Don’t make tomorrow a day you DON’T look forward to

March 13th, 2006 by Sit up a Tree

It’s amazing how we set ourselves up for a fall later on.  In many ways what we are doing when we procrastinate is that we are being weasels to out future self, putting off something now to gain an immediate pleasure only to make things harder for ourselves down the line.  It’s a form of stealing, except the person you are stealing from is yourself.

But it can get much worse than just procrastinating.  With most forms of procrastination you are simply putting off a task that you will eventually have to do.  In the meantime the task doesn’t get any bigger, it just remains undone.  However, there are some types of procrastination that makes things much worse for our future-selves.

For example, let’s say that you have set yourself an exercise regime or a drawn up a revision timetable.  Initially you follow your regime or timetable but a day comes along and you don’t feel up to it for one reason for another and you choose to take a break.  OK, nothing wrong with that, but the problem comes when you decide that, in exchange for having a break today, you’re going to do twice as much exercise/revision tomorrow to catch up.  That’s a sure-fire way to make you loathe the idea of tomorrow coming around!

You are being a weasel to yourself!  Why?  Because in order to have some pleasure today, you’re burdening your future-self with twice the normal workload.

If you find yourself doing this then ask yourself the following:

  • Is this a fair thing to do to do to your future-self?
  • Is it a realistic thing to do?  Are you actually going to do twice as much work tomorrow or are you just kidding yourself?
  • Does the trade-off of not doing whatever it is today in exchange for doing twice as much tomorrow seem worthwhile?
  • How would you feel if someone else lumbered you with double the workload tomorrow?

Having asked yourself these questions you might decide that you’re not going to take a day off from whatever it is you were going to put off.  Alternatively, you might still choose to have a break.  Whatever you do, at least you will have chose to do it consciously, as opposed to doing it without thinking about the consequences!

This entry was posted on Monday, March 13th, 2006 at 3:38 pm and is filed under Personal Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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