This is something I’ve wanted to write about for a long time, but you guys know me, there’s never enough time…so that’s why I’m doing myself a future favor and doing it now (instead of being stressed about the 1,080 emails I haven’t responded to yet). 😀
Future favors is a concept that I stole from How I Met Your Mother where Ted and Marshall left an important decision up to their future selves with terrible results. haha. I love that show. Of course, me being an optimist and all I choose to use this is the opposite way. For me, future favors are the big or little things I do right meow because tomorrow or next week or 12 years from now I’m going to need something but I’m not going to have the time/money/energy/etc to make it happen. Hence future favors. This is something I encourage all of you to do too.
This is the little moment where I have the extra minute in the morning that I could spend on Facebook but instead I make my bed. Or the 12 seconds I take to leave myself a positive message and stick it to my bathroom mirror so I remember that “I’m a rad panda!” This is when I buy a condo at the age of 20 so that instead of wasting my money and paying someone else’s rent for 12 years when I turn 32 and have lived in debt for way too long I can cash out and be so grateful that past me had the sense that someday I might need an extra hand.
What happens for me is that I get to feel good twice instead of lazy once and overwhelmed later. This means I get to send my future self a life line and know that even if the world drags me down, I’ve got me. Thanks past me! You’re welcome future me!
Because at the end of a 19 hour day when I have -142 fucks left to give I get to stumble my way into my bedroom not to discover that I have clothes everywhere and my bed looks like a tornado but instead I get to see a perfectly made bed with a full glass of water and order in my physical world even when my brain and my body feel like chaos. It’s that moment that I get to smile and take a deep breath. I get to be ok rather than having one more fucking thing to do when I really don’t have it in me to do.
Here is a list of my most common future favors:
- Make my bed
- Fill my water glass
- Fold and put away my laundry
- Make my lunch for the next day the night before
- Write myself a reminder note on my phone and set a notification so I don’t have to remember the thing
- Keep a log of the exercise I did so i don’t have to keep track mentally
- Stretch before bed so I’ll actually sleep
- Take valerian root if I’ve had caffeine so I’ll actually sleep
- Lay out clothes for the next day so I don’t have to think when my brain hasn’t turned on (ok- if you know me in person you know that on work days I don’t care at all what I look like, but on days where I have to person I do this)
- Put earplugs in my purse before a concert
- Keep a little cash in surprise places like my purse/phone case/pockets
- Make a few pot edibles to keep on hand for when my back pain is out of control
- Schedule “Sam time” for lunch/self care/family time/etc
- Turn off my ringer before bed
- Make extra food so I don’t have to cook as often
- Buy extra household supplies so I don’t run out
- Bring snacks with me so I don’t get hangry!
For me it’s not just about doing the thing, but it’s about doing the thing with the intention of saving my future self some hassle. It’s delayed gratification at its finest. This is how I survive my crazy, hectic life. Future favors are my way of being grateful to myself because I’m worth the time and effort I give to everyone else too. Who’s with me?