As a college student I would sometimes wait until the morning of a final exam to start studying. That may have been when I first realized I had a procrastination problem.
Over the years I looked for different methods to cure procrastination. I tried time management techniques, to-do lists, listened to motivational speakers and failed miserably.
I read the Bible to see what it said about procrastination and found some verses that addressed my problem.
- "Finishing Is better than starting. Patience is better than pride." - Ecclesiastes 7:8 NLT
- "But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don't be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at bringing others to Christ. Complete the ministry God has given you." - 2 Timothy 2:4 NLT
My problem is finishing what I start.
The founder of Procrastinators-Anonymous.org describes procrastination as an addiction: "Procrastinators do not have a problem with time management. They have a problem with compulsive avoidance ... Procrastination is a form of addictive escapism that must be dealt with directly or there will be no recovery."
In my struggles I have noticed two destructive behavioral patterns.
- I allow my feelings to decide what I do. If I don't feel like doing something, I delay taking action.
- I am easily distracted. Before I know it 30 minutes can go by as I read some interesting news articles or check Facebook and Twitter.
Unfortunately I can't say I have completely ended my procrastination habit. However, I have noticed some small successes in accomplishing tasks.
The best advice I can offer is:
- Start the day well. If I get up early, I am usually more motivated to work. Michael Hyatt says, "Slay your dragons before breakfast."
- Be willing to make intense sacrifices to fight the problem. Occassionally I have pulled all-nighters to complete a task that just wasn't getting done.
- Get an accountability partner especially if you are single. I think singles without children have a bigger problem with procrastination than married couples.
- Get a timer and set small deadlines. Work on something for 20 minutes. That is better than never starting.
If you have a serious struggle with procrastination, and want someone to talk to, you can email me: barry at christianpost.com - and perhaps we can work together to as a team to finish the important steps in life.