Hello, fellow procrastinators. How many of you sit around talking about the things you want to do or you’re going to do, just to never do them. I am talking about the people who are fully aware that they are burdened by laziness, but they just wallow in their own self-pity for not being as successful as they want to be. If that’s you, I have something to say that could change your life: don’t ever trust yourself. Actually, don’t trust your future self.
The procrastination fallacy
How often do you look at a problem and say I’ll just do it tomorrow? From things as simple as doing the dishes to going to the gym. How many times have you convinced yourself that your future self will have more motivation? It is plainly wrong! Here is why: if you don’t do it today, you won’t do it tomorrow. It is a cycle where you put off stuff for the next day only to get to tomorrow and utter the same words: I’ll start tomorrow. But the sooner you actually realize that your future self is even lazier than you are today, the sooner you can get stuff done.
The core of the problem
Getting things done and being productive depends directly on motivation. If you can acknowledge that you won’t suddenly, magically have more motivation tomorrow than you do today, which let’s be honest we know you won’t, you’ll start to do one of two things:
- You’ll realize that the responsibility is left on your today self and get it done.
- You’ll accept that you’re not gonna do that thing
And the second option can be okay too because realizing you’re not going to do something liberates you from the stress of not doing it. Then, you can move on and focus on other things.
How to break the cycle
There are a couple of methods that can help you out with this. Here is the simplest one I figured out so far. When you start searching for excuses not to start working out, don’t allow yourself to think: “I don’t have time”, because when you do, you are simply saying that your health isn’t a priority. As a matter of fact, literally say this out loud and it will start to affect the way you behave: my health isn’t a priority, so I’m not gonna go to the gym. Here is another example: my friend’s event isn’t a priority, so I’m not going.
If those things sit ok with you, then maybe it’s time to start thinking about what things are important to you. When you become lazy, the only way you can change this behavior is by acknowledging that things won’t change on their own tomorrow. The next time you’re going to have to overcome the exact same laziness all over again. Seriously, you have to start getting used to overcoming your laziness.
Here is another interesting fact: Productive people aren’t any less lazy, they just realized they had to overcome the problem in order to achieve the things they want.
This is a tough habit to get rid of. Being motivated and keeping busy takes practice and it’s a skill that you have to do over and over to get better at it. Think about when you were a kid, your attention span was literally measured in seconds. As you aged and spent time developing skills by sitting in classes, engaging in conversations, your attention span increased. The same thing can be said about motivation: practice makes you better at it.
So if not being lazy would make you happier just remember this simple rule: Never trust your future self and if you don’t do it today, you won’t do it tomorrow.