Breaking the Procrastination Cycle: 3 Ways to Maximize Your Time
How many times has your evening gone something like this:
I’m not quite ready for bed yet, so I’ll do a quick Facebook check. Whoa! There’s a quiz to find out what my name should have been?
An hour later:
Wow, I’ve been on Facebook for a while! Guess I’m going to be tired again tomorrow. But wait, what was that TV show I missed this week?
There’s nothing wrong with checking Facebook or watching TV, but we get into trouble when that begins to hinder our God-given responsibilities. When I find myself procrastinating, two of the seven deadly sins come to mind: gluttony and sloth.
Gluttony is gorging ourselves on anything other than God, and sloth is being slow to do (or not doing at all) what we know we should. Procrastination involves both of these sins: avoiding the task at hand (sloth) by overdosing on an activity we think will be more fun (gluttony).
Three tips for breaking out of the cycle of procrastination:
1. Keep the Sabbath.
Many Christians think the Sabbath is an Old Testament law from which Jesus freed us, but what Jesus actually freed us from is legalism on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-13). Matthew 12:8 says Jesus is “Lord of the Sabbath.” Since Jesus is alive, the Sabbath still exists!
The Sabbath is a command from God to rest. If we dedicate one day to Him to rest, He will bless our obedience, and we’ll be less prone to slip into procrastination during the week. We’ll be able to give Him the glory for victory with procrastination!
2. Think positively about the work you have to do.
Procrastination often stems from expecting the worst: This project will take forever, or I have so much to do, so this evening is going to be terrible!
Yet when we think these things, we aren’t believing God will give us the strength and energy to do what we need to do (Philippians 4:13). Approach the task in little pieces, and take short, productive breaks, such as putting in a load of laundry or walking the dog. These breaks will energize you, and tackling the larger task in small time increments will make you feel less overwhelmed.
3. Make time to read your Bible.
The Bible is filled with promises about how God will help us manage our time (Psalm 32:8, Matthew 6:33). When we get serious about ridding the gluttony and sloth that causes procrastination, God promises to satisfy us and reward our efforts (Psalm 37:4, Colossians 3:23-24). Reminding ourselves of this truth can help us keep going when we’re ready to quit.
I’m a procrastinator. Maybe you are, too. These tips have helped me, and though I’m a work in progress, Jesus has a way of turning this weakness of mine into strength (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). He’s doing it for me, and He can do it for you, too.