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Procrastination: The Church Leader’s Deadly Foe

Procrastination is the Church Leader’s deadly foe. It distracts us from doing God’s will. Here’s ten ways you can beat it:

1. Get to Sleep Early

The times I have the worst struggle to beat procrastination is when I’m tired and lacking energy. This past week I came back from a conference that included around 10 hours of travelling and a couple of nights of “not as good as usual” sleep. The next morning in the office I found it so difficult to focus and concentrate. I needed more sleep! We need the time to recharge,

2. Get Up Early

If you can get to sleep early then the upside is that you can get up early too. It’s quiet and still and you can concentrate on a few big tasks that you really need to concentrate on. It’s likely those tasks would have taken longer later in the day when you can be interrupted or when your energy levels drop.

3. Set Big Goals for the Day

At the beginning of the day, set yourself the three most important things you need to work on that day. Michael Hyatt calls them the Daily Big 3. I record mine in my Full Focus Planner. Work on them until they are done and you will have completed your three most important tasks on your task list. How many days do you end up procrastinating and not completing three important tasks?

4. Schedule Time Blocks

As I suggested a couple of weeks ago, schedule time blocks, especially for your creative work like sermon and worship preparation. Put them in your calendar and ensure that you can’t be disturbed during those times. Giving yourself a set time to complete this work will help church leaders beat procrastination.

5. Don’t Multitask

We are not designed to multitask. We need to focus on just one task at a time. Multitasking is a sure fire way to end up procrastinating. Our minds become overloaded and so we stop working altogether. If you focus on one task at a time you won’t get overloaded and you will be able to work effectively.

6. Don’t Check Your Email

One of the worst things you can do when you first sit down to work is to check email. Immediately, you are working to someone else’s schedule and priorities. It’s a sure fire way to end up procrastinating. Instead, work on at least one of your Daily Big 3 tasks first and check email later.

7. Block all Social Media Platforms

Turn them off to beat procrastination. Turn off all notifications from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, everything. If you need to, block access to them whilst you’re working by using an app like Freedom. Don’t look at social media until you’ve finished your working day. Social media may be the deadliest foe when it comes to procrastination.

8. Get Off Your Chair and Move Around

Sometimes, all you need to do to avoid procrastinating is to get up from your chair and move around. Change your scenery – get out of the office or study for a few minutes. Do some stretches, take a walk until your mindset has changed. One of the best ways I have of beating procrastination is taking our dog for a walk. It seems counterintuitive (taking 20-30 minutes out of my working day when there’s so much to do) but I can easily waste more time than that procrastinating.

9. Setup Regular Reminders

What can help with number 8 is to set regular reminders to work and to rest. I use the Pomodoro technique through the Focus app. I work for 25 minutes (I have the app set up to play a clock ticking noise to remind me it’s focused work time) and then rest for 5 minutes (when I will often get up and move around). It manages my energy and focus levels and stops me from procrastinating.

10. Create Something

Most of us have a creative streak. In fact, as I discovered in this post, church leaders and creatives first and managers second. So create something every day. It might be your sermon or your worship service. Or it could be some painting, a photo or a journal. Just something that gets your creative juices going every day. It makes the more mundane tasks more palatable and stops you procrastinating when you’re doing them.

Church Leaders and Procrastination

The Bible says:

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

James 4:17 ESVUK

Procrastination often feels like a sin to me. If you’re a church leader that wants to beat procrastination too, use these tools and banish procrastination for ever.

Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash

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