By Follow Your Own Rhythm
I wouldn't call myself a procrastinator per se, but there are definitely times when I put things off for the sake of just simply not wanting to deal with them. I catch myself saying "I'll do it later or I don't want to think about that right now or I don't have time for that or I have more important things to do."
But sure enough, there eventually comes a time when I pay the price for my procrastination. My "I'll do it later" attitude bites me in the butt when I have to scramble last minute to finish a project, when I have to pay extra money for a late fee, or when I loose something that's important to me because I waited too long.
"Never put off for tomorrow, what you can do today." -Mark Twain
And do you know the feelings accompanied by missing out on opportunities or paying the price because you procrastinated? Guilt, frustration, regret, stress, anxiety, unease, and disappointment.
So here is what helps me get things done (big or small that I know NEED to be done) when I would rather do a billion other things...
I simply tell myself: "DO IT FOR YOUR FUTURE SELF."
When you remember that YOU are your future self, and that if you don't do something today, your poor future self will have to suffer the consequences later, it makes you think twice about putting important things off.
This can be applied to short term things such as organizing your office so you can actually function or cleaning your house before a vacation so you can enjoy it when you get back, as well as long term things such as quitting drinking, working on your temper, or starting to eat healthy so that your future self will benefit.
So when you're caught in a pickle of whether you should and shouldn't do something, always ask yourself "Would I help my future self if I did this right now?" (such as exercise, start that blog, file my taxes, make a dentist appointment, get a better job, pay off debt, resolve an issue with my relative, clean the house, cook dinner).
As well as asking yourself "how bad would my future self suffer if I didn't do this right now?" Identify how high the stakes are and how important it is to follow through so you know whether or not your attention to the matter is urgent.
The truth is, whatever you don’t do today, whatever bad habits you continue to practice, and whatever guilty pleasures you keep indulging in, are really just ways to set your future self up for failure.
Your future self is you, in the future.
- What is something that you can do today, that would benefit yourself in the future?
- What task can you complete today, that you would be happy about tomorrow?
- What is a hardship that if you faced now, you wouldn’t have to suffer with in the future?
- What is something you can overcome today, that you wouldn’t have to struggle with in the future?
- What extra “work” can you do now, that your future self would thank you for?
Look at it this way. Is there anything good that you did in the past that you are grateful for today? Big or small. Life changing or not. Maybe it was something hard and uncomfortable that you overcame, or a small task that made your life easier and because you did this thing, you are a lot better off now? How does that make you feel? Don’t you feel good?? Aren’t you thankful you did those things when you did them?
Remember that good feeling every time you are contemplating putting something off. Remember how grateful you will be for easing yourself of the scrambling, stress, and regret.
The more good you do for yourself today, the less suffering you will face later and you will thank yourself BIG TIME.
Another benefit of keeping your future self in mind when making decisions in the present, is that you will most likely make better, healthier and more conscious choices, and will less likely indulge in temptations. ;)
SO WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN DO TODAY, THAT YOU WILL THANK YOURSELF FOR TOMORROW? Also, if you have had an experience with doing something nice for yourself that greatly benefited your future self, please share it with us so we can all get inspired!
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