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16 April – Carpe Diem

I’ve made a discovery. When we don’t do the things we know to do it increases our stress levels. We procrastinate. We may look like we are relaxing in the midst of our procrastination, but are we really fully at rest, relaxed or even comfortable?  Our mind keeps flicking from one task to the next that we procrastinated over. We push these thought to the side saying, “I’ll do that later, but later never comes”. .

Recently the Lord spoke to me and said, “Just do the things you know to do, and don’t keep putting them off. “You’ll be far less stressed if you do”.

Procrastinating is a major detriment to organizing and keeping balance and peace in our lives. Instead of putting things off, get them done.

I know a man who illustrates the problem with procrastination.  His wife had been asking him to fix her broken music stand for months. He’d nod and say, “yes dear I’ll get to it”. Months went by and still no mended music stand. This very patient wife was going away for the weekend and decided she’d really press home the point she wanted her music stand fixed while she was away. Making the bed she popped the stand under the blankets on her side of the bed, in the hope her procrastinating husband would finally get the message, on seeing it lying next to him. Alas, the husband on going to bed, took one look at the stand lying next to him and shook his head, wondering what on earth a music stand was doing in his bed. Jumping out from under the covers he picked it up and put it in the corner of the room, promptly forgetting about it. Needless to say his wife was not happy.

How often do we put things off that we intended to “get to?” How often do we allow ourselves to become stressed by a mounting list of things we procrastinate over. How many times have we put off helping or doing something for someone, only to forget.?

How many exercise or healthy lifestyle changes have we planned to do, only to keep procrastinating, so they never ever happen. The world is full of  people who say, “I was gonna do that, or” I could have done that”. Meanwhile life passes us by, tasks are left undone, loved ones are disappointed, kids give up asking, and we never change.

Jesus says that “we can do all things because He gives us strength”. (Philippians 4:13)  We just have to make quality decisions to do what we say we’ll do, and not put off for tomorrow what we can do today.

Every day is a gift from God, full of opportunity, growth, and blessing. The saying ,”Seize the day” or Carpe diem, is a good reminder to not keep putting off life. If we are faithful with a little, God says He will give us much.

The bible tells us to make the most of all that we have been given. “The one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.'”And his master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ (Matthew 25:22-23)

What are you doing with what you have been entrusted with already? What is your attitude towards your relationships, gifts, talents, health, intellect, experience and skills?

Here are some keys to help you quit procrastinating, and make the most of what you have now!

Start your day right – Get up, get dressed, and ready yourself for the day. If you get ready you have set yourself up to succeed for whatever the day holds. I’m all for pajama days, but maybe not everyday.

Write things down – Whenever you have an important thought, remember something you don’t want to forget, or are reminded of something to do, write it down. This can be done in your planner or in another generalized notebook that you keep with you.

Don’t overwhelm yourself –  If you find that your time is short and schedule is full, consider dropping less important things from your daily plans. If you are doing too many things at once, you will feel unorganized and anxiety-prone. Cancel plans when necessary to give your head a little more thinking space. Learn to delegate projects to others. We don’t have to agree to everything we are asked to do if we simply don’t have time.

Don’t be a perfectionist – . If you only feel that you’ve completed a task when it is “perfect,” you will be leaving a lot of tasks unfinished to clutter up your life. Ask God to give you wisdom and confidence to know when a project is adequately finished and can be left alone. When you reach a point where it is “good enough,” settle for less and move on to your next item.If you have certain projects that you can’t seem to perfect and can’t seem to finish, take a set break and then come back with a fresh perspective.

Remove your distractions, whatever they are. Often it is the internet, your phone, sleep, or even a good book. Know your weaknesses and ask God to help you put plans in place to prevent you slipping back into them.

“Carpe diem”  Don’t procrastinate another day.

Prayer: Lord I thank you for the gifts, abilities, strength and people you have placed in my life. Help me to be the best I can be, to seize every day, and glorify you with my life. In Jesus name amen.

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