Monday, September 1, 2008

Procrastination Blues

Sorry I haven’t blogged for a while. I haven’t been too busy. Life hasn’t been too complicated. I’ve just been putting it off. It seems that when I said I wouldn’t be blogging as regularly as before I subconsciously gave myself permission to procrastinate. I should never do that. Procrastination is one of my biggest hang-ups. (There… now you know the ugly truth… I’m not perfect!) I even have a whole list of things I want to blog about, and the longer I procrastinate the longer it gets. Duh! Does anyone else struggle with procrastination? Any pointers for overcoming? I know I’m certainly not procrastinating out of faith. There’s no script playing in my head saying, “I know that if I put this off today, God will get it done!” Actually God is usually waiting on me to do it. It is my assigned task after all.

“Why put off tomorrow what you can do today?” (So the saying goes…) Different reasons. I’ve recently discovered that it’s usually fear based. I find the fear thing overwhelming, so I avoid what it is I need to do. What am I afraid of? I don’t know, usually stupid things. Sometimes it’s putting myself out there. Sometimes it’s all the nitty gritty details. Sometimes it’s not having enough time. Sometimes it’s not doing it right. Sometimes it’s people. Sometimes it’s change. No matter what the reasons may be, the fact is that procrastination has become a stronghold in my life.

Procrastination is definitely a “sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles” me (from Heb 12:1 AMP). The Message says “parasitic sin”. It is clever. It’s subtle, strategic, and serves as a distraction to steal my focus away from Christ. Some may say it’s a little harsh to call procrastination a sin, but Paul said, “whatever is not from faith is sin” (Rom 14:23b NASB). The simplest definition of sin I’ve ever heard is just, “missing the mark”. Procrastination trips me up, causes me to lose my focus and miss my target. It is also parasitic. A parasite steals energy from the host for it’s own purposes at the host’s expense. Procrastination steals energy from me and keeps me overwhelmed. The more I put something off, the harder it is to accomplish, and the more it overwhelms me. When I’m overwhelmed I feel like I don’t have enough strength to accomplish my task. Also, by calling procrastination sin I am more motivated to get it out of my life. I don’t want sin in my life, but I might be willing to overlook a “personality fault” and make excuses for it. The truth is, my procrastinating has made it necessary for me to invent a lot of excuses throughout the course of my life which are little more than deceptions. I’m done with making excuses. I want to be able to be fully forthright and honest with myself and everyone around me.

One of the things I have discovered recently is that half of the battle is just getting started on something. Usually once I get started, it really doesn’t take that much time and effort to complete a task. And for the bigger tasks sometimes I just need to work on it for a few minutes and then do something else for a little while. But sometimes the task it so big that even breaking it down and getting started are not enough to keep me from getting overwhelmed. Sometimes I need help, and I’m learning that that’s okay.

So now I’ve put myself out there. Okay, y’all, this is huge… I’m giving you permission to call me to task on this. (Maybe I shouldn’t, but for some strange reason I want to.) Let me make myself clear, I am by no means inviting criticism – just advice and accountability. If you think you have something for me, please just run it by God first and make sure. Then, please be gentle, not condemning. I want to be better and I’d love your support. And I must say, thank You, Christ for giving me strength to be more than a conqueror!

2 comments:

Samantha said...

A well-written post. I agree with you about the need to stop procrastination. You can find more help at http://www.stop-procrastination.org This website also has plenty of easy ways you can use to stop procrastination.

Steph said...

Thanks, Samantha, for the compliment and for the website info. I'll definitely check it out.