Push mowers are very finicky about height of grass. You must cut much more often than power mowers.
Why is that? Because a reel mower gets its cutting energy from the rotation of the wheels. That depends on wheel traction in grass (itself quite limited). There is an absolute maximum amount of "energy per linear inch" that can be obtained due to wheel traction.
Can't you just increase wheel diameter 20%? That will increase blade torque 20%. Yes, but it will also increase distance traveled 20%, increasing amount of grass to cut 20%, which will of course require 20% more torque to cut through, netting a zero sum gain. There is no way to improve on this: we are stuck with a fixed amount of energy per linear inch.
The ancient masters were every bit as smart as us, but with far fewer distractions. They had the ratios dialed in about as well as they could be. There is little room for improvement here.
Since we can't get more energy per inch to cut, we can only cut grass that is short enough to be cut by the energy available. We cannot abide increasing height of grass, because that will simply take more energy than is possible to obtain by wheel traction.
And you perfectly well know what happens then; the mower jams and skids, and does not cut at all.
So, you cannot wait until the city sends you a notice anymore :) You must cut much more often, with no excuses, and no procrastination, or you will fall behind and have to hand-scythe the whole yard just to cut it. BT, DT.
If you want to sustain that personal preference, you need to sustain the personal discipline.