Former procrastinators, our tendency to put things off comes with a talent for rationalization. (Varnishing over?) For us, it’s easy to find reasons not to do what needs doing when it needs doing. We invent a perspective that serves our desire to delay. We twist facts in our favor, believe that, and act on the new version. It doesn’t work out well.
I want something to be true so I act as if it is. I want to have enough time to do my hair before church. So even though I know it will take 10 additional minutes and the clock says it’s 10 minutes until we leave, I adopt the perspective that if I hurry, I can make it. I delay grabbing my coat, purse and kids now in order to do what I prefer. Or, I really do not want to unpack those remaining boxes, so I take the perspective that it’s a huge project I can’t do now, and besides, those boxes are not seriously in the way.
A friend calls this believing lies because I want to.
A fundamental step for pulling out of procrastination is to accept responsibility for it. Stop making up things I want to be true and acting on the fantasy.
Here are some ways of moving from fantasy to truth:
I can do this in one afternoon so I’ll wait until later in the week. I have no control over what may come up later. I’ll start now.
They won’t be here for thirty minutes. Who knows? I’m not getting caught in my bathrobe! I’ll dress early.
I’m only going to take 5 minutes, then I’ll hop up. This is not the time for TV or computer.
I’ll run in the store really quick before I drop our son at practice. He won’t be late. I’ll consider others first and take our son on time.
Since I can’t finish the whole project now, I’m not going to start. A project begun is easier to finish. Make progress.
Since I can’t do the project perfectly, I’m not going to start. Done is better than perfect. Undone serves no one.
I’m afraid I’ll botch the chance to share my faith. I can trust God and speak.
I deserve a break. Is this genuine rest or slacking off?
One call doesn’t matter. Every contact matters. I’m calling my congressman.
Nobody minds if I turn in my report late. I will be on time. People are counting on me.
Nobody else is working on theirs yet. I’ll avoid pressure and do a thorough job by starting now.
My part is insignificant. I’ll make my contribution as unto the Lord.
God understands if I don’t… Indeed! He knows the thoughts and intents of my heart!
Let’s accept the responsibility of facing facts and acting accordingly. Go there!
This week disarm yourself and us too! Please share (reveal!) your creative ways of delaying.