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For many years I suffered from that deadly thing called procrastination. I was constantly in the habit of putting off doing tasks and projects until the following day, the next and even the next week what I needed to accomplish on the given day. It became a compulsive, habitual pattern of behavior in my life and it grew increasingly worst during the years I was working on completing my Masters Business Administration degree program. I was just terrible at getting my assignments completed on time, simply because I kept telling myself when tomorrow comes, I will get right to it. "Never boast about tomorrow. You don't know what will happen between now and then." (Proverbs 27:1 GNT)
The worst thing that could have happened
I finally got my rude awakening. It was the date of the deadline on which my final project was due for submission and I was no where near completion. One glitch after another until at last, through one accidental touch of a button on my computer, all the data and the work that I had already completed were all gone, lost, and could not be recovered. There was no way of me controlling, much less containing the sudden rush of liquid glass that poured down the river banks of my stone cold cheek bones. I was frozen, totally devastated and, in the whirlwind of emotions I found myself in, I became numb with pain.
I had learned my lesson the hard way
I began to question myself.
Should I call the College Professor, provide the excuse by explaining what went wrong with the hope that I would be spared?
Should I just call it a loss, flunk the course and beat up on myself some more for such a dumb inexcusable thing as procrastination?
Simply stated, procrastination is a dumb thing to be entangled with and it just cost too much! Much of my set back and delay was partly out of fear. I dreaded the Maths based course and was just too prideful to seek help and so in my attempt to get it figured out on my own somehow, I kept it to myself.
Breaking free from procrastination
Relinquish trust in yourself and turn it over to God.
Breaking free completely means that you can no longer trust in yourself, but you must learn to place your trust in God completely. There is nothing that you and I cannot master with the help of Christ who gives us the strength and the ability to do those things that are difficulty for us to handle on our own. (Philippians 4:13)
Start now, today. Now is the accepted time, now is the day of your salvation. Not next month, next week or tomorrow. Absolutely no man is guaranteed a tomorrow. Missed opportunity is never regained.
Face your fears with a spirit of boldness
God has not given to us a spirit to fear, but of power, love and a soundness in our mind. While we hate to admit that we have fears, thinking that it is a sign of weakness, let's not forget that it is when we are in a state of weakness, it is then we are our strongest because of Christ who is greater living on the inside of us. God does His best work when we are at our worst in a low state.
Kick the habit of making excuses
The bible says the lazy man is full of excuses. (Proverbs 22:13 LB) Recall also the man the bible speaks of who had an infirmity for thirty eight long years. (John 5:2-9) He missed the opportunity of receiving his healing time and time again. Why? While some scripture reference describes him as being impotent, my guess is it was laziness to some extent. Rather than getting up from the place where he sat and going into the pool of Bethesada, he kept on waiting for someone else to lift him up and put him in the water. Jesus had one question for him, and that is, "Wilt thou be made whole?" Do you want to be delivered from procrastination, then stop making the excuses.
By all means, establish a plan and have a schedule and stick with it.
The absence of plan and a schedule, you are setting up yourself for failure. In the book of Proverbs 13:16, it tells us that a wise man plans ahead of time but on the other hand, the one who lacks a plan is considered a fool. Use sticky note pads if you have to, jot down your thoughts immediately as they come to mind and then slot them onto the list of things to do. Give yourself deadlines - at work, even at home in getting chores done such as doing the laundry, house cleaning etc.
Listening to your favourite music can take the boredom out of certain tasks.
This works best when doing tasks that do not require much mental activity. It is also a great way to get you pumped up, and do an exercise workout while you are moving around the house doing your domestic work.
Focus on the benefit, and not the pain of having to stick with it until the task or project is finished.
Nothing good comes easy in life. It takes a lot of hard work and much sacrifice. It may mean getting an hour or two less sleep, giving up hanging with the boys, going to the movies, or going to the party. The pay off in the end is far greater than, the risks and the cost associated with procrastination.
Reward yourself each time you complete your assignments and made the deadline.
This is especially great on the job when you have projects to complete, especially the difficult ones. Push yourself to go the extra mile and above, beyond the call of duty. You may think that no one cares or even takes notice, but in the long run, there will be a tremendous blessing and a reward with your name assigned to it!
What are the things that God wants you to do but you keep pushing it aside that it has not been done yet?
What do you make excuses about that it is now costing you?
What was/is your experience with procrastination?
The happy ending to my story back then was that I did call the University and spoke to the Professor explaining myself. I was spared and given a new day to submit my project. I was successful in the end.
My final thoughts comes from Galatians 6:9, let us not become tired or weary in of doing good, for if we do not give up, the time will come when we reap a harvest. If 20 minutes is all you can spend today on working on your goal, do it. At the end of the day, you will feel much better that you did!