I’m the world’s worst procrastinator.

Actually, I’m a recovering procrastinator.

It used to never bother me to do everything last minute.  I swore up and down I did my best work that way. 

I had a sneaking suspicion deep down that it may not be true.  I had no idea how NOT true it would turn out to be…

I procrastinate(d) everything.  I always paid bills at the last possible second, went shopping for what I needed the day after I needed it, returned phone calls whenever I felt like it, I would even leave mail on the counter for weeks before I opened it, and voice mails?  Forget about it.  I never even checked them.

(Exhibit A: I’ve had a new phone for 4 months and the voicemail still isn’t set up!)

Last year, it really started to bother me.  I thought it was just a sign of getting older. 

“I’m just getting old and weird,” I thought.

Then I started realizing, maybe it was conviction.  Maybe Jesus wasn’t fully pleased with my ways of putting everything off.  Maybe it was starting to make Him look bad.  Maybe He was sick of watching me stress out to the max because I never got anything done on-time.  The more I meditated on this, the more it started to resonate in my heart that this was not a sign of getting old, this was something spiritual. 

How could procrastinating be spiritual?  It was holding me back in a lot of ways.  It was starting to interfere with ministry at church.  It was interfering with where I wanted to be spiritually and in using my gifts.  It was interfering with things I wanted to do in life.

(Exhibit B: I’ve been planning on starting a blog since 2009 as a creative outlet.  Ummmm…you can see how well that plan went…)

So, I procrastinated in giving that any REAL thought for a while.

And then it overwhelmed me.

I didn’t like it.

I didn’t like how it stressed me out.

I didn’t like how it stressed my husband and kids out.

I decided that when issues presented themselves, I would deal with them as they came up.  That would be a new goal.  Goal meaning I would give it my best shot, but no promises.

And do you know what happened?

I really liked it.

I liked the feeling of accomplishment as I checked things off my to-do list.  I liked knowing at the end of the day that things were taken care of and I could go to sleep without being stressed out and worried. I liked not having things that were incomplete hanging over my head. 

The funny thing is, I never really thought that it bothered me before and I found out it was always unsettling to me.

How much stress do we bring on ourselves on a daily basis without even realizing it?

As annoying as it is sometimes to just drop everything and make a phone call or run an errand, I’m learning the joy in accomplishment and prioritizing.

I have always been a list maker and now I’m proud to be a list cross-er off-er! (If it’s not a word, I plan on making it a word.  Spread it around.)

I even add things to my list that weren’t previously on there just to check them off.  Now I fear I’m addicted to list making…

Maybe I’ll deal with that next year…