Something else to keep in mind, Pychyl says, is that the future isn't as far away as you think. Hal Hershfield, a marketing professor at UCLA's School of Management, looked into how our brains think of our present selves compared to how we think of our future selves. With the help of fMRI scans, he found that people associate thoughts about their present selves in a different area of the brain than they process information about their future selves. In fact, the area of the brain associated with future selves in the study is the same area associated with thoughts about strangers. "Neurologically speaking, we think about our future selves as strangers," Pychyl says. In another study, Hershfield had college students look at digitally-aged images of themselves. These students developed more empathy for their future selves, and as a result they were less likely to procrastinate on doing schoolwork and studying for exams. Making our future selves feel less like strangers can actually help us accomplish things in the present.