Thursday, August 7, 2008

Procrastination, the brain, and celebrity fluff

So it's down to the wire in my time spent working in Mozambique, and all I can do is watch bad romantic comedies and compulsively update my useless celebrity expertise on What I should be doing, and what I can press myself to do for vast, uh, minutes on end, is analyzing the 9 datasets that make up the material of the triangulation project. But it seems that my brain has become overwhelmed. With each passing day spent staring at the computer screen, my fingers are getting clumsier, my mind slower, and my capacity for concentration shorter.

I put a romantic comedy on as I fell asleep last night, because my brain's craving for them is like a late-night ice cream craving. There was a moment when I drifted off to sleep and was only conscious of a stream of numbers.... 40.0, 11.1, 12.5 -- of the type I'd been endlessly keying into an excel spreadsheet earlier that day. The number streams seem to be causing stress on my neuronal connections, causing these poor cells to beg for Jennifer Aniston and her sister's wedding. I've even started watching the second-rate American shows that a Brazilian channel here broadcasts; shows I had never heard of and would never watch in the States, but which make it here maybe because of low syndication fees, because they give my mind the idiocy fix it needs.

I've never had such severe concentration problems, but then again I've never required such heavy, numbers-oriented concentration before. Another problem may be that I'm on my own with the work here, and I'm never sure if what I'm doing is productive or even correct. So there's probably some fear of failure mixed in with the cognitive overload, conspiring to put my mental output at about zero. I don't know whether to push on or give in and raid my roommate's DVD collection.

No comments: