Welcome to Excusoria, the Land of Incomplete Tasks

by Kevin on December 7, 2008

I didn’t really have an article planned for today. This in and of itself seemed to be a good idea for post.

Hello and Welcome to Excusoria, the Land of Incomplete Tasks

We all make excuses for not doing the important (and perhaps unimportant) things in our lives. You don’t have that report done for school. You’re behind on two work projects. You haven’t done laundry in over a week and the grass is growing taller by the minute. You haven’t paid your credit card debt off yet. Setting up direct deposit into your savings just hasn’t happened.

If someone were to ask you why you didn’t get these things done, a handy list of perfectly acceptable and (mostly) true excuses pops into your mind.

The game was on. The dog needed a walk. You got wrapped up in a good book. A friend called and you went out to dinner. Your alarm didn’t go off. You had to stop for gas on the way to work.

All perfectly reasonable excuses…

…that are keeping you from reaching your goals.

Are your goals not important to you? You set them up yourself. They are your goals. Yet your own actions keep you from them. Life is baffling like that sometimes.

How to Overcome Your Excuses

  • Stop reading this and go do it now.
  • Create a list, plan it out, make action steps and do the first set of steps.
  • Turn off the tv/computer/radio or whatever else is distracting you.
  • Consult with a mentor or friend that can keep you accountable.
  • Invest an hour: spend ten minutes on your top five tasks. Take the last ten minutes to write out action steps for what is next. (Just remember to come back the next day or week to continue on the tasks or you’ve just wasted that hour of investment.)

You’re not alone in the world of excuses. Here’s why I didn’t get a lot done today:

  • It’s Saturday. We relax on Saturday.
  • We got our Christmas tree and some general holiday decorations for our house.
  • The SEC Championship was on (never thought I would be so happy to see the Gators win).
  • I tracked my office’s College Football Pick’em (and won for the whole season if I might add…).
  • I played Left 4 Dead… totally awesome.

There wasn’t a lot of things actually on my list for today (because I’ve been lazy and not updated it), but I do need to start going through all of my backed-up files sitting on the external hard drive. Vista Home Premium is now running my desktop machine and I must say it is not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. Then again perhaps my 6GB of RAM is helping out.

What’s on your list? Why aren’t you getting it done? What’s your excuse?

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Ashley @ Wide Open Wallet December 7, 2008 at 10:21 am

I read a quote years ago that said… “Some people spend years putting off a 10 minute job.” And it’s so true.

Another tip is to set a timer. When you think “I just don’t have time to….” Then set a timer for 15 minutes, you have 15 minutes right?. Then do as much as you can before the timer goes off. I do this sometimes and I’m shocked at how much I can get done if I try.

Kevin December 7, 2008 at 7:20 pm

@Ashley: Good point. I’ve heard of doing the same thing with a “5 minute clean up” of the house every evening. This helps out so you don’t spend 3 hours doing it on Saturday, etc.

Jane December 8, 2008 at 10:52 am

I find that accountability works for me. I’m usually very good on my business end of work but my house suffers. So I’m trying to pick up and straighten the house up before I go to bed at night. Time will see.

Like your blog. Read them when they are e-mailed to me. Keep up the good work.

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