The most offensive-three letter word to a procrastinator is the word now.
Q: Who wants to do now what they “think” they’ll do tomorrow?
A: Every procrastinator on the face of the earth.
I don’t know what it is, but there is just something about this three-letter word that makes me feel as though it’s a four-letter word (@#&!). If you are a procrastinator or a recovering procrastinator you know exactly what I’m talking about.
We have big ideas and even bigger dreams, but somehow we never get it out of our heads and into our hands. And if we do, we don’t see it through to fruition. Why is that?
Well, as a recovering procrastinator here’s my list of reasons why we put off doing things (presented in no particular order):
- Sheer laziness (yeah, I just put it out there didn’t I)
- Fear of (failing, succeeding, the unknown)
- Like to only start projects
- Project is too detailed for your liking
- Habit of taking on too much…you overextend yourself and then bail when it gets to be too much
- Enjoy daydreaming about the project more than doing the project
- Rather share your ideas about the project and have someone else implement it
Any of these resonate with you? I’m sure you can add more, but let’s not focus on the problem and get right to the solution.
If you are a procrastinator the first thing you need is a compelling call to action that links your head, heart and hands to the task before you. Nehemiah demonstrates this beautifully in the Bible.
Nehemiah grieved when he discovered the walls protecting his homeland, Jerusalem, were torn down. It moved him so that he found it in his heart to rebuild the wall so his people would no longer have to live in a state of reproach and exposed to danger. He came up with a plan, rallied the people and they began to rebuild the wall.
Detractors tried to stop the work a number of times, even to the point of inviting Nehemiah to come meet with them. But Nehemiah was too smart for their attempt to distract him. Here’s what he said:
So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3 NKJV)
Don’t you just love it! “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down.”
I guarantee if you take the time to find the greatness in your work procrastination will no longer be a problem. In fact, you will long to do the work–excited about what you are creating and what will be sustained by others even after you’re gone.
Discover your compelling call to action and then put it into action. Get others to join you. Show them the big picture. Let them know what will be done, why it’s important, who will it help and specify how they will be helped.
Then stand up straight, square your shoulders, look procrastination directly in the eyes and tell it “I have no need for you”.