We’re often told we live in a very impatient culture, but I mean, do we really?
I think we can be pretty damn good at waiting for things (read: making excuses).
We’re really good at making plans, but those plans are often put on hold – we’re just not ready yet, we need more experience, we need more time, we need more money, we haven’t ‘figured it out’.
And these reasons feel super legitimate, but in my experience they’re not. Nine times out of ten we’re just making excuses (and those excuses will end up ruining our twenties).
Excuse 1. You don’t have enough money
Have you ever found yourself saying that you really want to travel but you just don’t have enough money?
This seems legit, how are you going to travel if you don’t have enough money to buy the plane ticket? And you really do want to travel, so how could this be an excuse?
Well, it’s probably an excuse if you really do want to travel but you’re not even attempting to save money to do so. You know there’s a problem and you know there’s a way that people fix this problem (saving their money/increasing their income) but you’re not doing either of those things.
But you know what – travel can bring up a lot of stuff that we really don’t want to have to deal with. We have to ask for time off our jobs. We have to decide who we’re going to travel with or if we might try travelling alone (I highly recommend the latter by the way). Or maybe we don’t feel like we have anyone to travel with and we don’t want to deal with how that makes us feel. We have to face our money problems and actually save money (which means figuring out how to stop buying everything we see in every single one of our favourite YouTuber’s favourites videos).
If you really want to travel in your twenties and you’re not working towards it, why not? Is there some reason you’re putting it off? I think this is definitely worth turning your mind to if you know you’ve said you want to travel but you ‘can’t’ because you don’t have enough money.
Excuse 2. You don’t have enough time
We seem to get caught in the trap of thinking that, at some nondescript but not-too-distant time in the future, we will have oodles of time up our sleeve. And with all of this time we’ll finally be able to do all those things we want to do – get into that gym routine (and actually stick to it), prep all our healthy meals for the week, have time for our friends, and boyfriend, and family. We’ll be reading a book a week but also up-to-date on all our favourite TV shows – and we won’t even have to break a sweat.
I always find myself believing that in the future I’ll have ‘more’ time. And I seem to forget that the periods of my life where I’ve had a lot of this spare time (like when I was a student and I wasn’t going to classes…oops) I was actually the most unproductive I’ve ever been.
I work better with less time – it forces me to organise the time I have and it forces me not to put things off (because if I don’t do them when I plan then I’ll never be able to do them). I have totally romanticised the idea of having heaps of time, even though I know that’s actually not what I work best with. And I know not everyone is like this. Some people are better organised when they’re busy and some people are better organised when they’re not but the thing is, it really doesn’t matter.
There is no point waiting until you have ‘more time’ because you already have all the time you need.
When we say we just need to wait until we have more time, we’re just making an excuse. We’re using the same old easy excuse to put something off (I’m sure you’re already aware, but there are people who are way busier than us who are achieving all the things we’re putting off because we don’t have ‘enough time’)
I feel like I’ve already talked about this idea a lot on the blog already, but it’s something that I’m still learning to do.
Maybe you want to post on your blog every week but you want to wait until you have ‘more time’ (guilty). Maybe you want to prep healthy meals for the week but you want to wait until you have ‘more time’ (guilty). Maybe you want to read a book every week but you want to wait until you have ‘more time’ (guilty again).
But this ‘more time’ is never going to come, you need to start calling yourself out whenever you find yourself making this excuse and start making time for the things you want to do.
Excuse 3. You’ll wait until tomorrow
How many times have we made promises like this to ourselves? I think this is one of the easiest excuses to make because it really doesn’t feel like one at all – tomorrow will come around pretty quickly so we’re not really putting it off, right?
But I think statements like this are a big part of the reason a lot of us feel so unhappy with the lack of progress we’re making. We have big dreams about what we want to achieve but then we find that a year passes and we’re still in exactly the same position we were a year earlier.
So don’t let yourself put it off until tomorrow again and again and again. Start making little good decisions today and build upon them (and if this is something you struggle with, you might be interested in The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson which was the latest book in the Smart Twenties Book Club).
Can you relate to this?
Have you ever found yourself procrastinating in any of these ways? Don’t forget that comments are always appreciated – I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts on this!
So glad someone else has brought up the whole “i can’t afford to travel” thing! As you said I know for some people that is a reality. But for a lot of people it’s a matter of whining without making travel a priority in your life! Instead of buying new uneccessary clothes or drinks at the bar or cigarettes if you smoke, save!
This was a great post and a great little reminder, thanks!
Exactly Katia! I think there are very few people who make this complaint that actually honestly can’t afford. It’s so easy to use the excuse of not having enough money but if you really want to travel there are so many ways you can travel for barely any money and there are so many things that most of us can cut back on (that we’d barely even notice are gone) so that we can have an amazing holiday!
I can definitely relate to this. Very much, indeed. Especially, the part about travelling. I am always saying how much I want to travel but I can’t afford it. The truth is, though, I am not saving up. How can I possible expect to be able to travel if I don’t save money? I just buy clothes and other things I don’t really need. I know travelling makes me happy and lets face it clothes does NOT make me happy. Maybe for an hour but travelling lasts all life. A dress doesn’t.
I am a master in procrastinating. I really want to make an effort of stop doing it. Life is too short to procrastinate. Thank you so much for writing this wonderful blog!
