I Suck At Being Productive

What’s the best way to be productive and get work done? Probably not the way I get things done. The way I get work done is a trademarked method involving tons of procrastination, lots of general incompetence and an obsessive attention to detail that actually gets in the way of completion of said task.

Everyone seems to like pictures of desks with laptops and journals in productivity essays.

I’ve grappled with motivation issues for as long as I can remember; completing assignments on time was never my strong suit, unless my parents were behind me ready to whoop my ass. My phone is littered with dead drafts that never got to see the light of day only because I either lose interest and/or motivation halfway or my internal editor kicks in right when I’m writing.
It’s like another personality inside me that pops up occasionally, but I can’t seem to tune it out. Talk about demonic possessions! Maybe I should see someone about it. Which usually means I won’t.

Now that we’re talking about demonic possessions, I’m proud (and ashamed) to announce that I’m addicted to The Black Tapes Podcast. I’ll admit I’m incredibly late to this party, two seasons too late, and to literally every party I get invited to, which is not much. The Black Tapes is a fictional docu-drama about a reporter who investigates paranormal cases. I won’t spoil the whole thing for you, but binge-listening to podcasts is another reason I haven’t been diligent with regards to my work.

This has always been one on my weaknesses, if you discount the crippling social anxiety, depression, addiction to dank memes and my pathetic athletic abilities ,that is. Any time I’m flooded with work, I indulge myself completely in something totally unrelated, like getting drunk and paying a visit to the coastline. In this case, it was podcasts. Lots and lots of it. Enough to justify me purchasing Pocket Casts.

Anyway, while I was powering through entire seasons of different shows, my work load increased and languished in obscurity. Come to think of it, this whole post is another way for me to avoid thinking of all the work that’s pending. All this is not to say that I a complete mess, I’m not one yet. I do manage to get things done at the last moment, like a true procrastinator. The quality of work that I set upon myself at the outset is miles above the quality of the final product, but I beat myself up so much by the end, that any work done seems good enough.

This is how I look like when I’m trying to get my work done a week after it was due.

I’ll let you in on a little bit of a secret now. This post has been in my drafts for a long long time. But it took me just 30 minutes to get past 50 words and publish this, quality be dammed. 😅
Image: Bram Naus on Unsplash


If you’ve somehow managed to reach this point and not fall asleep, consider liking my Facebook page. You won’t find any memes or funny videos, but you will find occasional updates and links to all my posts.

Being Abnormally Shy

As I read Nicole Sundays’ (Is that even her real last name? 😜) experience of running to catch a premiere of ‘Moonlight’, I found myself admitting a truth I knew all too well, out loud. I’m not into running. Or any sort of physical activity. Or social interactions. I’ll tell you what I am into. Being abnormally shy.

Involve me in any conversation and you’ll see first-hand my uncanny ability to transform even the most mundane of interactions into an awkward mess. It’s something I can’t help, I just have no conscious knowledge that I’m wrecking the conversation. Combine that with the rookie mistake my parents made by enrolling me in a boys only school during my early years and you can begin to understand the trainwreck that is me talking to the other sex.

Not that I’m complaining though. Sometimes I do say something funny, a random quip here and there, that gives me a +5 Interesting-ness buff for a short time. So yeah, sometimes I’m funny, and most of the times I’m plain boring. Just like every other human out there.

And though the odds are stacked against me, what with the shyness bordering on crazy and my lack of athletic skills, the greatest pleasures in life lie in facing these challenges. And afternoon siestas after a hearty meal. And writing that tries to be funny, but really isn’t.

Despite being a 22 year old man-child with nada on his resumé, I tend to blush at the slightest provocation. Hard. Lots of people tell me it somehow makes me more endearing. And cute. I try to brush it off as a sympathetic compliment from them, but I know for a fact that it is true. Innocent no more, eh? 😂

On A Lighter Note: Replacing My Usual Writing With Humour

If I am going to write, I might as well make it funny.

There’s something wrong with everything I write. An air of seriousness, as if it’s a grim story of an unloved grumpy old man nearing his life. As if my life is a movie of perpetual seriousness, with no comedy in it. But I digress. There is nothing wrong with having humor in your writing; everybody loves a bit of color in their lives after all.

Most of the time I keep telling myself, maybe the topics I’ve chosen to write about are serious as fuck and not funny, by default. Dart your eyes around, and you’ll see “Technology. Thoughts. Fiction.” scrawled at the top. Pretty dour indeed. Oh, who am I kidding? The only considerable effort I’ve put in writing resulted in a posts about life and its spectrum of emotions, depression included. Happiness sold separately. As if I’m some whiny emo kid who only notices the shadows on a bright sunny day. I still have to remind myself periodically that no topic exists which couldn’t have a funny side to it.

So screw my style of writing. No seriously. If I am going to write, I might as well make it funny. But how?

After much pondering, I’ve realised that the answer to that lies outside the digital realms of our devices, in the real world, where there are no zeroes or ones to worry about. Instead, we have bad cholestrol, climate change and Donald Trump to worry about. Oh, and that bit about pondering to come up with the answer? It didn’t take too much time, I just made that bit up.

