Choose Not to Procrastinate

Choices change lives…

By Barbara Dahlgren

Procrastination is the name of the game and in my last blog you learned that I am very good at it. So good, in fact, I decided to continue with that theme. I have a myriad of excuses for not doing what I know I need to do, and they have served me well. Here are a few…   

“I’ll wait until I’m in the mood.” Being “genderly” prone to mood swings, I use this for my advantage. 

“I’ll do it tomorrow.” Known as the “mañana syndrome,” I believe in never doing today what I can put off until tomorrow.

“I’ll do it tomorrow if….” Known as the “contingent mañana syndrome,” this allows me to put a stipulation on whether or not I actually will do it tomorrow. For example: “I’ll do it tomorrow if the sun is shining” or “I’ll do it tomorrow if it is raining” or “I’ll do it tomorrow if half my street has sunshine and the other half has rain.”

“I work better under pressure.” This really is a half-truth. I will work under pressure, but I won’t work better under pressure.

“I don’t know where to begin.” I get overwhelmed if the project is big. This could lead to depression, so the easiest thing is not to start at all.

“It’s too hard.” Not being one who likes a challenge, I prefer to take the easy route, especially if I would have to get out of my comfort zone. When the going gets tough, I take a nap.

“It takes a special kind of knowledge and know-how that I don’t have.” Sure, I could actually learn something new, but why when I am so comfortable not learning something new. 

“It’s too time-consuming.” My time is so valuable that I don’t want to waste it doing anything too profitable. It might keep me from the more important things like surfing the net, playing video games, or watching mindless TV.

“I might mess it up.” If I don’t succeed at this, everyone will consider me a failure. My logic is simple: How can I fail if I never do anything?

“I need to have some fun.” A little escapism never hurt anyone. I deserve a break today. It will help me clear my head so I can start fresh.

“I need to relax.” I’m so tense! Perhaps I’ll read a little or listen to some music first. Then I’ll get started.   

“I’m lazy.” I know this kind of negative self-talk is unhealthy, but there’s no arguing with the truth. Actually, I love being lazy. Some people get bored easily, but I never tire of doing nothing.

“A lion might kill me.” I rely on this excuse heavily because it’s biblical. Proverbs 22:13 (NLT) says the lazy person is full of excuses, saying, “If I go outside, I might meet a lion in the street and be killed!” Well, I know I’m lazy, so I’d better lay low.

Procrastination is the one thing I’m really, really good at! However, just because we’re good at something doesn’t mean it’s good for us! We can be good at robbing banks, but eventually the law will catch up with us. Procrastination catches up with us, too! Our time runs out – and time cannot be regained. Procrastination not only robs us of our time but also our money, our productivity, our families, our friendships, our sense of worth, and our relationship with God.

Procrastination can make us lazy (Proverbs 13:4). Procrastination can keep us from putting first things first (Matthew 6:33). Procrastination can keep us from moving forward (Philippians 3:13-14). Procrastination can pull us away from God (James 4:17).

Consider this… God says to use our time wisely (Ephesians 5:16). We shouldn’t put off until tomorrow what should be done today, because tomorrow may never come.

One final thought… Today, right now, this moment is what we’ve been given and we need to make the most of it (Proverbs 27:1).

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