Thank you for tuning in to the "Get Things Done" podcast. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help you get things done every day so that you can accomplish something worthwhile with your life. I am a firm believer that God has put each person on earth to do something great for His glory. My name is Daniel Whyte III, founder and president of GLM Omnimedia Group LLC.
In this podcast, we are going through the book "Doing It Now" by Edwin C. Bliss. I had just finished speaking at a meeting in Philadelphia many years ago, and as I was walking through the airport, I picked up this little book and read it in its entirety. It is one of the best books that I have ever read on this subject, and along with prayer and the power of God, it is one of the reasons why I have accomplished so much in my life. Today, I want to share with you some of the principles that Edwin C. Bliss talks about in his book.
As we begin, let me give you this reminder from the Word of God. Ecclesiastes 9:10 says: "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."
Leonardo da Vinci said, “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”
The first thing Edwin Bliss talks about in his book is "Attitude Adjustment". The book is written in question and answer format, as though he were sitting down talking with you over lunch.
The first question is: Procrastination seems to be a universal fact of life. Shouldn't we just accept it as part of human nature and let it go at that?
Not at all. Some people do, of course, but they generally turn out to be the ones who are defeated by life.
But when something is so widespread, isn't it rather pointless to fight it?
No. Disease is widespread, but we don't shrug our shoulders or ignore it. The important thing is not how widespread a problem is but whether something can be done about it. And in the case of procrastination it can.
Are you sure? Where is the evidence that this problem can be overcome?
The evidence is found in the life of every successful human being. Successful people do not procrastinate—at least in matters relating to their field of achievement. It's as simple as that. Procrastination prevents success.
Wait a minute. Surely you can't mean that. Practically everybody admits to being a procrastinator. It's the common denominator of the human race.
Not really. It's the common denominator of people who fail to live up to their potential. It's true that nearly everyone will jokingly admit to procrastination. But when successful people do, what they are really saying is that there are some things that they would like to have done that they haven't done. That isn't the same thing as procrastination.
Maybe a definition would clarify things. Exactly what do you mean by procrastination?
I mean postponing something that you know in your heart should be done now instead of later. If you postpone a task in order to do something that really has greater importance and urgency, you can't accuse yourself of procrastination.
So what you're saying is that procrastination and justifiable delay are two different things.
Of course. And learning to distinguish between them is what this book is all about. That, and learning what to do when you catch yourself committing the sin of procrastination.
Did you say 'sin'?
Isn't that putting it a bit strongly? It's a bad habit, admittedly. Even a peccadillo, perhaps. But surely it can't be called a sin!
It certainly can. As any theologian will tell you, sin comes in two varieties. The sin of commission gets all the attention, but in the words of Ogden Nash:
It is the sin of omission, the second kind of sin,
That lays eggs under your skin.
The way you get really painfully bitten
Is by the insurance you haven't taken out and
the checks you haven't added up the stubs of and
the appointments you haven't kept and
the bills you haven't paid and
the letters you haven't written.
Also, about sins of omission there is one particularly painful lack of beauty,
Namely, it isn't as though it had been a riotous red letter day
Or night every time you neglected to do your duty;
You didn't get a wicked forbidden thrill
Every time you let a policy lapse
Or forgot to pay a bill;
You didn't slap the lads in the tavern on the back and loudly cry,
“Whee, let's all fail to write just one more letter before we go home,
And this round of unwritten letters is on me.”
No, you never get any fun
Out of the things you haven't done,
But they are the things that I do not like to be amid,
Because the suitable things you didn't do
Give you a lot more trouble than the unsuitable things you did.
In this matter of doing things when they should be done, I think that if we can become saints instead of sinners, we will live happier, healthier, and more productive lives.
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We will continue this discussion regarding an attitude adjustment toward procrastination in our next podcast.
Now, let’s pray together --
Almighty and most merciful Father; We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare thou those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore thou those who are penitent; According to thy promises declared unto mankind In Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.
Now, the greatest secret to getting things done with your life for the glory of God is to have the Lord Jesus Christ in your life. When you have Jesus in your life, you can say with Paul in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, John 3:16 states, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can have a home in Heaven. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
God bless you, and remember: if you have something to do, there is no better time to do it than now.