Logan Dunn

Present self vs. future self

My future self lied to me …again. You see, he kept telling me that I would get around to writing in my blog “this Sunday,” or “at least once this month.”

The problem is that when I get to that time for which my future self had such high hopes, my future self isn’t there anymore. It’s my present self who will approach the situation, the one who needs to fight the battle over wants versus needs. This, my friends is the definition of procrastination. According to David McRaney in his book You are Not so Smart, “Procrastination is all about choosing want over should.”

Check out his short video on the subject:

If that video wasn’t enough to light the fire of change, here is another one. Have you ever felt like that, putting anything and everything in front of what you SHOULD be doing? I know I have.

You see, it’s not that a procrastinator is lazy. In fact, it is usually quite the opposite. He or she always has something to do. The real problem is one of prioritization, replacing what is most important for what you want right now.

According to McRaney, those who spend time thinking about thinking are those that can get things done because “they know productivity is a game of cat and mouse versus a childish primal human predilection for pleasure and novelty which can never be excised from the soul.”

The solution: “a plan for those times when you expect to be tempted.”

Learn how to “outsmart yourself,” so your future self doesn’t get the best of you.

That idea of “thinking about thinking” reminds me of something my business ethics professor wrote in his syllabus:

“Good writing is particularly important in an ethics course, because good writing requires good thinking, and good thinking is a vital ingredient to becoming an ethical leader. Conversely, sloppy writing is usually indicative of sloppy thinking, and sloppy thinking is often what leads otherwise good people to make ethical errors.”

…or to be caught in the trap of procrastination.

Perhaps taking the time to think and write is a useful tool in outsmarting the future self. Yet another reason to be putting down my thoughts in a blog.