How do you stop procrastinating?


It seems so easy to procrastinate—to do things other than what we really need to be doing. Why does this happen?

  • We simply may not feel like doing the work. It may not interest us.
  • We may think we're not capable of accomplishing a given task successfully. We feel inadequate.
  • We may be scared of a given task. We're making decisions based on fear.
  • We may think it's not that important, even though it really is. We don't have our priorities straight.
  • We may just be lazy and/or apathetic.
  • We may have too many things to do. We don't know where to begin.

Procrastination may just be a symptom of a deeper issue that needs to be faced and healed. Whatever the reason, we can see procrastination or all these reasons as temptations trying to take us away from doing the right thing.

Remember the story of Jesus when Satan led him to the cliff and tempted him with food and power and worldly glory? Jesus insisted: "Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve" (Luke 4:8 KJV). He told Satan, evil, error, the big fat lie—whatever you want to call it—to leave him alone, to be quiet. Jesus knew his duty, his top priority, was to God.

So Jesus taught his disciples to ask God for help: "And don't let us yield to temptation" (Matt 6:13 NLT). It's not that we won't be tempted. It's that we want to recognize temptation for what it is—a distraction. Rather than yield to it, we can yield to God.

When we stand with God, we can expect great results:

  • We gain a greater sense of interest and creativity, and we challenge ourselves to be insightful, knowing that God gives us wisdom.
  • We feel confident about God's ability and, thus, about ourselves, realizing that "with God all things are possible" (Matt 19:26 KJV). We trust God.
  • We overcome fear by accepting that "love expels all fear" (1 John 4:18 NLT); we make decisions based on love, not fear.
  • We get our priorities straight and put God at the top of the list, which then leads to all the rest of our tasks falling into place.
  • We find our energy renewed by God. We discover that we care about others. We decide that doing what needs to be done is unselfish, thoughtful.
  • We simplify our lives (don't over-schedule or over-commit), letting God take control.

As a result, we don't give into the temptation to procrastinate. Rather, we are able to ask ourselves: What is the best thing to do? We don't have to answer that for our lives. We don't have to answer that for the next week. We just have to answer that for this moment. What is the best thing for me to do right now? And we will hear clearly what it is that we need to do. When we're listening to God, we can trust the answer to enable us to accomplish exactly what needs to be done—on time!