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Take care of future you now

Illustration: Alex Gomez · The Sentry

Future you will be happy you didn’t procrastinate

Too often, people focus on instant gratification rather than worrying about the needs and wants of their future self. 

A New York Times article by Tim Herrera identified that someone’s future self can be as foreign as someone on the other side of their screen. 

As students in college, it is easy to procrastinate. Whether that be through hanging out with friends, watching the latest movies, or scrolling through social media, it seems that allowing work to stack up is not a problem for today but rather tomorrow. 

This “tomorrow’s work” is something people are able to ignore until the day actually comes.  But really, this just creates bad habits that lead to poor planning for future benefits. 

The article suggested changing the way someone thinks about their future. For many, that can seem like a daunting task, but having this mindset can benefit someone in the long-run. 

One of the ways to do this, for those who have iPhones, is take advantage of the Screen Time Monitor app. This app shows users the ways in which they use their phone. It manages this usage time, so people can focus their efforts on something more productive. But if someone prefers the traditional ways of doing things, devoting time to study or completing tasks, that is just as feasible.   

The article also suggests thinking about the consequences of a decision rather than the instant gratification. But this can be hard, as someone’s present self will not get the same benefit as someone’s future self. 

For example, procrastinating on homework that’s due today to go out with a friend can seem like the better choice. However, one’s future self can be overwhelmed by the amount of work thrown their way. While they had the gratification of going out for a few hours, future them can suffer from having to stay up late to get everything you ignored done.

Beyond homework and studying, it’s important to think about one’s priorities. While socializing is an important and healthy aspect to one’s well-being, finding a balance of work, school, friends, and everything else today can be beneficial to future you. This will help someone’s future self, who will be them very soon, not feel overwhelmed, and it will lead to a happier and better life.

This new mindset can lead to many beneficial things such as creating habits that make someone’s tomorrow better than today. Even so, studies suggest that this can lead to better financial savings or better habits of staying active and having more energy. But most importantly, it leads to a future that someone’s future self will be happy to be a part of.

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