This concept changed my life!

Photo of past me aged 3 in lieu of a photo of future me ?

Did you ever watch How I Met Your Mother?

There’s this scene where Ted and Marshall are talking about who will get their apartment when Marshall gets married. Ted suggests that Future Ted and Future Marshall would handle it better and then you cut to Future Ted cursing Past Ted.

Actually it’s probably just easier if you watch this 37sec clip to see what I mean.

This idea
And I didn’t realise how until I was telling a client about it.
He is struggling with the huge peaks and troughs in workload that he gets as a result of leaving things until close to the deadline. He’s tried that thing of putting in false deadlines but his brain knows they aren’t real and ignores them.
The thing is, that it’s really messing with his energy levels and so we were talking about what would make something important enough to do it now rather than later.
That’s when I remembered the Future Me concept.
Like, every week I have scheduled time on a Monday to focus on marketing and writing AND every week I don’t start this letter until Friday. And then because I like to sleep on it I don’t finish and post it until Saturday.
I mostly don’t mind this routine, especially as in the UK we’re still in lockdown and I’m not going anywhere anyway.
But the other week I saw the weekend was going to be glorious sunny and I wanted to be able to be outside as much as possible. So instead of putting it off till Friday, Wednesday Jude started writing the letter, did a little more on Thursday and posted in on Friday leaving Future Jude to enjoy the weekend.
I’m not always this virtuous. I can often be found cursing Past Jude for not putting the washing on, or not starting the design of a workshop when there wasn’t so much on.
Sometimes I even purposefully leave things to Future Jude, like leaving the dishes for tomorrow.
It wasn’t until I was talking this through with my coachee that it clicked exactly why this idea of Future Jude actually works.
By stopping for a moment to ask myself if it’s Present Jude or Future Jude that’s going to do something it gives me a moment to:
  1. think about whether the task is something that really needs to be done now or can wait – like tidying the house, no ones coming around
  2. consider what future Jude has coming up and what I could do now to make her life easier, even if I am tired and just want to veg
  3. be proactive about how my time and energy are used – so if I’m going to put something off I’m at least consciously choosing to and accepting the consequences of that
The best bit for me is that there are times when Present Jude goes to do something and it’s already been done. Past Jude has been there, done that and somehow forgotten. It’s happened more than once.
So do Future You a favour and do one thing now that will make their life easier later.
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