Have you told your family and friends yet? Don’t worry, they already know.
It comes as no surprise that most of us are chronic procrastinators. The idea of putting off work and lazing about till the last second has become habitual to the extent of almost being an epidemic! While it is fine and normal to talk about taking a break, there comes a point in time where one has to stop making excuses about everything and just start moving. In this little article, we look at some of the ways in which you can quit mediocrity and start to really focus on personal and professional development and getting something actually done.
Ways to Reclaim Energy for Growth
Making excuses really is like a disease. Its symptoms are broadly being too tired, never having enough time, fearing failure, needing to do some more research, and most often religiously sleeping. While this may work for a short time, it cannot be a long-term life plan. The below can help you understand the “why” of making excuses.
- Self Reflection: This is actually a very handy tool when it comes to motivating yourself. In fact, the act of reflecting on your sins (of chronic under-working, of course) requires such little effort that it can be done when you are reclining on your plush lazy chair. The idea of self-reflection is to make a person accountable for his or her failures. Whether it is in the professional space or personal life, reflecting on why you might not have achieved your goals is the best and fastest way to leap out of the proverbial lazy chair and start taking action. As they say, thought breeds action.
- Anxiety: All joking aside, one of the basic reasons people make excuses is because they are anxious and scared. Whether it is performance anxiety or fear of facing the project, one of the biggest obstacles to self-improvement is your mind. Needless to say, fixing this is easier said than done, and facing your fears head on is a truly commendable task. On the bright side, however, once you are determined to face your anxieties, excuses seem like a tiny issue to tackle and you will find yourself stronger, better, and much more confident. Success is so often right on the other side of your fears.
- Accountability: One of the best ways to stop making excuses is by involving those around you and trying to establish some sort of accountability. Knowing there is someone counting on your participation is enough (for most people, at least) to spur you into action. For instance, when it comes to fitness, hiring a professional trainer might be more fruitful than working out alone. Again, this is a question of accountability. Similarly, participating in group projects at work or even initiating some of them is a sure way to ensure personal and professional growth.
The first priority to try to change the habit of making excuses is to find more time. It’s the number-one reason people give for not doing what they seemingly want or should do. Extra time is something you have to actively look for. You have to work for the time. Three things that may help:
- Put the one thing you most don’t want to do first on your list. It frees you from the feeling of dread all day long. It also gives you a feeling of accomplishment to get something done early in the morning.
- Try and allocate a “power hour” in your day. Schedule one hour that is yours to concentrate on whatever you’ve prioritized and want to accomplish. It’s amazing what you can really get done in an hour when it’s uninterrupted.
- Try what Jerry Seinfeld did when he was an up-and-coming comedian. It’s called the Productivity Secret, or Don’t Break the Chain. It’s a simple and easy way to get small tasks done each day. It’s fun at the same time. Click this link to watch the video. Dan with Be a Game Character does a great job of presenting this idea.
Unarguably, the growing epidemic today, other than obesity, is under-motivation and the constant need to find the reason why you can’t instead of how you can. Since we are well-aware that excuses are one of the biggest obstacles to achieving personal and professional goals, there is an inherent need to take action and take it fast.
Good luck on your journey, and stop making excuses. Take action!