Many people have asked me whether it’s difficult to work and travel all the time like I do, and my answer is always the same: You just have to discipline yourself and work wherever you are! After having this conversation yet again yesterday, I decided to make it easier for everyone to visualize the process, by chronicling a typical morning for me.
— WAKE UP! … at 11 a.m. (after nodding off sometime around 6 in the morning, having dropped Tylenol PM in desperation around 4:30. Circadian biorhythms that do not coincide with the time zone where one is — which, today, is Buenos Aires — are among the drawbacks of constant movement).
— Teeth/ face/ hair/ contacts.
— Change from sleeping lululemon yoga pants into … waking lululemon yoga pants (bought at the source: Vancouver!).
— (Today I’m gonna be SO PRODUCTIVE!)
— Check Facebook. Giggle. Frown. “Like” things. Make pithy comments. Check Wonkette, check HuffPo. Cluck disapprovingly at story about National Enquirer running a cover photo of Whitney Houston in her coffin, while simultaneously clicking all the various links I need to click in order to view said photo. (She looked great.) Read my horoscope. (Today I’m gonna KILL IT!)
— Go downstairs, chat with friend in whose house I am currently crashing (a fabulous, internationally acclaimed artist), who is busy sewing bits of paper together. We discuss current events. We discuss our day ahead. (Both of us: Gonna PRODUCE! Great stuff! All day!)
— I head out. Go directly to cafe suggested by friend. Discover too late that it is less of a cafe, and more of a fabulous artisan chocalatier with a very limited menu. (Danger!) Realize I should leave immediately because really good chocolate is one of my Kryptonites; however, decide that I am obligated to stay because: a) I don’t want to disappoint my friend and b) they already saw me walk in and I can’t just leave because that would be rude and c) I will be so busy KILLING IT today with all my productivity that I won’t have the time nor the mental energy to peruse the vast glass counter filled with truffles and bonbons and all sorts of delectable hand-crafted chocolate treats and delights in hundreds of shapes and sizes and flavors and varieties.
— Look around for a work space. The place looks like a Victorian romance novel threw up all over it: shades of pink and cream, prim marble-topped tables and crystal waterfall light fixtures and lampshades smothered in silk roses, elaborate spinning tabletop carousels, and fussy quilted reproduction Louis XIV chairs and settees and ottomans — upholstered either in Pepto pink velvet or pink-and-white toile. Beribboned carousel ponies and flowered teacups are painted on the windows. Along the front window are four barber’s chairs with violent pink-and-white stripes lined up along a long counter, and it is here where I sit and pull out my iPad and prepare for my day ahead … which? Is gonna be fabulous. And productive.
— Examine limited menu. Order eggs Benedict and coffee.
— Check Facey again. Update my status.
— Time to KILL IT. Open “Notes” to see my to-do list. The “Note” on top is not my to-do list for today, however, but a list of books I’ve been interested in reading. Oooh! Remember I have no unread books on my iPad. This is bad, terrible in fact, for someone who travels a lot, even though I’m stationary at the moment, but HEY I will be traveling again in a few days, and I will require books!
— Spend four minutes on iBooks downloading two books (categories: Spirituality and Horror), then spent the next 26 minutes browsing the online bookstore.
— My breakfast arrives sometime in this time span. Either there has been a gross breakdown in translation (possible), or Argentines interpret eggs Benedict as a single fried egg on top of sweet French toast alongside four wet arugula leaves (also possible). Coffee is good though.
— Time to kill it! Open document from client. Realize I need a more advanced spreadsheet-editing app than the one I have on my Pad, if I want to complete my work as efficiently as possible. Which of course I do, as I am productivity machine.
— Search online through several iPad forums to research the best app for what I need. (I have to be diligent about this! I can’t just pick any one! My productivity is on the line here!) Learn that what I want is Quickoffice and that it is $10. A bargain! Click link in forum which takes me to Quickoffice web site. The site says the app is now $15. Still reasonable! Click download link and am taken to App Store where it is now $20. WTF. Click Buy. With this new technology I can WORK AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT.
— While app is downloading, check Facey. Note who “liked” my status. Note who has posted since I updated my status but did not “like” it.
— Quickoffice app has downloaded. Still checking Facey. Read a couple of news articles. Read the comments below the articles. Roll eyes at moron commenters while mentally composing the indignant responses I would post if my comments weren’t visible to my friends on Facey.
— Sneak a glance behind me, at chocolate counter. Look back down at Pad. Look at counter. Look at Pad. Look at counter. Pad. Counter.
— Decide I want a flash mob doing the Electric Slide and a Soul Train line at MY funeral. Ponder whether I should write my wishes down and have them notarized and delivered to next of kin, otherwise I might have a basic garden-variety funeral with lots of crying and solemnity, which would be unacceptable. Ponder death, meaning of life, importance of ritual. Look over at chocolate counter again.
— I need distractions! Go back to Facey. Someone has posted the new Gorillaz track featuring James Murphy and Andre3000. Go to SoundCloud. Do I want the SoundCloud iPad app? Well, yeah! Download.
— Look at chocolate counter again. Notice that, as per Argentine custom, no server has acknowledged or approached me in the past hour to remove my dishes or find out if I want more coffee, which I do. Become annoyed. Drum fingers. Look at chocolate counter. Ooh, are those …? No. No!
— I need distractions. Check on progress of SoundCloud download. Done! Listen to new Gorillaz song. So good. Post it on Facey.
— Decide the waitress has forgotten me entirely and that I must therefore approach the counter. Instead of ordering another coffee as planned, find myself ordering box of assorted truffles. Danger! In panic, blurt out that I would like to pay my check and leave. Fork over an inordinate amount of pesos for a bad breakfast, good coffee, and what I am assuming are great chocolates. Snatch little gilt box from saleswoman after admitting they are not a gift — yes lady, you heard me correctly, they’re for ME — and scurry from cafe/chocolatier.
— Decide everything went to hell today due to my initial bad decision to work in the wrong type of cafe, and that I must now go out in this beautiful day, with the sun shining and birds chirping frantically, to find the correct type of cafe for my work output and well-being, one with healthy salads and bubbly water and no distractions. It is only 2:30 p.m.! Plenty of time to be productive today.