Procrastination never makes problems go away. Have you noticed that?
A leaky faucet never stops leaking on its own. The squeal in my car brakes will get worse. Putting off medical tests is never a good idea.
Procrastination can also be costly. I don’t want to tell you how many home and appliance repairs I’ve put off until the month after the warranty expires.
What about procrastinating on pursuing a dream? It could be to write a book, take a vacation or find a new job. Some excuses just don’t hold water. Like, I’m too old for that. Guess what? In five years I’ll be older. Other excuses revolve around money. Interestingly, if I save $10 a week starting now, I’ll have $40 more saved next month than I would have.
Here’s a big procrastination excuse: time. If I say I don’t have time for something, then find time to watch recorded episodes of House Hunters International, I’m fooling myself.
Oh, the mind tricks we play … and how they hurt us.
Somethings do work themselves out without help. But not many. And sometimes we do need to wait … like for a check to arrive or for God to say “yes.” But that’s not what I”m talking about. I’m talking about putting off things we know we should do for the wrong reasons.
I recently read a book called Heroes and Monsters by Josh Riebock. The author writes: “Everyone can change tomorrow. Everyone solves problems tomorrow. But the only changes that matter are the ones I make today. Tomorrow is the easiest day I’ll ever live. Today is the scary one, which is probably why I’ve spent so much time avoiding it.”
He is right. Why do we think things get easier by putting them off? THEY DON’T!
Procrastination is a complicated issue, but getting to the root of why I procrastinate helps me deal with it. And the reasons are varied.
- Somethings I put off because I just don’t like doing them.
- Other things require more mental energy than I think I have.
- And still other things are hard and painful and scary.
Here’s how I deal with the desire to procrastinate.
- I keep my to-do list short and manageable. Long to-do lists discourage me from doing anything. If you haven’t read about my project management notebook, click here to see how I keep track of all my responsibilities.
- I divide big tasks into smaller tasks. For example, my bedroom closet needed attention but first I had to buy some inexpensive stacking shelves. So the next time I went to Wal-mart I made the purchase and moved that project forward.
- I assign small tasks to a specific day. Instead of doing a lot of things I don’t like on one day, I’ll spread them throughout the week.
- I seek God’s peace for the scary ones. Sometimes we avoid finding out the truth because of fear. This can apply to so many areas of our lives. But the TRUTH is God has already gone ahead of us into these scary places. He knows the future and He’s already got it under control. There is NOTHING we have to handle alone or in our own power.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. And I’d love to give away a really cute inspirational sign:
If you are reading this in an email, please click here to be taken to my blog. Post a comment with your thoughts and I’ll announce a winner on Wednesday. Please do not hit reply as that will only come back to me.
Grace & Peace,