Do you ever find yourself putting off a task and as a result, it remains on your to-do list day after day?
I am thinking of a particular task that stayed on my to-do list for three weeks. Every single day, I looked at that entry. I needed to take action regarding a particular situation. Instead, I let it linger.
I was procrastinating. I put off doing what I knew needed to be done.
For awhile, every time I looked at that entry on that to-do list, I felt guilty and frustrated. Finally, I felt nothing. Day after day that item remained on my list and I no longer saw it.
I am not sure why I did this. I suspect that one factor was fear.
Can you relate to this?
A few suggestions:
1. Make sure that everything on your to-do list is actionable. “Prepare sermon series” really doesn’t say much. It is vague and has no specific action. Better to say, “Write titles and purpose statements for six possible sermons for new series.”
2. If an item seems big and overwhelming, break it down into step you need to take and then work on one of these tasks. For example, instead of “Work on Bible class,” you might break this down into steps:
* Create handout
* Verify the details of the opening story
* Review film clip
* Read article regarding background information
A list of specific actions is much easier to address than a vague statement.
3. Make a list of any actions you are avoiding. Consider the emotional reaction you have to seeing a particular item on the list. Is it fear? Do you feel overwhelmed? Do you feel a sense of dread? Pray regarding these feelings.
4. Take action on one of these tasks during your peak time of the day. In other words, instead of using your peak energy time to look at Facebook or comment on someone’s blog, you might take action toward something that you’ve been avoiding. Don’t wait until you have an energy lull to then look at what you want to avoid.