The clock. It hangs in the bottom right-hand corner of my screen. I stare at it, but it stares back with menace. I stare harder, willing it to stop, but it refuses. My eyes sluggishly rise to the window in front of me. The warm glow of the sun fills my room, and the trees sway silently in the afternoon breeze. I can feel the hot stare of the clock burn into my face.
A minute passes.
I write a word. I stop and stare. I write a sentence. I stop. It stares.
Five minutes pass.
I am blank. My eyes glaze over and I stare blindly outside, daring my thoughts to wander. I sit motionless, not a single idea entering my head. My sentence seems irrelevant and daft. It is mocking me.
Thirty minutes pass.
I reach beside me for a post-it note and scribble “stop procrastinating!” in large, bold letters. I stick it over the glaring clock and immediately feel more accomplished. The constant ticking of time still drives my motivation, but in a manageable form. I reach for the blinds, shutting the sun from my desk and my eyes settle on the near-empty document.
I begin with dot points and my argument steadily appears. With structure and direction my unwritten essay falls into place like a puzzle, waiting to be completed. I power on and begin to glance at the post-it note less and less.
I am consumed. A steady stream of words begins to drip and then gush from my mind. My fingers tap melodically, as sentences and paragraphs appear on the screen. I am in a trance, engulfed by a concentration deep and undisturbed. The noise of roaring trucks and screeching brakes filter vaguely in from outside, but are not recognised. My mind buzzes with movement, leaping from thought to thought, searching for the right words.
The whir in my head slackens, and I slowly return to consciousness, breaking from my deep concentration. I add the final full-stop, satisfied with my work. Leaning back, I stretch my neck and yawn loudly. Gazing around, I return to the same dull room that I left and the outside noises seep into my brain. I tug at the blinds expecting distractions to flood in.
I’m met with darkness.
My eyes dart to my post-it note. I remove it, but the clock seems more subdued and content, watching me from afar but not governing my movements.