Instant Gratification Monkey GO AWAY!

Procrastination has reached a whole new level! I remember writing a blogpost about Hacktoberfest (I never ended publishing it) on the 1st of October, about how this month is going to be a super productive month. It's the 17th today, and it feels like I wrote that post just yesterday. But wait, it also feels like it has been an eternity of me doing absolutely nothing since I wrote it. Except wait, I finally finished reading The Catcher in the Rye, saw every episode of Minute Physics, discovered a lot of new music, and many random articles on HN.

Back to the beginning of October. I had it all sorted - I penned down goals alright, I made plans - I have a nice little 10x5cm diary I write my tasks in (I used to use Keep, but I feel writing down what you want helps much more). It was all going to be perfect. I was glad I knew exactly what I'd do.

But here's why things didn't work out.

List of things to do:

Task DeadlinePriorityWillingness
Boring assignment that'll take 12-24 hours of work (about 2-3 days of work)2 weeks ago V High Extremely boring
Some more boring assignments that'll take 4-8 hours of work Day after tmrw Medium Fairly boring
Campus Hiring - study for interview In 2 weeksHigh Okayish 
Exam and viva upcoming In 1.5 weeks Medium Fairly uninteresting
Other trivial tasks - like getting clothes washed, replying to fan mail yada yada None Very low Moderately enjoyable
Long term project I've been working on and off for over 6 months None Low Extremely fun

This list is there. We know exactly how to plan the month out, and things will go great! But nope.
I had time from the beginning of October to complete the boring assignment. I could've studied a little bit at the start of the month, just a day or so. I planned to spend an hour studying for the interview each day, and the rest, I'd invest in working on my extremely enjoyable long term project.

But that never happened! For the first 5 days, all I did was work on the interesting project and play a lot of football - and reply to a lot of fan mail (I get a lot from my Android app, LifeHacks). But then I looked at my list, and realized its time to stop working on my interesting project because I had to work on the boring assignment - so I switched back to Windows, no more coding. All this, just to find myself spending hours on YouTube every day. I even read two books in less than a week. 1.5 weeks in, and I realize I have my exams coming up - but oh shit, I still haven't completed my boring assignment, and the other fairly easy but boring work. I put that aside for some more time and promised to complete it after my exams.
But then there's the viva, and then the campus hiring interview, and ahhhh! We're right at where we were at the start of October! 

So I didn't work on my interesting project because I had the boring assignment to work on. I didn't work on the boring project, because, well, YouTube, and books, and because Ted talks are so much more interesting. And now I feel miserable.

So, we know what went wrong.
Here's what I was missing. Return/Relief/Satisfaction. The boring work is usually the one that gives most satisfaction - because once you're done with it, your mind is free of all the load that boring assignment was carrying.
Had I just done the boring things on time and not pushed deadlines, I'd be a happy man. I'd have all the time in the world to work on my project, study for the interview, and ace (not really) my exam.

And this is exactly why. Mr. Monkey was in the driver's seat.


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