Doritos Make Me Look Lazy

 

I think this is probably the millionth time someone has commended me on my work ethic only to glance at my screen and see that I’m playing Tetris.

Or Dawn of War.

Or Civilization 4.

Dear Uncool Self: you should really have a hot-key set up to cover whatever game you happen to be playing so that when people walk by this doesn’t happen; like hit Command + 4 and a spreadsheet pops up or something. What looks productive? Maybe an email window?

But what if I’m not connected to the Internet? Shit, Uncool Self, get on this.

The thing is, I actually don’t fall prey to this beast of non-productivity very frequently. It’s just that when I do there always seem to be people around to judge me.

It’s not just the games, either.

They usually find me sipping a Sugar-Free Red Bull, huge bag of Doritos open at my side, telltale orange powder covering my fingertips. If there’s not a game on my screen, it’s some TV show that I’ve been watching episodes of for the last 2 hours.

I probably got them from some illegal streaming site, too. It’s seriously ALL bad news.

Don’t look at me.

It’s just that people don’t usually see all the productive moments. I can whip out an entire eBook in an alarmingly short amount of time, and a blog post – from conception to presentation – usually doesn’t take more than a half-hour, tops. Client projects generally go at a fast clip, as well.

And these days I’ve made a very conscious effort to relax and to do things non-work-related more frequently. I walk around whatever city I’m in, learning streets and trying to get lost. I slow myself down so that my usually quick walk is instead a rolling saunter.

How can I expect people to walk in on me at the right time when so much of my day is, at least visually, unproductive?

Maybe I’ll keep a bottle of Adderall next to my computer while I’m goofing off? No, then they’ll probably think I’m just trying to get high in addition to trying to beat my high score and increase my cholesterol. Shit.

The thing is, I probably shouldn’t even CARE whether or not people think I’m a busy person, but it’s been so ingrained in me it’s hard not to.

I come from a culture that values working late into the night, not having any time to bathe, much less eat, and that assumes anyone who isn’t working equally stringent hours must not be worth a damn.

This culture is, of course, the Entrepreneurs; a noble people who unfortunately have learned more lessons than we’d like to think from our Corporate ancestors.

The irony is that we have escaped from the corporate culture only to (in most cases) create mini corporations with the same strengths and weaknesses as the ones we left (except that we’re in charge now, so we get to be the ones to frustrate those lower down the ladder…that is until they follow our lead and take off, continuing the cycle).

Among the inherited values we’ve brought with us from the cubicles and board rooms is the ridiculous prioritization of time-spent over value-achieved.

So here I sit, one hand digging around a Doritos bag for a choicey morsel, the other hand click-clacking away at keyboard, looking for another episode of Project Runway, reminding myself that this state of being is a benefit that I’ve earned, not something to be ashamed of.

Okay, well, maybe I should get a smaller bag next time. This is kind of ridiculous.

27 comments

  1. Hey Colin, just have a couple things to say:

    1. Most of us read this blog because we can relate to you (we’ve started a business and are living the location independent lifestyle).

    or….

    2. Because we envy you and wish we could travel the world two.

    I fall in camp 2, but am moving steadily towards camp 1. However, you really need to put things into perspective. You’ve created a business that seems to be doing really, really well and you travel all over the world because you are financially able to.

    Who cares if people think you are lazy? Are the people you meet in the hostels, etc. nearly as successful as you? They may be able to travel far and wide for the short term, but you’ve made it possible to travel indefinitely.

    My advice: enjoy the cheetohs and Civilization 4 all you want knowing that you’ve put the blood, tears, and sweat into it to allow you to do so.

  2. Hey Colin, just have a couple things to say:

    1. Most of us read this blog because we can relate to you (we’ve started a business and are living the location independent lifestyle).

    or….

    2. Because we envy you and wish we could travel the world two.

    I fall in camp 2, but am moving steadily towards camp 1. However, you really need to put things into perspective. You’ve created a business that seems to be doing really, really well and you travel all over the world because you are financially able to.

    Who cares if people think you are lazy? Are the people you meet in the hostels, etc. nearly as successful as you? They may be able to travel far and wide for the short term, but you’ve made it possible to travel indefinitely.

    My advice: enjoy the cheetohs and Civilization 4 all you want knowing that you’ve put the blood, tears, and sweat into it to allow you to do so.

  3. This post is amazing, and describes a lot of my free time. Also the in-office time too, Since I’m the “specialist”over at my job, I usually have nothing to do. So I pop up a web page and my feeds and start reading away.

    I usually check tutorials, but from time to time I am actually checking feeds on games or tech that is not related to my work. Also the Exile Lifestyle, lol.

    I sometimes find myself hiding my window fast and so on, but my boss knows I have never failed a deadline and I never will. He is happy even when I’m probably checking twitter instead of coding that wordpress theme for the company.

    I wonder which games do you like my friend. If RTS is in your veins we may be able to hook a game some night.

    I guess we also need to learn that a lazy day is nothing to die for, in fact is our well earned prize. Great post man, made me laugh since it is very similar to what can happen to me.

  4. This post is amazing, and describes a lot of my free time. Also the in-office time too, Since I’m the “specialist”over at my job, I usually have nothing to do. So I pop up a web page and my feeds and start reading away.

    I usually check tutorials, but from time to time I am actually checking feeds on games or tech that is not related to my work. Also the Exile Lifestyle, lol.

