Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us that there is a time for everything.
A few years ago, my sister-friend and I were discussing past mistakes in the various roles we played in our lives – especially as business women. At the time, we both were the CEOs of million dollar businesses and bother struggled with procrastination. I had told her that I really didn’t know why I delayed taking certain actions in a timely manner. Some of the delays were simply embarrassing to even mention.
Procrastination is synonymous to delay. I’ve missed deadlines that cost me money. I’ve missed appointments and opportunities. I’ve missed connecting with awesome people and probably missed God’s favor because I delayed action. Now, don’t tell me that a person can’t miss God’s favor. If you are not in the right place at the right time, trust me, you certainly CAN. I believe that procrastination is an assault on God’s predestined plans for our lives.
Procrastination is also synonymous to broken heart
I remember promising my boys that I would take them to the Universoul Circus one year. I waited until the last minute to purchase tickets. When I went to the ticket booth (in the rain), they had sold out! My heart sank. Now, I had to go home and tell my sweetie pies we were not going to the circus. Then I wanted to kick myself. They were so disappointed. I realized that I was a chronic procrastinator.
Why do we procrastinate?
I believe there are at least 6 places where procrastination originates from, Brain Chemistry, Rebellion (Anger), Overwhelm, Laziness, Fear and Lack of Motivation.
Brain Chemistry – There are many people who struggle with putting actions off because of symptoms related to ADHD.
Rebellion (Anger) – Have you ever been mad at someone and out of spite you decided not to carry out a task they asked you to do because you were going to get back at them.
Overwhelm – This is when you have too much on your plate and you are stretched too thin. You try to use time that you don’t have to carry out tasks.
Laziness – People don’t really like to admit that they are lazy. I will be the first to admit it, especially on a gloomy, rainy day or when I just had a heavy meal full of carbs.
Fear – You’ve heard this before. It’s a popular answer to the cause of procrastination. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of rejection. Fear of being seen as a fraud. The list goes on and on.
Lack of motivation – You are simply not interested. You don’t have the drive nor the passion. You just don’t want to.
First things first…
I want to give you some steps you can take but the first thing you have to do is determine what place the procrastination is coming from. Get to the root.
Dr. Pamela Wiegartz suggested asking yourself a few questions to determine if your procrastination is coming from a place of fear.
- When faced with a task, do you think of all the ways it could go wrong?
- Do you picture how important people in your life might react if you failed?
- Do you believe it’s better to not try at all than to try your best and fail?
- Are you overwhelmed by the possibility of new responsibilities if you are successful?
- Do you subscribe to the idea “If I do well, then others will expect more of me”?
- Do you feel your success will lead to other people finding out the “real you”?
- Do you believe that if you’re going to do something, you should try to do it perfectly?
- Do you find it difficult to persist when things aren’t going just right?
- Would you rather avoid doing something than do it imperfectly?
I would add these questions:
Is it rebellion (anger)?
Do you say “no” because you are mad or upset with someone?
Do you believe that delaying actions because it’ a way of pay someone back?
Is it overwhelm?
Do you have more tasks than time so you put things off?
Do you feel frustrated or stretched too thin so you think you can do it later?
Is it laziness?
Do you find that you delay tasks after you have consumed excessive sugar or other carbohydrates?
Do you find it difficult to carry out tasks because you feel fatigued and tired?
Do you just don’t feel like doing certain tasks, no rhyme or reason?
Is it brain chemistry?
Have you always found it difficult to remember daily activities?
Have you ever been diagnosed by a doctor that you ADHD (Note: this is NOT a diagnosis)?
Is it lack of motivation?
Do you believe that the task is simply boring?
Do you have no interest and it’s like pulling teeth to perform the task?
Start here…Action Steps
- Admit that you are a procrastinator.
- Surrender to God any desires you have to put priorities off.
- Ask God to give you wisdom in every role you play in life so you can put important things first.
- Be sincere about changing your behavior by committing to take practical AND spiritual steps to eliminate procrastination.
- During your meditation time, ask God what task should be a priority that day.
- Write in a journal what you hear from God.
- Take responsibility for your lack of action because you have the Spirit of Christ living inside you to help.
- Find someone who can be your accountability partner.
- Watch what you eat and when you eat.
- Meditate on the following scriptures and write in your journal any divine downloads.
- 1 Corinthians 10:13
- Psalm 139:23-24
- Romans 4:20
- James 1:4