There's never enough time in the day, is there? Taking a day off or making time to work on that promising new project is all but impossible. And forget about hiring a new employee--who has the time to train a new person?
You do, in fact. There are 8,760 hours in a year, and if you manage them well, you can move mountains.
I'm not going to offer productivity tips here; instead, this post is about the excuses entrepreneurs use to push away fear, maintain control, and ward off the what ifs.
What's Really Going On
If you're putting something off due to a perceived lack of time, there's a chance that your perception is skewed. Often entrepreneurs feel frustrated when they've gotten nothing done, in spite of being busy and overwhelmed. But poor time management serves a purpose: It masks fear. Even worse, it can be a form of self-sabotage.
Recently I worked with someone who was literally making herself ill by exaggerating the demands and responsibilities of her job. As we explored the truth behind her stress and anxiety, she revealed some significant personal issues at home. She felt extremely overwhelmed and confused by those problems, so she unknowingly constructed this wonderful distraction at work to avoid her personal situation.
I say wonderful because people have such an uncanny ability to protect themselves in this way. Sometimes you simply aren't ready to face a problem, and your subconscious mind helps to put it off. The danger in that, however, is when you allow it to go on for too long, resulting in complete avoidance, increased stress, and many other unfortunate consequences.
What to Do About It
So how do you know if you are struggling with a simple case of poor time management or if you're pushing away fear and making excuses? My clients love this simple process. See how it works for you.
1. Write down your belief about a frustrating situation.
There is no way I can take a vacation.
2. List all of the possible consequences if you defy this belief.
3. Now open your mind to a different perspective on each of these consequences.
Do this by beginning each sentence with "And so." Challenge yourself to reverse your beliefs or find a logical solution. Create as many challenge statements as you can. The following examples relate to the beliefs listed above.
As you perform this exercise, listen to that little voice inside. Each time you make an excuse, the voice will try to get your attention. It might say something like, "Really? You don't seriously believe that, do you?" or "That's not true! You're just afraid because..." Learn to distinguish between fear and intuition. It's the intuition that's on target and the fear that misses the mark.