Empowering Productivity

Focus on What You Can Do and Not What You Can’t Do

Since I was a kid, I’ve had asthma. Because of that chronic illness, I had to make all of my decisions based on how well I was breathing on a particular day. That meant I missed out on a lot of things my brothers, friends, and family were able to do. For example, I remember many snow days sitting at the windows and watching my brothers play in the snow. As you can imagine, it was very hard as a child to sit by and watch other people have fun doing things I couldn’t be a part of. My mom told me from an early age that I had two choices in life, I could focus on what I can do or waste my life focusing on what I can’t do. She said, everyone has limitations and we all have to learn to work within those. In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about how focusing on what you can’t do limits you. 

Common Reasons You Can’t Do Something

  • Time
  • Kids/family
  • Abilities/skills 
  • Missing pieces/information
  • Money/Resources

How Focusing on What You Can’t Do Limits You

  • It’s easy to feel discouraged when you go to do something that you can’t accomplish
  • Leads to a mental spiral where you start distracting yourself with useless tasks or other things
  • Makes it harder to believe or see that there is something you can do
  • Saying I can’t is an easy out (easier than finding what you can do and getting it done)
  • Causes you to have a pity party and leads to negativity, and depression

Focusing on What You Can Do is Challenging

  • What you can do, may not always be what you want to do
  • Filling your task list with things you can do means you’ll get more done
  • Ultimately, you have to work harder, because you aren’t letting your excuses get in the way of accomplishing things

I never wanted to own a business, because I focused on the parts of running a business I know I can’t do. Would you believe that filing taxes was the #1 reason I didn’t want to own a business? I knew I didn’t have the ability to understand how to deal with the complexities of business taxes. 

It seems silly now, because we pay a tax accountant now to do our taxes. But, before now, Austin did them. I have never had to do the business taxes, but I focused on that so much, that I didn’t even entertain the idea that I could do the other parts of running a business. 


Next week, we’ll talk about delegating tasks that you legitimately can’t do. Like I did with our personal and business taxes. At R5 Website Management, one of the ways we help business owners and freelancers is to take on some of their tasks. We offer website services, writing, social media, and client communication. If you would benefit from these services, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected].

Austin Reason

Austin is a web developer who loves helping businesses take control of their online presence and reach more people.

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