People procrastinate for different reasons, but a big one is convincing yourself you’ll have more energy later. It’s easy to put this burden on our future self, but most of the time, we’re just as lazy, busy or tired in the future as we are now.
Image by Matt Reinbold
We often have a false idea of our future self. We expect that person to be more organised, efficient and energetic.
But here’s an interesting thought from the notebook of philosopher Simone Weil:
Illusion that time, of itself, will bring me courage and energy…. In fact, it is usually the contrary (sleepiness). Say to yourself: And suppose I should remain always what I am at this moment? … Never put something off indefinitely, but only to a definitely fixed time. Try to do this even when it is impossible (headaches…). Exercises: decide to do something, no matter what, and do it exactly at a certain time.
Next time you’re on the brink of procrastinating because you think you’ll be in better spirits to do it later, remember that, later, you may very well be exactly what you are at this moment. You might as well do your future self a favour and get it done now.
Of course, this doesn’t apply every single time. Occasionally, it really does make more sense to do something later. But if you’re only using that to justify your procrastination, this little reminder comes in handy.