The Delivery Guy syndrome, or as I used to call it until a good friend of mine suggested this much more suiting name, “The Courier Syndrome”, is the name I came up with for a condition that I’m sure most of us can relate to… unless your delivery guy just leaves your package on the porch and then goes on.
Now, for those of us who don’t have a porch and have to physically be there when the delivery guy comes, it’s a different story, especially when you’re self employed and you work from home like I do. The delivery guy syndrome is that specific state you are in when you know the delivery guy could show up at your door anytime from 9 to 6 so you can’t engage in quite a lot of activities.
I should start working on that extremely important project I have. But what if the delivery guy comes when I’m on the phone with my client receiving feedback?
Maybe I’ll just work on smaller projects, just to have something done. But what if the delivery guy comes while I’m focused and creative and ruins my productivity?
I should cross the street and buy something sweet. But what if the delivery guy comes when I’m at the cash desk and there’s a line in front of me?
I think I’ll take a shower. But what if the delivery guy comes while I’m all soaped up and I’d have to run downstairs with water and bubbles all over me?
Maybe I’ll just wash my hair really fast. But what if the delivery guy comes just after I’ve applied conditioner on my hair and I’d have to run downstairs looking like the girl from The Ring?
Maybe I’ll just… engage in random, not that engaging and time-consuming activities, so when the Delivery Guy comes, I’m ready for him. That’ll be efficient! And if you’re like me, and you hope you’ll be lucky and be done with the delivery guy by 10, maybe 11, but usually end up waiting until 6 or 6:30 (Academic half?), you will have done nothing all day. Nothing! You sit there in a state of despair where the efficient part of you craves any type of activity, but you are unable to engage in any so you just check your facebook, roam around the house, check instagram, check facebook again (cause who knows, 5 minutes have passed already, so maybe someone got engaged or something) and so on.
It’s like you’re procrastinating against your will, which is the only acceptable way of procrastination.
Now, from my experience, The Delivery Guy syndrome can be encountered in the human species in two cases, the first one being when you’re actually waiting for the delivery guy. On a more serious note, the second encounter of the syndrome is when you’ve been in a routine for a very long time, and that routine unexpectedly stops. It doesn’t matter if it’s work routine or a “before sleep” routine, it can be about any of its kind you might have, because we all have one, no matter how chaotic we think we live our lives. When it comes to cognitive load, there’s three types of it:
- Intrinsic, which has to do with the amount of effort and difficulty a specific topic requires.
- Extraneous, associated with the searching and organization of information and it has to do with the way the information is presented to a learner.
- Germane, which refers to the effort required for processing, construction and automation of schemas, meaning it has to do with the effort required to organize information.
(If you’re like me you’ll probably google for more information, which I highly recommend because while I am a google and wikipedia addict, I’m not as smart as the list sounds.)
Cognitive load and having no routine go together hand in hand because you have no plan for the day and you’re struggling to create a plan, therefore you’re losing energy and efficiency daily. If you did have a routine but it suddenly and unexpectedly stopped because of different causes (going on a vacation is an exception), you are cognitively loaded and your brain is also somehow freaking out and trying to grasp on something to do, to fill the empty holes in your schedule. And that’s when the Delivery Guy syndrome comes in, because your brain overlaps the old schedule routine with a new one that isn’t even outlined. And if you can’t force yourself to schedule the rest of the day, you just end up procrastinating, because you’re not really sure when that new unknown to-do will come and stop you from procrastinating. What you’re doing is, you’re avoiding engaging into activities because you constantly feel like something might show up or down upon you, which sounds dreadfully similar to the Delivery Guy Syndrome.
Or, you know, you might be the kind of person that embraces these circumstances with a glass of wine and Netflix in bed. In which case, you probably shouldn’t worry about the delivery guy syndrome, unless you’ll be drunk shopping from Amazon tonight.