Don’t trust your future self

It’s early morning, and the alarm goes off. A million thoughts stream through your mind as to why you don’t need to get up yet. It’s too cold to run. You don’t have what you need to get your task done. You didn’t sleep well last night because a kid/animal/person/noise woke you up and you couldn’t go back to sleep. You talk yourself into staying in bed. Then, later in the day, once you are thinking clearly, you regret that decision.

Sound familiar? I know it does for me. The night before I need to be up early I will make plans while I’m thinking clearly and I know what needs to be done the next day. But, when the next day arrives my thinking is foggy, and I second guess those plans, opting instead for the immediate gratification of another hours sleep.

Your future self can’t be trusted, so make plans for your immediate future now and stick to them no matter what. You can be sure that your future self will be lazy, unmotivated, unhappy, tired, irritable, sore or have some other ailment that will allow you not to get done what you know needs to be done. Your future self will inevitably falter, second guess, replan, rehash and just plain ignore what you have planned to be done. Your future self is weak.

Your current self (now), looking into the immediate future (the next 24-hours) is always going to make a better choice in how to spend your time than your future self will. Knowing this, the only way to be sure that the most important things get done is to plan ahead, and when that time comes ignore that weak future self and get the job done.

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

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