Excuses are like rabbits.

The only things that reproduce faster than rabbits are excuses when you’ve got important work to do.

Everyday when I sit down to work, here are the excuses I make:

1. It’s too early too write.

2. It’s too late.

3. Do I have the right music to write to?

4. Didn’t I just shazam a song last night that I wanted to write to? I should look that song up on spotify and then explore that musician’s entire catalog.

5. I need to return some emails.

6. My inbox is a mess, I won’t be able to focus until I reach inbox zero and it’s tidied up.

7. Have I tweeted enough today?

8. Have I been tweeting about queso too much lately? It’s enough already. I probably need to find something else to tweet about. A new dip? Salsa? Is that going to be my new go to tweet dip? Do I need to go completely off the ranch and tweet about something like Grape Nuts cereal?

9. I should go see what my kids are up to. A better dad would be spending every waking moment with his children. Telling them stories, whittling them things out of fallen branches that have exited the tree but entered our lives.

10. That’s an interesting line, “exited the tree but entered our lives,” maybe I should write a poem.

11. Is that the mailman I hear? I bet walking to the mailbox would inspire me.

12. I’m thirsty.

13. I’m hungry.

14. It’s easier to start something at the top of the hour. Who sits down at 8:43 and does anything worthwhile? I’ll wait until 9:00. That’s a legit starting line.

15. Should I periscope right now?

16. Have I checked Facebook Messenger lately? It’s my least favorite inbox but I should still keep an eye on it.

17. Has anyone texted me today?

18. Let’s take a quick look at the Internet. Just for a second. Five minutes tops. I’ll just once one video and look at 7 funny photos. Get the creative juices flowing!

19. I should get a juicer. People do that lot these days. I should be one of those people.

20. What’s on Instagram today?

21. Am I talking about Do Over too much or not enough? Maybe some people are exhausted hearing me talk about it. Nah, screw that, that’s fear talking. I write one book every two years and this one came out a scant 6 weeks ago. It’s also my job! If someone says, “You tweet about Do Over too much!” I’ll respond, “Do you go to work Monday through Friday?”

22. That’s too passive aggressive to tweet. I wish I wasn’t so passive aggressive. What’s the alternative? Aggressive aggressive? Or just being honest? That’s probably a better approach.

23. “Aggressive Aggressive” would be a good band name, not as good as “Furious George,” but close.

24. I should clean my office. I’m pretty sure Ben Franklin or Abraham Lincoln or Solomon said something about a clean desk mattering. I can’t do any work of significance until this entire surface is clean.

25. Which is the best thing for me to work on right this second? Maybe if I spent a few minutes prioritizing, sharpening the saw as Covey would say, I could work smarter not harder.

26. Is that the UPS truck I hear? Oh, sweet music to my ears. Have I ordered anything from Amazon lately?

27. I should go running. It might rain later. Can I sneak in a run? I don’t want to have a dadbod.

28. Maybe I should stare out the window for a few minutes. I think that’s something writers do, it’s a moody thing. Grab a cup of coffee, maybe put a small exotic bird I own on my shoulder and just soak in the day as it unfolds over the horizon.

29. That actually might be a pirate I’m thinking of. They sure got big these last ten years! You know who has had it rough lately? Mullets. Man, of man, did they dominate the early days of the Internet. My kids will never understand the cultural power mullets and the discussion of mullets used to have.

30. What time is it?

31. I should make tea. Tea would help me get something done.

32. I’m a terrible friend. I should call some people just to encourage them.

33. “This track is fire!” Why is that thought in my head? I’m going to work that into a sentence. Maybe that will be my new catchphrase. When queso shows up at the table at a restaurant, I’ll shout “This track is fire!” and everyone will be pleasantly intrigued at these new things I’ve started to say.

34. That’s stupid. Who blurts out “This track is fire?”

35. I need to shower. If I was clean then I could probably get so much done!

36. I should eat something. Something paleo, I’m not sure what that means but it was fun to say. What if we lived the rest of our lives like cavemen? I’d probably throw a lot more spears during the average workweek and be mystified by fire.

37. Does anyone have a wooly mammoth throw rug? How rich would you have to be to rock that? Regular billionaires would come over and say, “Is that bear skin?” And you’d chuckle quietly and say, “No, that’s wooly mammoth. You’ve probably seen it painted inside cave walls by people who were on the paleo diet.”

38. I swear I really do hear the mailman this time.

That’s only a snapshot of my day. There’s more where that came from and there always will be.

The closer you get to work that matters, the more excuses you will encounter. Life has a tendency of offering us hiding places at every turn. That’s all an excuse is, a hiding place that promises to keep you safe from doing something difficult or scary.

