Let me share a fictitious story I'm sure you can relate with:
A conversation arises among friends around the topic of... let's say... debt and finance. One friend says to another, "Oh man... I suck at money management. I owe like $25,000 on credit cards." He says this with a lighthearted tone and a slight sense of humor. His friends offer a small chuckle almost as if they're saying, "Haha I get it brother, me too."
In reality, we've just witnessed a group of people socially self-medicate their poor decisions to one another. In other words, "If my friends are in debt as well, I'm not that bad after all." A desperate attempt to escape reality and a sad observation of friends passively approving each other's bad decisions.
Now, I offer this example because like debt, procrastination shares a similar social reaction. In conversation with others, we work hard to reduce or diminish our acts of procrastination. We fight to minimize what it's really doing to our dreams and to our future. We smile as we say things like, "I'm totally procrastinating today." Or, I've heard, "I'm such a procrastinator."
But let's put some flesh on these bones that we so often jest upon.
The word procrastination is defined as, "The act of willfully delaying the doing of something that should be done."
The Bible even speaks of procrastination as sin in the book James, "Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin." (James 4:17)
In other words, a spirit of procrastination is a dangerous trait for anyone looking to be physically productive, spiritually healthy, and a meaningful addition to society. It's the mark of someone lacking discipline, lacking diligence, and lacking self-control.
You might be thinking, "Is it really that serious, Dale?" Sure, I understand there's a limited impact on life if you procrastinate on picking up your laundry, but what happens if you procrastinate an important conversation with someone you've offended? What happens if you postpone the work you felt God has called to do? What happens when you delay the commitment to the person you love?
In my experience, people who procrastinate often don't compartmentalize it to meaningless chores and low impact tasks. Instead, they let their addiction to delay bleed into areas of immense consequence.
At the core, procrastination is the avoidance of reality. As leaders, we must be willing to face, complete, and confront the obstacles and tasks in front of us. Furthermore, we must not make light of what's truly occurring when we choose to procrastinate.
So before you advertise your inability to get things done, be sure you recognize what you're saying. Be sure you're not secretly looking for approval from others as broken as you. The life you have is not rehearsal. We only get on chance to live it. It's okay to feel unprepared. It's okay to feel afraid. It's okay to seek out more clarity. But it's never okay to put off work that needs to be done.
Stop Procrastinating On Your Dreams
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Was this article helpful? Do you procrastinate often? What has helped you overcome delay? Let me know in the comments below.