I’m Gonna Stop Procrastinating…. TOMORROW!
Mark Twain said, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.” For many, this seems to be their life’s motto. The plague of procrastination affects us all at various times and to varying degrees!
Do you find yourself putting things off on a regular basis? Are there things on your to-do list at home, work, or church that you want to do, you know you should do, but you just haven’t “gotten around to” doing? If so, welcome to the club. For a variety of reasons, we put things off, many times delaying to do what is most important to us. Procrastination is a symptom of our sinful nature, and it is also a tool that Satan uses to keep us from accomplishing all that we can and should for the Savior!
What have you been putting off – a spiritual goal, a financial goal, a family goal, a vocational goal, a personal development goal? What projects around the house, the church, or the office have you meant to get to, but have allowed to go untouched for months?
In this article, I would like to give you some practical and Biblical encouragements as you seek to defeat procrastination – the great enemy of effectiveness:
- Stop convincing yourself that you can work on it “later.”
Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold , I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on thefields; for they are white already to harvest (John 4:35).
Often, we convince ourselves that we have plenty of time to get something done. Jesus wanted His disciples to realize that they didn’t have as much time as they thought they did. Do not believe the deception that you will always have time to accomplish that which you desire to do. Now is the time for harvest.
It has been wisely said, “Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.” We must seek to redeem the time for the days are evil. If you wait long enough, eventually, your opportunity for harvest will pass. The unknown factor in this equation is the fact that every person’s opportunity will be lost at a different time. You don’t know when your window of opportunity will close, and neither do I. Only God knows our appointed time to die. Thus, we must use every day of life as wisely as possible.
- Remind yourself every day that tomorrow is not guaranteed.
Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. (Proverbs 27:1)
You and I have no guarantee of tomorrow. We are foolish to think that we will live forever and that we will have an endless number of days, weeks, months, and years to use our lives for good and for God. Life is a vapor. Time is fleeting. I have often quoted, “Only one life, so soon ’twill be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” Make today count!
- Today is a gift that must be used before it is lost.
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)
The Psalmist understood the importance of learning to “number each day.” That is, to make each day count in our lives. He realized that, when we understand the importance of every day, we will apply our hearts to use that day wisely for our Lord.
It is a misconception that, if you waste today, you can work twice as hard to make up for it tomorrow. You cannot make up for lost time. There are only 24 hours in every day, and once those hours have slipped through the hourglass of time, you can never retrieve them again. The opportunities for accomplishment that pass you by today are gone forever.
When you wake up every morning reminding yourself that today is a gift that you must use to its fullest, it will cause you to apply yourself in a greater, more focused way to the tasks to which God has called you.
- Just get started!
“The best way to get something done is to begin.” – Unknown
What project have you been putting off? What personal goal have you habitually delayed? The best way to conquer the daunting mountain of procrastination that you have allowed to build up in your life is to just take the first step!
As “Patch the Pirate” has taught us in song:
Little by little, inch by inch;
By the yard it’s hard, by the inch what a cinch.
Never stare up the stairs, just step up the steps!
Little by little, inch by inch.
What unfinished task has been haunting you for days, weeks, or even months? Just start on it today! You will be so glad that you did!
- Realize that the work you need to do is probably easier than you have convinced yourself it is.
“If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.” - Unknown
When you get started, you will be amazed at how enjoyable and rewarding the work that you had put off for so long can be. In many cases, you will find out that finishing the task was actually far easier than you had imagined it to be. This victory over procrastination will spur you on to achievement in other areas of your life.
- Remember that procrastination in the Bible was a characteristic of an evil leader.
And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me: when shall I intreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only? And he said , To morrow (Exodus 8:9, 10a).
In this passage, we find what is probably the most well-known example of Biblical procrastination. I have always been amazed that Pharaoh chose to allow his home and country to be plagued with frogs for another night. However, that is exactly how many of us live our lives. We are willing to spend one more night with the frogs when God has made it possible for us to enjoy a peaceful night’s rest. Don’t be like Pharaoh. Get rid of the frogs today!
- Ask God for wisdom to use your time wisely.
It is true that “time management is life management.” When we waste our time, we are wasting our lives. We must ask God to give us wisdom to apply our lives to what matters most. We will never have enough time to accomplish everything that we want to get done. Therefore, we must be able to discern between activities that would be wise investments of our time and those that are time-wasters (or life-wasters). Regularly ask God to give you wisdom to use the limited resource of your time on the activities that will matter most for eternity. When we live with eternity in view, we will seek to “work the works of him that sent me, while it is day,” for “the night cometh, when no man can work”
Do you find yourself frequently putting off tasks that you know you need to do? If so, stop procrastinating…TODAY!!!