I’ll admit it: by nature I’m a procrastinator/lazy person. Not that I just sit around the house and sleep or watch TV all day. I don’t.
But I sure would like to.
Of course, at the end of the day I’m always glad I didn’t. And if I do waste the day away, because I give into the urge…, well, then I regret it. I’d much rather accomplish the tasks God has given me to do on a given day than fritter my time away.
Do you have the urge to waste time…
- watching television shows
- surfing the Internet
- reading magazines
- doing who-knows-what?
How to resist the urge to…waste the day away.
First of all, meditate on and memorize Ephesians 5:15-17:
Next, as you meditate on this biblical instruction, pray something like this…
Lord, thank you for giving me purposeful, meaningful work to do each day. I want to accomplish all that you have set before me so that I am useful to You and Your kingdom. Help me to use my time wisely today, working when it is time to work, relating to other people when it is time to do so, and even resting and recreating when it’s appropriate. I realize that Satan has a plan for my day, too, and it’s to keep me off track, to help me waste the time and callings You have given me. So help me be aware of those things which would rob me of focus, energy, endurance, and commitment. And give me joy in using my time wisely instead.
Finally, here are a few practical suggestions founded on biblical principles:
- Acknowledge God’s sovereignty and authority in your life before your feet even hit the floor in the morning. No need to see this as a legalistic step over which you beat yourself up if you forget it, but I’ve heard countless wise Christians say they offer a simple prayer of submission to the Lord while their heads are still on their pillows.
- Ask the Lord to direct your day during a morning quiet time with Him. Acknowledge the things on your to-do list, but ultimately give Him the freedom to change everything up if He so desires. See Proverbs 19:21.
- Get up! Give yourself work to do in the morning rather than putting it off until evening. Work things into your morning routine like straightening your bedroom, cleaning the kitchen, unloading the dishwasher, and starting the laundry. (Proverbs 6:9-11)
- Force yourself to work ahead. Give yourself “early” deadlines. For instance, cook dinner in the morning instead of in the evening, finish sewing your child’s costume for Monday’s school play by Friday afternoon, and write the article due on the 10th by the 7th. (Proverbs 6:6-8)
- Make a to-do list. Put everything on it you need to do. I find that the more I can cross off, even if it’s “automatic” things like exercise or straighten the kitchen, I gain more energy and drive to do the less “automatic” things like clean out the closet or write the article.
- Arrange for rewards throughout your day or week, depending on the completion of certain tasks. When you get spring cleaning completed, you can have a mani-pedi. If you get two devotionals written, you can read a chapter in a book. Or when you get the groceries purchased and put away, you can have a fold-over sandwich with the fresh bread and peanut butter you just brought home!
- If you need to take a nap (and sometimes we just do!), set an alarm. Experts say a 20 to 30 minute nap will refresh and re-energize you while sleeping any longer will only drain you and make you more lethargic.
- Watch your carbohydrate intake at your morning and noon meals. The carbs will give you an immediate boost followed quickly by a severe drop in energy. Instead, eat more protein and fresh fruits and veggies during the day.
- Have an accountability partner, someone whom you allow to ask you how you spent your day and to whom you will give an honest answer. (Proverbs 27:17)