[proh-kras-tuh-neyt, pruh-] Show IPAverb, -nat·ed, -nat·ing.
–verb (used without object)
to defer action; delay: to procrastinate until an opportunity is lost.
–verb (used with object)
to put off till another day or time; defer; delay.
Hmmm. Procrastination is one of those words you were proud to be able to spell correctly in grade school. “Procrastination. P-R-O-C-R-A-S-T-I-N-A-T-I-O-N. Procrastination.” Since then we may not spend time spelling or saying the word, but its meaning is well understood and played out in our lives…especially as students (and even past the student stage). Several people shared their go-to procrastinating activities on facebook over the last week. I thought I’d share my top 5.
1. Cleaning – I hate cleaning. I despise having to scrub a tub or toilet or wash dishes or take out trash. However, when it is time to study something deep down inside of me can’t stand the sight of clutter or unclean things. Hitting up that stove with some good old fashioned steel wool does something to me. At the most inopportune moment I decide to organize the jewelry strewn about my apartment or reorganize my DVD collection. It destresses me, helping me to tackle my procrastinated task in a better frame of mind.Well, that’s what I tell myself. Cleaning…dreaded, but necessary evil.
2. Writing...for leisure – Growing up I took a notebook and pen with me everywhere. I was ALWAYS writing a story or poetry. I still possess notebooks from my childhood that are filled with creative story ideas with church notes written in the margins of the pages. tsk tsk tsk Yes, I wrote stories in church services. If it helps I only did it in the boring ones. As an adult I find myself at my most creative moments when I am stressed about a looming academic deadline. When I could’ve been working on these wonderful masterpieces all semester long, all of a sudden when I need to finish writing a paper I get an idea for a poem or script and have to hash it out for 30 minutes before I can move on. Craziness I know.
3. Checking on people – By nature I am extremely introverted (except when the comedian in me is on duty). I am not big on telephone conversations (yet I work in a call center environment….yeah…smh) or huge social gatherings, but I am a very thoughtful and prayerful person. After I have met you I am likely not to forget you and will probably pray for you at some point in life whether or not I see you again. I also hate to bother people so instead of sending a note or calling when I think of you I just pray except when I am on my sporadic “let’s try being extroverted today” kicks. If it’s not one of those days and I am checking on people that I don’t normally speak to either ” the Lord has spoken ” or I am procrastinating. With people moving away, getting married and having babies it can be extremely hard to keep up with each other. There is nothing wrong with giving an old friend a courtesy call, but you know you have a deadline or personal project you need to finish.
4. Worship (the musical variety) – Did I really type that? I have a tendency to go into worship mode claiming a need to be close to my saviour when I need to be getting closer than close to that paper on biblical worldviews or European socialist thought. What do I mean? I put on my favorite Gospel or CCM tunes and have a party all by myself. Sometimes I will just find some reflective music (Corinne Bailey Rae does it for me) and attempt to declutter my mind. I figure though you can’t go wrong though. Even if I am supposed to be doing something else worship and good music also deescalates my stress level.
5. Exercising – Any other time I just want to chill but when it’s time to go in on those assignments, all of a sudden I want to get down with some Billy Blanks or Crunch Fitness and act like I’m going hard on perfecting the temple. Mmmhmm. What I REALLY need to do is grapevine over to those textbooks and finish a discussion board post. I have a number of personal projects that have been sitting on a shelf. Just last week I found a journal with an entry dated five years ago that outlined the first time I’d written down a particular documentary idea that I have been playing around with pursuing. While it is about timing, I could be further along in the project if I focused on my goals and forgoing procrastination.
All of the things I’ve listed are positive activities by themselves. My timing is what needs to be perfected. It reminds me of that passage in Corinthians when Paul talks about things being permissible versus beneficial. The timing of the things I listed above may cut down on the beneficial quotient.
In the end I know that it boils down to several things: discipline, focus and grace.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1 (NLT)
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses (PROCRASTINATION!!!), so that the power of Christ can work through me. II Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)
Feel free to leave a comment about your procrastination activities. You are not alone. We can get past this together. lol
Keep pushing forward everyone!!!