Guest Post: Procrastination: A Purpose Killer by Sean Lewis
Some of us, many of us, are just lazy. We don’t feel like doing anything. Look even deeper though, and there might be other reasons why we procrastinate and never get things done. I procrastinated writing what you’re reading right now.
Proverbs 13:4 says “Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.”
You have deadlines. You have dreams. You have desires. We have to put in work for what we want. That doesn’t always mean physically; we have to apply ourselves mentally. We have to prepare, be diligent and use wisdom in our lives.
Here are a few reasons one might procrastinate…
Lack of motivation: If you freely choose to participate in something that has no benefit to your life, you won’t want to do anything. For instance, don’t pursue a degree in something that has nothing to do with what sets your heart on fire.
Lack of focus: We have so much going on in the world, and so many options, that it’s easy to get distracted. It’s hard to sit down for one second and get anything done if we don’t discipline ourselves. When you turn the tv off, then there’s your phone. When you put your phone down, then you get hungry. After you eat, then you get sleepy. When you wake up, you remember a new album you just have to listen to. When you’re done listening to music, then you turn the tv back on. The cycle continues.
Not understanding life is a process: Many people just want to skip everything and get to the finish line. Waiting can be difficult, so some people just opt to abandon the process without realizing they’re actually prolonging it with procrastination. The mindset is, I don’t want to wait while going through the process so I’ll just wait here at the beginning without moving forward.
Not enough challenge: Simply put, you’re bored because you need more to do. You’re so bored you don’t feel like doing anything because it isn’t a challenge.
Perfectionism: If it’s not perfect, you don’t want to be involved in it. You’re afraid of failure. You strive for every little detail to be extravagant. While excellence is essential, don’t make the mistake of missing the mark by not wanting to miss the mark by never aiming at it.
Feeling inadequate: You don’t feel like you can complete the task. You think what you’re called to do is too big for you to participate in. You start to let negative thinking creep into your head and have a pessimistic party in your thoughts.
Self-sabotage: An extension of feeling inadequate, you further make sure you don’t achieve the greatness in you by making sure you don’t do anything at all so you don’t get there.
Now, procrastination can be overcome.
Here are some practical ways to combat procrastination…
Challenge your body: I’ve found that when I tell my body what it’s going to do when it feels like doing something else, the discipline extends to all areas of my life. Sometimes I fast, for instance. If I have a project to do and get sleepy all of a sudden, I do not take a nap. I make myself sit down somewhere and get work done. I put my phone away at times. I won’t indulge in snacks when I haven’t eaten any real food yet and those little strawberry shortcakes look so good. When I don’t feel like taking a jog, I take it. All of this and more will help you with procrastination.
Use tools and technology: Calendars, checklists, to-do lists, writing notes, etc… basically, organize your life. Know when you need to get things done so you can get things done. Know what you need to do so you can do it. Your time is valuable, spend it wisely.
See the bigger picture: If you don’t have a vision for your life, it’ll be hard to focus on where you’re going. Until you have an idea of where you’re going, you’re either going nowhere, the wrong way, or in a circle. Having a glimpse of what’s ahead of you will cause you to keep pushing and not procrastinate.
Remember the reward: Don’t forget to have fun. Enjoy yourself, do something for yourself sometime, so completing something won’t seem like just a moral victory or monetary gain with no pleasure. Psalm 128:3 reads “You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be!”
2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us “My power works best in weakness.”
In the end, we have to realize our purpose is larger than what we can imagine. If we allow him, it is God who will work in us and through us, despite our shortcomings, to leave an impact on this planet.