End Procrastination: Turn Your Back On Your Future

Angela Gullone

Hopes About The Future Are The Seed of Procrastination.


If you’re one to procrastinate and put things off, then looking to the future is a huge distraction. Waiting on a better time to start or finish things keeps us trapped in the moment.  It holds us back from engaging with the full potential of the present moment.


Foolishly, we hope the future with bring the change we want to see. We put off doing something today because we tell ourselves that tomorrow might bring in a better opportunity. So we give ourselves permission to defer living in the present. But what happens is that living ends up being an idle experience. A place of waiting for things to happen. We wait for the weekend or holidays to arrive, to start living. It’s avoidance rather than action.


The future really doesn’t exist, expect in our imaginations. Let me explain…


Have you ever been at the seaside and noticed the horizon?


Procrastination, Future is Now
Photo by Pavel, L


It looks like a line in the distance where the world ends. But because we know the world is curved, we get that the world doesn’t end there. We understand that the horizon is just a visual impression.


Like the horizon, the future is an illusionary line that separates the present and the future. It too fools our senses, and plays tricks on our understanding of time.


And have you noticed what happens when you move towards the horizon?


It appears to move away. Like our futures, it will always appear to remain ahead of us. When we attempt to look to our futures for answers or pull it in closer, it eludes us. That’s because the horizon, like our futures doesn’t really exist, it’s an illusion.


My point is that the future – your future and mine too, is wholly imagined. The future is nothing more than a state of anticipation for something that is yet to come. Sometimes, that state of anticipation is dread, when we’re not looking forward to something. Other times, it’s excitement when we expect a positive experience. We can anticipate our futures but we can never know it beyond our present experience.


I also want to make a second key point about the future and procrastination.


This is important, particularly for people who procrastinate and keep putting things off. This point will help you to be more focused, and to live more fully.


The changes you want to see in your future can be brought into your present. But they aren’t brought in by being passive and waiting for a future time. They come about when you accept that in this moment you have the power to create some change. And to do something about your dreams and desires.


It’s in the now that we can think, imagine, make plans and decisions and can act on the world. Our ability to renew, to think or act in this world is only possible in the present, not the future.  If you don’t make a start on your dreams in the now, then it can never be part of your reality.


There’s much we can do with the present. Climb trees. Swim in rivers. Play music. Read books. Laugh with friends. Sunbathe in sunshine. Take hot baths. Walk with the wind on our backs. Write. Draw and paint picture. Climb mountains. Play in the snow. Campaign for good causes. Compete in sports games. Bake delicious meals…


In sum, ideas about the future are nothing more than a distraction. They are the seed of procrastination and idleness.


The present is the future we’re all waiting for. When we begin to be present in the now, we experience more joy and connection in our life. Go for it and embrace this moment for what it is, now. After all, this is your precious time. This moment is the only one we have. Make memories and make it count now.


Author, Angela Gullone, flowlifecoaching.com | Images courtesy of unsplash


2 Comments on “End Procrastination: Turn Your Back On Your Future

  1. Thank you for the wonderful article and the reminder that the only time we have is right now. When I remember I like to ask internally “What is being invited now?”, it can help me find what is important to give my attention to in that moment. It reminds me of that quote “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift that’s why they call it the present!”
    With gratitude, Fiona

    1. Hello Fiona,
      thanks for your comment. It’ great to hear from you and I’m pleased you enjoyed the article. I like this theme too, and for me this is where all creation happens. It’s just that sometimes we forget this, and look in the direction of our futures and pasts as holding the key to our joy. I love your reference to now being a gift because it’s the ‘present’. It’s clever and playful. Imagine what could be possible if we truly began to believe the present is a gift. Our thoughts would be focused on what we could give and receive in each moment, rather than on what we lack. Such a focus would make each day amazing!

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