All of us have something we really need to do but keep finding excuses not to start or complete it. Maybe you want to start running a couple of times a week but there is always something that you “must do first” – even though deep down you know it’s a much lower priority.
When a task isn’t the most appealing, it can be so easy to make excuses,but it never goes away. Sometimes, that avoidance can create an Evernote bigger task or mess up something very important at work or in our business just because we couldn’t bear to do what we knew needed doing. So how do you stop yourself when excuses start to creep in?
Make a schedule
Use a diary, and electronic calendar (on your mobile phone or in the cloud like Google Calendar) and schedule in a time when you must tackle that task. Try to schedule it at a time of the day when you are least likely to be distracted so you don’t make up and excuse not to do it.
The guilt trip
A to-do list is great – if you can work through it all. But if you’re avoiding some tasks over others, that’s not always as effective as intended. Try writing down the last five things you intended to do but didn’t get round to accomplishing. Then write the reasons why you didn’t do them, being as honest as possible – whether you felt too tired, or you decided to do something else instead, be absolutely honest about why you didn’t complete the task.
Remember, excuses don’t always have to be negative – they are choices we make, which can be valid, or based on other things that are going on in our lives. So, writing down the excuses for not completing the tasks can give an insight into the basic and deep-rooted choices we have made. Could it be that you don’t feel confident about carrying out a task? Are you nervous about the outcome, or is it time to ditch it (or pass) to someone else who can be enthused about completing it?
Delegate or ditch
Following on from the point above, if a task is too unbearable to think about completing each and every time, it’s clear that something has to change. Can you speak to your line manager about it? Can you outsource it cost effectively to a profession? If this particular task is a crucial part of your work which is cyclical, you may want to reconsider your career or business’s – where’s the passion if you can’t bring yourself to do the necessities of the job?