Thoughts about Procrastination
One definition is, “the action of delaying or postponing something”.
Maybe I could restate this as, “The action of inaction”.
We all do a bit of this. Some do a lot of it.
Ephesians 5:15-16 (NKJV)
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
The Important Things
Delaying action has its place in our lives. We simply can’t do everything, so choosing which thoughts to act on and which to delay is an important skill.
If you are putting off the unimportant things for the important ones, that is not procrastination. It is prioritization. Well done.
But if you are avoiding doing the necessary or putting off the start of the thing God to which has clearly called you, then that is classic, negative procrastination. The thoughts that follow are about the negative practice of putting off important tasks.
Sometimes it is Fear
Are you afraid to begin. Afraid of…
We’ve all been there. But fear is not a good motivator. Fear paralyzes. It will not be the vehicle to your success. Fear is already stealing time from you, will you also all it to steal your success?
Act in faith. If it is your calling. If you feel drawn by God to it. Move in faith and overcome fear.
The Loss of Fantasy
Procrastination allows you to stay in “goal fantasy”. As long as you haven’t started yet, the goal in your mind is already achieved. You see the outcome. But once you begin to act, the bubble bursts. Reality hits. The work of doing is actually hard. Perhaps you suffer your first setback. Then time marches on and the goal is still far off.
Maybe you don’t feel different, even though you are working hard. The goal eludes you. All this work and for what?
Procrastination keeps the fantasy going and hope strong. Attacking your goals delays hope.
Yet if you procrastinate you never really connect with reality or your success. Attacking brings reality into view and allows you to apprehend your fantasy in the end - even though the process is difficult.
The Strange Dichotomy.
Procrastination allows you to feel the pleasure of achieving your goal; to focus on the outcome with joy. However, it robs you of peace because deep down you know that standing between you and your out come is a valley of pain or work or risk.
So you have pleasure and anxiety co-existing. Pleasure of the fantasy. Anxiety over the reality.
Is this similar to the nature of addiction? It gives you just enough pleasure to continue the fantasy , but not so much as to feel good by walking out of your pain.
Carpe Diem. Seize the day.
Redeem the time.
Get started. We have a fixed amount of time here in this life to achieve our potential, fulfill our calling, affect the world, and lay up treasure in heaven.
The only thing you have to do to defeat the inaction of procrastination - is to do some action.
Do something that moves you towards your mark. it doesn’t have to be much. But the sheer act of first action breaks the pattern of procrastination.
Let the work begin.