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#44 How to Stop Procrastinating

You know that task that you’ve been putting off forever, the one that is lurking in the shadows of your life and making you feel guilty for not doing it?

If you’re human then you know what I’m talking about. You probably just read the sentence above and at least one or two overdue tasks popped into your mind.

On this episode of “Now Is the Time” you’re going to learn about procrastination and most importantly how you can overcome it! I also tell you how you can get a free e-book from my friend Loren Pinilis over at http://lifeofasteward.com

Businessman with alarm clock on head

We All Do It

Procrastination is as common to the human experience as mosquitoes are to summer-time camping trips. We know they’re there, we hate them but no matter what we just can’t quite get away from them!

Because procrastination is so common it’s easy to justify it. Everyone procrastinates so if I procrastinate how am I any worse than others?

It’s a Sin

Just like worry and anxiety, procrastination is also a sin. The Bible is not silent on this issue, it wastes no words with procrastinators, calling them “sluggards!”

Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.
(Pro 6:6-11)

The Real Problem

Procrastination isn’t about a lack of time or even bad time management. The real reason we procrastinate is simply because we are trying to avoid something we think will be unpleasant.

I love how Loren Pinilis defines procrastination in his e-book.

“Procrastination is a short-sighted strategy to avoid pain”

The pain that we are trying to avoid when we procrastinate can be from various sources. Maybe we are afraid of the task and we want to avoid the fear, maybe we view the task as too hard and don’t want to exert our selves, maybe we think we will fail and we don’t want to go through that experience.

Anyway you look at it procrastination chooses to avoid temporary discomfort and fails to look beyond the pain towards the possibility of long-lasting results!

Changing Your Perspective

One of the most important steps you can take in overcoming procrastination is to change your perspective to a long-term perspective.

Here’s how Pinilis puts it.

“In scripture, a future-mindedness comes from clearly seeing the reward, valuing the reward, and remembering the reward. So if you feel procrastination coming on, take a few moments to consider the prize. Work for God, for others, and for the promise of future reward!”
Any work God has called you to do has a greater more significant reward that may not even be realized in this lifetime. A good example is Hebrews 11 where we see examples of faith in a future reward. The faith of people like Noah and Abraham motivated them to get them to do things for God even though they would not see the final result in this lifetime.
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.
(Heb 11:13)

What’s Stopping You?

What’s stopping you today from doing what God has called you to do? Do you have unfinished work in your life that is haunting you? As Christians we ought to be known for people who complete our tasks. Jesus set a good example for us when he said,

“It is finished”

Even though his task was painful, he completed it. He knew the temporary pain was worth it!

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
(Heb 12:2-3)

Links

  • Life of a Steward | Head over to Loren’s blog and pick up a free copy of “Your Procrastination Solution.” It’s a quick read that’s both Biblical and practical.
  • Ukraine, a Year in Turmoil | Please take 2 minutes to watch this recent video I recorded at Maidan Square in Kyiv. It will give you a unique perspective on this historic year in Ukraine!
  • iTunes or Stitcher make getting this podcast on your mobile device super easy.

Question: What reasons do you find you procrastinate for?

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I am a pastor, missionary, and preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Ukraine since 2007. God blessed me with a wonderful wife and 5 amazing children! My greatest passion is to teach, encourage, and exhort others to turn to Jesus, who is Savior, Lord, and God!

  • Hey Caleb, thanks for the opportunity to talk with you. It was a blast!

    • It was awesome Loren, thanks for taking the time!

  • Caleb! You might be forgiven for believing I like blowing my own trumpet BUT in this case Mark tells me I go too far the other way. Everything has to be done instantly. Never put off what can be done today. Never leave it until tomorrow and my too hard basket (when I was working) was always addressed in such a manner I always did the hard ones first. My propensity to expect others to be the same has attracted the name “Instant Sheila:”

    • I could also see where that could be a problem of wanting to do everything instantly. Sometimes we do have to intentionally not do things in order to plan them at a time when we can successfully do them without messing up everyone else’s schedules including our own.