I struggled with chronic procrastination for years. However, uncovering the link with emotional eating was key to overcoming procrastination.
I ate to procrastinate, which was part of my past emotional eating habit!
Because I wanted to remove a source of emotional eating, I needed to get rid of the procrastination habit.
In this article, let’s discover why people procrastinate and steps I took to beat procrastination.
What Does Procrastination Mean?
Procrastination comes from the Latin term “pro-crastinus,” which means “forward to tomorrow.”
Do you see a problem here?
The person procrastinating assumes they will have a “tomorrow” to which they can forward things!
However, the Bible advises us that this mindset is presumptuous:
“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”– James 4:13-14
Because we do not know how much time the Lord gave us, it is wise to value each day with beneficial action.
Jesus is our best example of valuing our time on Earth. John 9:4 records His mindset:
“I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.”– John 9:4
He also compared fulfilling the Father’s will in His life to food:
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.– John 4:34
Wow! Is doing our Father’s will as essential to us as daily food?
Think about it.
Why do we Procrastinate?
I used to wonder, “Why do I procrastinate so much?”
One of the reasons why people procrastinate is because they predict pain or discomfort when taking action.
Procrastination is an avoidance behavior – just like emotional eating.
Here are some feelings a person might try to avoid through procrastination:
Fear of Failure
When a person fears failure, it is usually because the person ties their performance to their identity. If their performance is less than perfect, they declare themselves a “failure.”
Is it any wonder the person avoids an activity in which they predict failure? If they fail, it reflects their negative opinion about themselves.
And because they do not want to feel bad, they put off doing the activity.
That is why it is important to make God’s word define our identity above all others, even our own opinion!
Overwhelming means feeling as if a situation is beyond your ability to handle.
You compare the issue to the resources you have and believe your resources are inadequate to resolve the issue.
However, when you consider the Lord is on your side, you have more than enough to be victorious.
Anticipating Physical Discomfort
Many times, mental stress can translate itself into physical discomfort.
I discovered that I could get a tension headache or tension in my neck and shoulders during mental resistance.
That muscle tension can hurt! So avoiding those physical symptoms was one reason for my procrastination as well.
One strategy I’ve learned is to take good care of my body through gentle exercise, like walking, stretching, and even hula hooping to release tension.
How to Overcome Procrastination
I read a book several years ago called “20,000 Days and Counting,” which was about maximizing each day and recognizing our days are numbered.
Psalm 90:12 advises us:
“So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
God has packed His word with wisdom! So below is some insight on overcoming procrastination.
1. Eat Spiritual Food
One of the most powerful actions you can take is to ensure that your self-talk reflects truth consistent with God’s word. You receive patience, comfort, and hope from the scriptures (see Romans 15:4).
I mentioned earlier that Jesus said His food was the will of the Father who sent Him.
In addition, here are Jesus’ words to Satan when Satan tried to tempt Jesus to turn stones into bread:
“But He answered and said, ‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”– Matthew 4:4
“Every word” includes what the Lord says about our identity. When a person calls themselves a failure, they are speaking lies to themselves.
My pastor said in a sermon once, “Failure is an event, not a person.”
Many people lack the strength to cope with life challenges because they do not regularly feed on God’s word.
In addition, their daily actions show that fulfilling the Lord’s will for their lives is not a priority. Therefore, they lack energy due to Spiritual malnourishment!
A scripture I “feed” on regularly to overcome procrastination is Philippians 4:13:
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
That statement reminds me that I am not alone and the Lord is my ever present Help in times of trouble – an empowering thought!
2. Harness Small Steps
Quick question: What motivates a cold car to start in the morning?
Nothing! The car starts because you turn on the IGNITION; a small action sparks the engine. Once the engine starts, you are ready to put that car into gear and go!
The more the car moves, the warmer it gets. The warmth is the equivalent of energy in the body:
“Energy follow productivity, not the other way around.”
Remember the physics principle: “A body at rest tends to stay at rest; a body in motion tends to stay in motion.”
The most challenging activity we take is moving from rest to motion.
So if you procrastinate, get up and start moving gently – walking in place, stretching, dancing, anything to prepare your body for action.
Gentle movement will also help release any mental tension that can lead to physical discomfort.
Whatever you have been procrastinating on, break the project down into small steps so simple that you can see yourself doing them.
Once you have the small steps, pick one step to serve as your ignition. Take that step.
The more you move, the more you want to move. This principle helps me a LOT with getting housework done because I prefer other things to do.
I pick a small thing to complete as my ignition, then keep it moving (K.I.M).
3. Activate Timer Power
Have you ever discouraged yourself because you tell yourself a task will take a long time?
To combat that, I love using timers for focus and efficiency. It also helps turn the activity into a game!
I set a timer for 10 minutes if a project must get done. I work on the project for those minutes. Once that time is up, I get a 5-minute break to move/stretch.
It makes me feel good to get started. If I couldn’t finish the task in 10 minutes, I set the timer for another time block until I completed it.
I also use the Pomodoro technique when I write; I write for 25 minutes with a 5-minute break, repeating that 25/5 sequence during my workday. I am MUCH more productive with that process versus working without stopping.
The above steps will help you begin to beat procrastination in your life.
When you do confront this avoidance behavior head-on, you will no longer eat to procrastinate; you will be too busy moving forward in achieving your goals!
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”
WOW! I thank God that He loves me enough to show my shortcomings and convict me by His Word to change negative habits in my life. I love the timer idea and will use it because so many times, I would look at a task and think of how long it will take to get it done, change my mind, sit down, and the job is still before me undone. Thank you, Kim, for speaking the truth!
You are welcome, Remonia! I think about how I use to put off gathering the materials needed for our tax returns. Mentally, I made it this huge undertaking. However, one year I decided to time it. I was shocked that gathering the materials only took 3 hours! Now during tax season, I can give myself a reality check about how much time it actually takes versus telling myself it will be an all-day drudge, which is a lie 🙂
Great suggestions. I do procastinate. I need to take some corners of my rooms and do one at a time. Also, need to clean my closet of clothes that I do not wear. Someone else can get could use of them
Sounds great, Pat – put on some of your favorite music and make a praise party out of it. You’ll be done with each project before you know it 🙂
I love the idea of putting on some praise music and getting to work. “Alexa, play gospel music.” Get ready, get set…time to declutter my life.
I am in the same boat, Pat. I need to declutter my closets and basement of things I have not used for some time (I find myself thinking I will need it one day…I wondered what that is saying about my inner self). The old saying is that if you haven’t used it, it’s time to let it go. (OH MY) It’s time for me to task myself with a thirty-day declutter challenge.