Thursday, 14 October 2010


All week I've been working from home, knocking my way through a spreadsheet. The aim is to splatter 150 words of colour onto a list of ideas that would probably be misconstrued as a threat to any teenager who chanced upon it.

Once I get down to business, once I've dribbled orange juice down my front and sprinkled toast crumbs on my laptop, once I've blogged and twittered and BBC News-ed; once the TV's turned off and the kitchen's been tidied and I've remembered to have a shower, brush my teeth, and do something with my hair (all of which I forgot to do yesterday); once I've got dressed in the sort of clothes you reserve for hangovers, scoured the fridge for the strange smell within, investigated the freezer's ongoing hum and booked a pilates class for next Tuesday;

once I've checked my watch and seen it's lunchtime, cooked sausages, eaten them, stacked the plate on top of the others, decided it looks messy and washed them all up; once I've sat down and opened Excel, opened Word and opened Google and typed in the next place on the list...

...once I've done all that, and started feeling overwhelmed by the task ahead because I'm hopelessly behind schedule and attempting to sound all clever about places I've never visited, once I've realised that I have the attention span of a toad, something that isn't helped by the ongoing rumble of music and radio presenters, interspersed by hourly bursts announcing the 1, 2, 3, and 4 o'clock news from the flat upstairs, or is it downstairs? Once I've put an ear to the floor to find out, stomped back and forth, thrown a pen at the ceiling just in case, then retreated to the bedroom only to find the sound stops minutes later, forcing me to relocate back to the kitchen table,

Then, and only then, do I start actually doing the work.

...before stopping to blog about it.

This, my friends, is a problem. 


Blonde said...

Nice. Sounds like an good day. How much tea've you drunk?

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Tea! I don't have time for tea!

But come to think of it, maybe that's the problem. Do you think I need tea?

Good idea. I'm going to make tea.

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when you work from home. Everything is a distraction. The only way to avoid it is et up base at a coffee shop, with or without wi-fi. Not perfect but better. There's just too much procrastination possible otherwise.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

I did consider popping down the road to the local cafe, but I think I'm developing agoraphobia having not left the house for a day and a half.

Plus that would require getting dressed into something other than pyjamas.

A task for tomorrow, perhaps.

Anonymous said...

What you need is a ghost writer!

laurenne said...

This is why you must work at a cafe! You'll be a cliche, but what's wrong with being a cliche once in a while?

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Perp - I am the ghost writer :D

Laurenne - Nooo nooooo don't say I've got to be one of THOSE PEOPLE in Starbucks! NOOOOOOOO! I won't do it!

(I might do it)

DaringPeach said...

I have this problem in spades. The worst part is that I can only bring myself to start work on the hour, or 15/30/45 minutes past, and I'm also a great fan of 'getting all the distractions out of the way before I start work'. Which often means procrastinating until 5pm.

I've been told that doing 10 minutes of work at a time works well (instead of making onself work for an hour, or two, before a break), but here I am, reading your blog.... ;)

Now, I just need to fortify myself with some coffee...

Anonymous said...

I know you are, hence you needing your own ghost writer ;)

nuttycow said...

Stop reading this comment and go and do some work!

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Daring Peach - I sympathise. I also have trouble starting work at any time that isn't at designated times past the hour. Today I have excelled myself, and procrastinated my way through the entire day on the basis that "hey ho, I'll do it next week.". I think there should be a self help group.

Perp - What a splendid idea. I'm off to gumtree to get hiring for the position.

nuttycow - Goddammit. You got me there. And now I'm replying! This is YOUR DOING!

DaringPeach said...

Support group? Can I run it? I have LOTS of coloured pens etc from my days of revision timetables. I'm sure it would improve my efficiency no end :)

I found Down With Love on the TV this morning while I was eating my breakfast, then of course I had to catch up with news/blogs/emails...then have a shower etc, before popping out for some food. By that point it was 4pm and quite frankly I was exhausted, so I had to have a little nap....

(people in the real world: I do actually do work, I promise!)

Brennig said...


Brennig said...

Shut the world out:

* headphones on
* twitter off
* email off (except work email account, obv)
* reader off
* blogger off

And stick to the To Do list.


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