I am an incredible procrastinator.
Who knew that making a cup of tea could take 20 minutes? First, you find yourself getting up every five–ten minutes from doing your work to boil the kettle.
Then, when you finally decide to commit to your cup of tea that you have been teasing yourself with for the past however many minutes, you have to pick out a suitable tea cup.
Then comes the hassle of choosing your tea flavouring. This one is toughest, especially when you have just made a trip to T2 and come home with completely unnecessary flavours that you will probably never drink again, such as Gorgeous Geisha, but your split personality (the ‘inner procrastinator’) begs you to try it anyway because anything will taste amazing when it pulls you away from the more important things that you should be doing.
Oh, not to mention when you find the honey in the cupboard… well… then you have to watch it up close and personal for another ten minutes as the golden sweetness drips into your tea cup.
My mum and I always tease each other about our procrastinating ways. We usually meet in hallway of our house and have this big stare off as if saying ‘Weren’t you just up here 5 minutes ago?’ And then we laugh and proceed to make our fourth or fifth cup of tea.
I often wonder how much more I could have got done if I had chosen not to give in to my procrastination temptations. I could have completed that whole essay or written an entire novel! That last one may be a little farfetched, but in reality, I wouldn’t know because procrastination seems much more exciting (in the moment) than completing something else.
In order to succeed at the things we are passionate about in life, we must be willing to put all extra things aside and dedicate time and effort into developing our work, gifts, passions and talents.
I am definitely not saying that getting a cup of tea is a deliberate waste of time—it actually really does help with concentration and keeping yourself calm while writing essays, etcetera. However, when we knuckle down and dedicate our time to more important things, we start to reap some incredible things from that dedication.
Success isn’t always in the end product. Sometimes it is in the process. We become successful when we put action to something, and we do it well. The end product is the reward, whilst the process is the success, or the success of the hard work that eventually paid off.
This year I had to put a lot of things on hold as I tackle my Honours dissertation. I felt the loss of my friends, working regularly, and even finding time for myself because of my dedication to my degree.
I know it will be extremely beneficial in the long run, but in the process of getting it done, I have to really focus and set all distractions aside. When I find myself in a place of stress or absolute panic, my ‘me time’ or time with my friends is usually what I am craving most.
Finding the balance between focusing on something that has the potential to affect your future educationally and personally, is really important. A lot of my friends who are also studying constantly ask me how I deal with a heavy load of Uni assessment and have time for myself as well as friends and family.
Truth is, I really have to make the time and occasionally force myself to create a good, organised habit of scheduling in time that allows me to have fun, but also to focus solely on my studies.
Over the past two months I have really felt this to the extent where I have had to push myself out of bed at five in the morning just to spend an hour walking along the beach with two of my friends, or saving Monday nights for when I can see a movie with a group of people. Friends are so extremely important to have around you. They help create a relaxed and fun breathing space that can help to take your mind off things.
No matter what is happening in my life, no matter how stressed I feel or how full on things can become so quickly, I know I need to find time to break up each category of my life so that I can be refreshed. It is all about prioritising my time.
I know God has placed a passion inside me that burns brightly, and as I take each of these stepping stones in my education, I am slowly figuring out the path God is leading me down.
When distractions come, whether it is extra work, study, a relationship, new friendship groups, financial situations or embedded amounts of random everyday busyness that seems to preclude my ‘me time’, God wants us to be refreshed and restored.
‘Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matthew chapter 11 verse 28)
He does not want us to struggle and stress over things that can be handled with a simple prayer or taking time out to be with God. God is our ultimate distraction. The difference between Him being our distraction and earthly distractions is that God distracts us from the distractions of the world.
When I ask God to help me refocus on what needs to be done, He gives me the strength to focus and helps me to finish my tasks. I know that I can get through the tough things in life because God refreshes me daily.
So, go and make yourself a cup of tea in under five minutes, and get focused on today’s goals. Starve those distractions by remembering that if God brought you to it, He can bring you through it.
"Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians chapter three verses 13-14)
Cartia Moore is a sword fighter, trained and skilled in the art of fencing. She has recently graduated from her Bachelor of Arts degree and is now studying an Honours in Screen & Media Studies. Her focus is film, television and swordfighting sequences. She is a youth leader and has a passion for bringing young girls to God and helping them to seek and find their worth and value in Him.
Cartia Moore’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/cartia-moore.html