Sometimes the best way to accomplish a goal, or any sort of task for that matter, is to just start DOING it. You know you have a bunch of laundry to do, but, if you are anything like me, when Saturday morning hits and you finally have time to think about starting it you procrastinate. The excuses are often endless. “I’ll start if after I do my devotions”, or “Maybe after I work out and shower then I will feel motivated to start.” It’s funny, because I was the same way in college. If I had a big term paper due the next week (which of course had been assigned 2 or 3 months prior in the hopes that us procrastinating students would get a head start on it…yeah right) I would literally start the paper the same week it was due—if I was lucky maybe the weekend before. I got through the majority of my college papers using this method of extreme procrastination. (Disclaimer—this is not something I would recommend. Just because it somehow always worked for me, doesn’t mean it’s the best way to write a paper.)
Somehow though it would always get done. Why? I think I know why. Because in those last few days before the paper was set to be due, I would develop this crazed sense of urgency to begin writing, and would just start. It was always just that simple. I could think about writing the 20-page term paper for months, but until I actually sat down and started to write nothing was ever accomplished. From that point on I would hunker down for 5 or 6 hours with my computer and crank out a 15 to 20-page paper. That easy. Those months I spent thinking about the paper and stressing about what I was going to write could have been easily averted if I would have just picked up my pen (or laptop) and started to write.
Sometimes I wonder why I would let myself drag out a task like this, but I think I know the answer—my natural tendency is to procrastinate. I don’t think the tendency to procrastinate is unique to myself—I’m guessing that there are a lot more people out there who struggle with the same exact thing. So, the problem isn’t my lack of ability, because I always somehow managed to pull off quite good grades on those procrastinated papers—the problem is what I chose to do with this ability. If only I could break free from the grips of procrastination, I am absolutely certain I would get so much more accomplished.
So, without any further procrastination in my attempt to beat procrastination, I have decided to start doing. I know the temptation to put off the things I know I need to get done (aka procrastination) will try and convince me to stop doing, but I have decided to be determined in doing.
What have you been putting off that can’t wait any longer to be finished? Maybe it’s that last load of laundry, or those stinky dishes in the sink waiting to be washed and put away. Whatever it is, I challenge you to finish it. You’ll feel so much better when it’s done.
Or maybe it’s something bigger than that last load of laundry. Not that you won’t feel accomplished when that task is done, but imagine how much better, more fulfilled you will feel when you finish something big—or maybe start something big.
What have you been putting off beginning? What is that thing that you’ve always wanted to do, but keep putting off; always saying that you’ll do it next year, or when you get everything figured out in your head first? Let me tell you something—that doesn’t happen. If you always wait until you have everything sorted or figured out, you’ll never get started! Half the battle of doing, is figuring out the logistics of it on the way. It’s all part of the journey.
So what is it? Starting a new career? Spending more time with family? Maybe you’re an amazing singer and you’ve always wanted to use that God-given talent to do something important for His kingdom. Well what are you waiting for? Do it.
For me it’s writing. Writing and I kind of have a love-hate relationship. It’s something that I love to do, but is often one of the first things that gets put off when I get busy—the first thing I choose to procrastinate on. Strange right? But, like I said earlier, the best way to start doing something is to just do it, and that’s what I am doing right now. I may not be writing a novel or an important newspaper article that everyone will read and be changed by, but I’m doing—I’m writing, and that’s what counts. Sarah 1; procrastination 0.