Since the inception of man or better put, since I was born, I have never seen a more clever thief of time than the Special Agent called PROCRASTINATION. I would be lying if I claim to not fall repeatedly into its attractive trap wrapped in beautiful excuses…
Well, this is 2017 and the entire DistinguishedLives family made up of you, I and we, are determined to stop this thief NOW! (I hope I am speaking your mind.)
Tackling this crucial e-Boost topic (which happens to be our first for the year) is my beloved friend in whom I am well-pleased, Emmanuella Nkeiru Tijani. Nk, as I fondly call her was a victim of Procrastination’s treacherous schemes but today, she has the below experiences and lessons to share with us.
STOP THAT THIEF NOW! – Emmanuella Tijani
It took me 281+x days, (more than three quarters of a year, x being the number of days it might take before submission takes place), to write this article you are reading now. In basic terms, I spent two hundred and eighty-one (281) days putting off editing my already written articles or writing a new one.
So let’s talk about this thief of time to whom many have thrown open their life’s door – PROCRASTINATION.
PRO.CRASTI.NATION /prə(ʊ)ˌkrastɪˈneɪʃ(ə)n/ – to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
Procrastination affects all aspects of our lives. Some people believe, and wrongly so, that it only applies to big jobs, chores, tasks etc., when in fact, some people defer basic chores like cooking, eating and even drinking water.
This is my story:
March 26, 2016, I received a call from Distinguished. She asked if I can become a contributor on her blog. I said “YES!” A chat with her followed and I still maintained my Philippians 4:13 stand, “I can do all things…” Few days later, there was never a perfect day for me to submit an article. I became the PRO in ‘PROcrastination’, lol.
Fast forward to seven months later, October 7, 2016, after reading a motivational article, I was fired up and sent Distinguished the hot message below:
Hi dear. Good evening. So, I made up my mind that this month is my month of taking action. I’m determined to do more than I talk. I’m planning to start a series on your blog. I have been trying to decipher whether my genre of writing will fit into your blog. Right now, I just want to do it…
Sadly, the month came to an end without any action, as always. This is one symptom of a chronic procrastinator or what I call a TPD (aka Talk Pass Do). They (I’m no longer a member of that club. Amen?) get their bosses, friends, spouses, siblings, excited with great ideas of what they would do but never get to do them.
This shouldn’t be you in 2017!
This year, let the spirit of excellence which you carry inside reflect in all you do. Procrastination is not a virtue neither is it related to excellence in any way. Changing your life requires changing who you are. Anything short of that means you will be getting the same (unpalatable) result.
I would like to share with you, from my experience, some of those things you need to stop doing and what you should do instead. I hope you find them helpful.
Stop reading, stop thinking.
At least not so much so that it never gives you time to act. Not doing is equal to failure. You have thought about it enough. You have read enough. Now is the time to put your thoughts and knowledge to good use.
Stop making excuses
In one of my chats with Distinguished, I told her that I have not been able to submit any article because I am on a program at my workplace that takes up my time. What I discovered was that I still found time out of ‘no time’ to surf through Facebook for hours and take selfies. There is time. Find it.
Things to do instead:
Plan your day ahead
Imagine travelling to an unknown destination without directions. That is what you do to yourself when you start your day without planning. You put off the important tasks for the pleasurable and unimportant tasks. Planning your day ahead helps you to prioritize. Extra tip – Write them down.
Allow the Holy Spirit
Proverbs 16:13 – Entrust your work to the Lord and your planning will succeed. (ISV)
Do it as unto the Lord
I finally determined to get started on submitting the articles when I saw the ‘why’. I saw that it is a call to use my talent to promote godly virtues, help people fulfil their purpose and bring them closer to God.
Col. 3:23 – And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.
Believe in yourself
“I can do it!” Say that to yourself again and again. It’s right there in Phil. 4:13.
Part of what led to the delay in submitting my articles was that I was not sure whether my style of writing would appeal to readers. I later realized that another name for doing something and finding out that it wasn’t good enough is LEARNING, not failure.
Do It Now
Big tasks might require planning which takes time. However, calling a friend only takes two minutes. Why defer it? Call that friend now. Take that drugs now. Cook now. Write now. Pursue that dream NOW.
Last of all, INTRODUCTION.
My name is Emmanuela Tijani. I am captivated by the One who is truly amazing – God.
I look forward to sharing more notes with you. And yes! I love you.
Thank you so much Nk! As always, reading/hearing from you is always a delight as you come with so much exciting and cheerful energy.
Guess what fam? Today is Emmanuella’s birthday and this is one of her deliberate ways of Being Intentional in and with her new plus.
Please join me and wish her a Happy beautiful Birthday! Plus welcome her to the DistinguishedLives crew… praying and hoping you’ve ditched procrastination for good and your next article won’t take so long in coming, hehehe.#kidding
May your new plus be filled with Divine Excellence and Grace to break new grounds! Happy Birthday darling!