Awe… The time-elusive Shiny-Object Syndrome (squirrel)… In other words – PROCRASTINATION!
How quickly can we become distracted by something “shiny” that diverts our attention from what we either should or need to be doing? For me, it some times feels, it’s all the time. There are things I’m supposed to be doing but don’t feel like it. Forcing myself can be so difficult at times. But why is that, especially if I know it’s something very important? I just shake my head because I can’t give a good reason at all. They’d be all excuses.
EXCUSES! EXCUSES! EXCUSES!
There are a plethora of them out there and the supply is never-ending.
The question is why do we do this? Why do we wait till the last-minute to get something done? Why do we not get done at all what we know needs to be? Why? Why? Why? I honestly can’t answer that, especially since each and every one of us is different. Even identical twins, while having the same DNA, are different. God didn’t make human beings to be cookie cutter individuals. He made each and every one of us unique. For some of us the differences are minor. For others it’s like having the Great Canyon between our differences.
If I were to guess where the answer lies it’s probably with God and His Word. So, I decided to do a little research to see what the Bible does have to say on this.
James 4:17, “So if you know of an opportunity to do the right thing today, yet you refrain from doing it, you’re guilty of sin.” (Passion Translation)
Ephesians 5:15-17, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (NIV)
Hebrews 12:11, “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” (NASB)
It really just boils down to whether we do what we know we should or not. Does it honestly makes us feel better to not do it? Maybe in the moment, but it slowly creeps in later in the form of things like regret or disappointment.
For me, my struggle has been writing. Right after Mari died, writing became a resource for me to joint down all these swirling thoughts zoom around my head. Over time I’ve written less and less to where I hardly write at all anymore. I haven’t seriously written anything for my fiction book in months. The desire is there to do, but the want is missing. I know that may sound contradictory, but it’s the best way I can describe it. I have no drive for it. My hope and prayer is that God will help me in this area.
What about you? Do you also struggle with Shiny-Object Syndrome? How do you over come it? What tools or tips do you have you can recommend?
For me, it is not just the distractions – SQUIRREL! – but also that there is SO much to do Imget paralyzed deciding what to do first! I started a few years ago making a list of the top ten things I wanted to get done in a day. Then I numbered them in the order I wanted to do them (or how important they were). I realized I needed to have a double list. One side was things that could be going on while I was doing something else, like laundry. By having it on a second list I would remember to keep working on the three loads of laundry throughout the day. I also added to the list anything else I found I had to do and realized quickly that it was not that I was NOT working, it was that many times I did not realize ALL I accomplished! Maybe that is true for you too!
Kristena Tunstall says
Wow, that’s actually really kewl. I created my Priorities Book that did something similar for me. However, my VA job is making it hard to keep up on it because I’m so busy during the day. Oh well, I’m sure it will all calm down eventually. Thank you for sharing your idea though. I like the twist of having the two different lists. I’d never thought of doing it like that before. Kristena