The problem for some of us is that these mean the same thing. I'll do it when it's due.
Anyway, I'll feel more like doing it tomorrow.
Well, at least that's what we want to believe. In fact, there's good reason to think that we really will feel more like doing it tomorrow. Certainly we believe we'll feel more like doing it then as compared to doing it right now.
Here's how I think this story goes:
Oops, this is in fact the whole problem. We call it procrastination. It's really just a form of self-regulation failure. When we actually needed to exert some self-control at #1 above, we didn't. Everything after is just a sad rationalization of our weakness of will.
Oh, it's only human, that's for sure. We like immediate gratification. Some of us are terribly impulsive with a particular dislike for delayed gratification. And, we think in predictably irrational ways as Dan Ariely has so ably explained.
Let's not be fooled, however. Our irrationality is not what causes our procrastination. Many people exert the self control, they exert their willpower to act when they say they will act, when they intended to act, when they know it's in their best interest to act, even though they too are just as "irrational" as the next human being. It's not our irrationality that's the problem. It's an issue of willpower and weakness of will. Individuals who do act on their intentions don't necessarily dislike the task less. They just transcend the immediate emotions, exert self-control and act.
Due tomorrow - I'd rather not deal with it today. It's short-term gain. It's impulsivity when self-control is really what is required.
Do tomorrow? - You probably will because now your "back is against the wall." It will get done. Sometimes it might even seem like it's done well - at least the rush of positive emotions for finally getting it done (or something done) might have you think as much.
Due tomorrow. Yes, and it was completed yesterday. That's a life lived with a sense of agency. That's a recipe for real freedom and a happiness that only "taking the helm into your hands" can bring, as William James put it.
The choice is ours. It may not be an easy choice, but make no mistake about it, it's a choice. It's a choice that can get us out of the procrastination trap.