Procrastination is a cancer! How do I know? Well that’s easy, I allowed it to plague my life for many years. I was a master at it and the art was so refined in me that my excuses actually started to sound virtuous.
I found myself blurting things like “When I’m better qualified I’ll…”, or “As soon as I get the money I’ll…, “I want to be a good mother so I’ll sacrifice, wait until the children get older and then I’ll…. For those of you who are of faith, you’ll understand this one! “I’m just waiting patiently on the Lord”. This was probably the most crippling for me because I genuinely want to please Him. I thank God that He gave me the wisdom to understand that those words quoted in the bible, wait patiently are active tense and not passive! In other words of course you wait and take His lead but you are actually expected to do something in the waiting period; active listening is a good place to start. However, I’ll reserve that thought as it deserves a blog post all by itself.
I literally woke up one morning and realised that I had made so many excuses about living my dreams, exploring the unknown and blazing new paths that I started actively and consciously trying to build my awareness of why I was stuck in a web of delay.
I realised that if left unattended procrastination can eventually spread throughout every area of your life. Before you know it, even your deepest dreams will have been sieged by its grip. The good news is… It can be conquered. How? Well I’ve jotted down a few principles that I am practicing to overcome it and I wanted to share them with you.
1. Daily make a decision to do things NOW and don’t be a slave to delaying things until tomorrow! Life is about choices. You have to make a conscious effort to follow through on your plans and goals. They won’t just happen.
2. Be deliberate about doing things TODAY! This means daily moulding your thought process to practice the skill of immediacy. Yes, it’s a skill and once practiced like anything else it can be perfected.
3. Commit things to habit. In other words; engage in the continuous effort and application of doing things in the now. After a while your behaviour will change and NOWNESS will be habitual.
4. Admit your state of procrastination!!! Awareness is the first step to recovery so write down your excuses. Trust me once you see them on paper you’ll realise how ridiculous they are. Ask yourself the hard questions. Why am I so afraid? What am I afraid of? What’s the worst thing that can happen if I fail? Am I afraid of failure or success? What’s crippling me from starting?
5. Connect with doers! There are a lot of people out there who like the discussion stage but when you’re in a state of procrastination it’s vital to be around those who will believe in the risks you want to take and encourage you to jump off! Align yourself with people who get things done. It will rub off on you and they are usually great accountability partners who will ask the right questions that move you to action.
6. Charge your atmosphere with people of like vision and faith. Keep away from the naysayers! These are the people who will give you a million reasons why it won’t work. I.e. The global financial crisis, your age or gender, your current financial position, the local economy. None of these excuses have any creative power to shape or influence your God given dreams.
7. Confession, declaration and the right speech are probably the most integral part of this process. We all know about the creative power of words so it’s not rocket science we’re dealing with here! Continually confess what you want to see, eventually the power of those words will inform and stabilise your belief. This again has to become a practice. Those of you reading this post who are of the Christian faith, go back to basics… To live this practically you need to:
a) Find the scriptures that speak specifically to your situation
b) Formulate them into some kind of order so you can say them in the first person
c) Create a list or folder so you can build on them. You’ll be surprised
how many are revealed to you once you begin
d) Speak them aloud daily or as many times as you have to until faith is formed in your heart. The strong and difficult ones will take more work. So be prepared to put the time and effort in
This list is by no means exhaustive but rather just a few nuggets I’m learning along the way. I hope they’ll be helpful and remember… The information is only useful when put into practice.
So start TODAY!
I’d love to hear from you on how you’ve overcome it, are overcoming it or some of your challenges. So feel free to comment.