Thursday, January 05, 2006

Breakdown or Just Offline?

I like to think offline. Wait...one minute...scratch the word like and replace it with "need".

I have always been an offline thinker. I do not study by agonizing over notes and text--I read everything in short segments once and then walk away from my books to do some random chore, take a bath, or read a few pages of a book. When I come back, it's somehow all there in place.

When I write, I am never at the computer. I am washing dishes or playing with the dog outside.

When people talk to me about ideas, I stare at them blankly. At no point do I feel like I have processed what they just said. In fact, I probably would have difficulty repeating what we had just discussed. I let them know that I have to go do something else, and I will have an opinion or suggestion when I get back. Some people find that odd or annoying or maybe just plain inefficient.

I believe in the power of offline productivity. You may have to wait--there may be an unbearable delay--but you will get top-notch productivity in exchange for your patience.

It's difficult to explain to my husband, when he comes home and finds me covered in a blanket, from head to toe, in front of the TV, that I am writing a grant.

I may also have been having a nervous breakdown, given the tears and the gasping for breath, but that's when I do my best work.

It's weird...this thing called the brain.

7 Comments:

At 8:43 PM, Blogger Murky Thoughts said...

Are you getting enough vitamin C? Maybe it's scurvy. Chew a few and blog us in the morning.

 
At 9:19 PM, Blogger post-doc said...

I tend to do the same thing at times. I'll sometimes be able to keep pace with ideas and thoughts, but other times require time to process subconsciously. It was my favorite napping excuse in grad school!

 
At 7:15 AM, Blogger James said...

Unfortunately there's not nearly as much appreciation for your thought process in your world in particular, and the world I came from, as one would hope. We favor those who immediately process, who have the answer right then and there. A good example of a journal club presentation, or in my experience a briefing. If you're not there, in the moment, with all 4, 6, or 8 cylinders firing (alas, some of us only have 2 ... ), able to respond to the flow and hue of the encounter, you're crucified. Of course that situation is one you can do a great deal of pre-presentation legwork for and if you're good at anticipating what comes up you can keep your head above water. But then I've seen folks who I knew were good, had great ideas, freeze when put in the spotlight, and in turn be thought less of in the process, all because of their performance.

 
At 9:30 AM, Blogger Jessica said...

Hey, whatever works for ya, right?

When I "break down", I get so spastic, I don't see how an ounce of productivity can possibly come from it - but I stress often offers me a good source of motivation. I do good work when I feel a bit of pressure.

 
At 5:08 PM, Blogger trisha said...

You are fucking hilarious.

 
At 7:16 PM, Blogger Katie said...

Sometimes I have the need to work "offline" as well. There are times I do my best writing watering my plants. I really enjoy reading your entries.

 
At 12:48 PM, Blogger sue said...

I'm like that, too... and then sometimes I don't get it down before it slips away. Wonder what THAT is called? Hmmm....

 

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