Today, as usual, I procrastinated quite a bit before sitting down to do this post. I ate a bagel, watched a few shaky, grainy teaser trailers captured via fans’ cell phones at San Diego Comic Con (one of them was a brief scene in Ben Affleck’s in-production Batman V Superman. Batman looks fat and slow and his eyes glow white, fyi), listened to some Beatles on my iTunes, which I’m actually still doing as I write this. Past Masters Volume 2.
I guess my preferred form of procrastination is to enjoy the fruits of somebody else’s creative labor. Anything that’ll sort of get me whipped up into geek mode, because then I’m usually primed to do some writing of my own. Sometimes I’ll read a chapter or two from a book, or maybe I’ll just stare at the wall and just think about how much I like some writer or filmmaker.
What I’ll never do is allow myself to sit down in front of a television, even for a split second. It’s a major black hole, the television, no matter if you’re watching the news or a movie or whatever.
I’ve found that the moment I lower my guard and switch to passive “television watching” mode, I lose ALL momentum. I slip into a nose-dive from which recovery is near impossible. I’m telling you, I regard a live, flickering television like it’s some kind of violent, salivating productivity vampire. I can survive in it’s general vicinity for the few moments it takes me to make coffee or have breakfast or something, but, for me at least, that act of sitting down on the couch is sort of like ringing the dinner bell for Nosferatu.
The sitting down, the surrendering, that’s the killer. If someone beckons me to the television with a “hey, you need to see this,” I’ll usually come and watch, but I’ll stand behind the couch. Even if the video in question lasts a whole twenty minutes, I’ll stand there behind the couch like some kind of android in sleep mode. Because once you sit down, the television can smell you.
This is not to say I never sit down in front of the television, but when I do, it means I’ve made a conscious decision to give up all creative productivity for the day, to abandon all projects, including even reading. I rarely do this. Maybe four or five times a month (including weekends) I’ll give myself permission to idly “veg out” in front of the TV like Homer Simpson.
Please note, I’m not including Netflix streaming here. Sometimes, if I’ve gotten myself hooked on some television show like Breaking Bad, I’ll allow myself to watch an episode or three on my laptop before I go to sleep. Watching Netflix directly before I go to sleep is acceptable, because at that point all live creative endeavors have been, too, put to bed.
What about you, Reader? Do you willingly sacrifice yourself to the Productivity Vampire on a daily basis? Or are you a little more like me—distrusting of the television?
This post was based on a Daily Post prompt from over a week ago, which asked the writer to describe his/her favorite procrastination destination.