daria copy

Why you should watch cartoons as a productivity strategy

daria copy
This is Daria.

While I was writing the “Working with your Stuff” e-book, I watched (almost) the whole of “Hey Arnold!”.
(In fact, I am watching it right now)

While writing + launching my e-book “How to be OK with Yourself”, I watched the whole of “Daria”. Several times.
Then I got Daria to help me write the copy for the sales page.
(What? You don’t know “Daria”? How did you survive the “teenage years”?!?!”)

My (super supportive) friend who witnessed both my endless hours of pouring on my e-book in between my obsessive “Daria” consumption, was like… “W00t?!”.

My answer: “I’m under a lot of stress right now, what with doing something super scary. This calms me down.”

Points about this strategy

How does it work?

You watch cartoons, and then get back to work. Then watch cartoons some more, then get back to work.
That way you allow yourself to “panic” AND do the work.

It’s far more effective, in my experience, than trying to “get rid of the panic”. Which, let’s face it, may never actually happen.

If you’re into this line of thinking, you must check out Barbara Sher’s video.

“You wake up and you feel rotten? You know what? Too bad. You’ll still do what you have to do.”
Barbara Sher

Monsters and inner critics

You know those “inner critic” voices that say things like “this is pointless, this is stupid, you are a good for nothing, this has no value” etc?
They tend to go quiet when you are not working on your thing. So by “watching cartoons” while you’re working, you can quiet them down better. It’s as if you were saying “I’m not working or anything, I’m watching Daria”.

This strategy is more common than you think

In fact, you may be doing it already. Except, it’s not cartoons you use but “social media”.

Oh yeah, you know the deal. You start working on your thing, then all of a sudden you’re on Facebook, then Twitter, then Instagram, then e-mail, then back to Facebook. Nathalie Lussier put it better.

Well, cartoons work just as well. No, better. Because they have an end-point (unlike Twitter, which will go on until the end of time).

Cartoons have lots of super awesome qualities that are important and useful

Qualities such as:

+ Goodness prevails, always
+ There are no “outsiders”, everyone has a part to play (even Daria)
+ General kookyness and fun-ness that can spark your imagination and creativity
+ Underdogs tend to rise in the end (yeah!!!)
+ Timeless wisdom
+ Everyone has their own brand of weirdness (and it’s accepted)

These qualities are hard to find in the… “conventional” world. But they bring reassurance for me. They help me feel at “home”.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you do

So long as you keep coming back to your work without hating yourself for panicking or your work for bringing up panic.