The Broken Line of Productivity

The Broken Line of Productivity

The videos are starting to come up, and the art work is building. I’m super excited and at the same time I feel like I should be producing more. I’ll get there, I always do, but it’s interesting how the productivity graph is never a nice, predictable line.

Some of this must be from having grown up in Pakistan. I can’t remember a time when my life wasn’t interrupted by “real life”. Things like, sitting down for a geography exam, only to have it interrupted by an emergency evacuation because a bomb threat was called in. Or, trying to meet a deadline when monsoon season hits. Two days of rain and 5 days without electricity can really hamper productivity, and yet, Karachi manages to prevail against all odds. Karachiites prevail, in spite of the broken infrastructure, the violence, the heavily intertwined social lives that demand that you stop and care for your loved ones no matter what.

The idea that a person can work “no matter what” is an unrealistic and soul-destroying concept, because we are not robots, and no amount of discipline can make us that way. The trick here, is to find that organic way of working so that all the work that needs to be done, gets done.

This is what I’ve been forced to discover since Oct 1st. Good news though, I’ve actually still managed to do things. Bad news, I haven’t recorded it as well.

But that’s okay! Nobody can do everything all the time. Staying realistic is the best way to ensure productivity through an extended period of time. And, breaks are important.
As quite a few people have reminded me, I’ve been going a 101 mph since 2012, and I need this sabbatical. Not only to kickstart my work towards a new set of research goals, but also to reboot my creative self so I can be enthusiastic and not crazy.

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