I used to procrastinate terribly on things I knew I should do but I did not want to do. One of those things was cleaning up the kitchen.
Oh, I would do it eventually but I would have fight a lot of mental resistance first.
But now I can do it with no problem because I’ve found a process that works for me.
If you practice them, they can help you with conquering procrastination too.
The process boils down to 2 things:
- Mental Focus
Here is how it works.
When I tell myself that it is time to clean the kitchen, the mental resistance starts.
But rather than continuing to sit on the sofa, trying to convince myself to move, I get up immediately and move to the kitchen, facing the very thing I’m resisting.
This strategy reminds me of the story of how David faced Goliath.
Rather than running from the giant as the other men in the Israelite army had done, David did the opposite. 1 Samuel 17:48 says:
So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.”
The biggest energy you ever have to exert is moving from rest to motion. So just the act of moving toward the thing you’ve been resisting is a big win!
Next, as you start doing the thing you’ve been resisting, you may start feeling physically tense or thinking, “I don’t feel like it” “It’s so hard” and other “whining” thoughts.
To combat this in myself, I shift my mental focus.
In the case of cleaning the kitchen, the biggest mental resistance I face is unloading the dishwasher and putting the dishes back into the cabinets.
So when I start to whine mentally, “I don’t feel like doing this,” I open up the dishwasher and start reciting scriptures out loud as I’m moving to complete the task.
When you speak out loud, you’ll notice that your thoughts pause to listen to what you are saying automatically. So use reciting scriptures to your advantage!
This strategy puts your mind to work on useful mental activity rather than on useless mental activity. Mentally complaining and resisting the activity is useless since the task has to get done.
On New Years, I set a goal to memorize the entirety of Psalm 119 by the end of this year, God willing.
As of this writing, I’m on stanza #9 (Teth) out of 22. So while I am cleaning up the kitchen, I will recite the stanzas I have memorized so far out loud.
As I recite God’s word, it becomes a form of Christian meditation, a way to focus on Him even in the midst of work.
This practice demonstrates the truth of Isaiah 26:3:
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.”
I’ve discovered that as I use the combined powers of movement and positive mental focus, I procrastinate less.
As you put this strategy into practice, you’ll discover an amazing thing:
The procrastination “weighs” more on you than actually doing the thing that you are resisting!
Motivation to Conquer Procrastination
Here are two reasons you must conquer procrastination in your life.
1. Procrastination wastes your energy.
The energy that you could be using to accomplish your goal is instead being used in a negative way – to resist doing something you may want or need to do.
It’s like pushing against a brick wall. Yes, you did something. But did you move anything forward?
2. Procrastination wastes your time.
The root word of procrastination means “forward to tomorrow.” So the person procrastinating assumes that they will have a tomorrow to which you can forward things!
But that is presumptuous thinking because tomorrow is not promised to you.
Jesus valued His time on Earth. John 9:4 records Him as saying:
I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.”
It’s best to embrace today while it is today, in appreciation for the gift of presence the Lord has given you.
Procrastination is a response to fear – real or imagined. Unconsciously, you are thinking the thing you are resisting is going to be painful. So you don’t do it.
The truth is, you can do all things through Christ, who strengthens you!
However, the only way to prove that to yourself is to do the thing. So practice your movement and mental focus and see if you start getting more things done.
Be Blessed with Health, Healing, and Wholeness,
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
P.S. Do you struggle with overeating sugar? If so, you are not alone!
Overcoming sugar addiction was a key factor on my journey to losing 85 pounds and dropping from a size 22 to a size 8.
In our 14-day Sugar Detox Challenge online course (inside the Take Back Your Temple program), you’ll get the same success strategies and support to gain peace in your eating habits and achieve lasting weight loss.
Click here to learn more about the Take Back Your Temple program.
“Prayer for Weight Loss”
What a great post, and so true! When I was growing up it was my sister’s and my chore to wash and dry the dishes after dinner. I can remember how i used to whine when it came to washing the pots “this is too big for me”. I still see that same attitude of avoiding difficult things rearing up in me. God gently reminds me of my “its too big for me” attitude but its not too big for Him. Thank you for the post, Kimberly.
Amen, Deborah – nothing is too big or too hard for our Father!
I really liked this especially the Movement idea. I do enjoy your emails and they always seem to speak to me. I have been struggling with procrastination lately!
PS I recommend The Fly Lady for those who commented about struggling with housework.
Thanks Bice – that’s a good suggestion as well. The Fly Lady is great! For those who aren’t familiar with her, here is the link: https://www.flylady.net.
Thanks, Kimberly! What a blessing to hear such words of encouragement. (I’m going down to my basement now to organize)!
Blessings to you.
Ha, ha! Enjoy that organized basement, Holly! Believe me, even if you only do a little bit at a time, you will get it done and its going to feel really good every time you look at it.
Thank you Kimberly.
I am always blessed by your mails.
May you be abundantly rewarded in Jesus Name.
You are welcome, Kanyinsola! I receive that and pray multiplied blessings to you.
You are welcome!
Hey Kim! You and I share the same battle. I hate cleaning up the kitchen. The first reason is, I hate my kitchen with a passion!! ( need a bigger one) Next, I have a husband and three kids who I constantly have to hand wash dishes after everyday!!! I have a dishwasher,but to me it’s more work so I prefer washing by hand. I will use these great strategies to help me fight the dread and procrastination I feel daily from my chores, especially the dishes.
Understood, Kennifer! I don’t know if your children are old enough but if they are, you may want to enlist them with drying or putting away the dishes. It could turn into a family bonding time. Or if they are too young to help that way, put on some music and make it a dancing party for you all to get in some exercise. Use your creativity. Since the task must be done, you get to choose HOW it gets done. I’m redeeming my time with my Psalm 119 memorization, so find a meaningful way to redeem the time 🙂
How true, tho when I start out in the kitchen in the morning puttering , making my breakfast, thinking what’s for lunch . I often start prepping something for lunch etc, next thing i know the morning most gone . Then lunch comes my body is tired to clean up. My husband & I usually kick back for a while after lunch , i want to do some sewing , a lot of days I don’t get in there to sew . Sometimes it’s 5 pm before I get in there . And my kitchen is still a mess, or clean dishes in the drainer.
Were both retired, ages 73 & 74 my body gets tired.
Been getting a couple of mils walk in this nice weather ,
PS : We do have a dish washer but still dished to wash in the sink
Hi Gail – I think tiredness has a lot to do with lifestyle, starting with our nutrition. Many of us eat foods that take a lot of energy to digest, but don’t give us any of the nutrients we need to make energy back! I plan to write an article about overcoming tiredness soon. Stay tuned 🙂
Thank you Kim! I’m never sorry I read one of your posts! Good uses you in a powerful way! Blessings to you sister!
I appreciate that, Jaime – and blessing to you in return!
This is really good! I am so blessed by your emails. Thank you, Kimberly!
You are welcome, Linda. I am grateful to God for the opportunity to share what He is teaching me!