To write? Or to faff?

Having located myself at home today, to focus on starting my conference paper, I have endeavoured to find as many ways as possible to avoid actually do the work…

I have checked and responded to tweets, yams & emails, and followed up on newly created blog posts as a part of #blogeverydayofjune. I have printed out the abstract I wrote back in February (which involves saving it to a memory stick and transferring it to the desktop that’s actually connected to the printer), and added comments about what I think I meant way back when. I have analysed the original call for papers to see if there is hidden insight – but of course found none.  I have answered a number of emails asking wee things that could have been followed up in a few days – but naturally I’ve replied immediately to create that aura of efficiency. I taken and picked 2 kids up from different schools at different times, played with the dog, spoken with my brother – who didn’t know I was home and was hoping to get the answering machine, started contemplating dinner and have totally demolished a Toblerone. I have also taken 2 calls from MotH (Man of the House), and sms’d back and forth with Kid1 who wanted a variety of things, which was her way of avoiding school work.

Somehow I am no closer to getting the paper written.

The art of faffing is one that I’ve taken years to perfect, but I do wonder how I managed it so effectively before I was presented with so many distractions online. I have least curbed my fb addiction and refuse to get online during the working day (though very occasionally I do fall off the wagon – not my fault, others harass me to play my turn in Lexulous). I see traces that my colleagues are not so bothered by being distracted, with multitudinous posts about ghosts being trapped, farm crops being harvested and mice being hunted. I could take the high road here and say that I do not participate in such things *anymore* but many know that I have indeed dabbled, and in reality my playing with twitter, yammer, wordpress etc is just another set of new games/toys.

Funnily enough in my work environ I am generally viewed as very organised. *ha* It’s known that I always have a list of to-do’s that I generate at least weekly, and in busy times – daily. However, the real purpose of the list is to ensure that while faffing I don’t in fact forget anything I’m obliged to do. The list is usually colour-coded to indicate priority – which is a fabulous way to identify exact how much time I can dither between the necessary tasks. Organised indeed, but not necessarily with good intent.

And so back to the paper… what was I writing about again??? something to do with libraries I think?

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5 thoughts on “To write? Or to faff?

  1. Unintentionally you’ve been very helpful to me – I thought I was reducing my faffing with a recent uptake of Toodledo.com for keeping a list of what I have to do. I have been feeling very virtuous as I knock things off that list.
    However – I now recognise that like you I use it only to guide me in essentials and due dates, and hence allow myself more faffing time inbetween. Hmmm – now to see how to address that ….

  2. I can recommend several good books on dealing with procrastination. Although funnily enough I haven’t gotten around to reading them myself yet… 😉

    Your colour-coded list reminded me of a wonderful scene from a Red Dwarf book, where Rimmer creates a complex colour-coded study schedule for his exam. Unfortunately, he spends so much time working on the schedule that a day has passed and he has to create a new schedule to adapt to the remaining time. The process continues until 15 minutes are left before the exam and he’s madly drawing up a new schedule for the last 15 minutes!

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