Last night, a friend and I briefly talked about procrastination.
My friend was getting overwhelmed with work again, and she said it’s because she got so used to cramming as a kid that she never outgrew the habit. Procrastination worked for her. She procrastinated her way through college, and she still graduated with honors plus some impressive extra-curricular achievements.
I crammed a lot too, although I didn’t graduate with medals. Fortunately, I think I was able to temper the habit even by just a tiny bit over the years.
When I was still a student in Pinas, I could afford to procrastinate because I never suffered any serious repercussions for not studying ahead of time. My grades weren’t stellar but I never failed a class. Sometimes luck was a huge factor too. A cancelled quiz, an extended due date, a postponed exam — deadlines almost always worked in my favor.
I started managing my time better only after I decided to pursue a career in STEM. Cramming an essay was nothing like studying for a calculus midterm — at least not for me. My mind was too slow for math, so I needed more time to understand a lesson, work on problem sets, and prepare for exams.
I still procrastinated but I was no longer a full-time loafer. Even now that I’m already working, I still actively try to stay on top of my tasks and track my deadlines. I have also reached a point in which I get frustrated whenever others don’t do the same.
Today, for instance, our team had a check-up meeting about one of our projects — let’s call it the Ninja Report. I was tasked to write the Ninja Report and I submitted it to a teammate for review last Thursday. A few minutes before today’s meeting — and the meeting was at 4:30 pm — my teammate got back to me with a list of errors she found on my report.
I’ll fix it, I told her, then we both joined the team call. During the meeting, I found that the Ninja Report was due tonight at midnight. The boss asked how long it would take me to fix the errors, and I was too rattled to tell them that, wait, I literally just got the feedback! So now I have to work overtime? And now you all think I’m dumb and lazy for not finishing this earlier?
Nakakaurat! I understand everyone’s busy, and my teammate probably assumed my Ninja Report was already seamless so she didn’t prioritize it. To be fair, I could have caught the errors myself if the QA code they gave me wasn’t buggy as fuck. I also told them about the bugs last week but, again, they didn’t have the time to investigate until today. Hayyy.
Anyway, I was able to fix the errors and I submitted it again a couple hours after the meeting. I was a ball of anxiety during that two-hour span. What if more errors come up? What if we don’t submit this shit on time? Juskulord. I already listed on a different notebook the lessons I learned from this experience — never again, man. Cramming hurts us more in the long run.