We all make excuses. Our devotion to our own excuses is matched only by our creativity in making them. To combat that self-defeating instinct, keep an eye on how you feel after you make excuses.
The trick, as Gretchen Rubin of the Happiness Project explains, is recognising how you feel about your own excuses. "I can get to it later" may be able to masquerade as "I deserve a break", but feeling regret over not getting things done will always give away a bad excuse:
Here's a test that can sometimes be useful: how do you feel about your exceptions later? Do you think, "I'm so happy I embraced the moment" or do you think, "Hmm…looking back on it, I wish I'd made a different decision"?
Sometimes our excuses are legitimate. You do need to take breaks and it is ok to indulge every once in a while. How you feel after it's done — fulfilled or guilty — can be a strong metric of whether you're balancing your life well or just avoiding what needs to be done.
Strategy of Loophole-Spotting #9: the Fake Self-Actualization Loophole [The Happiness Project via 99u]