In college, with each research paper deadline there I would be knocking on the professor's door asking for an extension...pleading for one more week. (I always got it...so it didn't help in the procrastination department.. umh....)
I put off phone calls that I don't really want to make
I save emails in my inbox and say I'll get back to them later...I do get back to them, but feel guilty for making you wait for me.
I'll check my email instead of mopping the floor (which usually is in desperate need of a major wipe down!!....oh, but then save the email in my inbox for later???)
I put off sewing projects...even if they are for other people (horrible-making others wait, I know!)
In the morning, I think of dinner and think "what will we have? I need to take that meat out of the freezer"....oh and then I procrastinate and don't want to make a decision, or get side-tracked and it is 2pm and guess what...no meat defrosted. I guess it is a pancake night. :)
I wait to the last minute to pack for vacations...always underestimating the time needed and usually scramble in the end.
I delay getting out of bed some mornings, because I just don't feel like it and then that means my quiet time is delayed and not first thing in the morning. I say I'll do it later, but some days, I am sad to say, later doesn't happen.
And tomorrow, we are having a pool party at our house for about 40 people from my husband's work....do you think I've done the grocery shopping yet? Well, no. I've procrastinated all week.
And here I am today, the deadline for my homeschool objectives. I know this date well. It approaches every year and is exactly the same...August 1st, homeschool objectives and affidavit due to school district office. Do you think I have them turned in yet? Well, no, I just finished them about 10 minutes ago. They are not hard. All I had to do was pull them up on the computer from last year, do some minor changes and tweaks, some additions, print the affidavit and then I'm off to the notary and the school district office. The stress I had last night in not getting them done in a more timely manner, the weight on my shoulders, the guilt, why....why...why....do I put things off? And this is what got me thinking late last night about my horrible habit of procrastinating.
And what am I doing right now??? Umm....I checked on my blog before I was heading out the door, read a couple other blogs and now I'm posting!! I think I might need some help in this department, Lord.
Procrastinate: (according to Webster....he is my friend...I love words and I love things clearly defined! :)
To put off from day to day; to defer; postpone
I don't want to be one to put off from day to day....I don't want to postpone. My heart is to do it now....today! To be disciplined in this area. God doesn't want me putting things off. So, I am trying to wrap my mind around why I do this? I don't have a concrete, ah ha answer (I wish I did!)
And the funny thing is....I am a very organized person. I like order. I actually crave order. I like my house to be picked up and neat...everything in its place. I like my bed made, I like the dishes put away, I like the laundry done (not piled up), I like visual order in my surroundings.
And I am a planner...not really a fly by her seat kind of girl. I like to know what is coming next. I like to know the "daily plan" or agenda. I like to plan ahead.....but yet I put off making plans sometimes because I don't want to commit or make a decision.
And I have found, I work the most efficiently under pressure. I'll push it right up to the edge, and then get into a groove and accomplish a lot. I don't mind pressure...I thrive on it. I can juggle a lot at once. But pressure will bring on stress and stress has its own set of issues.
So, I like order, I like plans....and I can handle pressure.....why do I delay? Why do I put things off and procrastinate until later? You would think, to bring order, I would just get them done quickly...check them off the list. But I don't.
(God is tugging at my heart as I am typing....right now...I am going to stop what I am doing. Right now....and take my forms to the school district office...now, not later after I post...so, I'll be back....it'll give me some time to talk with God about what He thinks of my procrastinating....although, I think I already know!)
I'm back...I feel so much better after turning the paperwork in. Thank God it is done.
Guess what the notary guy said when I stopped by on my way (God is so funny sometimes!) When I walk in the office, he says, "so the lady who was in here ahead of you wasn't the last mom turning in her paperwork...you are." Ouch!
So, this is what I've come to on my ride across town. My procrastination...it all has to do with MY time and MY choices with the common word being MINE.Oh...that hurts. The truth can sometimes be ugly. I put my time and what I want to do over other things that are more pressing or more important, even if it hinders someone else in the process, or you have to wait on me. I put my time over yours. I hate seeing the selfishness of my heart. The sin within me. It grieves me and if it grieves me....can you imagine what it does to God's heart?
I procrastinate because I don't feel like doing something. I don't feel like thinking about dinner at 8 in the morning, I don't feel like mopping the floor so I'll check email instead, I don't feel like being on the phone so I'll call later, I don't feel like thinking about homeschool objectives, so I'll write them later.
Well, God isn't so concerned with our feelings. He wants to bless us and He desires for us to have an abundant life, but what He is most concerned about is our obedience to Him. And obedience is not based on feelings. It is based on love!
"If anyone loves me, He will keep my Word." John 14:23
"But take careful heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul." Joshua 22:5
"...that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days." Deuteronomy 30:20
Love brings obedience....feelings don't bring obedience...feelings are centered on ME not others. And my procrastination affects others each and everyday! So, my love for God and my love for those around me, should bring about a "do it now" attitude. I am going to purpose in my heart to do it now, not later.
So, the next time I want to put off that email, or put off a job that needs to be done, I need to take my focus off myself and onto those around me.
To all my fellow procrastinators....let today be the day that we do that which needs to be done...we don't delay, we don't put off....and forget about how we feel.....think about how much we love those around us...the recipients of our actions. And the blessing will be....that we will feel great because we've acted in obedience and love and loved others more than ourselves.
In His Strength-Stacy
***My Aunt Sharon emailed me last night, as she said she is a fellow procrastinator, and said that fear often lurks behind procrastination. Fears.....interesting. They often lurk behind much of our actions or inactions....God and I will dig deeper with that one...I'll let you know what He reveals....again, it might not be pretty! But that is what makes us real.