Preventing Procrastination: What Is It and Why Do We Do It?

Welcome to the beginning of my new blog series. The theme for this one is “Preventing Procrastination and Pursuing Purpose.”

It’s a commonly repeated adage: “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”  OK, maybe not intentionally, but it happens, nevertheless. Sad, but true.  Unfortunately, procrastination often enters into the picture and contributes to the problem of failing to plan.

When we fail to plan ahead, it also often means we neglect to finish many of the things we start. Instead of setting and meeting deadlines, we think in terms of “maybe” and “when I get around to it” and “someday”…

 

Photo Credit: www.LiveLifeHappy.com.

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Don’t procrastinate!!

Finish what you start!!

So what exactly is this thing called procrastination? Courtesy of the Free Online Dictionary,  the definition of procrastination is “To put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness” and “To postpone or delay needlessly.”

Do I hear a collective “ouch”?

Yeah, I am reminded of all the craft and sewing projects I have lying around the house…

not to mention freelance work I have attempted and given up on completing…

changes in my lifestyle for the sake of my health that I started and have not been consistent in maintaining…

the ongoing struggle to keep up with my grad work, instead of quitting…

trying to meet everyone else’s needs when I’m sometimes not even sure I have the strength to manage my own…

OK, OK – I get the message!!

As Joyce Meyer shared in a couple of her devotional books that I read regularly:

From Starting Your Day Right: “Procrastination is one of the greatest barriers to putting God’s word into action in our lives. It takes self-control to DO something, and it also takes self-control NOT to do something. Ask God to fill you with the power of self-control in order to overcome procrastination and be a doer of the Word.”

From New Day, New You: “If you have been tempted recently to give up – DON’T! If you don’t finish the thing you are currently involved in, you will face the same challenges in the next thing you start. Some people spend all their lives starting new things and never finishing anything. Let us make the decision that we will be more than people who never reached their full potential.”

So procrastination is also a barrier, a lack of self-control, an unwillingness (?) to finish what we start, and an inability to fulfill our potential. Yikes! Sounds to me like procrastination is definitely something we want to prevent and ban from our lives!  [To be continued!]

What about you? Do you struggle with procrastination? If not, or if you have recently begun to better manage your time, what tips can you share?

 

Happy August 1st: Introducing New Series<< >>Procrastination Is a Barrier

18 comments to “Preventing Procrastination: What Is It and Why Do We Do It?”

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  1. Cindy - August 2, 2013 Reply

    Good article. I think we all struggle with procrastination at some point. I know I certainly have! A mentor shared the following quote with me …

    “Everything you say YES to means you are saying NO to something else.”

    When we are procrastinating we are saying no – so then what are we saying yes to? Each moment we have a choice to do one thing or do another … When we keep saying no to things that we claim matter to us we call it procrastination.

    I keep this quote on my desk to constantly remind me to be consciously aware of what I am saying YES to!
    Cindy recently posted..Preventing Loneliness When Kids Are Visiting Dad

  2. HilLesha - August 2, 2013 Reply

    I’ll admit that I do that every now and then. That’s a great message, though! I love Joyce Meyer, too.
    HilLesha recently posted..Designer Inspirational Jewelry at BB Becker

  3. Nicole - August 3, 2013 Reply

    I don’t think that I procrastinate, but I have zero concept of time. I can’t do anything in a timely manner because I sit down to do something for 10 minutes and it turns out tht it took me 4 hours. It never feels that long.
    Nicole recently posted..What’s in the fridge?

  4. Alana (@RamblinGarden) - August 3, 2013 Reply

    OUCH. Sometimes we procrastinate because we think the problem will disappear if we don’t take action. (doesn’t). Other times, it’s just too painful to face (but if you wait, it’s even worse). Despite knowing all these things, I still procrastinate – especially when it comes to things like cleaning the house.
    Alana (@RamblinGarden) recently posted..Sustainable Saturday – Are We Ready for a Local Food Taste Off?

  5. Sophie Bowns - August 4, 2013 Reply

    This is a really good article. I’m so bad at procrastinating!…. ooops!
    Sophie Bowns recently posted..Pixies and Pickles

  6. Melinda - August 5, 2013 Reply

    I definitely struggle with procrastination…something I need to work on.
    Melinda recently posted..Song for Sunday: A Person’s A Person No Matter How Small

  7. Elizabeth Towns - August 5, 2013 Reply

    I have found that this summer with my fibromyalgia the morning has become a bad time for me, when it used to be the best time of the day! Now I don’t know how to overcome that hurdle and procrastination has seeped into my regular routine along with body pain from the illness mixed with fatigue (also from the illness). I don’t know how to combat the mixture.

    Elizabeth T, Early Riser
    Elizabeth Towns recently posted..Summer Cool and Back to School with HolyClothing

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