I’m going to graduate college in 11 days. I’m submitting my last assignment for grading in 5 days. I’m giving a presentation about my senior research project tomorrow. You’d think that with all that pressure, I’d be banging out code and papers at break-neck pace.
Well, I haven’t been. Senioritis has gotten the best of me. It’s been very difficult to bring myself to work my thesis and Japanese assignments knowing that in 11 days it will all average out to a grade on my transcript that’s mostly predetermined by now. It doesn’t help that I have already secured my post-graduation job. I felt weak and unmotivated yesterday as I struggled to write and prepare my thesis presentation. I needed a boost, but didn’t know where to get it.
I eventually realized that I wanted a couple more features in my research project’s map application for presentation purposes. Boom, I opened my IDE! Boom, I code got banged out! Once I had a task closer to doing what I love, I was suddenly able to focus and be productive.
While I don’t agree with everything he says, I love motivational speaker Marcus Buckingham‘s adage that your strengths aren’t what you’re good at, but instead “your strengths are those activities that make you feel strong.” Writing code is one of my strengths because when I develop a clever function or overcome a tricky bug, I feel like I can do absolutely anything.
Once I finished writing the extra functions for my presentation, I had a renewed drive to be productive which helped me get through writing the rest of the presentation. From now on I’ll keep my side-projects in mind for when I need an extra burst of productivity.