I’m a deadline person. I love knowing when I have to have something finished. Why?
Because I procrastinate.
When I have a deadline, I know how long I can procrastinate, but I also have a definite must-be-finished time.
I have tried a lot of different things to stop procrastinating, and I have found that (at least for me) procrastination is usually an issue of laziness and lack of self-discipline. And all the tools in the time management books don’t work unless you are willing to use them.
It doesn’t matter how many “tools” I use to overcome procrastination. If I don’t discipline myself, I will never overcome it and will always be less productive than I can be or should be.
In the last couple of years, I have been staying at home to assist my grandmother because her health and her memory are not doing so well. Being at home on a full-time basis was a drastic change for me, and unfortunately it has shown just how much I lack self-discipline. Laziness and procrastination have been dominant.
Grandma is not as demanding as she used to be. She mostly wants to just sit around and watch TV. Occasionally she wants to go for a drive and every 2-3 months she has doctors’ appointments, but as long as I am here at home, I have a lot of free time on my hands.
I do most of the housekeeping, but I am able to get most of that done in under an hour a day. Because it takes so little time, it is easy to put it off if I don’t want or feel like doing it.
The blog takes up some of my time, but because it is more of a hobby than a business for me it is another thing that is easy to put off. But it has become a great tool for me to work on my self-discipline. Posting on a daily basis is a challenge, but I have been doing it consistently for over a year now although I usually leaving writing my posts until the last minute.
Procrastination is a time waster. It steals time from us, and we can’t get that time back.
Time is a precious commodity. Unlike money time cannot be saved. We can do things in a more efficient manner that allows us to use that time somewhere else, but we can’t literally save time. Time can only be spent and how we spend our time is important.
One of the things that I have learned in the last couple of years is that it is easy to procrastinate when you think that you have all the time in the world.
But each of us is given only 24 hours. That 24 hours makes a single day, and we are not promised that we will have more than that single day. We assume that we will but it is not guaranteed so how we spend those 24 hours is important.
Lately I frequently find myself asking the question:
“What would I do if I knew that I had only 24 hours to live? What about 1 week or 1 month?”
Would it change the way that I live?
Asking this question has developed a sense of urgency in me. It is a sense that I need to grab life for all its worth and enjoy it. It is a sense that I need to stop putting off what I need or even want to do until tomorrow.
And that sense of urgency is becoming my cure for procrastination.
I have started on a journey of becoming more intentional about how I spend my time. I have created a daily routine to help me define my priorities. I have also revamped my to-do list and it has gone a long way toward helping me stay on track and not procrastinate.
It has been challenging because procrastination is such an ingrained habit in me, but I find myself feeling more accomplished and happier.
My challenge to you: Let go of procrastination and let God teach you self-discipline.