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Habits of Highly Ineffective People

May 2, 2003 - 12:45 a.m.

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Last Five Entries:
The Party's Over
July 11, 2004
The Next Day
My Nervous Breakdown
True Confessions: My Life as a Female Impersonator
March 15, 2004
Bite Me
February 29, 2004



I have all this reading I need to do before I write all of my papers due within the next week. I don't have the focus to read a lot at one time, so I have to take breaks. So I started out by reading for a half-an-hour or so, and then I took my first break.

My first break lasted twelve hours.

When I took my break, I thought it would be fun to tinker around with a story that I had started a couple of years ago, but never quite got into a finished draft. I finished the draft.

It's a good idea to take a break from heavy reading every now and then. But when the reading is half an hour, and the break is twelve hours, what tends to happen is that I fail all of my classes.

My lesson is learned. When I take a break, I shouldn't do something that is fun. On my break, I should do something that is not fun, to give me an incentive to get back to work.

So I've developed a new plan for tomorrow. When I take my first break, I will go to make coffee. However, instead of putting the pot in the coffee maker, I will place my palm over the hot plate and let the coffee drip on to the back of my hand. I will keep my hand in that position throughout my break. That should help keep my breaks short.

What I do to myself when deadlines are is like playing chicken. Chicken is the game in which two teenage boys race their cars toward a cliff, and the first one to pull out loses. Except that the teenage boys are usually trying to win the heart of a girl, whereas I don't win anything. And except that the boys are competiting against each other, whereas I'm just being crazy for my own entertainment. And except that the boys are seeking thrills, whereas I'm seeking self destruction. And except that the boys are usually wearing cool leather jackets, whereas I'm in my underwear.

James Dean would not approve.

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