October 4, 2011, 11:55 am

In the Chronicle yesterday, there was a nice piece about “procrastination productivity” that several of my friends posted to Facebook – about all the things you get done because they are a distraction from the real things you have to get done, and while they make you look like you are being productive, you know the truth.

Gray cat sleeping on open laptop computerI am very familiar with that tactic, but I have another one that’s even worse. Fake productivity, or “fauxductivity” as I like to think of it, is where you surround yourself with accoutrements of productivity and busyness so not only does it look like you are busy and important but you are hoping to trick your brain into acknowledging the need to get work done and then spend extra time doing it.

I am in a very importantly busy stage at work right now, and I have given in to my favorite fauxductivity trick (well, it’s less of a trick and more of an affectation): I start carrying around folders full of manuscripts, etc. at all times. Most of my purses are large enough to hold file folders for just this purpose. I take my work home with me, to the grocery store with me, to the doctors’ office, wherever I go. Because you never know when an unexpected burst of productivity might strike, and you have to be prepared!

Not once has this little trick actually resulted in getting any real work done… but hey, you never know.

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