Don’t hide.

Expect excuses. Make fun of them. Laugh at them. Share them with friends. And then do your work anyway.

Life is too short for hiding.

About Author

Jon Acuff
Jon Acuff


  1. And now I am done for the day! I feel like I need to read that a few more times just to fully understand it. It was like a Seinfeld episode all tied together at the end. Or maybe not. Definitely some nuggets of wisdom in there somewhere. Social media is my frenemy….

  2. Pete

    Get out of my head Jon!

    With best regards, Pete the Paleo Pirate

  3. I thought this was a thing women did? Nail on the head, Jon!

  4. I enjoyed this so much I fear it may qualify as procrastination!

  5. Yeah, you’re singing the song of my people with this one.

  6. Cassie

    “The only things that reproduce faster than rabbits are excuses when you’ve got important work to do.”

    Unless it’s Tribbles.

  7. Dana

    And, how about when you’re working on something else and thinking about exactly what you want to write but not having the ability to get it down, so then when you sit down to write it you’ve forgotten it all? Happens to me every day lol.

  8. I make some of those excuses and particularly loved the one about queso. I think my excuse not to write today, though, was, “I should really check out Jon Acuff’s new blog post.” Well worth the laugh though. Thanks.

  9. OMG Jon! That was a great post. I could relate to over half ot them. You are awesome! Thanks so much for doing what you do.

  10. Lee

    Writer to writer… why don’t you cut out #4. That would save you some time. And your songwriter brethren would appreciate your avoidance of Spotify… or the “S” word as we call it at my house. Our PRO statements would appreciate it!

  11. Terrifyingly accurate

  12. heheheheheh

    I was supposed to start work at 9 am. These were my excuses:

    a. I should solve just one more crossword puzzle to get inspired
    b. Maybe I should figure out my word of the day to populate my Word-a-Day blog
    c. Let me go the library – I am sure the solitude will help me write
    d. Ooh – the library. Is there a new Agatha Christie book out? Oh heck – what am I thinking. She is dead, but din’t some author pen a novel using her famou s Poirot as her protagonist? Maybe I should check that out
    e. one can write like Christie, so I am not going to pick up some imitator who wants to get famous by aping my favorite author 😛
    f. Hmm..let me then scroll the library racks for a book. Why can’t I find a good cozy mystery?
    g. YES – this one looks good. Let me go online to read more about the author
    h. Oh – and I am done with Dieting books…but wait. What is the 8 hour diet? Gotta check it out
    i. Hmm..lemme just clean my Inbox. A clean inbox = uncluttered mind
    j. “EXcuses are like rabbits?” Has Acuff truly lost it this time?
    h. OMG! This is the best post ever. Let me spend 5 minutes commenting and sharing and checking my FAVORITE messenger: FACEBOOK 😉
    i. Maybe I should get to work

    ..after a game of solitaire 😛


    Okay, I am gone! WHOOSH!

    MUCH love

    PS: Thanks for the laughs – hahahaha

  13. I echo @Pete. Seems like we all need a good dose of motivation.

  14. Wow, you seriously hit the nail on the head with this one! I am the champion queen of excuses. I get the “I need to shower” & “the cup of tea” ones. I have another one for you, “I wasted my day today, so I’ll start clean tomorrow!”. Yup, the hamster wheel just keeps rolling….The perfect post.

  15. This is my brain exactly, great post Jon!

  16. Tai

    Yeah, umm….#5, 13, 14, 20, 24, 25, and 30 *hangs head in shame*

  17. David

    I’ll have you know I was blissfully procrastinating on emails and facebook when I saw this in my inbox.

    Way to call me on my sh!+!!!

    Yep, the procrastination continued as I posted that both here and on my facebook lol

  18. Jill Pruett

    Fancy you should compare excuses to rabbits. I get to see rabbits all the time in my yard and under my storage shed. Rabbits, like excuses, make divots in the grass to hide themselves in, chew up your lawn, make more of themselves under the shed. I can’t wait til rabbit season comes so we can get rid of them. At least excuses have a year round season and should be shot on sight!

  19. I see that your excuses which were hiding places, are now an excellent piece for a blog. Haha! I know the feeling, I recently wrote a blog on what to do when you don’t know what to do. Catch me at

    Love your excuses especially wondering if anyone has a wholly mammoth rug! Does anyone?

  20. Dale

    Wow, this post hit way too close to home. Things that make you go hmmm…..

  21. OMG… This is my husband.

    #AdultADD #squirrel