Why is the current self wrong about the future self?

We always procrastinate our work telling that we will handle the work in future time. Basically, the current self of yours hands over the work to the future self.

Your current self says I will have this pleasure now (delaying the work) and my future self will take the pain (doing the work). The current self gives the reason that – my future self will take the pain because it will offset the pleasure that I am having now. This is what we always do when we postpone that work and enjoy or delay some work.

Later, your future self when it becomes the current self looks at the past self and thinks “how stupid is my past self to do something like this?”. This is a constant battle between the future self and  the current self.

What is going wrong here?

There is a major assumption that is made in this: that your future self will remember how much it’s past self has enjoyed (had pleasure) and will therefore be ready to take the pain (offsetting the pleasure of the past).

This is not a valid assumption. Why?

  1. Your future self is your imagination. You can imagine anything.
  2. Forgetfulness – you are assuming that you won’t forget the experience of emotions of this pleasure when you are in the future.
  3. You won’t remember for your future everything you experienced in the past. Experiencing self and Remembering self are different.
  4. You cannot remember the exact emotions you felt in your past. Emotions cannot be created on your own, it is a very quick (1/30th sec) response to stimuli. You can only remember the memories of the emotions, you cannot recreate the emotional experience itself. However, if you face a very similar stimuli in your future then those emotions could be triggered.
  5. The current self is making some assumptions about the future self. Also, the current self is actually not even aware of some of the other assumptions that are made inherent in the task itself. Only when you do the task will you actually realize the assumption made. If the current self hands it over to the future self, the assumptions in the task might come as a surprise very late in the day for the future self.

Hope this is useful, thank you.

The Procrastinator's Mind: Why We Procrastinate and How to Overcome It? by  Balivada