This is a 4-part series about life’s roadblocks. This post will focus on Lazinesss and Procrastination.
2. Laziness and Procrastination
Have you ever asked yourself these questions: “Why do I never meet a deadline?” “Why am I so stressed?” “Why can I never get anything done?”
This is my biggest roadblock. I lump laziness with procrastination, because I know it is part laziness and part procrastination that keeps me from being productive.
1. Laziness is asking why or wondering why, and doing nothing about it. Or it’s not caring to ask the questions or doing the task, because the process takes work.
2. Procrastination is always saying later, or I have time left. I tend to do this a lot. If there is a due date on something, I will put off completing that project or task until the night before. Case in point. I just completed my Master’s degree in Public Administration. I had to write at a minimum half a dozen or so research papers/projects over the course of two years. For each paper, I had a due date and the minimum number of pages was 10. I always waited to complete the paper until the night or week before it was due. In fact, my last paper was written in six hours after I completed a ten-hour work shift (probably not my best work, but I somehow I got an “A”).
The Real Problem
What I’m trying to get at it this. Some of our greatest stumbling blocks is laziness (not wanting or willing to do the work) and procrastination (putting the work off).
This reminds me of a story in Luke 9:59-62 in which Jesus told a man “Follow me.” And the man’s response was, “Let me go and bury my father first.” Then Jesus replied, “…Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God (v. 60).”
At first glance this seems like a harsh statement for Jesus to make. However, to get a clear view of what Jesus is saying we need to review the First Century tradition of Jewish Burial. Typically, when someone died, their body was immediately placed in the family’s burial cave (1st burial) and left to decompose. There are several mourning periods involved. A year later, the family would return when the body was completely decomposed and place the bones in a box called an “ossuary.” This is considered the second burial.
So when Jesus told the man “leave the dead to bury their own dead.” He was probably referring to the the other corpses that were decomposing along with the man’s father’s corpse awaiting the second burial.
Jesus told the man to follow, and the man came up with an excuse about how he needed to wait a year to finish some family business. This is procrastination . The man was saying I have time Jesus, just not now. But Jesus made it clear that the time to act is NOW!
There are many ways to beat laziness and procrastination. I will list three:
1. Admit you are a procrastinator. This is the most important step and hardest. You need to look yourself in the mirror and be honest with yourself. Do you tend to make excuses for not acting now? Do you tend to say you’ll do something tomorrow or later, when you have the time right now to do it? If you say “yes” to these questions then you are a procrastinator.
2. Write things down. Create a to-do list. Many times I fall into the procrastination trap, because I say I’ll remember. Then things happen, and I forget until it’s too late. There is something powerful about writing down your plans, whether it’s goals or a simple to-do list. Things that are written down are more likely to be done than those things you try to remember.
3. Have an accountability partner. Many people think you need an accountability partner to overcome an addiction or to not fall into an addiction. However, an accountability partner can be used for anything. Simply put an accountability partner is someone who holds you accountable. Find someone you trust and who will be honest with you. Share your deadlines and tasks with them, and schedule weekly check-ups. This can be done over the phone or over a cup of coffee. This will provide motivation to complete the tasks on a timely and on-time basis. *Tip: The accountability partner needs to be someone of the same-sex if they are not your spouse. This is always good advice for those who are married to avoid a compromising situation and also to avoid the appearance of a compromising relationship to others.
4. Do it now. Don’t wait. Don’t say I’ll do it tomorrow or later this afternoon. Do the task now!
When you put Laziness and Procrastination together it becomes a lethal combination in stifling your productivity.
Question: What are some ways you avoid the traps of laziness and procrastination? Go ahead and share your thoughts in the comments section.
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