Procrastination

Each person makes thousands, maybe millions of choices everyday. Life in America, “The Land of Opportunity,” is a rich buffet of choices. Some choices are complex, some are safe, some are scary, some are risky, some are fun, some are necessary, some are matters of life and death, and most are habitual.

It’s pretty common to get stuck on a decision about a particular opportunity. Think for a moment about one of life’s big opportunities facing you today. How long have you been considering your options – a few days, a couple weeks, several months, or more? Ask yourself (be honest), “Am I evaluating or procrastinating? ” No one can answer this question for you. But, before you pass judgment on yourself, check out these wise sayings about procrastination:

“Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.” -– Unknown

“Procrastination is, hands down, our favorite form of self-sabotage.” -– Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby

“Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.” -– Wayne Gretzky

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” -– Wayne Gretzky

“Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.” -– Napoleon Hill

“Procrastination is opportunity’s natural assassin.” -– Victor Kiam

“We shall never have more time. We have, and always had, all the time there is. No object is served in waiting until next week or even until tomorrow. Keep going… Concentrate on something useful.” -– Arnold Bennett

“How soon ‘not now’ becomes ‘never’.” -– Martin Luther

Here’s a simple procrastination test.

A) Am I actively forming questions and diligently seeking answers about a choice I face?

___ Yes (good) ___ No (procrastination)

B) If so, are the questions new ones (i.e. not the same ones over and over again)?

___ Yes (good) ___ No (procrastination)

Procrastination is commonly the fear of risk, fear of failure and/or fear of the unknown. Instead of focusing on the good things that are possible, people become “fear frozen” into inaction. A simple simple risk vs. reward assessment might be the solution. Consider the following questions:

  1. What’s the absolute worst thing that could happen if I decide a certain way?
  2. What’s the likelihood that “worst case scenario” will actually occur?
  3. What would be the fallout?
  4. What’s the best possible outcome?
  5. What are some of the more likely outcomes?
  6. Do I value the positive outcomes more than I fear the negative ones?

This simple assessment process can be an effective fear management tool. But there is another dimension to this problem of procrastination. When fear has you in a headlock, you could be wrestling with your conscience. I don’t believe it is possible for any person of faith to be at peace with a decision until he has sought God’s counsel. Without the assurance that one’s decision is in full alignment with God’s will, it is impossible to move forward with the confidence that God will provide strength, courage and whatever else is necessary to get the job done. Where there is doubt, there will be fear.

“Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” — Dorothy Bernard

“Prayer does not change God, but changes him who prays.” — Soren Kierkegaard (1813 – 1855)

“A grandfather was walking through his yard when he heard his granddaughter repeating the alphabet in a tone of voice that sounded like a prayer. He asked her what she was doing. The little girl explained: ‘I’m praying, but I can’t think of exactly the right words, so I’m just saying all the letters, and God will put them together for me, because He knows what I’m thinking.'”— Charles B. Vaughan

God Bless,

— CC

© Copyright July 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com

2 thoughts on “Procrastination

  1. One of the easiest ways to tackle our why-do now-what-I-can-do-later habit is to make a beginning. One practice I have adopted is to commit to work for just 10 minutes on a task I have been procrastinating on or an article/essay I have been putting-off. I realize that beginning a task can build momentum; there is a good chance I get absorbed in the tasks. Quite often, seemingly difficult tasks get easier once I get working on them.

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