Having Extra Time Leads To Procrastination

time management, procrastination,

I have come to a realisation. The tendency to procrastinate increases when we think we have more time and don’t have any specific goals.

To put things into perspective, earlier this month, I switched to a different workplace in hopes of a more balanced work-life. In my old job, the earliest I can reach home is at 7 pm. Now, I can safely arrive at 5 pm.

Am I happy? Heck yeah.

For someone who’s used to rush through everything( from office work, housework to personal work), having a lighter workload sure feels like heaven.

(Since I am just 2 weeks into the new job, I’m probably given lesser demands. I’m quite sure the workload will increase in a few more months)

However, there are 2 main problems that have arisen:

my productivity and how I use my time start to get affected. I procrastinate often and spend lots of my time on social media.

The 2 hours extra hour that I get since starting a new job have been utilised badly. From scrolling Instagram to finding the year-end deals to scrolling Twitter reading Elon Musk’s funny tweet about dogecoin (not funny tho).

In 2 weeks, time (excluding the weekend), I have wasted valuable 20 hours on something that doesn’t help my growth in terms of personal or career aspect.

Another thing I have noticed is that I now spend days trying to complete the exact task that I used to do within hours in my previous job.

As I begin to question myself, I have identified 2 main issues to my situation.

Problem 1: Stuck in the “The no man’s land”

“When you are stuck in a situation or currently in a state that you’re not happy about your life, but you’re not unhappy enough to make any changes, then you will be stuck in this complacency”

-The no man’s land is a concept by Tony Robbin, written by Darren Hardy in his book, The compound effect.

Let’s be honest. Most of us, prefer to just sit down and scroll the phone once we reached home, or just flip through Netflix while eating takeout for dinner until it’s bedtime. While we are laying down, we feel like, we have wasted time and plan that tomorrow is going to be different. Then tomorrow comes, we feel lazy and the cycle repeats.

The question I asked myself:

Why do I waste my time on social media?

What is the resistance that I am facing?

Is it because I’m becoming lazy?

Or a part of me feeling liberated after working on a tight schedule all these years?

Even though I hate to admit it, I think I am stuck in the no man’s land.

“The dream is not enticing enough for me to work harder, and life has been okay-good.”

Secondly, I think I wasted so much time because I did not have any specific activity to fill the extra time I have in the afternoon.

The solution

To be honest, I feel the need to allow myself to get adjusted to the new environment. At the same time, to find the right balance between allowing myself to rest and doing something better for my health like working out

Plus, I probably need to revise and revisit my goal and life plan. It sucks to be aimless. You don’t know what to do and just fill in the void with temporary distraction and happiness by watching Netflix and social media.

Problem 2: “Parkinson’s Law”

“Work expands to fill the time available for its completion- Cyril Parkinsons, British naval historian, and author for the 1955 issue of the economis

In this essay, Parkinson’s is being humorous in describing the only task of this woman in a day is to send a postcard. The job can easily be completed within a few minutes. She spends 60 minutes finding her glasses, another 60 minutes finding the card another 90 minutes writing it.. and this list continues. Why? Because she expands the work because she knows that she has the time.

Back in my old job I usually just need a few hours, analysing the topic, understanding, and drafting the idea into my PowerPoint presentation. Completed it nicely and move on to the next task. Now, I spend the whole week doing basically the same thing, if not less. I am the victim of Parkinson’s Law. I am the woman with the postcard, Parkinson’s describe  66 years ago.

For me, the main reason we are stuck with Parkinson’s Law is because of 2 things:

  1. We are trying to procrastinate
  2. Trying to be a perfectionist with our work

Parkinson’s Law= Procrastination+ Perfectionism


The solution is in just 3 simple steps:

  1. Create a monthly target with an actionable plan
    • Be more specific and focus on creating the target.
    • Try to focus on a thing at a time.
    • Make it visible: Place the target list somewhere easy to see.
  1. Decide and Prioritize
    • Prioritize upcoming work with the nearest deadline.
    • Decide which project need immediate attention.
  1. Create a to-do list with a workable timeline.
    • Set an appropriate timeline and stick to it.
    • Not to put too much on the list.

My take

People always talk about the problem of not having time. But the problem of having time, but not utilising it appropriately is also another issue.

Don’t get me wrong, it is not that we must be ‘on’ and being productive all the time

But being more intentional and mindful of how we use the time.

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