Facebook is the New Smoke Break

July 24, 2012

I read an article the other day that said people who take breaks to look at Facebook during the day are some astronomical percentage more productive than those that don’t.  I won’t quote the percentage here, because I honestly can’t remember it, and I don’t want false information held against me.  I was sitting on my couch when I came across the number, and of course, I instantly yelled out my new found fact to the closest person who would listen, who happened to be my severely put upon husband who was sitting next to me.  And this happened:

Hubby:It’s like when they took smoke breaks.

Me: Facebook is the new smoke break?

Hubby (pointing at a finger at me): That’s a blog post.

And so I am writing a blog post about the new smoke break.  But I’m going to push the topic up one notch.

Did you ever pull an all nighter?  Whether in college or for a project at work that just had to get done?  Did you consume so much coffee that you thought your head would explode and your hands would rattle off your arms leaving bleeding stumps to wail about in horror?  Did Pop-Tarts and Cheetos take on the form of super food, and did the late night pizza delivery guy serve as the best man at your wedding?

Well, I need to confess.  I’ve never pulled an all nighter.  I realized very early on there would be no point.  My brain only functions for a span of about 45 minutes before it needs a smoke.  My attention span is just that small.

So at the risk of my employer seeing this, I will say it.  I check Facebook during the day.  I also look at personal email and make personal phone calls.  I also use the bathroom one floor below my office just so I can run my body up and down the stairs.  And I can safely say I’m the most productive person in the world.

Now, that is quite a statement, and I do have to qualify it.  I cannot claim to be the most productive person in the world because I check Facebook.  Although, Facebook would probably like to use that as a marketing slogan.  (Does Facebook even need marketing?)  I have to layer my Facebook checking with the fact that I come from a family that never quits until long after the sun sets.  Here’s another conversation between the hubby and me.  I have to preface this by saying I grew up in the jingweed on a lake, and my dad still lives there.  Observe:

Me: Will we send our kids to camp?

Hubby: Of course, camp is fun.

Me: Oh, we could send them to my dad’s for the summer.

Hubby: No, we’re not sending them to work camp.

So maybe I’m just the most productive in the person in the world because I don’t know how to stop.  Except wait.  That’s it exactly.  I do know how to stop, and that’s the very point.

Take this summer for example.  I told myself, Jess, you’re taking the summer off.  Absolutely no writing.

So I stopped.  I said no writing until September.  I thought I would treat myself to school shopping, buy some new crayons and No. 2 pencils, and I would sit down at my desk and write.

It happened.  For all of three weeks.  And then I had an idea.  An idea that turned into 15,000 words in less than a week.

But you saw it, right?

I took a three week break because I knew I was burned out.  And what happened?  15,000 words erupted from my fingertips.  No coffee, no Cheetos, no pizza delivery guy.  And I sleep a solid 7 hours a night.  Okay, it’s more like 10 hours if you count the ones where I sleep on the couch with the TV on using my hubby as a pillow.

So what am I saying here?

Knock it off.  Get up from your desk.  Walk away from the manuscript that is covered in red ink.  Put down that laundry basket.  The dirty underwear will not runaway with the garbage that needs to be taken out.

Sit down.  Stand up.  Open a window and tell me what it feels like to have the wind blow across your skin.  Look up and find six clouds that look like cartoon characters from your childhood.  Walk around your neighborhood and judge all of your neighbors’ gardens because you can.

And when you’re done, update your Facebook status.

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