    I sometimes find myself hiding my window fast and so on, but my boss knows I have never failed a deadline and I never will. He is happy even when I’m probably checking twitter instead of coding that wordpress theme for the company.

    I wonder which games do you like my friend. If RTS is in your veins we may be able to hook a game some night.

    I guess we also need to learn that a lazy day is nothing to die for, in fact is our well earned prize. Great post man, made me laugh since it is very similar to what can happen to me.

  5. I love Doritos and video games. By the way, preordered Star Craft 2, hope you’ve done the same

  6. I love Doritos and video games. By the way, preordered Star Craft 2, hope you’ve done the same

  7. That sounds so much like me. I absolutely love Doritos and Red Bull! That reminds me… Here in Canada Doritos is having a contest to name a new flavor and make a commercial for it. I would absolutely LOVE it if you could check out my entry and if you like it maybe pass it along for others? Every little bit helps and I could really use the $250K grand prize!

    http://bit.ly/bembg2

    ps: actually came to read your post, not just post that link. It just seemed like an opportune moment.

  8. That sounds so much like me. I absolutely love Doritos and Red Bull! That reminds me… Here in Canada Doritos is having a contest to name a new flavor and make a commercial for it. I would absolutely LOVE it if you could check out my entry and if you like it maybe pass it along for others? Every little bit helps and I could really use the $250K grand prize!

    http://bit.ly/bembg2

    ps: actually came to read your post, not just post that link. It just seemed like an opportune moment.

  9. I love it Colin :) I find myself getting stuck doing that all the time, like “you really should be doing more” when I’m automating things. The title of this one is amazing too, drew me in right away!

  10. I love it Colin :) I find myself getting stuck doing that all the time, like “you really should be doing more” when I’m automating things. The title of this one is amazing too, drew me in right away!

  11. To Richard,

    I definitely don’t think this is a serious concern of Colin’s; I think he really just wanted to call this mentality out, making a point that spans a far broader level, but doing so with a personal story…since that’s how he rolls.

    He damn well knows he isn’t lazy, and I’d argue that in reality, he actually doesn’t give a crap about what those people think.

    However, Colin, if I am wrong….please refer back to Richard’s comment. :p

  12. To Richard,

    I definitely don’t think this is a serious concern of Colin’s; I think he really just wanted to call this mentality out, making a point that spans a far broader level, but doing so with a personal story…since that’s how he rolls.

    He damn well knows he isn’t lazy, and I’d argue that in reality, he actually doesn’t give a crap about what those people think.

    However, Colin, if I am wrong….please refer back to Richard’s comment. :p

  13. One of you best posts, because I think all of us entrepreneurs do the same. Wether its the High School entrepreneur who’s mother thinks he spends too much time watching hulu (even though he made a $100 sale 10 minutes before) and he should get a normal job. To someone like you who is running his business on the road. Its all the same. Hopefully NZ is treating you well.

  14. One of you best posts, because I think all of us entrepreneurs do the same. Wether its the High School entrepreneur who’s mother thinks he spends too much time watching hulu (even though he made a $100 sale 10 minutes before) and he should get a normal job. To someone like you who is running his business on the road. Its all the same. Hopefully NZ is treating you well.

  15. I love the fact that you watch Project Runway.

    While I do not envy your world traveling, what I do envy is getting safely lost in a new place. That is definitely the best way to find your way around.

    Props to you for exploring new places! :)

  16. I love the fact that you watch Project Runway.

    While I do not envy your world traveling, what I do envy is getting safely lost in a new place. That is definitely the best way to find your way around.

    Props to you for exploring new places! :)

  17. Sounds exactly like me. I spend all my nights being productive and most morning, but somehow on the days I’m not (usually afternoons) people are around to comment. But enough people around me have realized that I get wayyy more done that they do so they leave it alone, but they do start saying it’s all due to the whole 2-hour sleep per day thing I do.

    This was the best part.

    “This culture is, of course, the Entrepreneurs; a noble people who unfortunately have learned more lessons than we’d like to think from our Corporate ancestors.

    The irony is that we have escaped from the corporate culture only to (in most cases) create mini corporations with the same strengths and weaknesses as the ones we left (except that we’re in charge now, so we get to be the ones to frustrate those lower down the ladder…that is until they follow our lead and take off, continuing the cycle).

    Among the inherited values we’ve brought with us from the cubicles and board rooms is the ridiculous prioritization of time-spent over value-achieved.”

  18. Sounds exactly like me. I spend all my nights being productive and most morning, but somehow on the days I’m not (usually afternoons) people are around to comment. But enough people around me have realized that I get wayyy more done that they do so they leave it alone, but they do start saying it’s all due to the whole 2-hour sleep per day thing I do.

    This was the best part.

    “This culture is, of course, the Entrepreneurs; a noble people who unfortunately have learned more lessons than we’d like to think from our Corporate ancestors.

    The irony is that we have escaped from the corporate culture only to (in most cases) create mini corporations with the same strengths and weaknesses as the ones we left (except that we’re in charge now, so we get to be the ones to frustrate those lower down the ladder…that is until they follow our lead and take off, continuing the cycle).

    Among the inherited values we’ve brought with us from the cubicles and board rooms is the ridiculous prioritization of time-spent over value-achieved.”

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