I’m well on my way to beating procrastination!
The last time we met, I talked—or rather, complained—about my to-do lists being too long.
Actually, “too long” is an understatement. They were massive! No one should ever have that many things to do! Obviously this is punishment for all of the procrastinating I’ve done since diapers.
The only time I was every early? Birth. An entire month. And I was not a preemie either.
Boy, would I love to get a month ahead now!
So, Thursday night I had a revelation. Despite the positive note I left you with on our last #TribeTuesday update. I was still feeling a little overwhelmed. I was thinking about all the things I still had to do, debating whether or not finishing it all over the weekend was truly possible, fretting over the things that were still due on Friday—knowing I wouldn’t get home until after 9 PM because I had a class at church that night (that I thought about skipping, but then decided not to).
It all just got too heavy, and I broke down, again. Though, that’s not exactly the reason why I scrambled out of class to the bathroom to cry. I realized that I was only setting myself up for disaster with my endless worrying. If you’re familiar with the sisters, Mary and Martha in Luke chapter 10 (yes, I’m about to get preachy on you), I discovered that I was quickly becoming Martha, busy about many things except what mattered.
Remember my list? The one I didn’t come close to finishing…
- Make lunch for tomorrow
- Cook dinner
- Organize room
- Write new posts for blog
- Edit articles for church magazine
- Make editorial schedule
- Write an article to submit to church magazine
- Write stories/poems to submit to literary magazines
- Submit stories/poems to literary magazines
- Study for discipleship class, “Kingdom Living”
- Pay bills
- Enroll in benefits for 2018
- Crawl from under rock to talk to friends
- Wash face, brush teeth, do hair
There was something terribly flawed with my list. Not that it was too long, but that prayer was last when it should have been first.
Thursday night, alone in that bathroom, while I was crying—all red-eyed, puffy-faced, snot dripping from my nose—God revealed to me that if I truly wanted to simplify my life, and relieve myself of the burdens that were weighing me down, I had to seek Him first. Period. Not sometimes, not just until I can get some semblance of control over my long to-do lists. All. The. Time.
That night, I didn’t do anything on my list. Instead, I prayed. I read my Bible, prayed, and went to sleep. The next morning, I woke up early and prayed. I read my Bible and prayed some more, seeking God’s guidance, and He told me what I needed to do. I jumped right into my tasks for Friday, filled with a newfound energy and eagerness to finish. And I finished.
I did the same thing on Saturday. And on Sunday.
And while I didn’t complete everything I wanted to do this past weekend, I can now count the items on my to-do list today on one hand! Truly a blessing, and I owe it all to God! Never has this scripture felt more true for me than right now:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
I feel much more confident transitioning into my next task for beating procrastination, which is being more productive at work, now that I know how to be productive, God’s way.
I will continue with my to-do lists throughout this month, because they have truly helped me keep up with all the things I have to do throughout the day. And when I know what I have to do, I’m less likely to procrastinate.
And I will continue to seek God before I do anything. Because He shows me what’s important, what must come first—even the little things, like washing my face before I try to look at a computer screen first thing in the morning. Don’t tell me prayer doesn’t work! I’ve definitely seen an increase in my productivity, my efficiency, a decrease in my stress level. I even went to bed early last night! A miracle by itself!
But the key is consistency. Which is the whole purpose of this challenge. To do one thing for 30 days straight. Can I keep it up? Only time will tell…