1. The Snake in Dallas - Gorillaz
2. Champagne Showers - LMFAO
3. My Neck, My Back - Khia
4. Hold the Line - Major Lazer
5. Sexyback - Justin Timberlake
I wake up five minutes before my alarm, as usual. Spend fifteen minutes sitting on the toilet, as usual, while checking my email, Instagram, Facebook. I then sit down at my computer while I wait for the coffee to brew. As usual. But this time, instead of spending the next two hours uselessly dicking around on the internet, I go through my task list, figuring out what I need to do today. Planning out my day and trying not to just do the opposite. And most importantly, if I don't get it all done to plan, not feeling like I failed.
Later that day I am waiting for an Uber with my boss. It's the first time we're in a car together and it's pretty much what I expect it to be: him thumbing through Instagram while we occasionally have short bursts of conversations about random things like Spotify vs. Pandora. We arrive at The Wooly for an event his team is hosting for a New York based design organization, a professional mixer that no one from our office is actually doing any mixing. Instead, they're just standing under a giant screen playing sitcom clips talking to each other. I quickly try to make the rounds, talking to ex-employees, former interns, the occasional stranger looking for work and woman who's friend with a cute pocket guy I'm hoping is gay. Cupped in my hand is a random collection of homemade buttons with popular mothers and drawings of a breast. The pocket guy seems more interested in the buttons than the person offering them to him so I move on. Before I leave, I steal all of the buttons.
Everyday that week I make a point to spend whatever time I have working on actual projects, even if it's just 20 minutes. I've decided that most days I might be only able to find time to draw or write, not both. And tell myself I am fine with that. My number one focus is to get Abel Boddy back on a regular schedule, but a 12-Inch Roommate reboot is on my mind too, as well as my live action script, world building for another project and a new caricature project called Followpack. The entire week is about trying to focus on what's important and when I'm not doing that, planning and organizing. "It sounds like a lot of work." A woman in my office tells me, she's been hired to help streamline our process and we're talking about to-do lists and how we process. Admittedly, my process seems a little confounded, "I usually follow the GTD method but have begun to integrate some elements from 7 Habits of Highly Effective People..." I start. It's not the best sales pitch for my system, but right now it's working for me... or is it?
Later that day, while heading across town to measure some sculptures that my boss is interested in loaning to a museum I get a text from Angie: "When's your lunch break?"
Me: "Now, why?"
"I'm in midtown, standing at 44th and 9th drinking a coffee."
"I'M on 44th and 9th..." I turn the corner and coincidentally there she is.
We haven't hung out in a while and sorta gave up after her reluctance to the pull the trigger on tickets for the final show of American Psycho: The Musical. It was my third time seeing it and I tried the balcony this time, which would've been fine but the crowd was rowdy. "It was probably all theatre people" Angie explains. "Coming to show support." I spent my last dime on the ticket and later on, while g-chatting with Zach, he'll remark at how "dedicated" I was to see the show again. I've seen the show exactly the same amount of times as he has, the only difference is he never had to pay for it. When I tell him I bought a ticket, he rolls his eyes as if I'm being silly.
Before the show, I jot down notes at a hotel bar. Alternating sips of my Moscow Mule and wondering why the fuck I chose a hotel bar. Broke people should not be paying $14 for a cocktail. The trouble with being productive, for me, is that I am generally unhappy with the work I produce, so work sessions usually end with me in an emotional tailspin. While I am fundamentally fine with being an emotional wreck - I live alone - like when I "fail" to do something on my task list, I'm trying to be okay with not producing "great" work. "I should hate the work today that I loved yesterday," I tell myself. "It's a sign of growth." "Ninety percent of success is just showing up" I say when I make myself post the work when it's done, even if I don't love it 100%. "Perfect is the enemy of good" I platitude. Ultimately, I know that my problem isn't bad work, I'm simply not putting in the effort and the best way to do that is to refine my process.