Productivity is Terrible

I notice this every time it happens, and it continues to baffle me:

I am more productive when I have more to do.  I don’t mean I’m more productive at what I should actually be doing; I’m more productive at everything, including work for which I am not being paid.  When deadlines are looming and I am panicking at how much work I have left to complete, I do plenty of work, but I also write thousands of words’ worth of fiction, build up a buffer of comic strips, and even produce a song or two.  I feel guilty about this because I am not working at my “real job” when I’m doing these things, but the truth of the matter is that I need breaks from my “real job” if I’m going to produce anything coherent for it.  As long as I’m working frantically at something, I always eventually return to the course I’m creating, and I probably write a lot more of it every day than I would if I took no real breaks at all.

On the other hand, sometimes I have relatively little to do.  This happens very, very seldom, but it does happen.  These periods are characterised by almost zero productivity.  I could be writing stories or cleaning my apartment or getting ahead in my comic, but it just doesn’t happen.  In fact, I find I am more likely to have a comic buffer when I am bound to produce more comics in a shorter time.

This is all a little bewildering, and it sometimes makes me want to stab myself in the eye with a fork, but I guess all I can do is accept it and get even busier every time I’m busy.  My brain makes me sad.

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