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Monday, March 10, 2003


Productivity Section

Doing things is hard.

Sometimes I think that it's a miracle that I ever accomplish anything, especially once I adjust the degree of difficulty of doing things to include procrastination.

I remember reading somewhere that a way to make completing tasks easier is to break down larger tasks into smaller ones. That way you're constantly reaching incremental goals en route to your final one.

This doesn't work. Even the simplest of jobs becomes an infinite regression of baby tasks; the effect is not dissimilar to pouring water on cute little Gizmo and winding up with a phalanx of slimy, hissing Gremlins that want to eat your socks and swing from the ceiling fan while blasting Alice Cooper on the stereo.

To whit:
"Make some coffee" becomes:

1. Turn off alarm.
2. Pull aside covers.
3. Get out of bed.
4. Walk over to kitchenette.
5. Open freezer.
6. Retrieve coffee.
7. Open drawer.
8. Take out filter.
9. Put filter in coffee maker.
10. Scoop out coffee.
11. Put coffee into filter.
12. Dump out yesterday's coffee.
13. Wash out coffee pot.
14. Measure water for coffee.
15. Pour water into coffee maker.
16. Put coffee pot onto burner.
17. Turn on coffee maker.
18. Wait for coffee to brew.
19. Wash coffee cup.
20. Pour coffee into cup.
21. Wash spoon.
22. Add sugar to coffee.
23. Add creamer.
24. Stir coffee.
25. Drink coffee.

Contrast with:
"Watch TV" becomes:
1. Sit on couch.
2. Turn on TV.
3. Watch TV.

What if I were feeling a little randy after waking up instead of in need of a caffeine fix?

"Have morning sex" becomes:
1. Wake up.
2. Realize dream of showering with Jennifer Love Hewitt was not real, at least not last night.
3. Get out of bed.
4. Rummage around under bed for contraband Xerox copy of Charlie Sheen's little black book, won in lieu of Sheen's pinky in Hitchcock-style game of finger-chicken with a meat cleaver.
5. Begin in "D" section; it just feels like a day for a Deana or a Diana more than a Kitty or a Maxine.
6. Make awkward phone call trying to explain how I got the number, where mentions of "bets," "finger-chicken," and "meat cleavers" do not help cause.
7. Give up after seven calls despite some intriguing offers involving where to put my cleaver or alternate definitions of "finger-chicken."
8. Call Sheen and demand his pinky since black book is not working out like I'd hoped.
9. Have pleasant chat with Denise Richards as she calmly explains that I can't take Sheen's pinky.
10. Resist urge to tell Denise that she only rated four of a possible five stars in Sheen's black book despite being married to him, and that most five-star entries refer to Heidi Fleiss girls that "used [his] ass as a trumpet" or were versed in the obscure "Hungarian Birdbath."
11. Log on to internet to check bank balance against possibility of obtaining five-star morning company.
12. Resign self to inability of affording to find out what a "Hungarian Birdbath" is, or even unraveling the mystery of the more pedestrian, three-star "Reverse Mudflaps."
13. Call Sheen back and ask for loan against results of next "finger-chicken" game, in which I have posted record of 32-0 against Estevez clan.
14. Desperation trip to "Sure Thing" section of black book.
15. Listen to busy signal on Drew Barrymore's line.
16. Dial unnamed two-star number from black book, labeled only "In Case of Emergency."
17. Listen to surprisingly seductive message on Andy Dick's machine.
18. Screen call from caller ID reading "Dick, A" and listen to sing-songy entreaty to pick up the phone.
19. Cower in corner while sucking thumb.
20. Sigh.
21. Put on Al Green CD.
22. Notice week-old TJ Maxx circular has lingerie section.
23. [censored]
24. Cry.
25. Make some coffee.

About this site

This is the internet home of Mark Lisanti, a Los Angeles writer sometimes known as Bunsen. He is the founding editor of Defamer, a weblog about Hollywood, where he now serves in the nebulous capacity of "editor-at-large."
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