Procrastination & Cramming

March 11, 2022

My nieces hard at work 😁

I just had a sudden mind-blowing realization today, as I was arranging my stuff for my activities for tomorrow. I was struggling with my workload for weeks now, and I'm doing my best to catch up with my tasks. Suddenly, this thought came over me: procrastination and cramming are activities for younger people.  I cannot afford to do those activities anymore.

Here are my reasons why:

Part of being an adult is being mature with our ways (that's the hope at the very least). We have more responsibilities at this stage and we can't waste our time doing senseless things like scrolling on SNS on the phone for hours. We have tasks and errands to complete.

Quality of Work
If you are working in the corporate world, chances are, you aim to go up the ranks. Of course, having a higher position means that you are expected to consistently deliver great quality of work amidst the added responsibility. In my case, developing solutions for software takes lots of time. I cannot cram making an implementation design because there is a high chance that I will miss some details. So I really need the time to do my work well.

Physical Limitations
I think this is the one that really hit home for me. Gone are the days that I can pull an all-nighter for a few days to cram a weeks-worth effort to finish a project. Today, with just one sleepless night, my body already feels the effect and I have no choice but to sleep for the rest of the day (and I still feel groggy for the next few days). I cannot put my body in that kind of stressful situation without feeling the consequences immediately after. So I really need to do what needs to be done on the allotted hours of the day.

Given the challenges that I have enumerated above, here are the solutions that has worked for me for numerous situations:

  1. Plan out the day. I love working with to-do lists since forever, and this activity is already part of my productivity hacks. It's more helpful now because I have more things on my plate so I really have to learn how to manage my time so I can have my work-life balance in place.
  2. Avoid distractions. I have to say it's challenging to stay away from SNS. But every time I successfully fought the urge to check on my phone, it gets easier the next time. I have found alternative ways to be entertained like reading a book or writing in my journal. Through these activities, the content to be consumed/created are finite and I can track my progress. Contrasting these with say scrolling on Facebook, we're dealing with an infinite feed that leads us to nowhere.
  3. Have Morning and Night Routines. Simple things like making your bed the instant you wake up or reading a book an hour before bed establishes healthy routines for the day. It also sets the tone that you are doing something right, which means it will be more probable that you will pick the healthier choices for the rest of the day (for the morning routines) and end them in a healthier way (for the night routines).
As much as these are my learnings that I want to share with you, they also serve as notes to myself in case I needed reminding in the future. The harsh realization that we cannot do certain things as before gives us the opportunity to treasure what we have and to recalibrate our ways. I hope this post stirred something inside you, as much as when these thoughts came to me. Cheers! 🥂

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