Let’s face it. There are many tasks that we just don’t want to do. We put them off as long as possible because they are things we have to do, not things we want to do. Procrastination keeps us from fully living the way God wants us to.
I didn’t grow up with perfectionist tendencies. However, I did wonder why I always procrastinated doing certain things.
I read the book Time Management from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern when I was trying to learn to manage my time better. This book was life changing for me because she talked about the mental aspects of time management. She listed several psychological obstacles that keep us from managing our time well. One of those obstacles is the need for perfection.
“Perfectionists feel compelled to do everything at the same level of excellence. Many adopt the attitude. ‘Well, if I can’t do this perfectly, I’m not going to do it at all!’
The need for perfection often comes out of the need for approval. It could also come from a fear of criticism, humiliation, or harsh judgement. Maybe the perfectionist mantra was drummed into your head as a kid and you never learned how to evaluate which tasks were worth your very best effort and which ones weren’t. Or it could be that you feel more secure when everything seems to be under your control.”
When I read this, something finally clicked in my mind that made me realize a lot of my procrastination habits were rooted in perfection. I realized I really wanted to do everything perfectly. When I knew I couldn’t, I would dread the task and put it off.
I don’t know about you, but as a wife, mother, and care taker of my home, I am constantly hit by the enemy in this area. When I don’t do the things I know I need to do to take care of my family, I feel like a huge failure. And to be honest, there are seasons when this is almost an every day thing for me.
The best way I know to battle procrastination is to just start. Working on a task for a minimum of 15 minutes is usually all it takes to get me motivated to complete it.
I’m also motivated by the Proverbs 31 woman.
“She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:27
I want to be like this woman. I want to take care of my family in the way I know God intended.
The next time you are caught in the procrastination trap, I encourage you to ask God to help you accomplish the tasks that need to be done. Being trapped by procrastination is something we can’t always get out of on our own.
Recognize your need for God’s help and turn to Him to overcome.