Overcoming procrastination


Most pastors have areas they always do well and other activities that they dread and can procrastinate doing. The main reasons people procrastinate are lack of interest or purpose in the task, fear of failure, disorganization, and a false sense of timing.

Postponing activities may be tied to your personality. If you’re outgoing and love to talk, you may find it easy to prepare and give talks, or counsel people, but dislike sitting down over budgets and plans. If you’re task oriented you may not enjoy public speaking or counseling others, but you may be great at administration and planning programs.

But, deeds put-off must still be done. One key is to know what motivates you and use it as a tool. If you’re task oriented, list the benefits of completing the task as a motivator. If you’re people oriented, consider how the task will help others or make it a team effort so you can do it in a social setting. Or, set a reward of doing something you enjoy once you complete a distasteful project.

In the case of fear of failure or feeling overwhelmed, lower your expectations for perfection. Find someone who is gifted in the activity and enlist their help, or seek training to build the skills needed. If the task seems too big, break it into segments and tackle one part at a time.

If you’re disorganized, then organize by the project. Gather the items needed for a task (or have someone else do that) and set up a place to keep them. If you generally underestimate how long tasks take, start doubling the time you allocate.

Most of all make a commitment to do the task and keep your word.

Karen Whiting  is an international speaker, former television host, and the author of eighteen books, including Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front.

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