Saturday, April 7, 2018

Getting Stuff Done (and its exact opposite)

Spring Break, I got stuff done.

I should explain: I am gold-star motivated. That is to say, you give me an opportunity to earn some completely meaningless recognition, to check of the maximum number of things, and I'll do it. I am much more competitive against myself than I would ever dream of being against another human being. To give an example: in the sixth grade, the math teacher gave us the textbook and told us that our grade for the year would be based on how many of the pages we completed (with a satisfactory grade). I can't recall now how she combined this with actual teaching, but I can recall that about two thirds of the way through the year I had handed her back the book and said, "I'm done. What do I do now?"

So then it will be no surprise to anyone that, when I decided that I wanted to not piss away my spring break, I decided to make a chore chart:

Seriously: I posted this on my refrigerator. Like I was effing ten years old.



And it will be no surprise to anyone who knows me that this worked. By the end of spring break, I had filled in 49 of the 54 boxes. BOW DOWN BEFORE MY PRODUCTIVITY. AS GOD IS MY WITNESS, I WILL NEVER BE UNMOTIVATED AGAIN!

And then, the following week happened. I have missed all three of my exercise classes (though one of those was on accident). I have gorged on sugar and caffeine. I have written a total of 1000 words, read no new books or articles, and watched the grading pile up. I think I washed my hair once. I have spent a lot of hours that I have no idea where they went. I feel psychologically greasy.[1]

Do I need a new chore chart? Is there no way, even at almost fifty years old, that I will ever overcome my need for a gold star in order to do anything more demanding than putting on my pants in the morning?


[1] Though not literally greasy: my hair is of a type that only normally gets washed every three days, so while only washing my hair once is definitely a sign of my general apathy, the visible result is not as bad as it sounds. I may have problems elsewhere in my life, but anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I have Objectively Very Good Hair.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice chart! I don't know about you, but I find that periods of truly fantastic hard work and accomplishment are virtually always followed by periods of near-total collapse and somnolence.

I'm sure you recall that in grad school the very concept of "objectivity" was thoroughly beaten out of us. Despite that, I must agree . . . objectively, you have always had the most excellent hair! Talk to you soon? Piper, Ph.D.

Notorious Ph.D. said...

OMG -- HELLO!!!

Yes, so much somnolence.

And let's catch up this weekend!

What Now? said...

I am totally a chart gal ... and I LOVE your categories!!

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