3 Tips For Putting Off Procrastination

I’ve always known it.

Even as a child, the signs were all there.

When it was time to wake up and get ready for school, I would lay in bed until the last possible moment. Emerging only when my mother’s voice grew from soft whisper to loud crescendo. Not exactly music to my ears.

Then there were the teen years when I apparently began to think of myself as Scarlett O’Hara.

I had the same answer to just about every question.

Time for homework?
I’ll do it later.
Time to clean your room?
Later.
Time to get your driver’s license?
I’ll get to it later. (A year later!)

It appeared that my own internal time clock was out of sync with the rest of the world. I marched to the beat of my own drum. Slow and steady.

And so it was no surprise that I was labeled a procrastinator. And I have spent my adult life trying to learn how to overcome the challenges that are associated with that well-deserved title.

The perfectionism. The indecisiveness. The guilt.

Most days, I’m blissfully unaware of what I’ve missed out on by missing deadlines. And then there are days when it is painfully obvious to me that I should have paid greater heed to my mother’s warnings.

She was as fond of quoting these famous words of Thomas Jefferson as I was of ignoring them.

“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”
And now I know why.  Because with age, comes clarity. Clarity to see that the second hand on the clock is marching to the same steady rhythm as always. Steady but fast. Much faster than my own.

So, what to do? How do I finally put off the procrastinating and make the most of the time I’ve been given?

Movers and shakers might offer this popular phrase as advice: “Just do it!” But that is easier said than done because fear of failure is usually a pretty strong motivator for staying stuck.

So here are 3 things I’ve decided to do as a step toward change…

1. Reflect on the wisdom of scripture relating specifically to this issue:

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” Ecclesiastes 9:10a

2: React to every decision/opportunity by following the example of Jesus who said:

“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” John 9:4

3. Repeat this process daily knowing that when I put my hope and trust in the Lord, he will give me strength for every task.

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;  but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31

Old habits can be hard to break but I know that God is able to make things new and with Him “all things are possible” (ref. Matthew 19:26)

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19

 

5 Ways to Find Your Smile

“Challenges make life interesting, however, overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” Mark Twain

If you happen to be working on overcoming a challenge today, here are 5 ways to find your smile in the process via a journey through the five senses:

1. Look for the beauty outside and inside. When your eyes are open, you see the beauty in nature. When the eyes of your heart are open to the Word of God, you might be surprised to see something you’ve never seen before. Something that might transport you in that moment to a place of gratitude, which is a key ingredient for smiling.

2. Listen to something that lifts your spirit. Perhaps hearing an inspirational song in the morning. A gurgling fountain at mid-day. The soft-flowing breeze whispering to you through the trees after sunset. Cut out the noise and listen to the sounds that soothe you.

3. Savor the sweet things in life. Since I have a sweet tooth, I like to look at this both in the physical and spiritual sense. A little cookie with my coffee makes me smile. And so does a taste of the goodness of God. Realizing He loves me no matter what, that is a sweet truth that always satisfies.

4. Take time to Smell the roses. You’ve heard that one before but it’s important. We can’t forget to pause. To breathe. Allowing ourselves to rest from our labors will restore balance to our lives and a smile to our face.

5. Reach out and Touch the world around you. Be active. Go for a walk and feel your heart beating inside you. Realize your heart is beating for a reason. Whatever we’re going through can help us to help others if we allow ourselves to be engaged. When we touch the lives of others with kindness and hope, we open the door to receive the same and that is something to smile about.

Have a blessed day and Keep Smiling!

Photo courtesy Linda Moyer.