Don’t waste yourself

You know, today I encountered this situation again.

I need to grind through this and get it done, at all costs.

You know what, I didn’t. For a reason. It’s a simple formula.

But first, a little disclaimer: If you have a deadline, tomorrow and your job, your money and everything depends on it, grind. But if it’s not that urgent, don’t.

If I would have stood in the office, until 10 PM and finished this project, yes, it would be done and wouldn’t bother me tomorrow. But tomorrow is not the deadline for this project. I got plenty of hours finishing it.

The reason for not putting in the hours today are simple.

Let’s get through this. I would end this project by 10 or 11 PM. I would feel good but also exhausted. I would be at home by 10:30 PM to 11:30 PM. My girlfriend could be at sleep at this time, so I would have only seen her in the morning. I would need an hour to calm down, at least. I cannot come home and go straight to bad. I need some time to think about the day, write some notes and put some stuff in my journal. So it would get late. Tomorrow I have to get up at 6 AM. I would get less sleep than usual and since I am not sleeping that much anyway this would cause a bad mood in the morning and probably the whole day. I couldn’t deliver by my standards and would be mad at myself which results in even worse mood. As you see, this is a downward spiral.

If you would calculate it, you are trading a few hours for at least one day, where you can’t bring full power and engagement.

What I would recommend instead?

Make a clear cut. On whatever project you are working, you can find a time where one part ends and a new begins. In the most companies there are used some kind of project management like Jira anyway. So after you finished that task, go home. Or write a quick reminder for yourself, where you have been for the next morning.

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