Borrow From The Future


"Procrastination is like a credit card: it's a lot of fun until you get the bill."

I've been thinking about the problem of borrowing from the future lately. It's a problem we've all encountered sometime in the past; and probably still encounter to this day.

Whether it's delaying some important tasks, like in the quote above, or sprinting too hard, we all suck at this. We fail again and again, not being able to learn from our mistakes.

I think that "borrowing from the future" is a innate human trait that we cannot get rid of. Since the dawn of our species, we basically didn't have to think about the future much, maybe only a few days ahead, at most. Now, we have to think about some stuff in terms of months, quarters, or even years. That's a lot of time we don't know how to plan. We're bad at planning! Sometimes, it seems, even worse at executing the plan...

What can we do about this?
Well, in my opinion, there is only one solution that actually works: visualization. It's the process of imagining and visualizing the worst possible scenario of the future. Related to a particular project, of course. Not the future overall - that'd be haunting. After that, asking ourselves this very simple, yet very important question;

Is there anything I can do right now that could prevent or minimize the worst possible outcome?

The counterargument to this method is quite clear: using it can constantly put someone into panic mode. And that's also bad, something we want to avoid. Let's be honest, it's easy to let fear consume us once we start thinking about the future. About all of the unclear steps, not-yet-made decisions, outside factors we can't know about.

True, at first, it will be tough. But, once you do that successfully a couple of times, you will notice that you have the power to change you. Even, when it's way ahead in the future.

Don't let inaction kill you, don't let doubt paralyze you.

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