Have you ever procrastinated in your writing? Maybe you thought, “I need to learn more. I’m not ready yet.”
In this episode of our Breakthrough series, CJ and I are going to help you as Kingdom Writers overcome this obstacle of procrastination. What makes this series different than most training for writers is that we integrate the powerful combination of Scripture and prayer to help you breakthrough the obstacles holding you back.
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Notes from this episode:
Scriptures mentioned: Proverbs
- Humor: I just joined a procrastinator support group…I start tomorrow
- “One of these days I’m going to get help with my procrastination problem.”
- “If it weren’t for the last minute, I wouldn’t get anything done.”
- “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.” – Mark Twain
- “Procrastination always gives you something to look forward to.” – Joan Konner
- “I’ll do it tomorrow” – “Don’t brag about tomorrow since you don’t know what the day will bring.” – Proverbs
- It’s so easy to allow God ideas to fall through our fingers when we delay. So many distractions that cause us to forget
- “I will hurry, without delay, to obey your commands.” – Psalms
- Typically there is a deeper root to procrastination. Pray and ask God what the root is.
- Perfectionism can be one of the deeper issues. We’ll talk about this in more detail in the next episode.
- Sometimes you need more information or skills in order to move forward. For example, my book Procrastination to Publication gives you the 7 steps you need to take to publish a Kindle eBook.
- Sometimes there can be a spiritual battle (ie my Broken Crayons Still Color Book)
- CJ’s procrastination in college. Waiting to start a 20-page paper until the day before it was due. Paying someone to type it up at 3 or 4 am the day it’s due
- Tip: use the Pomodoro technique. This is how I motivate myself to do something that feels overwhelming or that I’m dreading (download our free worksheet)
- Tip: Set simple, achievable goals. Part of the reason we procrastinate is that the task at hand seems overwhelming. Make a plan and start with a brain dump.
- Tip: Use incentives. We all love being rewarded for hard work. Perhaps it’s as simple as, “If I can finish writing 500 or 1000 words, I can reward myself at a favorite local restaurant
- Tip: take a walk and clear your mind.
- Tip: Tell someone your goal or idea. Being accountable to others can help us stay focused on finishing. Text or message someone when you start. Writing in a group can be super helpful (i.e. group fitness classes, university classes, etc.). Talk about our Virtual Writing Retreat (9/6/19 – 9/7/19).
Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. (John 8:32)
“I will hurry, without delay, to obey your commands.” – Psalms
- Pomodoro Worksheet: www.trainingauthors.com/breakthrough
Prayer on Putting an End to Procrastination
Transcript of the prayer:
The next obstacle we want to break through is procrastination.
CJ: I raise my hand on this one. I have been a procrastinator much of my life. It’s been something I’ve struggled with.
I still remember in college when I had 20-page papers due for my sociology major. I remember starting some of those papers the night before. But somehow, I always finished them in time.
I actually had a friend (bless her heart) who would type up my papers after I wrote them out. It didn’t matter if she had to start at four in the morning or three, she would do it. Bless Monica’s heart. I pay her a little bit for that help. But procrastination is something I can relate to.
What we mean by this specifically concerning writers, ‘I need to learn more before I can start’ or ‘I’m not quite ready yet.’
We could go years by rephrasing those things over and over again. I’m still not ready. I need to learn a little bit more. I need to take two more courses and then finally I’ll be ready.
So, we just keep procrastinating on what God has called us to do and get started on. We’re going to pray along the lines of Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do and he will show you which path to take.”
Lord, we come with that scripture and we pray that for ourselves. For all of those watching and listening, we ask, Lord, that our trust would be in you alone. Not our own abilities, our own hang-ups with procrastination or delaying what probably should have been started already.
Lord, I pray that we would just continue to seek you with all of our hearts. Then watch as you guide, watch as you lead us.
And I actually got a picture of some of you. You might recall the Indiana Jones movies and there was one particular scene where Indiana Jones had to cross a large chasm. There was a bridge that he couldn’t see. But one of the things he had to do was take that first step in faith and just step out.
As he did and he put his full weight into that step, all of a sudden there was this bridge that appeared. It was almost like an illusion. You could see that it blended in with the landscape. But he took that first step as was directed by the little map that he had. And I picture a lot of us need to take that first step. As we do that in faith, the Lord is going to come through in ways you never expected.
We thank you, Lord. Many of us could look back and say there was no way certain things could’ve gotten finished unless the Lord met us where we took that first step.
And Lord, we ask that you would drive away from our procrastination. Or anything that’s delaying the message that you want to speak through us in order to bless the world with.
We thank you, Lord, that in you we can achieve your will. To see your face above all else. And we ask this in Jesus’ name.
Lord, we pray right now that you would punch procrastination in the face. We ask that you would overcome it right now.
Breakthrough whatever it is, whatever the deeper thing is. Typically, with procrastination, there’s something deeper. There’s a deeper reason that you’re procrastinating.
Ask the Lord what it is. Why am I procrastinating? What is it? Is it fear? Or is it something else? Could it be the need for more skills? What is the root?
The picture that God gave me is you’re driving along in a car and that car is your writing, your writing of books. All of a sudden, something like fear or doubt comes up and you’re pulling the emergency brake. It causes you to stop moving forward.
Lord, we pray right now that you would help each of us to take off that emergency brake.
I just want to give just a moment of silence for you to ask God.
Ask him what is at the root, what is it that triggers my procrastination?
Take a moment to ask God, what is the root? What is the trigger for me? We pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.
Free Download: 15 Prayers for Christian Writers
Download the PDF transcript of all 15 Prayers for Christian Writers, here:
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