Busy doing nothing
Our columnist Claire Healy decides to knuckle down and overcome her tendency to procrastinate....by writing about procrastination
by Claire Healy
Thursday 4th October 2012, 13:32 BST
When I proposed writing a column on the subject of how easily I get distracted, I didn’t account for how this would impede my getting a column written at all. Between writing this first sentence and my next, I have watched a video of a husky puppy learning to climb stairs, read about Karl Lagerfeld’s cat – she likes iPads and lace (antique) – and learnt just how much K Mids lookalikes can earn a day (clue: a lot). Before I book in those extensions, however, there is yet a column to be conquered. Word count check and I’m a hundred down, but far from Crampton Colombus standards yet.
Thus, to get over a self-willed aptitude for, well, nothing, I decided it was high time to get down to doing some things. And as a new term dawns at the world’s most illustrious university – actually, the second, since MIT topped us (told you, stickler) – where better to begin than at the beginning. Life is short and Cambridge terms even shorter, and if I’m actually going to get anything done this time around it’s all in the preparation.
Millions of freshers embarking on their student career equals millions of hyperventilating mothers panic-purchasing rape alarms and tea-towel ten-packs. We brush them aside, ensuring them that ‘soon you won’t have any idea what I’m up to’ whilst rolling our eyes and blowing cigarette smoke in their face (probably). Truth is, three years down the line I can recognise the importance of packing right in order to live college life right. The following are some of the items I believe everyone should bundle in their bindle. Oh, and don’t say you’ll just buy these items once you’re in Cambridge, because between swap gear and bop gear, sonny, you just ain’t gonna have the time.
1. ALL the shoes.When I suddenly had the urge to get fit and go running in the New Year, I didn’t have any trainers with me, so I just didn’t go. This year my tasteful pink Reeboks are packed and field-ready. (Gym instalment to come. Gulp.) Boys: you might not deem heels an essential at this point, but as the Denim drag nights have proved for legions of alpha males, cross-dressing is the new shirt and chinos.
2. A potted plant. Not only will it give your room the aura of a dream corner office, but it presents a constant source of inspiration for the idle at heart. By removing CO2, emitting positive psychological effects and looking pretty, a well-placed potted plant screams ‘What have YOU done today?’
3. Tea-towels. I still feel bad for borrowing a neighbour’s tea towel in first term, first year. You know who you are.
Oh, and things you could do without so that you are not tempted to remain busy doing nothing: Downton Abbey box sets, slipper socks, all snooze buttons. In fact, maybe just don’t bring bedding at all. Have I gone crazy already? Am I soon to be replaced by a cat with an iPad?
Only the next eight weeks of self-transformation will tell…