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Procrastination

July 10, 2012
Procrastination by Robyn Roste

For the most part I’m good at avoiding procrastination. Well, that’s not exactly true. I procrastinate, but I give myself early deadlines so even if I procrastinate till “the last second” I’m still finishing my task with plenty of actual time.

It’s a trick I learned in university. I figured out that my brain could be easily fooled into working towards a fake deadline in order for me to still feel like I was procrastinating.

Looking at my weird habit in this candid way, I feel like this is strange! Why on earth would I create a system, which supports poor work habits? Why wouldn’t I just show some discipline, sit down, and do a task until it’s complete?

Reading about procrastination online doesn’t help me any. In fact, the impression I get is most people see it as a “funny” or “positive” trait. I don’t think I agree. What possible benefit can procrastination have on my life? On our society?

Although I can usually avoid it, procrastination came to bite me a few months ago when I put off paying a credit card bill. Since I had “lots of time” to pay I kept leaving it. And then the deadline passed.

Now you may be thinking it’s no big deal, what’s a little interest penalty anyway? Actually it turned out to be a pretty big deal. I have been in the habit for quite some time of using my credit card for everything, and then paying it off at the end of the month. But when you pay a bill late—even 12 hours late like I was in this instance—the company charges 18 per cent interest on every subsequent purchase for two months as a punishment.

You can do the math if you want but I don’t want to even guess how much my procrastination cost me.

Surely there are instances when procrastination is necessary but for the most part it stems from laziness—a willful delay of doing something that should be done, to paraphrase the dictionary. And while the Bible doesn’t exactly say “Thou Shalt Not Procrastinate” I think we can agree laziness, avoiding tasks, and disobedience are not biblical concepts. In fact everything we do we should be doing for the Lord (Col. 3:23) so if procrastination is due to any of the above reasons…then it’s wrong.

I love how The Message puts it “Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange for the hard work of staying alive. Make the most of each one! Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily! This is your last and only chance at it, for there’s neither work to do nor thoughts to think in the company of the dead, where you’re most certainly headed,” (Eccles. 9:9-10).

We’re not here for long—let’s take up the challenge to make the most out of our days and leave procrastination for later.

Tagged as: apathy, attitude, balance, boundaries, choices, creativity, decision making, learning, taking action, culture