Making Excuses?

I find this happens to me…a lot.

Maybe it also happens to you? You find the time to do that thing – the one on your long, never ending to-do list that you’ve been subconsciously avoiding – and yet you find another way to fill your time instead. Maybe you really did need to paint your nails, or sure the house isn’t going to clean itself for the 5th time this week. There’s always something you could do instead.

And thus the excuse is made. Instead of fighting and finishing one battle you procrastinate it. You put off working on your website or experimenting with that new cake recipe or going for a jog. Those are things you should do to fill your time, but an easier option comes calling and masks itself as necessary.

Say it’s Sunday and you need to workout. “Aw man, I have to go shopping today because I won’t have time during the busy work week. Between that and working on my project and making dinner I just don’t think I’ll have time today.” I mean can you really not squeeze even half an hour to go for a run before you shop? If you stick to your excuse then no, you won’t, because it’s more convenient not too.  You physically could, but you’ve got the perfect excuse.

Do you think you’ll then make the choice to go workout during the week after a long day at work?

You probably won’t. Inevitably it’ll get put off until the following weekend, when you can make a fresh excuse, such as the neighbors inviting you over for a BBQ or a thunderstorm preventing you from going outside (you’ve never ran in the rain!?).

It’s a vicious cycle. I find my time gets sucked really easily, and mainly into boring, mind numbing habits like surfing the web or watching TV. Especially during the week after I get off work (yes, I succumbed to a 9-5 job while building my writing career, thank you bills and student loans). My man and I both get home and we follow our ritual of making dinner and watching a movie together. Then I’ll go work on my writing, my book or another project I’ll tell myself.

Do I?

Half the time I’d say yes. I’ll go write on my book. I’ll do my AWAI writing program. I’ll draw. But the other half of the time we cuddle up and put on another movie or TV show and I end up getting nothing done at all.

I bet a lot of us find this suck with movies and television – as much as we don’t want to admit it. I know why I do: I love the stories. I love storytelling, and movies are visual stories, with characters and settings and events nicely wrapped together for my viewing pleasure. I get lost in stories that have really great characters – strong personalities or ones that I can relate to, or want to be like. I’ll watch those stories because I love how the characters interact and relationships unfold. It’s not so much the act of doing nothing while I watch TV that appeals to me – it’s what I’m watching and who I’m watching it with.

Which probably goes for a lot of us. And I’ve found my easy, built in excuse for not writing on my blog or my book. I’d rather cuddle and watch this amazing story unfold. Sure, I could go write my own story that I want to unfold, but look at how they did this one!

It’s my weakness excuse, and while I think I’m building a bank of good resources and tricks for my own story what I’m actually doing is procrastinating. I blame my job for making me want to sit and down and relax and blame my brain for it’s love of a good story. Well, if we want to get technical I could blame life, society, the government, bills, etc for forcing me to have a job I don’t care for to pay to be alive – but that’s another topic.

For now, it’s time to kick my excuses. Productivity comes when you take what you’ve been meaning to do and apply action. Stop waiting for tomorrow, stop finding something else to fill the time instead and most importantly stop telling yourself that it’s okay to do this!

Build a habit of accomplishment and reap the benefits that are sure to follow. I’m jumping on this train – will you?

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