Do You Procrastinate?

Dear friend, if you’ve gone into hock with your neighbor
    or locked yourself into a deal with a stranger,
If you’ve impulsively promised the shirt off your back
    and now find yourself shivering out in the cold,
Friend, don’t waste a minute, get yourself out of that mess.
    You’re in that man’s clutches!
    Go, put on a long face; act desperate.
Don’t procrastinate—
    there’s no time to lose.
Run like a deer from the hunter,
    fly like a bird from the trapper!

Proverbs 6:1-5 (The Message)

Do you ever procrastinate? Yeah, I do too. Some of us are better than others on this, and for most of us, it depends on what the activity is. Typically, the things we put off are the unpleasant tasks. Maybe they are the ones which we feel less confident about. Typically, also, the things that we put off or try to avoid, are the ones that will cost us something extra by putting them off. They get harder to do for several reasons.

One of those reasons is that the task gets bigger in our mind the more we delay it. We build it up beyond the actual difficulty of the task. Possibly, the longer we put it off, the more awkward the task becomes. A time delay may really work against us, especially, of course, if the task is time sensitive. Calling at the last minute, for example, to cancel a meeting, can cause more problems than that same phone call would have caused two days earlier.  

Whenever we put something off, we usually have to pay with interest. It seems it is like a universal rule of some kind. With bills, that may be literally true. With social capital, it works much the same way. We usually have to pay extra mentally, socially, or emotionally for that delay that we made. Those hard conversations that are put off can cause more pain by their delay. We would save ourselves some pain by what we could have done much earlier.

So, while the tendency may be to procrastinate, remember, it almost always has to be paid with interest.

Prayer: Lord, we avoid the hard things. Give us the courage and the nudge to act in a timely manner for our own good, Amen.

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