I don’t need to do it now

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One thing I struggle with is procrastination. I find it very easy to put off many things to a later date. Most of the time my reason is “I don’t need to do it now.” or “it can wait” or “I am tired”. This has caused me trouble in so many ways. But only recently did I realise that my procrastination has the potential to inconvenience and even harm other people.

It’s Monday morning and I had to rush to a nearby school since I had a guitar lesson to teach. I arrive late :(. I meet my student and we start the lesson. Did I mention that I hadn’t prepared for that day’s lesson. My student is performing at the Music Festival and I need to teach him to read guitar tabs so that he can play the guitar piece he will perform and silly me hadn’t gone through some of the bars that I needed to teach on that day.

What did I do? I had to read and learn the piece within the few minutes I had with my student. I couldn’t help but wonder, “I could have done better. I could have been more prepared. If only I did not put off practise.” Anyway, here are some of the lessons I learnt from this experience.

Procrastination denies others the best

When we put off doing something especially when we are in a position of leadership we risk denying those we lead the best service they could ever get. If I had gone through the guitar piece before, I would have been better equipped for that lesson. My student would have learnt more. We could have made more progress. I ripped him off and he didn’t even know it.

Procrastination doesn’t glorify Christ

Putting off something is not entirely bad. Sometimes putting off something is needed. So the BIG question is why are we putting off doing that particular thing. Is it laziness? Is it malicious intent? Is it pride? Do we think that those whom we are serving are less important and hence can wait a bit longer for us to get ourselves together? I have fallen into this trap a couple of times. There are days I think my troubles are so immense such that replying to an SMS seems like a climbing Mt. Everest. The sad bit is that the recipient of that SMS (140 characters only) needed to make decisions based on my response and I kept him waiting. Procrastination can easily lead us to act in ways that are not loving. The reasons for our procrastination could also be sinful in themselves. Surely this does not glorify Christ.

So now what! How do I get out of this nasty habit?

What I am trying to do now, other than praying, is ask myself, “What is the most loving thing I can do right now. What is loving to God, loving to me and loving to others?” I think this question sets my mind in the proper perspective just to see the gravity of my actions.

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