How to Stop Making Excuses So You Can Get Things Done

Image of phrase, How to Stop Making Excuses So You Can Get Things DoneThere’s something you’ve been working on for the past few weeks or months.

It’s been dragging on for what seems to be an eternity.

You’d like to finish things up, but you always come up with convenient and/or handy excuse: you’re too tired, it’s too late, you don’t have enough information, and so on, and so forth.

Of course, you can keep making excuses, but wouldn’t you rather get that troublesome item completed/finished/dealt with once and for all?

In this post I offer a few tips to help you put an end to those pesky excuses and get things done.

Create a positive out of a negative.

Do you tend to focus on negative or self-defeating excuses? These might be phrases like, “I don’t know where to start,” or “I can’t do this.” Instead of harboring on that negativity, turn things around in a positive light to help motivate and guide you forward. All it takes is a little change of heart to turn the seemingly impossible into an accomplished, positive statement, and eventual fact. For example, the phrases above would be turned into, “I do know where to start,” and “I can do this.” Even if you may feel a bit shaky or unsteady when you talk about the positive side of things, you can still get to a better place than where you are currently. Think positively and doors will open for you. You can do it!

Convert your excuses into physical action.

Alas, making excuse after excuse doesn’t actively get things done. Instead of fueling a seemingly endless cycle of mental effort and energy when you head down the road of ifs, ands or buts, give your thoughts a specific destination or place to go: outwards. The next time you come up with an excuse, whether you say it aloud, think it, write it down, sing it, or whatever, you absolutely must take some form of physical action towards your goal. You could read, write, pick something up, move items from one place to another, the idea is just to get moving and turn your mental energy into physical and actionable fuel.

Make a list of 10,000 excuses.

Feel like making a lot of excuses? No problem, we’ll just fight fire with fire. It’s time to make a monster list of excuses; start with one excuse and then work your way through 9,999 more. These excuses have to be really good ones though, no repeats and no too-similar topics, and no excusing yourself from the creation of the excuse list…

Okay, I really don’t suggest you follow this somewhat silly exercise, but in all seriousness, it just goes to show how much time it would take you to sit down and write out 10,000 excuses. By conservative estimates, this would probably take several hours, give or take a few days. During that time you could complete and finally be done with whatever it is you’re trying to finish. Which path will you choose, one that makes you create a list of 10,000 excuses or a path that put you on your feet so you can get things done?

How about you? Are you going to let another excuse get in the way of what you need to do, or will you take a deep breath now and just do it? Join in the conversation and leave a comment below!

Follow Rashelle:
Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.