Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Another Productivity Hack

So do you know how you often go, “I’ll just browse the Web / check Facebook / see what’s on Twitter / watch a bit of YouTube for 10 minutes and then work”? And the “then work” part never arrives as you are stuck on Facebook or YouTube for the next 4 hours?

So what you should do the next time is say “I’ll just open my book / document / article, etc and look at it for 10 minutes and then go do Facebook and YouTube. ”

Worst-case scenario, you’ll do 10 minutes more work than you’d do otherwise. Best-case scenario, you’ll get into it and do more than 10 minutes of work. 

The Helpful Negative 

It’s very important to read the right thing at the right time. I’ve been wondering if too much ambition was not a good thing, if striving and wanting more should stop at some point, and then I read this article and realized that the alternative to wanting more is becoming a thwarted, verbose, yelping loser like the linked author. And that really helped to clear things out.

Sometimes a negative example is as helpful as a positive one. When you see what you don’t want to be, that’s as helpful as knowing what you do want. 

Sparkly Baby

Klara is so funny. I wore long dangling earrings to the Leadership Institute. Klara was very interested in the earrings. She touched and studied them for a long time. And then she started touching her own earlobes as if to check whether sparkly, dangly things had grown out of them, too. 

Trump Traveling 

During my talk at the Leadership Institute, people shared that traveling overseas has been difficult since last summer because wherever you go, people question you in accusatory tones about Trump. 

Delayed Turntable Gratification 

Turns out that the turntable doesn’t make any but the quietest sounds without speakers. That have to be bought separately. 

Totally dig the “and now buy a ton of extra shit to make your gadget work” thing. 

P.S. Anti-resentment

With a little baby, especially, there are always dozens of little things that you need to do that can eat your life and make you feel resentful. Narrating what you did to each other and getting signs of appreciation for everything really helps. 

An Anti-resentment Policy

Every day I list for N everything I did around the house in minute detail.

“And then I washed the bottles. And sanitized the bottles. And washed the bedding in the pram. And remade the bed in the pram. And made the fresh puree. And put it into the little receptacles. And made labels for the receptacles.”


And N gets to listen attentively and express gratitude and admiration. 

I’ll be damned if I turn into one of the women who do a million things like that but nobody notices and they feel taken for granted and unappreciated. 

It sounds weird, it does, but it’s miles better than the alternative. 

New Skills

Just when I congratulated myself on Klara’s not knowing how to remove her hat, she immediately learned to remove it. 

I love it when she masters new skills because she does it with a very casual, matter-of-fact look. 

The Shockingly Truthful Bill 

Obama care premiums will rise by 22%. So why did everybody rag on Bill Clinton for saying that Obama care is a mess?

Bill Clinton, by the way, is the only person on the political scene who is not offering up lies about returning back to the nation-state model. He isn’t running for anything and he lets useful, honest things slip out. I dislike him profoundly but he’s worth listening to. 

Everybody else is pandering and lying because voters don’t want the truth. It’s shocking that Bill Clinton is suddenly the most honest person around. 

Working Styles

I call this genius gif “working alone vs working on a committee.”

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