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Feb 22 2017

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Do it Now! How to Fight Procrastination

fight procrastination

Do it right now!

“Do it now!” I say with a voice of a growing Hulk. And yes, the exclamation is there . . . in triplicate. Like the house is on fire. I see their procrastination, and it drives me bananas. “Why don’t you just do what you need to do, and then you can have fun,” I plead.

Parenting, I sigh to myself, it’s just not easy. This constant reminding is going to send me to a padded room.

My turn at procrastination

The iPhone alarm goes off again . . . for the third time, but I don’t move. I know it’s morning. The sun is up. Yet I long to put a mask over my eyes and roll over. I’m not a morning person, I tell myself, and self-fulfilling prophecy works every time.

I want to change my morning, but I have a large dose of procrastination surging through my veins. I understand my children’s plight more than I’d like to admit. I have the same problem with procrastination. If I reset my alarm to a yelling “Do it right now!” I’d probably have a heart attack. I need a better approach for me . . . and for them.

How can I change?

If I’m going to change, and teach my children how to prioritize and live out their priorities, I can’t simply be a bully. Yes, yelling “Do it now!” forces the issue and creates movement, but it doesn’t change a life.

Instead of bullying myself, I asked God a quiet, “What’s the next best thing I can do?”

fight procrastination with this question: What's the Next best thing I can do?

“Read your devotional.” The thought came clear. I open my Kindle app.

I’ve been reading Hungry for God … Starving for Time* by Lori Hatcher. It’s a collection of short, powerful devotions filled with real life stories and humor. Every time I’ve read it, I smile, say “me too,” and feel encouraged to walk closer to Jesus.

So, I read the title for today “Distressed or Damaged?” How timely. I feel both distressed and damaged. Procrastination is part of my brokenness, and I feel the weight of it. Procrastination promises easy living but delivers stress—stress from the wild monkeys running around my head yelling “Do it now!”

I can’t do all of it right now. I can only do one thing at a time. My thoughts fight back. I need a better way to live than battling my inner thoughts. I need clear direction to choose well.

When I don’t choose well, failure increases my stress even more.

I’m not alone in this life

The devotional reminded me of an important player on the stage of my life: God. He’s at work bring about good (Romans 8:28). God is my redeeming reality. I feel new life surge in me as I breathe in the truth. He’s at work in me (Philippians 1:6). I’m not alone in this life. A distressed and damaged me is not my end story. God is committed to heal and transform me. What a dose of encouragement.

Thank you, God. My heart needed to hear that today.

God used my brokenness to lead me toward change. He gave me the grace to ask him for help. No surprise here—he led me to the next best thing.

Instead of procrastinating, I read the devotional right away. My heart felt a gentle encouragement immediately as I moved toward obedience. Then, my focus shifted to other small, good steps I could make.

That’s how change happens: one small, good step at a time.

Anyone can make a small step.

Even me.

Do you struggle with procrastination?

Ask yourself (and invite God into the conversation): What’s the next best thing I can do? Or, what’s one small, good step I can make? Whatever the answer, go do it now, you’ll be glad you did. One small step makes the next step easier.

 

*Note: This is an affiliate link. Should you choose to purchase through this link, I benefit at no extra cost to you.

 

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