How to Dupe Your Mind Into Taking an Evening Off

And beat the pesky itch of productivity

Debdutta Pal
Apr 2 · 4 min read
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

I’ve been struggling to control my mind of late. It’s been slippery, quick, and confident being on its own. And now that I spell it out, it sounds like I am describing an eel.

Anyways, the thing is, it refuses furiously to commit to anything, whether writing, cooking, or taking some time off.

That last one is a big surprise for me, as I’ve always considered it to be an exceptional skill. No matter what is happening in my life, or if the world is ending, I could always grab my blanket, play a movie, and flop on my bed.

Without that security of easily attainable comfort, I’ve been adrift, and I am too exhausted to find out why.

Instead, I’ve been working on creating an elaborate scheme for tricking my mind into taking some rest. That’s another one of my unique abilities, I may not always follow through with execution, but I can plan the shit out of anything.

I once spent thirty days planning my own Birthday, excluding the travel, gifts, and other essential bits. So you get the idea.

Surprisingly, I came up with it pretty quick, and now I wish I would have thought of this before. Stop it, stop this train of thought. It’s not good for you. Three, two, one, and now I’m distracted again. Silver linings and all that.

I am window shopping for some comfy cotton t-shirt dresses, my only fashion choice for this year. Wonder which color complements my bedspread…..

  • Activate Procrastination Mode. Stare at your clock, and tell yourself that you will start at the next round figure. Like right now, it’s 3:12, so I will plan my next task at 3:30. But, if the video I’m watching extends to 3:37, I will push it to 3:50.
  • The proverbial tomorrow will never arrive, and I wouldn’t have to deal with the guilt of not doing anything for the time being.
  • Decide what to watch next on Netflix. Want an hour to fly by without any distractions that bring you back to reality? Put your phone on silent, grab some popcorn and play Scroll-Trailer-Swipe.
  • Aggravate your physical ailments. If you, like me, haven’t moved around much in the last 15 days (or a year), different parts of your body will be stiff. My right shoulder is tight and achy. I’ll purposefully lie down on the wrong side and remain in a bad posture to worsen the pain.
  • Then I’ll inform my mind that I’m physically ill and need a sick day. It tends to believe my body much more than my mental health issues.
  • Watch others have an uber-productive day. If you want to increase your self-loathing dosage and feel like a useless sack of potatoes, there’s no quicker way to achieve that than watching an “a productive day in my life” video on Youtube.
  • Seeing someone finish an enormous list, which will at best take me three days to complete, really hits the sweet spot. I can lie in bed, in peace, because no matter what I do when I get up, I will never be enough.
  • Push Anxiety over the middle part of the curve. When my Anxiety breaks in, it causes quite the commotion. It calls me worthless and proceeds to whip me into doing something constructive.
  • I overload the system by showing it how much I have to get done, throw in a few questions like how does one article matter anyway with my current rut of low views and remind it about the tasks already missed this week.
  • Soon it slumps down beside me, exhausted from my fired thoughts. It enters the tranquil space of giving up.

I haven’t been doing well in 2021. February onwards, a sense of ennui has hit, where before taking on any task, I find myself asking “Why?” — a lot, and without a satisfactory answer.

I literally shout it to my empty room, with sincerity, as if it was a critical dialogue in a play, and nothing talks back. Phew, it would be damn scary if anything did.

In March, I knew that I could benefit from taking some of the pressure off, focusing on myself, fixing my sleep schedule, and just resting for concrete blocks of time. But my mind wouldn’t concur.

I couldn’t watch a 20-minute episode without getting distracted.

I had to force myself to sit in one place for more than a few minutes and lately have been doing two things at a time to keep my mind from running busy, such as watching an episode on my Laptop and a video on my phone.

Finally, I had had enough and decided to morph my techniques into the shape of a listicle. I figured if it exists on the internet, it must be true, and my mind would be forced to take note.

Subsequently, I pondered, why let my efforts go to waste by using my material for only one purpose? And thus, I chose to publish it here.

So when in need, kindly refer to these very out-of-the-box ideas for taking some much-needed time off, or if you prefer a more glamorous term, some “Me Time.”

I would print them out if I was you.

The Haven

A Place to Be Funny Without Being a Jerk

Debdutta Pal

Written by

For 27 years, I lived somebody else’s life. Now reclaiming what is rightfully mine, one story at a time. Support me:

The Haven

A Place to Be Funny Without Being a Jerk

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