Last year, when I finally worked up the courage to ask my boss (or rather got sick of thinking about doing do so and decided I just had to do it because the worst outcome would be he would say no and then I would have to come up with something else to get obsessed about or think more seriously about resigning) if I could work a four-day week, rather than a five day week, I thought that I would spend my Fridays off in blissful creative mood – writing, making things (travel scrap book, cards, decoupage, etc) – and/or personal development jives – reading more legal theory (I miss it, I really do), teaching myself to read/write and speak better Viet, refreshen my Latin, learn a new language.
Instead, of a Friday morning I procrastinate. First, I check my email. Then I check Google Reader (actually, I check email and Google Reader simultaneously because igoogle* is great like that). Then I check Facebook. Then I check anything else at all really, based on what has spun me off in that direction. (This morning, if you’re curious, I checked new judgments on the High Court of Australia website*, because I was sent there by a Tweet* by Galaxy* (whom I follow) who was responding to a Tweet* by TimSterne* (whom I don’t follow).) Then I got a cup of tea. Now, with cup of tea beside me, I am writing this blog post.
It occurred to me that if I can persuade myself that on Mondays to Thursdays I am procrastinating from writing or other creative junkets, onFriday I might actually knuckle down and do what Fridays were originally slated for (although they are also slated for long weekends away, because my partner gets more generous holiday entitlement than me).
Usually on Mondays through to Thursdays I think about all the things I want to do on Fridays. Then on Fridays, I wake up and think, I want to sleep more. I want to cycle around the world. I should call my parents. I should clean the house. Gee the oven hasn’t been scrubbed out in ages. How long will I need to cycle round the world? The worst part is: I think about work.
So what I need to do on Monday is think, Today I will write and then I will probably want to work to procrastinate from that. And at some point I can think oh, I’ll do it tomorrow and if I can keep that up for four days, I will be feeling so guilty by the time Friday rolls around that I will do creative stuff and not other procrastinatory stuff.
Yes, tricking oneself really does work. Not.
Or I need to implement a punishment and reward system, like I had back when I was a student. Sadly, I think I am more motivated by the stick of punishment rather than the carrot of reward. As a student, I could say Um is making banh xeo this weekend and unless I finish the first draft of this essay, I will have to call her and tell her I can’t come over. The fear of my parents being unhappy that I did not visit them enough and the fact that I would not get to eat banh xeo would mean I had motivation to finish that first draft, and sometimes even a second draft.
*I’m not doing any links in this post because I’m trying to just write this as my short bit of procrastination and then get down to doing some creative writing.