miffed because you have a headache and wasted a ton of your time - which you could have spent sleeping (man, you miss sleep) or watching TV on an actual TV (no laptop of catch-up shows for you today, we're getting fancy and actually staring at the tube).

When you have no time to do anything but work and study, small menial things suddenly become a luxury and the fact that these small things are suddenly a big deal makes you go ape-shit crazy when someone tries to take them away from you. Now I'm not saying I'm going to go all Micheal Tyson and bite someone's ear off but I can't promise I won't put on some waterworks and yell and practically hyperventilate over having to do laundry someone else should have been doing instead.

Which I apologize for but if you still wanna be a jerk about, feel free and take some of my work days off my hands. Then I'm sure I'll be much saner and less inclined to throw titty-tantrums about things you deem insignificant.

To everyone out there who has no time to do anything, I feel your pain. Try to stay sane and not lose you shit too often. And to those of you who have nothing but time on your hands, or who thinks everyone should be accustomed to having no time for themselves, that people should shut up and grow up, I have to say as politely as possible...


Try to be more understanding. I commend you if you have the Herculean ability to be overworked without it taking a tole on you but not everyone has your strength. Some of us are still trying to figure things out and your condescension isn't helping, in fact, its just down right insulting and discouraging.

So my suggestion is to eat chocolate, drink soda, and go about your schedule (whatever it may be) without losing your cool if you can help it and being understanding towards those that do.

Till Next Time