Archive | August, 2016

Why Rhi Rhi is wrong about Work, work, work

19 Aug

I, like Rihanna, am addicted to being productive. Her lyrics suggest she’s in it for the output (cash money), whereas I’m more in it for the thrill. Check-marking ‘to do’ list items makes me giddy. I should consider a flashier addiction, say dirt biking or surfing. Even corn hole might be better. Instead, I remain bound to mundane task completion. Does my posture of busyness actually make me more productive? Does my brain function as well when I’m constantly rehearsing the items I have yet to finish? Or am I in fact preventing creative thought, and avoiding, well, living?

The failure of my notebook organization confirms that the checklist, hyper-organized mindset is not sustainable. I want each notebook to have a specific, undeviating purpose. Nevertheless, my lab notebook is sprinkled with sketches and grocery list add ons. My prayer journal includes workout routines, a pitch for why processed foods aren’t so bad, and a Matlab tutorial. As much as I would like to neatly focus different categories of my life, it can’t be done. Thoughts and ideas get interrupted. I am distraction-prone. Perhaps, like my notebooks, my brain needs diversions, and space to wander. Last October, journalist Bethany McLean confessed in a Linkedin article: “I am not productive. In fact, some times I waste entire days…I read things that have nothing to do with my work. I day dream. A lot.”

It’s true. Some days, being productive is impossible. Some days you’re just trying to figure out what to do next, and other days the task at hand is too large, too scary, or too full of unknowns. Yet instead of worrying about wasting time or being permanently stymied, what if we rested? What if we were OK with loose ends and unfolded laundry? My, and America’s, “culture of busy” is soul-damaging. “[People are] busy because of their own ambition or drive or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence.” said Tim Kreider in his 2012 NY Times article, The Busy Trap

When I was a kid, I had a silly idea that whenever I got bored, twirling around in circles would keep me entertained. Now, I’m spinning in circles and afraid to stop. If I can’t come to terms with doing less, or nothing at all, I’m defining myself based on my output, which is absurd. Recognizing this tendency is a good first step.

Call it ironic, but today’s recipe will actually fuel your productivity, hehe. It’s two varieties of a simple protein smoothie, perfect for before, during, or after an intense workout.



15 g Optimum Nutrition double rich chocolate chocolate whey protein powder (or whatever brand of chocolate protein powder you have)

1/2 banana

1/2-1 Tbs. cocoa powder

3-4 ice cubes

1/2-1 cup water

1/2 cup 1% milk

dash of salt

dash of vanilla





15 g Optimum Nutrition vanilla ice cream whey protein powder

1 peach, skinned and sliced

3-4 ice cubes

1/2-1 cup water

1/2 cup 1% milk

1/2 cup 1% milk

dash cinnamon

dash salt


DIRECTIONS: For both smoothies types, place all ingredients in blender. Blend until combined. Place in freezer for 15-30 min. if desire colder smoothie.