Spencer Richard

How To Be More Productive

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Productivity, you heartless wench. Here to taunt me at my late hour, here to scold me for not worshiping at your finely suckled tit.

Dear lord, it’s happening. I’m going crazy and this time it has nothing to do with the fact that they cancelled Firefly. If you haven’t been able to tell why this is you’ve done a great job of ignoring the calendar because it’s…

Back to University time!

Also there is an impending wedding I happen to be involved with, two collaborative projects with other creative people, my novel, and not to mention this clearly demanding website. If I had children I’m pretty sure I’d have to consider getting rid of at least one of them to keep up with the flow around here. The only issue is that I am already doing a perfectly good job of not keeping up with the flow as it is, and my classes begin in two days.

Have you ever had this problem? This wicked thing called procrastination? Yes? Very good, my friend, come sit down with me wherever the hell you are and lets solve our mutual problem like the nugatory little creatures we are. I’ll go first. My name is Spencer Richard and I am a procrastinator. Oh, what’s that—you already knew? Am I late?

I don’t know about you but I’ve noticed a trend when it comes to human beings. We fluctuate between productivity and laziness in varying degrees, often to the point that we never know when we’ll be willing to be either productive or lazy. What I mean is that whenever we set out to be productive, we tend to make unrealistic goals, or talk about extreme hurdles as if they just won’t be an issue, and then we fail, weakening our resolve to pick up where we left off and weakening our character.

Not to whip out the religious stuff on you but sloth is a sin. This is important. I happen to think that sin is a fitting word regardless of your worldview because sin is a heavy word, and laziness is heaviness. It is letting your weight keep you from doing something that you ought to be doing. Whether that is the typical image we have of a lazy fellow, licking Cheetos from his unkempt fingernails, placidly watching endless hours of Everybody Loves Raymond because he was too busy to change the channel, or the image of a distant father, too busy with fixing the car to make his wife some breakfast on her only day off. The thing that keeps them both down is weight. Dear reader, it is time we trim the fat.

How to trim the fat:

1) With scissors. As in, remove the thing with which you grasp to be lazy. Is that the television? Is it Netflix (heaven forbid)? Or is it something more severe like a “friend” who only wants to hang out with you if you’re at the bar? Remove it.

2) With heat.  As in, increase the temperature in your life to assist you with pursuing your nobler goals. Set a time limit when you sit down to play a video game (which for me, I must admit, can make the video game even more enjoyable, knowing that you have set aside the time to do nothing but play). Or perhaps your cellphone alarm every morning could be set somewhere in the hallway in order to discourage you from slapping the snooze button sixty-eight times.

3) With attrition. That ol’ which of the two wolves do you feed, conundrum. This one is pretty self explanatory, so basically, don’t go out buying a new Satellite dish (or whatever people do other than Netflix) when you have that deck in the backyard to finish.

The thing to keep in mind is that sometimes it is beneficial to be unproductive, in the sense that it relaxes you, but you have to be wary of the oh-I’m-just-going-to-watch-one-episode-of-Breaking-Bad syndrome. Enjoy yourself by setting limits on your no-think time. Ultimately, you only get one life, and that boils down to today. Today is the only day like today. Choosing to spend it should be like choosing to spend a dollar. Invest, invest, invest.

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Spencer Richard

was once a small town columnist for THE HINTON PARKLANDER (2008-2009). Before then he performed to an unsuspecting audience of over 8,000 people during the ALBERTA WINTER GAMES in 2006. Later he had one of his own songs, ON THE WAY, produced by Black Road Records (2013) and showcased it in with an original music video. He is currently working on a couple of novels and a rap album. During the day he manages a book store in Edmonton, Alberta.

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