So why is this constant computer work a problem? Well, it’s not so much the computer as what’s ON the computer that’s the problem. Lurking on my desktop RIGHT NEXT to my work programs is Spider Solitaire. Are you familiar with Spider Solitaire? If you are you already know my plight. If you’re not familiar then do everything in your power to never become familiar, pretend you never heard me mention the name, continue on to the next blog, never speak of it again. It is for your own good. It’s too late for me to save myself, but you might still have a chance of making it out alive.
Because just like crack, Spider Solitaire is addictive as hell. And just like crack, Spider Solitaire has been known to rob people of years and years of productivity. So many bright futures crushed by, “I’m just going to play one more game. I know I said I’d stop after I won. But now I want to see how many I can win in a row.” By the time you finally quit your kids are grown, your spouse has left you and you have absolutely no feeling left in your index finger. It’s not pretty.
Yet, that little spider calls out to you from your desktop and you simply can not ignore it. You long for the weird clickclickclick noise it makes when it deals, or the satisfaction you get when you complete a row and it falls away to the bottom of the screen. But best of all are the fireworks when you win. Fireworks! For god’s sake, that’s exciting stuff. Work will just have to wait, there are fireworks.
So that would be Nail Number 1 in the coffin of productivity.
Nail Number 2 would have to be the internet. Nail Number 2.5 is the e-mail. These two are trickier than Nail Number 1. Because, while there is no real reason for me to open up Spider Solitaire while working there are several good reasons (and countless “sure that sounds like a reason” reasons) to get on the internet and e-mail while working. A lot of my work is freelance, so I’m in constant contact with clients over e-mail. They’re e-mailing me Things They Want To Look Pretty, and I’m e-mailing them The Fourteenth Draft Of The Thing I Made Pretty. It’s all very important. If I didn’t check my e-mail not only would I miss out on great pharmaceutical deals, but I’d also miss communication with my clients. So I have to get on the e-mail, gotta do it. Probably don’t have to e-mail everyone I’ve ever known while I’m there, but that just seems to happen when I stop by the mailbox. Who would I be as a person if I did not keep in touch with the important friends in my life (as well as that really nice lady who is getting me a great deal on pharmaceuticals)? I would be a horrible person, that’s who I’d be.
Nail Number 3 snuck up on me. I thought I already had enough things to distract me on my computer. But I was wrong. So so so so wrong. Because I didn’t have IM, Instant Messenger for you productive people who have a life beyond your keyboard. Instant Messenger is pretty self-explanatory – it’s a way to instantly message people. Cause that whole 35 seconds between e-mails was just too much of a delay for some people. And apparently the inability to add sound effects and animated smiley faces made e-mail almost impossible to deal with.
I had IM back in the day, probably during college, another time of great procrastination. (I procrastinated so much I even put off actually graduating.) But recently a friend invited me to IM, and I thought, “Why not, careers are overrated.” So I downloaded this thing and instead of the IM I remember I got a New and Improved IM. It’s quite ridiculous, with all the bells and whistles and what not. My favorite bell is the thing where you can build a little cartoon of yourself that the person chatting with you can see. You get to pick its sex, its hair color, its skin color, its clothes and even its location. My cartoon is on a beach, away from the internet. She is probably homeless, because she spent too much time IM-ing instead of doing work.
Nail Number 4 was craigslist. And doubt I have to explain this one to anyone. It is my Mecca. I bow to it three times a day. Is that what people do to Mecca? I don’t know, I’m too busy reading the Rants and Raves to go gather real information.
And now, Nail Number 5. The blog. I’m not sure why it would take five nails to close a coffin, or if they even use nails to close coffins anymore. But what I do know is that it is 2 o’clock in the morning, I have 10 projects to design in less than 48 hours, and I’m instead writing a friggin blog. The only good news about this situation is that there are a lot of internet cafés now. So even when I’m out of a job and homeless I can still get online and update my blog.
It’s important to have priorities in life.