When it comes to getting stuff done, we’re all looking for better and faster ways to work. In the gap between what we’d like to get done and what we actually accomplish, it’s natural to look around at our life and find something or someone to blame.
We’re quick to think that other people are responsible for our inability to get work done. It’s actually pretty convenient to have a ready-made excuse to explain the way we’ve chosen to spend our time. And it’s especially tempting to blame our family members.
When I started my online business, I had eight children at home. Since we homeschool, there was no getting them out the door in the morning, they were home with me 24/7. It was easy to point a finger at my family situation for every challenge that came up in building a business.
You name it, I had an excuse related to my family. Writing consistent blog posts. Sending out a newsletter. Creating information products. Listening to training audios. Building a Social Media presence. It sounded legitimate and understandable that I wasn’t able to get anything done because, well, you know, I have all these kids.
Finally someone asked me, “What are you going to blame when all of your kids are grown?” Ouch.
Now of course there are situations and seasons when family needs certainly take precedence. New babies, stomach flu and moving to a new house mean that life isn’t business as usual. Chronic illness and unexpected family challenges can truly change the schedule and expectations.
But let’s set those exceptions aside and talk about ordinary, everyday life.
It’s a fact that I choose not to spend as much time on my business as someone with a different life situation. Note the word “choose.” I could choose to spend 50 hours a week on my business but I’m aware of the effects it would have on my family and I’m unwilling to create that in my life. So in that sense, working from home with an active family does limit my business.
But as far as accomplishing tasks for the business hours and goals I have set (and this is fluid, not written in stone), no fair blaming my husband or kids for my laziness or lack of management.
This was brought home to me all over again recently when my husband graciously took our four youngest girls on a trip for nearly a week, leaving me at home with one cheerful and independent 17-year-old son. I didn’t accomplish nearly the amount of work that I thought I would while they were gone. Some of it was because I chose to rest more and not push myself, but a good deal of it was the eye-opening fact that I did not manage my time and tasks well. With the convenient excuses gone, my personal habits were laid bare. Ouch again.
Let’s face it, we usually find time to do the things we want to do. We want to hang out with friends on Facebook, browse Pinterest boards and watch Duck Dynasty (insert TV series of your choice). When we’re caught red-handed because time is up and we didn’t get business stuff done, we’re quick to blame our busy life. Oh, woe is me.
Hey, if I didn’t play the blame game I wouldn’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to warning you about this deadly mistake.
Take a look at how you’re really spending your time and notice if you’re automatically blaming other people. Check to see if your default excuse is your family. That’s not fair to them, and it creates resentment in you. That’s not exactly the way to create your dream life.
One of the keys to getting stuff done is to THINK that you can get stuff done. Cut the excuses and quit blaming your family for every thing you don’t start or finish. Use small pockets of time, tell yourself the truth about how you’re spending your time and get busy. If you’ve made the blaming mistake, change is as close as the next choice and the next thought. Now go get some stuff done.
Charlotte Siems is a happy wife and mom of twelve who is a speaker, author and coach. After losing 100 pounds she became a Master T-Tapp Trainer, sharing her encouraging story with thousands of people all over the world. She has built a successful online business and writes about family life and T-Tapp at www.CharlotteSiems.com
Sometimes it takes someone else pointing things out, right? I am with you on this one. Thanks Charlotte!
Thank you thank you thank you, Charlotte! A few OUCHES there for me, but still moving forward on living by my Google calendar! It is working out much better and I am getting MUCH more accomplished!
Thank you for being so real! You put yourself out there by showing your mistakes, yet you also share a solution. Thank you for continuing to challenge me to be/do better. This was just more confirmation for how the Holy Spirit is working in my life. Thanks for the added “push” for change!
Yes it really is a choice. Time management is probably the one thing I really need to focus on the most and prioritizing. thanks for hitting me between the eyes!
There is something to have a set number of tasks as long as we keep them in a priority. The priority piece can be my struggle sometimes 😉
This has been a biggie for me for a LONG time. I constantly find myself struggling to get things done. I have “true” reasons why it is challenging – but I find I use them as excuses sometimes too. It’s a difficult dance.
Eye opening and a good reminder. As a work at home mom who homeschools I find myself blaming the family commitments for my own lack of task completion. Better time management is the key. Good article.
Hello. This was definitely a great article. I tend to blame everybody around me for things I do or don’t do. This made me realize how much I blame other people and not myself. Thanks for posting.