Notes from Finals Week: Relevant Procrastination

My latest strategy for procrastinating on papers (and to a lesser extent exam studying): looking at stuff that is at least marginally related to what I’m supposed to be doing.

Like when I’m trying to write a philosophy paper but I have no idea how to answer my own questions and my brains are starting to fall out of my left ear.

So I start looking at stupid philosopher chicken jokes.

And this Tumblr of Foucault quotes with pictures of the Olsen twins on Full House


Or Judith Butler explained with cats.

And eventually I end up with something new to say.

I’ve always thought that the ideal of being “productive” or “efficient” is a little off, particularly when it comes to things like writing. Because while we may like to imagine that we can just put the fingers to the keyboard and crank out a paper using sheer willpower, the real work is actually thinking, which doesn’t really respond to brute force. It’s just not always possible to make your brain to spontaneously churn out new ideas about a topic that it didn’t have before.

You have to put some stuff into your brain to get stuff out of it. And for me, it has to be something I genuinely want to be looking at if I want a chance of sticking with it (against the siren call of Netflix) long enough to get some gears turning.


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