Procrastinate: To put off doing something that should be done straight away, especially habitually or to an unspecified time. (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
Procrastinate: Defer action, be dilatory. (The Oxford Illustrated Dictionary)
Procrastinate: Putting off what you can do today for “tomorrow” (which never comes!), simply because right now: I am too discouraged, or too tired, or can’t be bothered, or are afraid to take the risk. (Lady Cee – Purpose-driven achiever)
“You are where you are and what you are because of yourself, nothing else. Nature is neutral. Nature doesn’t care. If you do what other successful people do, you will enjoy the same results and rewards that they do. And if you don’t, you won’t.”
― Brian Tracy, Focal Point: A Proven System to Simplify Your Life, Double Your Productivity, and Achieve All Your Goals
It has been said that procrastination is the thief of time. It is also the thief of your potential, your self-confidence, your future, your destiny. Because each time you indulge in the habit, you are robbing yourself, you are undermining your possibilities, you are sabotaging your destiny.
Procrastination. Even the word sounds hard and unfriendly!
Procrastination is a bad habit and like all bad habits they have most probably been practiced over years – so breaking that habit will take firm resolve, determination, persistence, indeed a plan.
In his book, The Writer’s Idea Book, Jack Heffron recommends that instead of focussing on this bad habit, you should take the approach of replacing it with the opposite or desired action. So for example, if you have procrastinated in writing daily in your journal, start programming yourself to not not write in your journal. In other words, stop focusing on the fact that you are not doing and begin focusing on doing.
Why do we procrastinate? Why do I procrastinate?
Fear, discouragement, laziness, being a perfectionist.
What are we/what am I afraid of?
When it came to completing my book project, fear and a perfectionist mind-set prevented me from making decisions. For example, my manuscript had been completed and I needed to move onto the next stage of pursuing publication but I found the process so bewildering.
There were so many schools of thought, and many people setting themselves up as experts. And there were so many conflicting pieces of advice that fear of making the wrong decision, immobilised me and made me put off making a decision.
Another reason why we can procrastinate is discouragement, which causes us to lose focus.
Well guess what purpose-driven achiever, if the devil realises this is your modus operandi, if your brain cottons on that this is how you regularly operate, then Mr Diablo and your subconscious are going to make sure that the procrastination pattern not only continues but they will supply you with a regular hamper of despair.
How about a nice plate of self-pity? Or a side dish of low self-esteem? Or a bowl full of rejection? Or a cup of pessimism? Go on have a full blown pity party!
And because someone snubs you, or falsely accuses you, or offends you in some way, your focus is diverted from the person you want to and are aiming to be, or the project you are trying to complete. Procrastination prevents you from moving forward towards your destiny, towards the fulfilment of your dreams. Procrastination renders you an unprofitable worker in God’s service. That’s why I just had to break up with Mr P (if you would like to read the letter ending my relationship with him click here).
Procrastination is a hungry beast, with an undisciplined appetite. The more you feed it, the more it wants and the fatter it becomes, ‘til it develops into an obese monstrosity in your life, such that it will take drastic measures to rescue you (think of those TV shows about obese people who eat until they cannot move or perform daily functions, so that firemen have to remove windows, or even the roof, in order to rescue them).
Procrastination destroys your potential.
So now we’ve seen the damage procrastination can do, how can we recover? How can we escape its trap? How can we move towards the opposite behaviour and mind-set?
First we need to decide, what is the opposite behaviour and ideal mind-set?
Industry. Diligence. An ‘I can do this’ attitude. It is self-confidence and self-discipline.
Now, through personal experience and discussion with others, I believe the main reason we procrastinate, is fear. Whether it is fear of failure, fear of success, or fear that we are not as talented or proficient as we believe, or are required to be.
Best-selling author, Meika Patton, raises this issue in her post Procrastination, Resistance, Fear? Join the Club (click here).
…if you send out fearful thoughts, you are sending out a low frequency vibration that will attract more things in your life to be fearful of. We always attract our vibrational match. We are in a sense magnets.
So, what can we do to counteract fear?
I’ve heard it said that courage is not the absence of fear but the decision to take action in spite of our fears.
There are many instances in the Bible, where God seeks to encourage us not to be fearful. We need to meditate upon such scriptures and literally take them to heart.
Purpose-driven achiever, the Lord is with you, has equipped you and will enable you.
Commit your dreams and endeavours into his hand. Trust him to bring your godly dreams and desires to pass.
He did it for me and I know he can do it for you.
Why am I so convinced?
Because God is no respecter of persons. Because God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. Because you are his masterpiece.
So make your choice today – procrastination or productivity?
Carol (aka Lady Cee)
Author of: Petitions From My Heart
Related post for further reading (click here)
QUESTION: Do you struggle with procrastination? Are you allowing this deadly thief to rob you of precious time, of your dreams, of your destiny? Please share your thoughts in a comment box below.
If you know someone who would benefit from this post, then please don’t hesitate to share it. Thank you.