#BreakingTheCycle: The Defense of Procrastination
Hello. My name is Melinda and I’m a procrastinator. *the rest of the group greets me back*
I tell people quite often that I’m a professional procrastinator. I’m not sure why I say that like I’m introducing my profession, but at least it is an honest statement. But as a professional procrastinator, I know there are many of us out there. Just today, several of us spent time doing almost everything imaginable instead of possibly starting on a project due next week. Or we obsessed over a presentation for next month, but didn’t complete the first step.
If you don’t think you qualify as a procrastinator, congratulations you lucky lucky soul. But have you ever caught yourself saying any of the following phrases:
“I just work so much better with close deadlines.”
“I can’t think until the pressure is on.”
“Soft deadlines aren’t real deadlines; they’re more like suggestions.” (That’s all me right there!)
Well, if you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may be a secret procrastinator. But your secret is safe here!
What is it about procrastination that drives us so much? Is it the adrenaline we feel from submitting paperwork at 11:59 am when it was due at 12 pm? Is it the thrill of being able to barely squeak pass a major deadline?! Do we have this hidden sense of adventure that we didn’t know existed until that paper was due??
Honestly, we probably don’t have a secret yearning for adventure. But chances are we do have a not-so-secret battle with anxiety.
Yep, anxiety. And not just any regular anxiety. I mean that type of anxiety that convinces us not to even begin working on that project because we’re only going to get it wrong in the first place. The type of anxiety that whispers “no one is going to listen to you” when we try to begin that important presentation.
But rather than handle the anxiety itself, we tend to engage in a game with it. We wait until the last possible moments to work on a task, wanting to dart pass anxiety really quickly; hoping it doesn’t notice us trying to be productive with our lives. And we play this game quite often. Sometimes anxiety wins and we miss a deadline. Other times, we “win;” making the deadline but still coping with the stress of the rush.
Nevertheless, every time we play this game with anxiety (whether we win or lose), we give it more and more room to dictate our moves. We let it tell us when to start and when to finish something. It tells us when to pursue an ambition and when to sit in a corner overthinking a made-up scenario. When left unchecked, anxiety can get pretty bossy in our lives.
For the most part, we don’t like being told what to do. And I’m sure it’s time to add anxiety to the list of things/people we don’t want telling us how and when to live our lives!
With all the increasing demands, it’s super easy for us to pick anxiety up after we dropped it on the curb. But our infinite wisdom-holding Creator knew this would happen and He gave us a plan in advance!
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7, HCSB
I’m very aware that this is much easier said than done, but that doesn’t change that there is still a plan of escape for the anxiety cycle.
The next question (and the more important question) becomes, are we willing to use His plan consistently enough until we start winning this battle???
Chat with God
In what three areas do you procrastinate the most?
What is it about these areas? How has anxiety affected/dictated these areas?
What is your one sentence prayer to God in this situation?
Please invite a friend to this series who you think would like to join this journey!
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