Getting Stuff Done(?) By Sarah Mowery
We've all heard of writer's block. It's that thing where you stare at a blank screen with your fingers all QWERTY'd for three hours, trying in vain to remember how to put words together in a sentence. You agonize over the perfect phrasing, hoping beyond hope that something - anything - will come to you. It doesn't. Of course, after all that stress and anxiety, the first full paragraph you manage to pound out earns you a nice 2-hour Netflix break.
Writer's block can rear its ugly head in the middle of all sorts of important writing endeavors. Papers. Emails. That murder mystery novel you've been working on. Texts to your housekeeper. Post-its reminding yourself to take out the trash. But writer's block is not the only type of "block" we experience on a day to day basis. No, not at all.
I'm talking about mild to moderately severe General Task Block, more commonly known as GTB.
Not sure if you or a loved one suffers from GTB? The following scenario was carefully crafted by real scientists to illustrate the horrifying effects of the newest illness sweeping the nation:
5:35 p.m. Get home, unbutton pants, and sit down to do some work. I'm going to be so productive tonight!
5:38 Turn on computer, check Facebook.
5:45 Read article on CNN. Something about Ukraine. Gotta stay up on those current affairs!
5:50 Take BuzzFeed quiz to determine what cereal I am. Rice Chex? Ha. No.
5:53 Take cereal quiz again. Lie about answers to get less boring cereal. Rice Chex again.
5:57 Pull up (insert project to be worked on).
5:57 Stare at computer screen.
6:03 Stare at computer screen.
6:14 Stare at computer screen.
6:15 Remember hilarious YouTube video that would really motivate you if you just watched it real quick for a good laugh.
4 Enrique Iglesias music videos later...
6:48 Oh, look, dinner time. I'll be more productive if I've eaten something. That's science!
8:02 Finish eating full meal prepared from scratch. Ready to take on anything.
8:06 Check Facebo -- NO! Time to get down to business.
8:18 Type one sentence. Time for dessert.
Does this sound like you? You might have chronic GTB.
In fact, you probably do. With all the distractions that are constantly thrown in our faces, it seems nearly impossible to get anything done. Heck, sometimes I sit in my car for a good ten minutes before I can even remember what I got in it to go do in the first place. Luckily, one of the defining symptoms of General Task Block is that you always manage to get stuff done eventually. Studies suggest that the light you soak up from all the staring at blank screens stimulates your brain to the point that everything eventually just happens effortlessly.
Ha! Ohhh.. If only that were true. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go start some laundry catch up on some reading play with my cat while I think of an ending for this blog post.