Choose Not to Master the Art of Procrastination

Choices change our lives…

By Barbara Dahlgren

My ability to procrastinate amazes me. You might say I’ve mastered the art of procrastination— and I don’t recommend it, but I do have to deal with it. I can find more things to do to keep from doing what I need to do than anyone I know. Idleness is not my problem. I stay plenty busy, but I stay busy doing things I don’t need to do. Like the definition, I am the classic example of “putting off intentionally and habitually doing what should be done.” Sometimes I abhor myself for this trait so I will share my train of thought that leads me astray.

For example, as I wait for motivation to write, I might repeat some pithy sayings designed to motivate me to get started. I repeat them to myself as I sit at my computer with these results:

“The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.” WOW! Just thinking about a thousand-mile journey makes me tired. You know, I didn’t get much sleep last night. Maybe I should take a nap and get started after I feel refreshed.

“To start is half the battle.” Oh, that reminds me that I wanted to record that documentary they are showing tonight on PBS about the Battle of Gettysburg. I better go set the DVR right now before I forget.

“Steady, slow, and consistent can accomplish more than brilliant spasms of work.” Brilliant! Yes, I want this thing I’m writing to be brilliant, but my mind doesn’t seem real sharp right now. I bet if I played a game of computer Solitaire it would sharpen my senses. Keeping the mind active helps ward off Alzheimer’s, you know.

“How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time!” That reminds me I skipped lunch. Maybe I should make myself a sandwich. Better yet, I’ll just pop out and get a burger. Where is that coupon I had for a dollar off the combo? After I eat, I’ll feel like working.

“Life is like a coin you can spend anyway you want, but you can only spend it once.” Maybe I should put all those coins I’ve been saving in that Mason jar in those little nickel, dime, and quarter wrappers, take them to the bank, and see how much I have. I could use the money to buy my burger.

“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” Where is that to-do list I was making for tomorrow? I just thought of a few more things I need to put on it. Better put them on the list now before I forget. I just love checking off things on my to-do list when I get them done. But what did I do with that list???   

“No farmer ever plowed a field by turning it over in his head.” You know, my Uncle John is a farmer. He’s pretty old and I haven’t talked to him in a while. I think I’ll give him a call. I always feel so inspired after we chat.

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Where is that Steve Greg book I was reading about hell, anyway? Maybe I should read a little of it. Hey, if there is anything that will motivate me, it’s thinking about going to hell. Motivate me???? What is it I’m trying to do? Sorry, I lost my concentration. What was I talking about? Oh yes! Procrastination!

Then I think of this quote by St. Augustine: “God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but he has promised tomorrow to your procrastination.” Now that’s pretty pithy! And here’s another one that works well for me: “Just do it!”

Consider this… We can never redeem all the wasted time (Ephesians 5:16) so just do it! Do it now!

One final thought… I found this on the internet while procrastinating. Old habits die hard.

Procrastination is my sin.

It brings me naught but sorrow.

I know that I should stop it.

In fact, I will…tomorrow.

~Gloria Pitzer

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