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5 Ways to Get Out of Anything

5 Ways to Get Out of Anything

Do you have a hard time saying no? Often find yourself overcommitting? These days, it’s hard to manage a prosperous career, family life, and still make time for obligations. If you find that your free time is being devoured by commitments you care nothing about, this list is for you!

We’ve all been there. The awkward baby shower invitation from a friend of your sister’s. The wedding halfway across the country. The last-minute phone call to come into work on your day off. Some things in life are unavoidable. Fortunately, this isn’t the case for these occasions. Want to master the art of the excuse? Read on to discover 5 ways to get out of anything.

1. Be (Mostly) Honest

They say that honesty is the best policy. And it is—if it works. Being asked to volunteer at your child’s school—again? Tell them that while you love contributing, surely you’ve met your obligation for the school year. Is your office manager on your case about working even more overtime? Be forthright and say that you’re in the middle of a huge project and just can’t commit to more time. Worried that this will reflect poorly on you? Be tactful, and embellish a bit.

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Is your best friend determined to bring you in on her pyramid scheme? Let her know that while you’re super excited about that shake that cures everything, you’re allergic to half of the ingredients and can’t get behind selling something you can’t try out yourself. Trying to get out of that traffic ticket? You get the point.

Being honest does not mean being rude. There are ways to tell the truth tactfully, and still get your point across. This strategy is about being direct. If you avoid confrontation, this may not be the option for you. Fear not—there are many other suggestions ahead!

2. Be (Overly) Graphic

Need to get out of that family dinner with your in-laws? Nothing works better than the old “feeling under the weather” excuse. Used this one before? Having doubts? Add more detail. As valuable as your attendance may be, nobody wants to catch the stomach flu, or that terrible cold (whether you really have it or not). Especially when you tell them how poorly you’re feeling, the buckets of sweat you’re shedding, or the amount of times you’ve had to change the bedsheets.

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Approach this from the angle of “While I really would love to be there, I just don’t want you to get this terrible rash”. Not only will your host understand, but they’ll be glad you didn’t expose them to whatever you may have.

Embarrassed to share the ins-and-outs of that bad sushi you had the night before? There are plenty of other tips that may suit your style a bit better.

3. Be Busy

Studies show that we’re busier than ever these days. While this doesn’t always translate to accomplishment, it’s a great way to get out of the potluck you didn’t really want to attend. The best way to convince your host? Share your to-do list, and let them know how much stress you’re up against. No one can argue with an impending deadline, a stack of overdue reports, or a packed schedule. Just be sure that you are scheduling in time for things that you’re interested in outside of work. You can even use the evening you just freed up for something that you really want to do (or nothing at all!).

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Remember that you are in control of your time. If you’ve committed to something that you just don’t want to do, you can justify wriggling out of your obligation by keeping your busy schedule in mind.

4. Be Apologetic

Maybe you’re one of the few people who has exhausted all of the options on this list. The solution for you? Say that you’re sorry. Sound too simple? Customize your apology to the situation. Let your husband know how sorry you are that you just can’t host the annual Superbowl party this year even though you really wanted to try out your new sliders recipe.

Tell your parents how devastated you are that you’ll miss the cake cutting at their annual anniversary bash. Expressing your regret and genuinely apologizing is the best way to make peace with your host. Need another reason? Saying sorry (and really meaning it) has been proven to positively impact your physical and mental health.

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5. Be Prepared to Say No From The Start

Learn the art of saying no from the start. You can incorporate any of the above suggestions. But most importantly, recognize that you are in charge. Your time is valuable. You manage your own schedule. Make sure that you really are interested in something before you say “Yes!”. Don’t be afraid to ask for a day to review your schedule, or a night to sleep on it. People will appreciate your efforts to be present, even if your answer is no. Not only is it more considerate, but it gets you ahead in life as well. And if they’re still pushing you to commit? Be firm. It is better (and easier) to say no from the get-go than to have to backpedal.

You’re now equipped with 5 ways to get out of anything! Be mindful of how you’re spending your time, don’t be afraid to say no, and squeeze in time to do something you enjoy each day. Do you have another favorite go-to excuse? Any tried-and-true strategies for escaping obligations? Be sure to share with us in the comments below!

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Tom Casano

The CEO and Founder of Life Coach Spotter

The Online Life Coach Guide Is Online Life Coaching Worth It? Meditation Demystified: 3 Easy Tips to Get it Right Life Coach Spotter's Find a Personal Life Coach 4 Ways to Find Your Life Coach 5 Ways to Get Out of Anything 10 Science-Backed Ways to Be Happier Right Now

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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