Tuesday’s post identified fatigue as one of the enemies that keep us from living “Fully Alive.”
Procrastination is another enemy that seeks to keep us from doing life. If you have ever been frustrated because the things you really want to do never seem to get done this post may be the powder that ignites the fuse to help you finish projects and realize your dreams.
Here are three steps to preventing procrastination from stealing power from your life.
Step 1. Recognize where procrastination comes from! There are three reasons why we procrastinate.
Fear and perfectionism are related. They can often be seen holding hands. I am a fearful, perfectionist procrastinator, so this post is written as much for me as for you. Fear of rejection or criticism causes us to put off important projects and dreams until we can get them perfect.
Get used to the truth. It will never be perfect! And, even if were perfect people would still criticize it!
I like Seth Goden’s advice. Ship it! Do your best and then ship it. Get it out there. You can sharpen it and make it better later.
Laziness is an unwillingness to put forth effort. BUT choosing poor priorities is often perceived as laziness. A person who chooses to watch some inane television show instead working on the book they’ve dreamed of writing is perceived as being lazy.
Choosing to get lost in aimless Internet browsing instead of calling the neighbor you have been meaning to spend time with is a misplaced priority, not laziness. We choose these less important activities because they come without risk and don’t require public scrutiny. Prioritize!
A new twist on an old saying spurs me to prioritize every day.
“Put off until tomorrow what will keep you from doing what you should do today.”
When we procrastinate because we don’t want to expend effort, that”s being lazy. Move! Make it happen!
Step 2. Recognize the damage procrastination causes in life.
Missed opportunity and regret are the damage caused by procrastination. I had a dear friend get sick this year. Although my intentions were good, I thought about it every day, I kept putting it off.
On the day I finally got around to calling, he was too sick to have visitors and within a few days he died. I regret missing the opportunity to tell my friend how much I loved him and how much his friendship meant to me.
Step 3. Resolve to stop procrastinating.
No explanation needed here. No need to over-think the problem. Stop procrastinating and live! Determine that when something worth doing comes to my mind you will immediately find a way to assign a time to get started.
See it through to the finish and then “Ship it.”
Check out this hilarious YouTube clip “Stop it,” by Bob Newhart.[reminder] Let me know about your experience with enemy of procrastination and how you deal with it.[/reminder]
I too am a fearful procrastinator, Ken, and fall into that trap at times. But my problem with step #3 is whenever I set a time for something like my writing, it gets sabotaged by something else that can’t wait–like a child’s homework, doctor appt, or an editing project.
Sorry to hear about your friend. I remind myself often of being intentional about spending time with my parents and mother-in-law before it’s too late.
Enjoy this blessed day!
Set the time carefully to avoid when those interruptions are least likely to come and honor that time. Doing so is as much important for your children, family and friends as it is for you. Doesn’t have to be huge hunks of time. Ask you family to honor that time as well. Try it. Keep at it. Don’t give up.
I liked that you explained Laziness vs Procrastination. I tend to be like a parakeet with ADD; I can’t seem to focus on anything any more
That video was great… 🙂 We have to take responsibility for our actions, and choose to “Stop it!”
There are times we need other help but so much of the responsibility revolves around us taking responsibility. Thank you for your comment1
Neither Laziness, nor procrastination is the problem. It is ignorance. Where do I begin? Stories spin around in my head, some end up on paper, some are just shared with my girls. Then what? haha! My head is going to split with all the scenes waiting to be tied together into a best seller… or just something for my family’s enjoyment… Maybe, I need a stage and I can just portion them out in small bits… Maybe a blog… hhmm. I think I am inspired just by being on your site! Maybe I am actually talking to myself. Did I forget my medication? What was I doing?
Thanks for allowing me to share the space with you! Love all you stuff. God bless your ministry!
Wow! Now my head is spinning. But that is normal for me. As an ADHD
pro I can tell you that it is important to grab one of the things that
spin and bring it to completion. Then grab another one. Otherwise you
get vertigo or vaird it go or nausea. Thanks for contributing to the
conversation. Bottom line…. I know that of which you speak.
Thanks for your input and for graciously getting back to me.
Are you ever afraid that you will grab one (idea) that continues to spin unyielding to your attempts to lure it into submission. The result possibly being like walking a large unruly dog that drags you instead? Or that proverbial hamster wheel… only you are hanging onto the outside of the wheel and are flying through the air gracefully and then it runs over you before centrifugal forces fling you into a new train of thought and eventually you have no idea how you got where you are and you still have not left your computer chair! I have always wondered why I don’t burn extensive calories this way!
Again, thanks for your ministry and always keeping the Joy of the Lord as our strength! Praise God for all HE is doing in you!
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