Our current focus on giving things up for Lent has led me to undertake this series of releases. Attempting to let go of any number of behaviors, concerns, ideas or situations.
On this edition of “Becoming Today”, I’m seeking to say goodbye to procrastination.
Well we’ve been down this road before, haven’t we? You know it has to be addressed.
You know there is something that must be said, an action that needs to be taken, a plan that needs to be moved forward. So what are you waiting for?
Just stop procrastinating already!
I know you’re going to tell me, easier said than done, however that’s not a reason, rather just another excuse.
Over the years we’ve talked about this over and over, so what is not connecting for you now?
I know you’ve helped me with it before, so why not heed your own advice?
To begin with, procrastination is not being lazy. Procrastination is a choice. It is an active process. The individual is making a conscious decision to choose to do something else instead of the task that they know They should be doing. Whereas laziness is an attitude. The lazy person is often apathetic, prefers inactivity and generally has adopted an unwillingness to act.
Procrastination can involve not only ignoring an unpleasant task or a difficult decision but always involves failing to undertake a more important task, instead opting to do one that is more enjoyable or easier.
Like all poor decisions there are ramifications. Serious consequences including feelings of guilt and shame. It can also lead us towards a pattern of reduced productivity and failure to achieve our goals, thereby restricting us from “Becoming”.
Extended periods of procrastination can also lead to a complete lack of motivation, disillusionment and depression.
So how do we begin to realize if we are procrastinating? I’m glad you asked, because here are some questions you’ve asked me to consider in the past:
Are you filling your day with low-priority tasks? Just doing busy work?
Are you leaving an important or vital item or items unchecked on your to-do list for a long time?.
Do you find yourself starting an important must do then wandering off to find a distraction?
Are you waiting to be in “the right mood,” or the “perfect time” to get started?
Procrastination is a bad habit. Not a response, rather it is a well established negative pattern of behavior, which can be overcome. Like the old adage, “bad habits only stop being bad habits when you stop doing them”.
An important first step, we’ve mentioned but it bears repeating. Forgive yourself for procrastinating in the past. Self-forgiveness makes you feel better about yourself , allows you to accept a far more positive mindset and can greatly reduce the possibility of you procrastinating again in the future. Do not be a repeat offender! Free yourself now.
Focus on doing, not avoiding, or just trying to get by. In addition to tracking the tasks you need to get done. Schedule them. Plan ahead. Hold yourself accountable, within measurable standards.
Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed. Don’t put it off. Someday never comes and you are more than likely avoiding headaches by simply pushing through and doing it now, rather than later.
Consciously remove yourself from distractions. If you need background noise to focus, ensure it is just that. Something that can be on in the background and not something that will further remove you from your purpose.
Change your internal dialogue. Talk with yourself like a coach or mentor would. Don’t dwell on previous failures. Forget about earlier mistakes. Always decide to take steps that are momentum building. Tell yourself your steps should always be forward and upward, not sliding backwards.
And last but certainly not least, give yourself a treat. Positive reinforcement works, just ask your dog. It is more than okay to reward yourself for progress made and change accepted.
I know you can overcome this.
We’ve done it before and we can do it again. Just make the decision to go ahead and press on.
Let me know how it all works out.
I am again encouraging you to consider doing your own exercise. Whether in a journal, a document, video diary or scribbled on the back of a receipt just select whatever form you feel most comfortable with.
Plus just because I’ll be doing them daily, you don’t need to, just set your own standards and goals as for the frequency.
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Think about it. Pray about it. Meditate on it. Consider it and then decide to join us for another Lenten Letter, tomorrow on our next edition of “Becoming Today”.