Procrastination can be cured…
Recently I have been thinking a lot on how to discipline myself. Procrastination seems to have engulfed my heart and I feel like I am sinking in a quagmire of hopelessness with myself. My work keeps piling up and there seems to be no way out…
As always my instinct is to diagnose and then treat the problem. So I asked myself what could be the reason behind this incapability to find time for the most important tasks of my life? There is certainly no lack of awareness. I understand so well the need to use my time in a profitable way because I am so much conscious of life coming to an end sooner or later. I have this terrible feeling at the bottom of my heart that no matter how much time Allah gives me in this world I will still feel it to be not quite enough for all the things that I want to accomplish for my akhirah. So how is it possible that while I have this most powerful sense of urgency and still I feel like I can’t quite get hold of my schedule? Day in and day out I get trapped into doing things which I had never planned nor wanted, but they just need to be done and so by the time I get some breathing space, my mind is too distracted and my body too exhausted, for me to even think of working for my Quran project. This has now been going on for over two months and until today I just could not find any clue to this mystery. But this morning I met a lady who was so depressed and hopeless with herself that talking to her and trying to make her feel better, I understood my own dilemma.
Actually what happens is that if we get strong in our work, we unconsciously assume that now we are in a safe zone where no negative influence can harm us. But the shaitan never gives up on us. Thus he is forever on the lookout for the slightest weakness of faith or the tiniest deviation from the straight path from where he can attack our hearts. The first day when we leave an important task due to some problem, we feel very guilty but he gives us a hundred excuses to make us feel less concerned. If we don’t listen to his excuses and come back to rejoin the broken link, we are saved. But if we make the mistake of believing in his logics of self justification then we go further and further away from our purpose. The mind is full of good reasons but the heart is not satisfied… this gives way to depression and further weakens our faith and optimism. Until a point comes where one begins to lose hope in Allah’s mercy…
Now this is very dangerous and we must learn to avoid it. But if due to some weakness we have become a victim of shaitan’s attack then we must learn to defeat him and come back to the mercy of Allah.
The question is how to motivate oneself and regain the lost spirit?
1- The first step is to make a sincere Taubah and make lots of duas to Allah to guide your heart… (There are many such duas for the guidance of the heart, in the book of Quranic and Masnoon duas)
2- Make yourself work even in very little steps. (For example I have been writing this article for the last three days and only have the energy or motivation to add a few lines at a time) Remember that every little step you take will add on to your energy level.
3- Another very important thing is not to believe in the whispers of the shaitan because even after you do Taubah and try to get back into your routine he will try his utmost to make it all seem futile and useless. You might begin to have this doubt that since you have not shown any consistency in the past then there is practically no hope that you will ever be consistent in the future too. Remember it is not true. So just ignore these discouraging thoughts and strengthen your belief in Allah’s help and mercy through prayers and Quran.
4- You could also share these steps with a friend and together set up targets to motivate one another. For example you can study the Quran together or agree to learn some surahs within a certain time frame. Then listen to each other’s Tajweed and do corrections. This is very encouraging as well as interesting; but even if you have no one around, just remember that Allah is forever the best friend and guide.
Remember the prayer of Prophet Yousuf (a.s)
فَاطِرَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَنتَ وَلِيِّي فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ ۖ تَوَفَّنِي مُسْلِمًا وَأَلْحِقْنِي بِالصَّالِحِينَ ﴿١٠١﴾
Creator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Wali (Protector, Helper, Supporter, Guardian, God, Lord.) in this world and in the Hereafter. Cause me to die as a Muslim (the one submitting to Your Will), and join me with the righteous.”