Let’s talk about excuses. The kind of excuses we ALL make. In each case, the solution is the same. You must learn how to manage your time.
Now, if any of these resonate with you, please don’t beat yourself up. There’s absolutely no judgement here! Everyone struggles with one or more of these thought patterns.
Yes, I’m calling you out. But that’s because I want you to succeed. And in order to achieve your dreams you must understand how to manage your time.
When you master time management, you have more freedom, more money, more fun, and a lot more success.
But before working on your time skills, you must first identify the problem. That’s what this post is all about.
For a complete step-by-step guide on how to start a home business that doesn’t suck up all your time, check out my book Make Money From Home. You’ll discover exactly how to build a profitable business and still have time for the other amazing things in your life.
1. You Don’t Have Enough Time
I hear this first excuse all the time. And still catch myself using it. But it’s a lie.
Even if you have kids, a full-time job, work travel, etc. Not having enough time is just an excuse.
In fact, this thought is poison. It always creates the result of having even less time. And a feeling of stress or overwhelm.
Many people enjoy the feeling of being busy. They are attached to the idea that they don’t have enough time.
But what if I were to tell you that time is a mental construct? You can have as little or as much time as you want.
Finding work/life balance doesn’t have to be a constant struggle. In fact, creating time is as simple as dropping this excuse from your mind.
Consider this. “I don’t have enough time” is a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you think this thought your brain keeps finding more evidence why it’s true. Your mind is closed off to the possibility that time is plentiful.
You count all the activities on your to-do list, appointments on your calendar, commitments you’ve made. You see nothing but tasks that need to be done. And your brain gets stuck in busy mode.
But what if you tell yourself: “There’s always time for the things I want to do.”
Allow your mind to let go of your identity as a busy person. Open yourself to the possibilities.
Your brain will probably resist this idea at first. Stick with it.
You’ll be surprised by how much space you have each day when you stop worrying about being busy. There’s always more time available to you if you want it.
2. You Don’t Know How
This is the second most common excuse I hear.
Now, I get it. When you’re starting out you don’t know how to do all the things to build your business. But this doesn’t mean you can’t learn how.
There are plenty of free and paid resources showing you EXACTLY what to do to start your dream business.
If you think “I don’t know how” you stay stuck in the not knowing. This thought always leads to confusion.
But what if you did know how? What would be the first step you’d take?
When learning how to manage your time, you must always start by watching your thoughts. Then let go of the ones that are keeping you stuck.
Perhaps you can find a mentor or take a course to learn what you need to do. Start taking steps in the direction of your dreams.
If you notice yourself thinking “I don’t know how” be on to yourself. And look for a way to turn this thought into a positive one.
3. You’re Not An Organized Person
This next excuse is a mental label. It’s not a fact about who you are.
It may feel real. You may have spent your entire life thinking about yourself this way. But you don’t need to keep thinking it.
We all carry mental labels. Some are helpful, for example…
I’m good at figuring things out
And some are unhelpful…
I’m not organized
I’m not good at technology
Now here’s the good news. The labels we give ourselves are optional.
You can think about yourself in any way you like.
I know it can be difficult to change some part of your identity. But it is possible. And if your thoughts about yourself are holding you back then this is work you must do.
Try replacing any unhelpful labels you’ve given yourself.
For example, if you think you’re a disorganized person, start thinking “I’m becoming more organized” or “I’m learning to be organized”.
Remember – whatever you tell yourself, becomes your truth. So, choose your thoughts carefully.
4. You Don’t Feel Like It Right Now
This next excuse is one I still struggle with. I love to plan but don’t always feel like following through.
Sometimes, you’re tempted to give up on your dreams altogether. You don’t want to work on your business anymore.
But as with all the other excuses, you can change this.
Here’s what happens when you don’t monitor your thoughts and feelings.
Let’s say there’s a task you don’t want to do. Perhaps you find it boring. Or maybe it feels difficult or scary.
When you start feeling bored, stuck or scared, your brain looks for an escape.
Suddenly you long to watch some Netflix or read the next chapter in your book. Or maybe you start cleaning the house or doing the laundry.
Anything, that helps you avoid the thing you don’t want to do.
We’ve all found ourselves in this situation. And it’s one of the biggest dream stealers.
The solution to this problem is learning how to manage your urges. When you’re tempted to do something else, notice the urge. Don’t fight it and don’t react to it.
Give yourself a moment to sit with the emotion. Avoid indulging the feeling or getting lost in your thoughts. Simply notice how the temptation feels in your body.
Noticing without reacting, is how you train yourself not to give in to your urges.
Once you’ve sat with the feeling for a while, it may lessen. Or it may not.
Either way, go do the task anyway.
5. You’re Working On It
This last excuse can be tricky. “I’m working on it” sounds like a positive thought. It’s filled with conviction.
The problem is that tasks on your to-do list, are in the future. And often, they stay there.
This can also look like….
I’ll do it later
I’ll get to it
I need more time to finish
These thoughts are all your brain’s way of pushing the task out.
When this happens, your mind is being sneaky. It’s trying to convince you that everything is under control. But the truth is you don’t want to do the work.
This is the same as excuse number four. And the solution is identical.
Notice the urge to delay the work. Feel the emotion. Then get on with finishing what needs to be done.
This takes practice. And you will fail as often as you succeed. Don’t beat yourself up. Instead, keep managing your thoughts and urges.
Do this and you will become someone who always gets it done.
How To Manage Your Time – A Practical System
Okay, we’ve discussed five excuses that stand between you and your dreams. I’ve also shown you how to manage your mind around time.
Now, I want to share a more practical tool to help you achieve your goals.
The following is my four-step time management system. This is how I get everything done in my business, working 20 hours a week.
But remember – you want to use a system AND manage your mind. Trying to implement a time management process doesn’t work if you’re letting your thoughts and feelings run the show.
The four steps I use to manage my time are:
- Pick a goal.
- Brainstorm the tasks to complete your goal.
- Schedule the tasks on your calendar (I use time-blocking).
- Follow your calendar no matter what.
Yes, I know this sounds simple. And it is. At least in concept.
The challenge is in implementing the system. Or more specifically – in showing up consistently, no matter how you feel.
But I know you can do this.