Does your “to do” list seem to grow longer and longer regardless of your efforts? If your life is out of control, it could be because you believe and practice one or more of the excuses below about how we manage our time to get things done.
Excuse # 1 – I work so hard!
The more you sweat, the more you get. Edison perpetuated this excuse with his definition of genius. Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. We often overstate the value of hard work. Working harder does not necessarily mean you are working smarter.
Excuse # 2 – I am too busy!
Many times we confuse activity with productivity. Don’t confuse activity with results. Since we can measure activity, we may use it as an end in itself. Activity should be a means, not an end.
Excuse # 3 – I have too many things going on at once to keep up.
Many times we think by multi-tasking, we can become more efficient. But unfortunately, we become less effective when we take on too much.
Excuse # 4 – I work night and day to get it all done.
In the workplace we may think we need to “burn the midnight oil” to get a project completed. But the truth is, we may be holding on to old habits that are not relevant in your life today. Does this sound familiar – “I work better under pressure!” With multiple responsibilities and obligations, your life today needs balance. And the price is very high – ill health, stress, divorce etc.
Excuse # 5 – I’m the only one who can do it right.
Are you an expert at everything? If you feel you must do it all, you dilute your effectiveness. You may give yourself to too many things but devote yourself to nothing. Realize your limitations – and delegate!
Excuse # 6 – There is only one best way.
We are taught very early to look for “the solution” or “right way.” Many times we don’t look for or want to accept alternative solutions to doing things. If you only found or used one way for doing something, how do you know if it was the best way?
Excuse # 7 – I work best under deadline or pressure.
While we may think we work best under the gun, we often invite Murphy’s Laws – Nothing is as easy as it looks and everything takes longer than you expect. Whatever can go wrong will – at the worst possible time. Procrastination leaves little room for error and no time for correction.
If you found yourself defending your belief in one or more of these excuses, you are not alone.
We may want to hold on to old habits and ways of thinking because they are comfortable, and change is uncomfortable. Think about the difference it could make in your life if you were to change some of the ways you think about “time.”