The answer lies in the real world. Think about your everyday life. I’m pretty sure it’s so routine for you now that your life is zipping past you at warp speed. Mine is, at any rate. Or am I not living life right? *Cue existential crisis.*

Everyday life is filled with situations and little ironies, things that we tend to miss out. I mean, how else do sitcom writers and standup comedians work, right? If most comedians are like Darth Vader of their fields, my writing, including this thinly-veiled attempt at inducing humor into my writing, is like young whiny Anakin Skywalker.

I might be rambling on at this point, but movies have got most things wrong. The people they show in movies, with bushy greasy beards and huge bellies and stinky T-shirts and couches littered with Cheetos? The quintessential “guy without a life”? Pffft, those people have a life. How do I know? I’m one of them.

I’m not the crisp, sassy guy that my profile picture might lead you to believe. I’m just a guy munching down fatty foods while channel-surfing. I don’t remember who it was, but I remember someone telling me adding in quotes to posts makes them more shareable.

I wish money grew on trees, so that deforestation wouldn’t actually be a thing.

There, I said it.

Now, all of this is a poor attempt at “being funny” and stereotyping certain things. Maybe even a replacement for my usual style of writing. But you get my point, even poor humor is acceptable. Keep looking for a bit of irony or comedy in your life and you’re bound to find it everywhere. Then, incorporate it into writing. I’ve just started my journey and there’s a million more ways to improve my writing.

Every time I insert a poorly written joke into my posts, I run the risk of it bombing. But it’s better to have one line in your article bomb than having to deal with the fallout of your post bombing from being too serious. As I put the cap back on my flow of words, I leave you with one question. Why so serious?

What are your suggestions for including a bit of humor in your writing? Let me know in the comments.

Prompt Replies Chapter 3: Privacy

Soon, rain drops were racing downwards on his window. The drops made their way down carefully, as if measuring and planning their every move before committing to it. Michael gazed at the city below, with people running for cover.

His location in the building gave him a cozy sense of security and privacy that he found appealing. Here he was, looking down towards the city, watching the people move about their daily business, like a child observing a colony of ants. And yet, perched upon this viewpoint, Michael was sure he wasn’t the object of observation by anyone else; he had his privacy and he liked it.

A lot of us think a good life entails spending every important moment with people you love, people who matter the most. Well, I think, a little privacy and solitude is just as important.” Michael turned around and brought his attention back to the guest in his room. “Yes, privacy and isolation is what I value the most.”, he replied. “Sometimes, I just want to run away from everything, far away, where there aren’t any of you.”

Prompt Replies Chapter 2: Invitation

The invitation had been sitting on his desk for quite some time before he actually picked it up. Michael gazed at the envelope before deciding he was interested enough to actually open it. Inside was a letter informing him of the marathon. He had never considered himself an athletic person, but he was determined to act upon his fitness goals.

I could start training now, be done with the marathon and actually feel like I’ve accomplished my resolutions. Two birds with a single stone.”, Michael thought. The thought of having to wake up early made him shudder, but Michael was approaching his late 30s. He knew well that fitness should be more important to him than it already was.

He flipped the letter back onto the desk, almost intending to forget about the whole thing. His attention was drawn by another event around him. Grey clouds had been gathering the whole morning. They were about to burst open.

Prompt Replies Chapter 1: Marathon

The muscles in his legs, his joints, his ligaments and even his lungs hurt. They screamed out every time he took a step. Every few minutes he questioned the sanity of the person who would inflict this type of suffering on oneself. He questioned his own sanity in having joined this marathon.

The journey had been an arduous one, beset with challenges of increasing difficulty. But the end result would be well worth it, he kept telling himself. The end was near; it was in sight. All he had to do was push himself a bit more, a bit harder. Just a little bit more and it would be done.

The sun was at its zenith and the heat was on the rise. Sweat rolled down his forehead and onto his eyes. He ignored them all, for the end was in sight.

Prompt Replies: An Experiment In Fiction

As someone who has dabbed their fingers in fiction a couple of times, I really want to create a narrative of people and stories and a whole world which they inhabit. However, the one thing that often stops me from writing more fiction is the fact that I’m often dry when it comes to plots.

I find it hard to create a basic plot for my stories, despite being able to create complex characters and conveying their thoughts easily. And without a good plot, well, the story is of no use.

So a solution I’ve found is to write a story using the daily prompts from Daily Post. Each prompt will serve as the inspiration for chapters of a long running-story. The prompts change daily and might not have any relation whatsoever with each other. This means that the onus is on me to craft a sensible story using each random prompt. It’s great because it helps me develop my skills in writing, so what more could I ask for?

I’m calling this ‘Prompt Replies’, because, they are replies. To prompts. Yeah, it definite sounded funnier in my head. So anyway, each chapter includes 15 sentences and will use a writing prompt taken from The Daily Post. I’ll also probably set up a category to make the chapters easier to find.

So what do you think of this experiment? Is it worth my time, or is this destined to fail? Let me know in the comments!