“I can’t do it this month. Let’s do it next month.”
The further you get from your future self, the more likely you are to treat your future self with impertinence.
The classic scenario is seeing a full calendar for the upcoming week and, in response, booking incoming meeting requests for many weeks in advance.
The problem is that when you arrive at that future week, suddenly you have no ability to do anything but clean up the mess you made all those weeks ago.
Pushing things into the future is a natural, but often destructive decision.
Future you will be just as busy, just as overwhelmed, with just as many demands on your time.
A practical implementation of ‘don’t be mean to your future self’ thesis is Phin Barnes’ rule to make sure “nothing [is] scheduled more than 7 work days in advance”.
My New Calendar System
Over the past few months I’ve been trying an experiment with my calendar. It’s working and a friend encouraged me to…
The more you think about it, the more widely you can apply ‘don’t be mean to your future self’.
All the decisions you make today — what to eat, whether to exercise, how much to sleep, whether you make time to read or let your time accede to social media — these aren’t just decisions for today.
These are decisions for future you.
We are evolutionarily bad at making the right decisions in the moment for our future selves. Reversing that fact is one of the keys to excellent living.
Start today. Don’t be mean to your future self.