I left this out of Your Procrastination Solution, but I think it’s worth a mention here.
Although it’s not necessarily a cause of procrastination, often confusion can be a large contributing factor.
If you don’t have a clear idea of what you should be doing right now, it’s much more likely that you’ll procrastinate in order to relieve the tension.
Maybe a task seems overly complex. If so, break it down into steps and get started on your first item.
Maybe your to-do list is lengthy and unprioritized. If so, establish what’s your number one priority at the moment.
This isn’t a revolutionary approach – it seems like so much common sense. But I bet you’d be surprised how often confusion throws a monkey wrench into your productivity. Oftentimes a little confusion is all it takes to tip the balance over to procrastination.
And, of course, I don’t want to forget to mention my new (and free!) ebook, Your Procrastination Solution.
Don’t procrastinate and grab your copy right now.
Photo Credit: Marcos (Creative Commons)
You undoubtedly struggle with procrastination. It seems as common to the human condition as breathing.
Scripture tells us it’s foolish, time management experts tell us it’s wasteful, and even our own common sense tells us it’s something to be avoided. But yet we still scratch that procrastination itch.
We don’t need more guilt trips. We don’t need more motivational posters. We need real solutions.
That’s why I’m excited today to announce the release of my new (and free) ebook, Your Procrastination Solution.
Ephesians 5:15-16 (KJV)
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
I have written before on this phrase “redeeming the time” and the vivid pictures that are created by Paul’s original language. Paul describes the process of making the most of our time in marketplace terms.
To redeem a slave is to buy them and set them free. To redeem our time is to exert effort to rescue our time from slavery to the world, our sin, and our earthly systems and thoughts.
But we forget that redemption isn’t easy.
Do you know what the two easiest tasks in the world are?
The first is creating work for others. The second is saying yes to work others create for you.
Of course, this leads to a breakdown as commitments vastly outpace our ability to meet them. It’s crucial we learn to say no.
And as I think back in my life, the person that most often creates work for me is my wife. By far, I’m the person in my wife’s life that creates the most work for her. I’d imagine your marriage may be the same.
We need to learn how to lovingly and respectfully navigate this situation – guarding our time and learning to protect our spouse’s schedule from our own demands.
You’ve determined that you want to live your life well – for the things that count.
Perhaps you have a vague idea of what your life mission is. Maybe you even set aside some time to think deeply and went so far as to write down a life purpose or even 10- and 5-year plans.
But your strategy may fall flat on its face. And your life may still be wasted.
A costly mistake we can make is to measure our productivity the wrong way: how many hours we work, how early we woke up, how much time we’ve blocked off without interruptions to focus on that latest project.
But we all realize that what really matters is the results, not how long we worked. So obviously let’s shift our focus to what’s truly important to measure.
It’s a simple mindset switch, but it’s powerful.
You have probably heard of the so-called “prosperity gospel” – a false teaching that has taken root across America. Smiling preachers with Rolex watches claim that Jesus came to earth to give you health, wealth, and your wildest dreams.
The prosperity gospel is rightfully condemned by many. Unfortunately it has led many others astray.
But a similar philosophy is just as prevalent among many believers with an interest in time management. We, too, sometimes approach the subject of Christian productivity with an unhealthy agenda.
I’m going to start up a new feature here on Life of a Steward – the plan is to offer very brief time management tips every Thursday (in case you couldn’t figure that out from the headline). So please let me know if you think this is a worthwhile feature or not.
I had a friend who was an FBI agent and regularly had to approach all sorts of people for interviews and questioning. He talked occasionally with suspects but most of the time was in completely normal and safe conversations. Yet, in training, he was taught to think in every situation, “What would I do when this person pulls a gun on me?”
Not if they pull a gun on me, but when they pull a gun on me.
This mental exercise – not just considering the possibility of danger but actually anticipating it – helped him react a split second faster.
I have another friend who trains athletes. He’ll take on high school kids and develop them into Division I athletes and even on to professional leagues.
If he sees a kid with high potential, he doesn’t tell them, “You’re going to be a successful athlete.” He will tell them, “If you commit yourself and work hard, you can be a successful athlete.”
In the scriptures, we find many motivations to flee sin and to do good.
We can be driven, for instance, by a desire to avoid eternal wrath, to pursue heavenly reward, to steer clear of the earthly consequences of our sin, or to express our love of Christ.
All of these are great motivators, and it’s an act of mercy from God to give us reason upon reason to live holy lives.
But psychological research has shown that perhaps one scriptural basis for righteousness may be particularly powerful – especially as it relates to mundane, every day tasks.