We all have a go to excuse whenever we really don’t want to do something. It’s how we procrastinate, how we avoid doing hard work, and how we prevent ourselves from becoming great.
Here’s a list of the 14 most common excuses we often tell ourselves and why we need to realize they are exactly that, excuses.
1. I’ll start tomorrow.
2. The timing is wrong.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. The timing is ALWAYS wrong. If you wait for the perfect time, you’ll never do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Stop waiting for the right time and just START.
3. I’m too busy.
You may be busy, but are you being productive? There’s a difference. Take a look at how and where you’re truly spending your time (fauxductivity anyone?). I promise there is time in the day to do the things that matter. I’ll let Thomas take it from here.
Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.
- Thomas Edison
4. I don’t know how.
Not knowing how to do something is not a good excuse. Learning about it can help you prepare, but do you know what will help even more? Actually doing it. Learning by doing is one of the most effective ways to figure things out.
5. I’m too tired.
I’m too stressed. I’m too overwhelmed. I know the feeling and it makes sense. After a long day at work, the last thing we want to do is work more, but sometimes that’s the only way. In these situations, take a break or a quick nap, but know that if you really want to get it done, you’re going to have to find your second wind.
6. I’m not good enough.
Being hard on yourself is one thing, but being so hard on yourself that you don’t even want to try is quite another. Everyone has something to offer, a unique story or idea that only they can manifest. You’re always good enough and if you don’t try, you’ll never get better.
7. I’ll make it up tomorrow.
This is a fun narrative we like to tell ourselves. Oh I don’t feel like doing it today, but I’ll work twice as hard tomorrow. I’ll work out for two whole hours, I’ll write all day, I’ll eat even fewer calories, and so on. This NEVER happens. Don’t fool yourself by imagining a better future you. The time to start is now.
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
- Benjamin Franklin
8. I don’t have the resources to do this.
I need this laptop or this book or this work environment… NO. You don’t need any of these things. You just need to put your head down and do the work. You’ll figure out the resources part as you go — if you even need them at all.
9. I’ll start on this after I do…
Insert completely unnecessary errand, chore, or task here. Doing the dishes, going grocery shopping, cleaning up your desk — these are not important. You should start with the most important task first! We’ve covered this already people.
If you really want to do something, then do it first.
10. I have plenty of time to do that, it can wait.
When there’s no pressure, it can be easy to say, ah why bother starting that now, I have plenty of time. I’ll just finish this season of Game of Thrones and then I’ll get started. Time is a precious resource. You shouldn’t waste it. You will regret it.
A year from now you will wish you had started today.
- Karen Lamb
11. I don’t have enough time to do that.
You’d be surprised what you can accomplish when the pressure is on. Last week I shared a post about the interesting relationship between Procrastination and Urgency. Time shouldn’t be the limiting factor, it actually may bring out the best in you.
12. I’m afraid that I’ll fail.
No one will like it. Why should I bother. This is a matter of how you view things. The act of creating is a powerful and rewarding thing, in spite of the results. It takes courage and vulnerability and a willingness to put yourself out there. Check out this TED Talk on vulnerability from Brene Brown that really brings the point home.
13. I’m afraid that I’ll succeed.
This may sound crazy, but it’s a legitimate concern. If you’re a success, your whole life will change. Am I sell out now? Will I have time to do what I love to do? Success can be scary too, but it can also bring you exciting opportunities. Don’t hide behind the idea of success because ultimately you can control what it looks like.
14. The world is ending!!!
Hmmm, I think you may have watched one episode too many of Walking Dead. Either that or you’re a fan of hyperbole. Using humor to make excuses may be charming, but it doesn’t make it any less of a cop out. Unless the world really is ending.
I’m sure you’ve used a number of these before and hopefully next time you do, you’ll remember this post and not give in to your procrastination. I’d love to hear some of your own excuses, I’m sure you have some good ones. Share them in the comments below.
Originally published at alyjuma.com on November 17, 2015.