I suffer from a condition rather common among my peers: lazy workaholism.
It sounds like a paradox, but then again, isn’t everything a paradox? Including life itself…
Okay, but that discussion is a little too deep for today. Lazy workaholism, on the other hand, is actually pretty simple, however destructive it might be. Let’s break it down:
Lazy. That part’s pretty easy. If I had my way, I would sleep til 10 every morning, spend the first hour and a half browsing Tumblr or spending quality time with Netflix, before eating some doughnuts and moving to the couch, to watch some more Netflix. Come mid-afternoon I’d probably want to get up and do something, maybe hang out with friends or write a little bit, but halfway through I’d get tired and end up on Pinterest, or, worse, aimlessly scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed.
Workaholic. Also pretty self-explanatory. I try to fill my schedule with as much as possible: classes, two or three extra-curriculars, a job…anything to keep me busy and constantly on the move. I keep my phone by my side at all times (even right now, with the battery half dead, I’ve got it hooked up to my computer so I won’t miss any texts from friends or, more importantly, reminders of things I need to do). My computer is always in my schoolbag, so I can fill every spare second with productivity of some sort, whether that means sending emails, writing papers or working on my novel.
Lazy workaholic. Not as simple to break down. I want to be constantly busy and working, while at the same time sprawled on the couch watching tv.
How on earth are these two things supposed to work together? For the most part, it means I spend half my time working so hard I forget about everything else, and the other half chewing my lip raw with anxiety because I’m not doing something but I should because if I don’t do something right now this very second then my whole future will explode in front of me and shower to earth in particles around me while hyenas cackle in the distance so I need to go do something, I need to work, I need…
That internal monologue is the reason I rarely watch tv without doing something else. Whether that means multitasking my time-wasting favorites (tv and social media), or writing papers, novels and blog posts while watching tv or inviting friends over to watch a tv show and splitting the time between watching and catching up, I’m always doing something to make me feel less guilty about wasting time.
Another personal favorite is to turn pleasure activities into work. Oh, you want to run a blog? THIS IS YOUR NEW JOB AND YOU MUST DO IT EVERY DAY. You want to read a book? Well, good, reading will sharpen your mind and DO IT NOW IF YOU’RE NOT READING YOU’RE SLACKING. You want to hang out with friends and catch up? Gotta find some way to make it work-related or else how can you justify it to yourself?
So there it is. The essence of a lazy workaholic. The constant internal dialogue that consists about arguments over whether or not down-time is warranted. The aversion to free time and the dragging-down of an overcrowded schedule. The tug-of-war between wanting to spend a whole summer curled up on the floor watching seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and a summer working a part-time job and an internship and taking on any other job that might come up.