If there is one habit I would love to eliminate in my life forever, it’s procrastination. So many missed opportunities. Can you relate?
What makes procrastination so difficult to overcome is that our mind and body are hardwired to do what makes us feel most comfortable. If delaying the task or obligation is perceived by the mind to be more pleasant than the work, our bodies will lean toward what our mind tells our body is most pleasant.
However, our conscious minds can be a bit short-sided. It can fool us by blocking our long term desires with short time fixes for discomfort. Our true, God given desires are not given attention because the focus of our mind is escaping current discomfort.
Ergo that nagging, persistent sense of dread when we choose to relax instead getting the job done.
The remedy for this common malady is two fold: Changing how you define the avoided task and refocusing on the benefits of completing that task.
Redefine and Refocus
The truth is, we could be so much further along in achieving our goals and life purpose if we would consistently complete our tasks. Just imagine the feeling of success, power and connection with God and His purposes if we just got it done. And that’s the remedy! Imagining the pleasure gained by completing that task that’s before you. You could also imagine the nagging dread that would persistently hang over you if another day goes by with the task undone.
Both images are effective because you’re telling yourself the truth, that delaying will not give you the peace it promises. And what does telling yourself the truth do? It sets you free from the trap of believing lies that keep you from living the life of purpose you truly desire.
What your mind focuses on is the direction your body and emotions goes. If your mind is focused on the joy of completing a given task, you set in motion the biological juices and spiritual powers that lead your body in that direction. If you focus on the difficulties of the task, you set in motion the avoidant mechanisms of the body that says your present state of comfort is in danger and you should run quickly away from the threat.
Pleasure over perceived pain
The writer of Hebrews gave us a clue on how to overcome this devastating habit. In Hebrews 12:2, it states:
…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
-Hebrews 12:2 NKJV
The Apostle Paul was on point when he encouraged believers to focus on positive thoughts. In Philippians 4:8, he states…
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Philippians 4:8 NKJV
By taking control of your mind’s focus, you take control of the feelings generated by that focus. So by redefining what the task at hand means, you release the energy necessary to get the job done.
Unless we forget, the feeling of accomplishment is so cool. No momentary relief of distracting diversion can compete with it. Whatever is in the way of you completing a necessary task, get over it quickly. There is truly a magical feeling of accomplishment awaiting when you do it now. Refocus – and then do it now!
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