Life is a plight of daily choices. If we are not careful, life and it’s circumstances will sneak in these 7 things that will hinder you from making true progress.

We live in the age of information and unlimited resources. How can we possibly stay focused? A key to staying on-point is to determine the necessary from the urgent.

As you know, everything is urgent these days.

Do it now.

Read it now.

This is urgent.

Breaking news.

Don’t miss this.

If you buy into FOMO (fear of missing out) or other urgent requests, you will waste more time than you have to spare. FOMO prisoners of everyone — Christian, non-Christian, all religions, ethnicity, and humanity.

Bible reading is last on the list of necessary things. That certainly needs to change. Falling prey to the urgent will undoubtedly steal your time with God and your opportunity to grow and change.

So I have put together a list of hindrances that steal the necessary parts of your life.

1 – Distractions

We live in the age of distraction. Distractions are a daily norm and are notorious for hindering progress. We have developed the habit of distraction, and when distractions don’t appear, we distract ourselves by reaching for our phones. Distraction is the latest habit that we have made normal.

Other distractions include text messages, unimportant emails, and social media notifications. Some people do not consider these distractions, but they are.

Beware, distractions are a switch bait for “the necessary” to be replaced by “the urgent”

Your most important work requires a distraction-free zone, and it’s impossible to perform your deep work by allowing distractions to walk freely into your work day.

“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly” (Matthew 6:6, NKJV)

2 – Procrastination

“Just do it” is not a sustainable solution for beating chronic procrastination.

Michael Hyatt said, “Perfectionism is the mother of procrastination.”

Procrastination thrives in an illusion of perfection and an excuse for not taking action. We must do what must be done when it needs to be done and not allow perfectionism to dominate our choices.

3 – Excuses

Excuses feed the worst part of us. The habit of making excuses switches from a form of blame to a life of deception.

We cannot allow excuses to become the paradigm of our life.

Accepting excuses from past experiences always dis-empowers our ability to grow and to change.

Abraham Lincoln said, “99% of all failure is found in the reasoning of excessive excuses.”

“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19, NKJV)

4 – Bad Habits

Bad habits are easy to allow because they reward us with an immediate benefit, and the negatives typically show up later. But, bad habits will eventually cost you more than you want to pay.

“Breaking bad habits is like training a dog; you got to be consistent.”

― Sanita Belgrave

Remember what James Clear teaches: “When you begin to practice the proper habits and stop the bad ones, you’re collecting more and more evidence that you are the person you want to become.”

To break a destructive habit, you must remove yourself from the identity that triggers the pattern. The most effective way to break a bad habit is to recreate the image of yourself.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. ( II Corinthians 5:17, NKJV)

5 – Blaming Others

The growing Christian takes ownership of their failures. They do not blame others. We do not have to look far to see the blame game on display. Our local gas prices are blamed on the war in Ukraine, and no one is buying the lie.

Discerning blame is not hard. Ultimately pointing the finger at others only detracts us from finding a viable solution to our problem. Those who play the blame game cripple their growth and stifle any chance for effective change.

The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:12–13, ESV)

6 – Denial

Denial is the opposite of the truth. We often deny what we hate to face. Do you know the guy who refuses to go to the doctor only to skip the diagnosis? Or maybe we realize our company is struggling to keep employees, but we cannot face the truth of losing our job.

Denial is rarely a winning choice. It’s always better to face the truth than walk-in denial.

Therefore Sarah laughed, saying, o “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time, I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. And He said, “No, but you did laugh!” (Genesis 18:12–15, NKJV)

7 – Avoidance

Avoidance is hard to detect but occurs regularly. Avoidance is tricky and disguises itself in busy work and deception. Every writer suffering from writer’s block avoids the reality of the block by staying busy doing anything but writing. Is that you?

Austin Tank says, “Productivity hacks are only effective when we know why we’re avoiding something in the first place. Just doing it isn’t a sustainable solution for beating chronic procrastination. If we repeatedly find ourselves avoiding specific tasks, we must address the truth of the problem.

Productivity hacks are only effective when we know why we’re avoiding something in the first place. Have you ever avoided a complicated conversation? Or maybe you avoided a discussion with Saint Suzy by skipping her aisle at the grocery store.

We often avoid the most arduous task. The problem is the most challenging task usually is the task that we benefit from the most.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. If anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, will be blessed in his doing. (James 1:22–25, ESV)

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