Stop waiting for Tomorrow
Tomorrow is not your friend.
My sister once told me she sees herself as three people, past her, present her and future her. She was talking about not doing homework and said that was a future her problem. She put into words something I couldn't articulate until then and have since come to realise we all do this madness.
I love future me. She's so competent and capable. She can get everything I don't do finished. Tomorrow me is going to vacuum and mop, as well as make a cake for my son's preschool, finish setting up the back room, clean out the fridge, do a bunch of work stuff and then finish it off with some painting and meditation.
And the reason she has to do all those things in one day is I have done none of them this week. Nothing I said I was going to do.
And I'll tell you a secret I don't like to admit.....Tomorrow me isn't going to do it either.
I won't because during the night I'm not going to magically turn into a super person version of myself. I'll still be me, procrastinating everything because tomorrow's 'Tomorrow Me' is going to do it.
Once I read something along the lines of "If you're not happy now you won't ever be"
My first thought was immediately, fuck you! You don't know me. You don't know my life.
But I stayed staring at it (ok glaring) and it began to make sense.
If you take it too literally it's a big pile of shit. Obviously not being happy this second doesn't curse you to a miserable life.
But zoom out a bit.
If you're focusing on everything bad in you're life then that's the habit of thinking you have, your happiness baseline. And regardless of what happens in the future, you're likely to return to that baseline. Our perception of our lives, what we focus on, what we think about, is what creates our level of happiness, not the situation we're in.
What it's really saying is stop waiting to be happy because happiness is right here for you to find and nurture.
If you're not productive now you won't ever be.
Obviously not ever, things ebb and flow but what I mean is essentially you will be the same person tomorrow you are now. If today you isn't going to finish that project and put your clothes away then tomorrow you probs won't either.
The choices you make right now, form the habits that will play out tomorrow. Putting things off creates a habit of procrastination, one we struggle against even if it's something we really want to do.
Right now I have ice cream in the freezer and a tv show waiting for me. I've set myself the challenge to write a thousand words before I start digging in, but the voice in my head telling me I can do the rest tomorrow is so fucking strong right now. But I was already planning on writing it today and then I pushed it back to tonight....and I planned to write yesterday but tomorrow sounded better at the time.
But so tempting to do again, right now.
Tomorrow is always available, always there for us to push our to-do's into, always there to prompt our fantasy thinking. This fantasy idea of ourselves as making progress, achieving dreams. Planning to do things tomorrow creates the illusio we are making progress with our goals and dreams but in reality, this lie of tomorrow is our biggest hurdle to any sort of meaningful life. Because one day we won't have it.
I'm not saying any of this to discourage you. Nothing I'm saying is to stop you from trying to do better, to stop you from resting or most importantly to make you feel useless.
The point of this isn't you will never be able to stop procrastinating but to stop procrastinating right now.
Do the thing. even if it's only five minutes. Start. Going to vacuum tomorrow? then sweep right now. Want to spend the day writing tomorrow? open up the document and begin writing now. Put the clothes in the washing machine, get out your paints, do the first first draft of that boring assessment. Just start now.
Start right now
What's one thing you can do towards doing something you want to do tomorrow? Even if it's eleven and you're about to go to bed. What can you do to begin now?
Because the habit thing works in reverse. So let's start creating achieving habits instead of procrastinating ones.