Today we are in the last day of our study about procrastination, and we couldn’t finish without talking about how to acquire good habits and speaking of good habits, there is a servant of God who was a pioneer in this, Daniel. As a great man of faith, he knew that having healthy habits was fundamental to his relationship with the Most High, so come check out how to acquire healthy habits and stop procrastinating with a great example!
Daniel, a holy man in the midst of gluttony
Daniel was still young when, among the Israelites taken captive to Babylon, he was selected to serve in the king’s court. Certainly, in that environment where he was, he suffered many temptations. However, in each moment he sought sanctification, tried to live according to God’s will, and acquired good habits, remembering that these make us leave procrastination behind.
In Daniel 1:5-7, it is written: “From his own table, the king assigned them a daily portion of food and wine. They would receive training for three years, and after that they would go on to serve the king. Among these were some who came from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The chief of the officers gave them new names: Daniel was called Belteshazzar, Hananiah was called Shadrach, Mishael was called Meshach, and Azariah was called Abed-Nego. This was the environment Daniel was in.
At the king’s table were served countless unclean foods, including pork. At that moment, what was Daniel’s decision? It is described in verse 8: “Daniel, however, decided not to become unclean with the king’s food and wine, and he asked the chief of the officials for permission to abstain from them.” By exchanging such food for vegetables and water. Few people would eat only that, however, such a posture attitude taken by the servant of the Lord, shows us that we are yes, capable of having a healthy diet, but we need to be willing and what we eat directly influences our mood, physical and mental health.
Fasting and prayer
Daniel also took his life of fasting and prayer seriously, as it is written in Daniel 1:12-15: “Try your servants, I pray you, ten days, and let us have vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our countenance be examined before thee, and the countenance of the young men that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and thou shalt deal with thy servants as thou sees. And he consented to this, and tried them ten days. And at the end of the ten days their countenances appeared fairer, and they were fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the king’s meat
Further on, in Daniel 6:10, we read the following: “so when Daniel heard that the edict had been signed, he went into his house (now his windows were open in his room on the Jerusalem side), and three times a day he knelt down and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he also used to do before.
You may be thinking that these are very difficult things to do, but they are not and when we are in the Lord’s ways and under His direction there is no room for procrastination, especially when it comes to our spiritual life, because it is connected to all the other areas of our life. Without a relationship with God, there is no encouragement, for our strength comes from Him.
Where to start?
The basis of everything is prayer, how about praying three times a day? Maybe you are wondering how to do this in the midst of your hectic routine and the discouragement you now find yourself in, and I want to leave here some practical tips. In the last text we have already mentioned two important tips, and I want to remind you of them and bring you 5 more essential tips:
1 – Have feasible, specific and easy goals
- Feasible is something achievable, possible to be accomplished.
- Specific is something measurable, concrete and objective.
- Easy is turning a certain activity into its easiest possible version.
2 – Take the first step without thinking about the second
The procrastinator sins by “thinking too big”. He errs by looking at the situation from a perspective that will fatally defeat his willpower. Thinking about the complexity of the whole is much more intimidating and frustrating than focusing on just one part.
Now for the rest of my tips…
3 – The 2-Minute Rule
The 2-Minute Rule, brought by author David Allen in the book “Getting Things Done”, is a great ally for you to beat procrastination in a simple and effective way. The rule states that when you start a new habit, you should do it in two minutes or less.
It is about reducing a task to a version of it that lasts only two minutes. Everyone can read a paragraph, put on their sneakers, or fluff their pillows. What happens is that once you start a simple activity, it becomes much easier to continue doing it.
4 – The 5-Second Rule
According to Mel Robbins’ book, the 5-Second Rule is a powerful technique for destroying procrastination. As soon as you get the instinct to perform a task or start a new activity, you must react immediately. If this doesn’t happen, your brain will begin to lean toward procrastination. The technique serves to prevent emotions such as fear and anxiety from forcing you to start procrastinating.
5 – Don’t multitask
Not falling into the mistake of trying to do multiple tasks simultaneously is one of the basic rules of productivity. It has been scientifically proven that trying to do several tasks simultaneously, or in a short period of time, consumes more energy than if you’re focused on just one task. So when you choose to do an activity, go all the way with it. Focus on it until you finish it. Only then, move on to the next one.
We, children of God, are called to constancy, because our Lord is constant, the procrastinator ends up being an inconstant person and if you find yourself in this position it is high time to change this reality and live the purposes of God for your life!
I hope this series has helped you and keep these two verses in mind:
Everything has its appointed time, and there is a time for every purpose under heaven. There is a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to throw down, and a time to build; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to scatter stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to withdraw from embracing; A time to seek, and a time to lose; A time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to tear, and a time to sew; A time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; A time for war, and a time for peace.Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
For we have heard that some among you walk disorderly, not working, but doing vain things. But these we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that, working quietly, they eat their own bread.2 Thessalonians 3:11,12
God bless you!