A Blindness We All Suffer From – and A Way Around It


“That’s a problem for future Homer. I sure don’t envy that guy”, said Homer Simpson after Marge berated him for something.

Homer at that moment showed something that eludes most of us most of the time: the ability to see our future selves.

He didn’t give a hoot of course, but at least he saw it.

Usually, we don’t pay much attention to our future self.

In our mind, the future self is awesome, wealthy, successful, SUPER-productive and just ridiculously efficient.

Don’t think so?

Dig this:

We procrastinate until the last moment because we keep thinking our future self will just deal with the backlog in a massively efficient and productive way.

We spend money we don’t have because with all the work we’re doing these days, we’re bound to have plenty of money to pay off debts soon, right?

We riff off a shoddy first draft or mockup for a client deliverable, because tomorrow-me will have nooooo trouble at all knocking that puppy into shape.

In each of those cases, we leave it up to our future self to deal with whatever thing our present-self isn’t going to deal with.

And very often, future self shows up to the mess, says ‘screw this’ and goes off to procrastinate like the world were about to end.

This inability to see yourself experiencing the consequences of your current actions and decisions is what psychologists call ‘temporal myopia’, and we all have it to some degree.

If you want to get stuff done and reduce procrastination, you’ll do well to stop treating your future self like some heroic fixer-of-everything workslave, and instead treat them like a dearly loved one.

Someone you care for, whom you want to be happy and comfortable and stress-free.

This little trick – to deliberately consider yourself as a different and separate person from the one you’ll be in the future – is how you reduce temporal myopia.

It’s the easiest way to become more efficient and productive, and to reduce procrastination.

Cheers,

Martin

Careful You Don’t Yes Too Much

There’s so many things out there that could get your attention, it might as well be an infinite amount. Sights, sounds, smells… people, ideas, books and cakes and boots and projects… more things you can choose, than you could ever count. As humans we need to select, and filter: we can only handle so many […]

Continue reading...

What It Does, VS What You Can Make It Do

It’s tempting to look at bottlenecks, moving parts that have gotten stuck, or broken processes. It’s an easy fix, to find something that’s broken and then fix it. Often, it’s unavoidable. But to me, it’s not all that interesting. Boring, even. I have a different approach, which is a ton more fun, much more creative, […]

Continue reading...

The Three Most Important Things I Learned as a Monk

1: Everything gets better and easier if you make it an act of service. And that’s true no matter what you dedicate that service to: self, other, god, humanity… whatever works for you. It’s about the attitude. (Oh, and if you’re one of those people who euphemise ‘serving customers’ into ‘servicing customers’: that’s not how […]

Continue reading...

The Real Reason I Always Talk About My Former Life as a Monk. Hope it Helps

And it’s not because I like talking about myself. Ok, full disclosure: I do. Not because I consider myself all that interesting, but I’m the only person about whom I have ALL the insider information – the good bits, the funny, the naughty, the learning curve and the mistakes made, and above all else: all […]

Continue reading...

I Was Sold to SO Hard – And I Love Every Minute of It

A little lesson about the psychology of effectively selling things for you today, in a way that allows you to live with yourself: It’s an early Spanish morning, first Saturday of the month – the day when there’s a rummage sale in the park. I saunter to and from the stalls, say hi to friends […]

Continue reading...

Attentionality

It breaks my heart to see people struggle, be it in life or business or relationships. Especially when the remedy – or at the very least, a massive improvement – is so close at hand and so simple. Because the easiest way to end up in a state of struggle, fretting, worrying, procrastination or what […]

Continue reading...

You Wayfarer, You

There’s a lot of bandying about changing the self, and mind, and mindset – and I talk about it as well. But not because I think you must change or that there’s something wrong with you. In fact, I don’t subscribe to the problem-thinking that says that there’s something wrong with us that needs fixing. […]

Continue reading...

Freedom vs Liberation

It’s natural to desire freedom. Freedom to make your own choices, spend time the way you want it, spend money as you please, freedom from oppression and manipulation and restrictions… all good things. But freedom is an abstract, it’s not tangible. I mean, you couldn’t bring me freedom and put it on the table, point […]

Continue reading...

Can’t Have the Good Without the Bad? Rubbish. Here’s How to Shift the Baseline

It’s a common notion, especially in relationships: that in order to have the good times, we also need to accept the bad times. A thing which is usually said by someone who’s been a jerk and uses it to justify causing a bad situation, I think. But I’m not a relationship expert. I am however […]

Continue reading...
Menu Title