“Later.” Procrastination’s best friend. Later I’ll…workout, eat right, read a book, work on that project, spend time with the kids, clean out my closet or study for my test.
Later I’ll…make sales calls, respond to that client, make a decision, encourage my teammate, have that crucial conversation, make a needed hire or terminate that weak link.
Procrastination is deceiving because while bumping deadlines and making excuses lessens our pressure to act, it really just lessens our progress on accomplishing projects, achieving goals, and moving forward with life. Progress and movement (both big and small) puts pressure on our procrastinating behaviors.
Here are four actions to help you overcome your procrastination pitfalls.
What do you want? What are you good at, not compared to anyone else, but to yourself? This is what God created you for! We should all continue to dream no matter our season of life. Dreaming involves “what if’s.” It’s what keeps us moving. It’s what inspires us to be courageous, committed, and concentrated. Dreams fight our fears and inspire us to not play it safe. Show me a stagnating frontrunner, and I’ll show you a leader who has stopped dreaming.
Get to Planning.
After you dream, plan. If you don’t have a plan, you can’t move forward. Planning powers action. A plan backed by a dream can conquer your pesky procrastination. Plans helps us persist, and persistence gives us the strength to make our dreams more than just talk.
When you embrace a dream you embrace a duty. Marriages, careers, commitments… if we are called, then we are responsible. If we skirt the duty and hard work that our plan requires, our dreams won’t come to fruition. Having a desire is different than taking responsibility for your dream. “Later, I’ll learn how to do that.” Young leaders, I urge you to not procrastinate on learning the skills you need to put action to your dream. Seasoned leaders, don’t procrastinate to put your skills and wisdom to work. Talent without discipline results in mediocrity.
We must go one step further than planning and taking responsibility; we must also take action to meet our deadlines and do what we set out to do. God put us where we are on purpose. He has plans for our life, and we will learn these plans as we grow through life. He will or has already given us what we need to make these plans happen. We have time to do it but no time to waste.
What is procrastination costing you? What would happen if you put off procrastinating and started taking action?