I'm sure you guys are familiar with this idea. Whether it be trying to do schoolwork or getting your chores done, we’ve all come across it at some point in our teen years. It's human nature, a nature to be lazy, to have complete control of what you want to do. But this nature isn't good, and it shouldn't be able to take control of your life.
Procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing something. When we have responsibilities, we say in our minds that we will do it later, but in the end, we never get it done. For example, you have to study for a test, thinking it's days away. You say, “I can study tomorrow”, but in the end, you leave all of it for the day before.
Procrastination grows; the more you do it, the more often you will get caught in this sinful nature. Especially in lockdown, we think we have all the time in the world and can do things closer to the due date. But no. Having this mindset will create bad habits, and it can destroy our lives.
I'm writing this not because I've overcome this. I'm writing this because I see this as a problem for me and all other teens. I still get caught in this. For example, I had a maths test last week, and I thought it would be acceptable to study later. But the day before, I was stressing about how many formulas I didn't know. I know I'm not alone and that this is a universal problem; we cannot let this be.
The most significant factor that tempts us to procrastinate is the endless amount of distractions that live at the touch of our fingers. These include the media, games, notifications, and other things that your mind will think are more exciting and important than your responsibilities. Especially in lockdown, where all the distractions become more appealing, our eyes are filled with screens. Our own room becomes our enemy.
Now, anything can distract you, and it's a matter of not getting distracted by the things that can distract you. It's having that control over your desires, having control over what you need to do.
I'm sure all of us have responsibilities, and I'm sure you take them on. But I'm sure that you've been distracted by something or someone and end up not taking the responsibilities up. It's hard; our heart yearns for everything except for what we need to do. And the truth is, we can't do it ourselves. Ask God for help. Ask that we can keep our minds straight and do the task willingly.
On the other side of the spectrum, it's not things pulling us away from the task; it is also the things that make us unwilling to do our work. Whether it be boring homework, continuous study, or tedious chores, our willingness must have a purpose.
Our purpose is to glorify God. Corinthians 10:31 says, "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God".
We may ask ourselves, “how can I glorify God while doing my homework or doing chores around the house?” As students and teens, we are responsible for obeying our parents and doing our best in school. Our calling is to fulfil these responsibilities. And using our time and effort to fulfil our calling is bringing glory to His name.
If you know your purpose, that will drive your willingness to do something; that purpose will drive your determination. So we must learn that what we do, our tasks and our chores should be all for God's glory.
Time flies, especially when we procrastinate.
Have you ever had that guilt, like after you were glued to YouTube or TikTok and when you realise, two hours just passed? I was writing an essay, and as I was researching, I somehow found myself on YouTube. Let me tell you, the recommendations on the side are tempting. By the time I realised, I had just wasted hours thinking that it was okay to keep clicking the recommended videos.
There was also this other time; I said that I would do my homework at 5:00 PM. I kept looking at the time, “ahh, it's fine, still got thirteen minutes left.” The next time I checked the clock, it was 5:12 PM. So then I said to myself, “Okay, for real this time, start your homework at 5:30 PM.” By the end of the day, I had not done my homework.
Procrastinating doesn't just affect the outcome of your responsibilities. It will change your life. And I mean, negatively. The habit will grow on you, and more problems will arise the longer you stay in this trap. Realise — it's not a small matter. You may think so, but whether you realise it or not, it will grow on you. And this habit will devour your self-control.
All in all, it's our decision—whether it's getting rid of the distractions or having the willingness to take up our responsibilities. It's having the self-control to do what has to be done. We have the choice to get caught in procrastination or use our time wisely for doing what needs to be done. Even though it is hard, being tempted by all the temptations that may come around, we must pray, ask God for help, ask for the strength to turn away temptation, ask for the willingness to fulfill our responsibilities. Walk away from this form of laziness; it's a problem that is greater than it seems, and we cannot stay in this trap.