Hey Heidi! I’m glad you could relate to this post 🙂 I think a lot of us find ourselves saying we don’t have enough money to travel (or to do other things we want to do) when we’re not even trying to save enough money to do it! I think the first step is just to do what it sounds like you’ve done – have a think about what you actually want in the long-term and why (as you said, travelling memories last forever and you probably won’t even like that dress in 6 months time haha). I’d love to hear how you go with saving!
I think most people are always hoping that the future is going to be better, provide more time, magically produce more money, etc. But I always remind myself that the only time I’m truly guaranteed is right now. So now I’ve started asking myself, ‘What can I do today that will make my life easier tomorrow?’ Definitely helps! 😀
Hey Catherine – so true!! Remembering that we’re not guaranteed the future is a really good way to put things into perspective. I think if someone knew they were going to die in 6 months time they would make a lot less excuses and would do a lot less procrastinating!
I agree with all of these! For me, the worst kind of procrastinating is “productive procrastination”. I’ll pretend im busy doing email clean outs or writing blog posts (which are good things to do) when I should really be studying.
Hey Pia! Yep productive procrastination is one of my big struggles too! That and doing things that are ‘urgent’ instead of the things that are important
Ha, waiting until there is more time is the biggest mistake. Life just gets busier as we age.
Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking
Haha exactly Linda! It feels like we’re going to be a lot less busy in the future but that just never seems to happen does it?
I have set my mind on retirement but need a concept for the forty years to come…
hahaha Oh my god, this is so true!!
Haha glad you can relate Maria 🙂
I can complete relate to this. Getting out of procrastinating can be tough especially if you are so use to it.
So true Rachel! Procrastinating really is a habit and it’s definitely a hard habit to break!
I spent a lot of time studying whilst working full time in my early twenties and I kept waiting for the future when I thought I’d have more time. I’ve realised now I’m a bit older that waiting to start living is actually just a huge waste of something we don’t have much of. Totally relate to the travelling and productive procrastination points too. You nailed it again Sam! 🙂
Thanks Jen! I totally agree, waiting to start living is a waste of time but at the same time it’s easy to understand why we do it – it’s hard to face that right now is all we’ve really got! Thanks for your comment 🙂
Waiting until tomorrow just never works… ever! Eventually i’ll do whatever it is but it will be like a week later!
Haha Aleeha I can relate to your comment so much! Lately I’ve really been trying to make sure I call myself out on procrastination because I find I always want to procrastinate instead of get something done straight away! It always gets done either way, but as you said it’ll take a week to do it and I’ll waste so much time thinking about doing it instead of just getting it done!
I’ve definitely found myself doing the last three. Luckily, I learnt during my late teens that if I wanted to travel that I’d have to work hard and save up, which is something I do to this very day. It taught me not to buy, buy, buy and to save, save, save! 🙂
I still definitely do that latter two points, but I think I’m doing pretty well to change my mindset and not wait to do things.
Great post by the way!
Kiara that’s awesome! I feel like I have a lot to learn from you haha and you’re totally right – it’s all about mindset!
If you have to do something today, do it a day after- you will have two days off. That’s bad advice! So. Don’t listen to it. Just go on and do what you have to/want to do!
Thanks for your comment Joanna 🙂
I can absolutely relate to this and I think so many people are guilty of it. I think something that has helped me in the past is to create a list of things and then putting deadline with it. With a list and manageable timeline, then I don’t feel as overwhelmed and I just attack it one item at a time.
Ooh that’s such a good idea! I’ve never really put a deadline on my to do list and I think that’s one of the reasons tasks can just be on my to do lists for months and months (especially things I really have zero motivation to do like going to the dentist or getting my car serviced) great idea!
Great post! I never thought of waiting until you have time as a way of procrastinating! 🙂
Urban Obsessions // Vegan Food, Beauty & Lifestyle
Thanks for your comment Mia! I’m glad you can relate 🙂
Guilty Guilty and Guilty haha
Krissie x – http://pearlsofstyle.blogspot.com
Thanks for your comment Krissie! I’m right there with you haha
I am so guilty of this! It’s funny how you always want so much when you have no money!
Natalie Ann xo // Petal Poppet Blogs ♥
Oh dear who doesn’t do all of these!!! the constant complaining about not enough money, not enough time etc etc. I’m raising my hand – GUILTY!
Megan || Oh Hey! blog
Okay Okay! i read you loud and clear. Reading this actually made me get done what I had been putting off since Monday..it’s Wednesday. So thank you and I will do my best to get things done as they come to my mind.
A mid-50s perspective: When you get to be my age and you look back at our 20s, you will either smile when you think of the things you did, or you will wince when you think of the excuses or fears that kept you from pursuing what you really wanted to do. I wasted half of my 20s, but during the second half I learned that so many barriers existed only because I’d put them there myself. So many wonderful changes followed that realization.
A mid-50s perspective: When you get to be my age and you look back at your 20s, you will either smile when you think of the things you did, or you will wince when you think of the excuses or fears that kept you from pursuing what you really wanted to do. I wasted the first half of my 20s, but during the second half I learned that so many barriers existed only because I’d put them there myself. So many wonderful changes followed that realization.
Totally needed to hear that! I am so guilty. I’ve always wanted to do so many things in my life but I’m always putting it off. I made my own bucket lists things to do and I haven’t done many of them because I’m always thinking I need to make enough money to do that. Thank you for sharing this. This helps a lot.
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