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Friday, July 04, 2008

Playing Against Myself

I think this is where I jump the shark. How much would he hate me right now?

I got my first paycheck. And I asked myself, how should I use it? Should I spend it all on games for the Wii? Or should I buy myself a Nintendo DS, with Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2?

And then I said, No.

That money should go into creating a work environment. Get another computer, which will be only for work. A laptop, which I can use from my bed. (Like Benjy used to do, though I didn't consciously think in those terms.) So I started looking around the internet for dirt-cheap laptops not good enough to run anything but my work. I couldn't find what I was looking for- they're all better for entertainment than my desktop.

And how can I work with all that entertainment? I kept telling myself: You will work now. And I'd say okay, and then go read a comic. And another. And another. And a TV show. And then move on to a videogame. And play piano. And talk to people. And the end of the day would come. No work done.

One day I wasn't allowed by the blog to do anything but work, so I just did nothing. I turned off my monitor, and went downstairs, and sat on the couch, and proceeded to do nothing. I didn't play piano. I didn't read comics. I didn't watch TV shows. I didn't play videogames of any sort. I didn't go on forums. I just sat, and thought about the fact that I wasn't working. How broken am I, I said, that I prefer to think about not working than to work?

And I said to my mother, I need pills. I need some sort of medicine that will get me to sit down and start working. I need doctors to turn me into a productive member of society.

I looked at the laptop models, and I said, "This won't do.". They all allowed for too many distractions. I needed something older, less functional. I needed to be chained down to a computer and forced to work.

And then I said, what's this got to do with the laptop? What's it got to do with the money? Except I actually didn't. I didn't ask myself anything. I stopped asking. I stopped thinking. I stopped planning. I just went into the Windows control panel, and made myself a work user.

The desktop is white. I set the resolution there so that I can't see as much. The taskbar disappears. There's no Google Desktop, no shortcuts in the Start Menu, no handy keyboard shortcuts, no accessibility at all. Just the work.

And then I got myself a program to watch me. I'm not allowed in my regular user before 3:30 PM. I'm not allowed in after 2:15 AM. If I'm there, it logs me out automatically.

And I'm working.

I think I was a poor excuse for a person. I think I talked and I talked and I planned and I thought and I analyzed and I did everything that could be done, but I never did what needed doing.

Now I'm doing it. I'm doing it quickly and efficiently. I'm going to be done with Smilie altogether in a few weeks. And then I'm going to show it to people. And then I'm going to move on to something else. And something else after that. And I'm going to move up. And I'm going to get places. And all it costs me is a guilty conscience.



I am reminded of verse from "Oh the places you'll go!"

It's good you found a way to filter out the distractions and do work. I do need pills for that. Man am I unproductive when I'm not on those things and I'm not being actively and urgently pushed.


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