Procrastination Nation: Three Days and Counting

I don’t know how this happened. If I’m being honest with myself, I probably saw it coming from miles away.  This sort of behavior has been the driving force behind the majority of my academic work in college. In fact, numerous late nights and empty coffee cups are easily-followed bread crumbs that warned me of my approaching fate. What am I talking about, you might ask? Well, I leave for my five month long PCT thru-hike in three days, and…

I am NOT prepared.

Procrastination is my way of life. I must subconsciously live for the pressure (and pain) of completing huge amounts of work in impossibly small amounts of time because I procrastinate on EVERYTHING. I have a lab project to finish, resupply packages to organize, instructions to make for my parents, general trail planning, and so much more to do before I hit the trail. Honestly, I am feeling overwhelmed. It seems like I will never get it all done. I had months to organize everything, but I still ended up in my familiar state of panic, wondering why I continue to do this to myself.

How to Beat the Procrastination Plague

I wish I possessed the secret to overcoming procrastination. Honestly, it would be too late for me anyways. At this point, I have no choice but to hunker down and get shit done. I will probably have to skip a few hours of sleep, but I’ve made my bed (pun alert) and it’s time to lie in it. Nevertheless, I have some quick words of advice for those of you who still have a few weeks before your departure. With any luck, procrastination won’t plague you quite so severely.

  1. Have your resupply boxes packed at least a week before. This is the most stressful part for me, as I hate the idea of trying to coordinate my packages from the trail. I suggest you have a detailed list of instructions for whoever is sending your resupplies ready early, with all the boxes organized and addressed.
  2. Ignore the urge to add last minute gear. You will constantly think of additional things that you “need” as your start date draws closer. Maybe you need them, maybe you don’t. Unless it is something that is likely to save your life, I recommend that you get on trail before making the final decision.
  3. Leave plenty of time to say goodbye to friends and family. My final days will be filled with frantic organizing instead of special moments with my favorite people/places. I hope I get the chance to do one final goodbye hike, but the odds are not in my favor. You are setting out on an amazing adventure, but don’t forget all the wonderful people who will be supporting you from home.
  4. Lastly, just let it be. Don’t over-plan. Avoid letting anxiety and anticipation trap you into overthinking every little detail. Allow the trail dust to blow as it pleases. Things have a tendency to work themselves out, so let them do just that: work.

Getting Down To Business

Technically you could say that I am continuing my procrastination by writing this short post. I prefer to view it as a chance to recenter myself. I am now going to make some tea, write some code, and get some sleep so I can wake up bright and early tomorrow feeling refreshed and ready to tackle everything I need to do. Despite being overwhelmed, I am beyond excited to begin my thru-hike. The journey to get to the journey is rough, but I will power through it just like anything else. In the meantime, I have plenty of coffee cups to fill.

See you on the trail!


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