Meant-To and Didn’t-Do

Procrastination is a major killer of full-funding. Many missionaries succeed at raising funds when they do it—but they seldom do it! “I meant to!” they say. Or, “I’ll get to it tomorrow!”

Pro/cras/tin/ate—“cras” is Latin for tomorrow; pro means “to or toward.” To procrastinate means simply to “move to tomorrow.”  The dictionary says “defer action.”

You are not alone! In a Reader’s Digest survey, 16 countries answered the question: “What is your worst habit?” Procrastination was the worst habit in:

  • Russia 50% 
  • Australia 45% 
  • Netherlands 41% 
  • United States 40% 
  • Canada 36%
  • Germany 36%

Here’s what I’m learning as a member of the Procrastination Hall of Fame!

Give it 30 seconds, then stop!

For example, say you spent the day postponing phoning an anchor donor to set an appointment. Take 30 seconds to find his phone number and program it into your phone. Then stop!

Or, maybe you are delaying sending an email to thank 50 donors. Simply type “Dear Joe,” and the first line as if you were writing to Joe only. Then stop.

Then your human nature kicks in! It says “Keep going!” Once we start a task our momentum keeps us going. Maybe it is a mind-trick, but it works.

Try it! You are only 30 seconds away from succeeding at that task you dread!

Or consider the nasty outcome predicted by this anonymous procrastinator!

Mr. Meant-To has a comrade,

And his name is Didn’t-Do;

Have you ever chanced to meet them?

Did they ever call on you?

These two fellows live together

In the house of Never-Win,

And I’m told that it is haunted

By the ghost of Might-Have-Been.