Fantasising about your future

I learned something interesting today from a workshop about willpower. We all tend to imagine a future that has more time in it than our current reality. So we also tend to imagine we’ll get more done or make better decisions tomorrow. Psychology professor Tim Pychyl is director of the Procrastination Research Group (I want his job!) at a Canadian university and he explained that research says we are biased in our predictions of the future based on our current experience.

For example, when on holidays we’re more likely to picture we will have more time in future to enact the goal, plan or resolution we make during our break. In reality, if you plan to diet or change a habit, you’d be better off to start immediately than wait until you return to the real world. The double whammy is we also often feel good about the intention to change in future, imagining we will feel like doing it when the time comes.