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Nov 18 2017

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Kick the excuse and get it done

The Five Minute Friday word for today is excuse. It’s Saturday. I’ll give no excuse. Here are five minutes about excuses and then a little more on how to kick the excuses.

Kick the excuse and get it done

 

As a committed procrastinator, I know how to explain away or put off for another day like a champ. The excuses flow easily. But when I really need to get something done right away, I need to kick my excuse in the pants and just get it done. Here are a few items I consistently put on my to-do list and put off for another day:

In a pressure situation, I get it done. But I want to practice giving myself less excuse and do more of getting it done without the pressure.

Can you relate?

Some super-productive, non-procrastinators might be amazing in most areas, but we all avoid at one time or another. Here are some big to-do’s that are easy to put off even for non-procrastinator types:

Do you put off…

  • Asking for help
  • Asking for or giving forgiveness
  • Dealing with unresolved conflict
  • Working through past emotional pain or trauma
  • Taking care of your body, mind, spirit

Why do we all delay? Even though these important issues fit into many of our “should” boxes, we continually put them into our “someday” box because of a great excuse.

So, if you’re a go-getter or do-later-er, we all need help with kicking our excuses so we can actually do what we say is important.

What’s the best way to kick an excuse? Follow this two-step process:

  1. Recognize the excuse for what it really is: a reason why we don’t do what we say is important while still claiming it to be important.
  2. Answer the excuse with something more powerful: helpful truth.

Recognizing the excuse

Because making excuses comes so naturally, I don’t often recognize it as a feel-good lie I tell myself. Instead, I believe my rational and happily bypass the significant (writing project) and give my energy to fluff (Facebook stalking). So when the pressure’s on, like a deadline, I get honest with myself, check the facts, and get busy.

In recognizing excuses, we need to be honest with ourselves. If this is on my priority list, what’s keeping me from moving on it? What’s my real issue? Am I blame-shifting? Am I afraid? Did I set unrealistic or unclear goals?

A word of caution

There are reasons for not accomplishing a goal. Real life comes with unexpected twists. While putting margin in your life is a great idea, circumstances can squeeze out the margin. That’s when rethinking priorities and adjusting expectations come into play. Keeping to your busy schedule when your family is battling the flu or grieving over an unexpected death isn’t realistic. Give yourself grace and adjust.

Keep this in mind:

An excuse is a reason we give for not doing what we claim is important. Grace is being kind to ourselves when we’re facing our human limitations and frailty. Ask yourself which message you are giving to yourself. Surprisingly, giving grace to ourselves is harder than coming up with excuses. But when we cut the excuses, we will face our human frailty and need the encouragement of grace. God is our ultimate source of grace. He knows all our weakness and loves us unconditionally. Giving ourselves grace is agreeing with God’s perspective and letting that truth sink into our hearts.

Answering the excuse

Recognizing the excuse helps only so much. If we’re scared of what people think and now recognize the underlying reason for our excuses as fear, that might make us more committed to not stepping out. Staring down fear isn’t easy. But if we answer the excuses with helpful truth, that’ll serve to overpower our reasons and embolden us to take that first step.

How does this kicking excuses work?

  • Know what your priorities are. (Sign up for my PARK plan to learn about inviting God into directing your priorities.)
  • When you realize you’re avoiding something important, ask yourself: What is my excuse?
  • Give yourself a good answer to your excuse—one that is helpful and powerful.
  • Include in your answer appropriate adjustments and realistic, attainable steps.
  • Give yourself grace along the way.
  • Celebrate your progress.

Many priorities are a process, not specific tasks. In thinking through priorities, be sure to identify clear steps. Baby steps are still steps. When you’re taking a step in the right direction, you’re kicking that excuse to the curb.

How will you kick your excuses and get it done?

Let me know in the comments below:

  1. Name your priority.
  2. Name your excuse.
  3. What answer will you give your excuse?

 

Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

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6 comments

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  1. Esther

    Thanks for the practical steps you shared for kicking excuses and the word of caution you included. Visiting from FMF. Blessings.

    1. Cheryl

      You’re welcome. I’m sharing what I’m learning. Glad it helps.

  2. Lauren Sparks

    Ouch. Thanks for stepping on my toes with this. thesparksnotes.com

    1. Cheryl

      Stepping on my own toes along with you.

  3. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Cheryl, this is a terrific and concise way to face life with courage and grace…and to ditch procrastination. Thank you!

    #1 at MF this week.

    https://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/11/your-dying-spouse-406-precious.html

    1. Cheryl

      Knowing is half the battle. 🙂

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