You know the saying, “never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” I’d like to suggest an alternative, “never put off till tomorrow what you can put off till next week.”

Okay, I’m not entirely serious, but here’s my thinking: if you’ve got a task that you’re putting off because you just don’t have the motivation to do it, and the deadline is next week, you’ve got three options (yeah, there are more, but I’ll talk about three):

  1. Do it now. Unless you’ve got other urgent and important things to do, this is probably the best option.
  2. Schedule yourself to start on it (doesn’t that sound better than “put it off till”?) as late as possible, figuring in a little extra time to deal with hiccups or unavoidable interruptions.
  3. Put it off till tomorrow.

The problem with option 3 is that tomorrow, you’ll probably waste time agonizing over the fact that you should be choosing option 1, only to end up choosing option 3 again. And then you’ll probably do the same thing the day after tomorrow, and so on.

Might it not be better (if you’re not going to do it now) to simply schedule it for a time when you won’t be able to procrastinate any further? If you push the task back daily, not only are you procrastinating getting the job done, but you’re procrastinating finally deciding that you’re going to do it at the last minute!

Still, option 1 is definitely the best.