Why ‘I’ll Do It Tomorrow’ Is a Toxic Phrase: How to Manage Your Time More Effectively

Published Date: January 27, 2016 | Office Communication

I'll Do It TomorrowAre you a task pusher or a task doer?

Most of us are a little of both, and chances are the phrase “I’ll do it tomorrow” has drifted in and out of your vocabulary at different points in your life. It’s getting to the root of the things we don’t want or don’t need to do that helps us make more room for the things we actually need to accomplish.

If your time management could use a reality check, read Arden Coaching’s article below for tips about prioritizing for the present.

What’s the Problem with Tomorrow?

If, and only if, you have an action plan behind the task you plan on working on tomorrow is “I’ll do it tomorrow” a statement you can run with. The “I’ll do it tomorrow” we’re talking about, though, is more of an unforeseen tomorrow that may never come.

Oftentimes we attach the things we don’t want to do to this phraseology (such as, “I’ll diet tomorrow”). You might as well say someday or never, right? What does this mean about the things that get trapped by a tomorrow that may never come? Let’s dive in a little deeper.

What to Do With Most I’ll Do It Tomorrow Claims

The next time that you push a project or task to tomorrow, ask yourself this: What happens if I don’t do this tomorrow? Is it something that can wait? If the answer is nothing or it’s not a big deal, take it off your to-do list and put it onto your to-don’t list. What we mean is, get rid of it and the stress it may have brought with it.

Exceptions to the Rule: Priorities That Shouldn’t Wait

I'll Do It TomorrowThe topic of your “I’ll do it tomorrow” could also point to some needed growth. If you know in your heart that you really should do xyz, but the issue is just that you don’t want to, it’s likely that you shouldn’t put it on the backburner. Don’t triage important to-dos until a later date and risk repercussions. Of course suggesting this is easier than changing a habit.

What you can do instead is create a plan that makes you better prepared and more confident in tackling the task you’d love to just push.

Working Backward from the Future

Most people don’t plan a wedding or get to work on time by saying “I’ll do it tomorrow.” For priority tasks, you want to make sure that you work backward from the future instead of forward from today.

In the big example of planning a wedding, you’re setting milestones for you and your future spouse: when to secure a venue, when to decide on the menu, when to send out invites, etc. In the smaller-scale example of getting to work, you’re doing the same thing in a tighter timeframe. You work backward from the future by saying things like “I’m going to shower at 6:30, be dressed and ready by 7, eat breakfast on my half hour commute, and be at my desk by 7:35 am.”

The key is to have a plan that doesn’t just revolve around tomorrow but one that’s also part of something larger. Want to get more help with time management? Read Arden’s free eBook How Does an Executive Coaching Engagement Work? to find out if pairing up with an executive coach is the push you need to turn “I’ll do it tomorrow” into “I’ll do it today.”

How Does an Executive Coaching Engagement Work?

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