As I sit at my desk, I often find myself avoiding the growing pile of things that I need to do, but still finding myself being deceptively productive. Between periods of staring blankly out toward the brightly lit Cincinnati skyline and then back to my slightly luminescent tablet screen, I ponder the work that I continue to avoid doing. The thing that I told myself all morning at work that I’d get done today, and the thing that I said that I would do the day before that, it all has started to run together lately. I turn to Instagram to avoid being too productive. I scroll my thumb from the bottom of the screen to the top, seeing pictures of friends at music festivals, political headlines, calls to arms for the next thing we’re supposed to be mad about, beer advertisements, etc. Still, I haven’t typed the article that I told myself I’d write, nor have I promoted the creators that I’ve said I would promote. I have dozens of emails from podcasters and promoters that I have not gotten back to as quickly as I had previously promised, I have four voiceovers that I have to audition for, and I have dozens of episodes of Game of Thrones to watch that I just haven’t got to yet.
Yet, with this mounting list of to-do’s in front of me, I find myself doing everything but the “thing” that I’m supposed to be doing. I swept my floors, I made my bed, I trimmed my beard (it looks fantastic, by the way), but I still can’t seem to do the thing. I’m sure I’m not alone in doing this. I’m sure the only people who sweep the inside of their couch cushions are only doing so because they’re trying to avoid doing literally anything that has an approaching deadline. It is a frustrating paradigm, but I find myself facing it all the time. I’m not busy, I’m just time constrained, and I seem to do everything in my power to stay as time constrained as possible. I figured that I would write this piece to remind everyone out there that they aren’t alone if they find themselves sometimes trying to avoid the “thing.”
Let’s close this in a positive light- you could be doing nothing, rather than doing all the ancillary stuff that we find ourselves doing. Whether we are moving forwards, backwards, side to side, we still are moving. We are doing something, even though it may not be the thing. At least I’ve got the article done for tonight.