Today was a good day. I took today off work to give myself a long weekend and just kick back and relax a bit. I’ve been working hard the last couple months, putting in some long hours and travelling a fair bit.
It started to catch up with me… But not in the way that you might be thinking. Sure, I’ve been tired physically and mentally I’ve been quite spent, but the way this situation has caught up with me has been more insidious than that.
I’ve been making excuses for myself.
There have been things I’ve wanted to do in the business that have taken a back seat because I’ve not been applying myself fully. I’ve made it ok to not get stuff done because I’ve been busy or tired or whatever.
I’m sure many of you reading this can relate to what I’m saying.
I thought a bit about this over the past few days and there are a few ways you can deal with the problem of making excuses.
The first solution is to stop doing it. I know that sounds really simplistic, but it’s true – if you’ve developed a behavioural pattern that you’re not happy with then the best way to get past it is to stop.
The second solution is a bit more involved. I’m not a psychologist and I don’t play one on TV, but I do have a pretty solid understanding of the human condition. Most times when people are not doing the things they want to do there is something within them causing them to self-sabotage.
The third solution is to just forget about it, stop worrying and just carry on with life. I sometimes don’t reply to voicemails and things because I figure if they are important, the person will call me back. Same principle here, if the activity is important, you’ll eventually get around to doing it.
I’ve been operating using the third solution now for about three months. Nothing has fallen apart and the business is happily ticking over, doing its thing. I’ve done the things I needed to do like write daily emails and spend time with my coaching students. With that said, none of the additional things I’ve wanted to do has happened.
I decided today to shift my thinking to the first solution and just stop making excuses. I woke up this morning, relaxed a bit on my day off, went for breakfast with my wife and then came home to get some stuff done. Over the last week I’d formulated an idea for a new information product that I wanted to create, so today I sat down to do it.
I spent a good five or six hours straight working on it. During that time I turned out about 4000 words of content and completed over 60% of the entire product. I’m committed myself to finishing it off entirely tomorrow in first draft.
No excuses. No giving myself a couple weeks to do it “when I have time”. Just crack into it and get it done.
Here’s the thing, I don’t think any of those three “solutions” to excuse making is wrong or “bad”. I’m a big proponent of you doing your thing and running your own race. If you’re doing ok and not really worried about getting things done or doing them when it feels right – that’s awesome, you go with that.
I just found myself getting tired of telling myself “I’m gunna do this” or “I’m gunna do that” and doing nothing. As a result, for the next little while, I’m just going to get on with stuff.
As an aside, when this new info product I’m working on today is ready, I’m going to make it available to everyone on this list for free. Strangely enough, it will be delivered by email if you can believe that!