The Disappointment of Busy Days


I compulsively scribble up to-do lists, overriding the last one I made about that particular day and usually not following them through. When I have a lot to do I write it all down for the day I plan to do it and think “MAN, that’s going to be a busy day! Better bustle through that shit!”

Then I finish it in three hours and I’m left with vacuous time. Exceeding my expectations is so disappointing.

It happens at work, too. I know things are going to be busy, I know I’m going to be short-handed, I know I’ll have to prioritize and multi-task, so I tell people I’ll do this thing first by this time, then I’ll get to something else for them after I do another thing for another person, and I say “hopefully by this afternoon” but it’s all done by 11:30 and then I sit around writing things (a more productive form of twiddling thumbs) until I hear back from someone about something else I need to do. Being on top and organized is so unrewarding.

Some people say if you find yourself with nothing to do then you aren’t working hard enough (and extend that to life as well, for how boring your life must be if you can answer to the rhetorical “who has the time?”) but I also hear these people talking on personal calls at work for several 20 minute bouts, or socializing with coworkers, often about how busy they are. Perhaps it’s my anti-social nature, my dislike for small talk, and my being perfectly content doing things by myself that have me working faster – working smarter. Perhaps it’s my faster typing skills, my thinking style, my sponge-like memory, my numeracy, or to put it simply how fucking smart I am that puts me in this position. One skill I’m obviously lacking, though, is knowing how much time and effort things will actually take.

This overshooting is why I’m hyper-punctual despite usually having slower means of transport. It’s why I never had to pull an all-nighter in university. It’s probably part of what’s kept me nearly debt-free so far and why I have ample storage space.

So when I sit down and start a list of things to do during an anticipated busy and productive long weekend, I quickly come to a blank because it turns out all the things I think I have to do don’t amount to much after all. I stare at a mostly blank page and think “Shit, what am I going to do with myself?”


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