Confession: I have struggled with procrastination for a very, very long time.
All too often, procrastination is turned into a joke. Teachers joke about it, students joke about it, employees joke about it, and the actual danger of it is easily overlooked. Will procrastinating ruin your life? Probably not. Can it have serious consequences? Yes it can. Procrastination deceives us. It makes us think we are more successful than we really are.
As stated, procrastination is often just joked about. Memes are circulated that say “Procrastinators unite…tomorrow.” Teachers will talk about students forming a club to help them stop procrastinating – and then the teacher says something like, “I wonder if they ever met for that meeting.” Procrastination is often simply laughed at. In part because there are many good procrastinators out there who can put off their work and still get A’s on assignments and turn in high quality work. I will admit that I am rather good at procrastinating. I can put off an assignment til the last day, crank out 10+ hours of homework and still get an A. At one level this is impressive; at another level, this is deceptive concerning my work ethic.
I am a student of ministry. I study the Bible, work on sermons and essays, and sometimes I wonder what that says about my character when I put little effort into an assignment and still get quality grades. Sure, the grades are nice. But if I am declaring to be a follower of Jesus and passionate about his word, then I ought to give my studies more time and focus and energy.
I am not saying you are a sinner who needs to repent today because you procrastinate. I am, however, saying that procrastination is not a virtue. Getting a 4.0 GPA is less satisfying when you know you put in little effort. Being commended for a job that you only gave partial effort to results in a less than satisfying feeling. Why? Because you know you could have given more. And more often than not, the person commending you does not know that you put in little effort.
What are you passionate about? Do you procrastinate in your passion? If so, what does this say about your passion?
I know this is a hard topic to grapple with. It is so much easier to read this blog, like the post, and continue on your merry way procrastinating and achieving. As for me, it is much easier for me to write a blog about procrastination, get a bunch of likes and “well said!”, “Amen!” “Good thoughts!”, and then go about my business procrastinating on work and school and still doing well. So this is a challenge to both you as the reader and me as the writer: decrease your procrastination. I am not saying I will quit – that is far too hard for me to accomplish in one week, month, year, etc. Instead, I challenge us both to limit our procrastination. If you normally wait until the last day, how about you wait until two or three days before the assignment/project/task is due? If you normally wait until the evening to do something that needs done, how about you aim for doing it in the afternoon? I am not saying we will be better every time. I fully understand that some tasks and projects will continue to be put off by us both. But, with a little extra thought and motivation, maybe we can at least limit some of our procrastination.
May you conquer this deceptive dragon, and may all the dragons you face this week be met with vigilance and hope.