Are You Wasting Time on Lack-tions? - Christine Kane

One day, many years ago, I was driving from St. Louis to Kansas City.

I had a performance that night. I was tired. My rental car didn’t have cruise control. And I was grumpy.

Plus, my car needed gas.

I checked out the gas prices at the coming exit.

$1.77 per gallon.

“$1.77 a gallon? Are you freakin’ kidding me? It was only $1.63 a few exits ago!”

So, I drove a few more exits, waiting for a better price.

Instead, the next exit was $1.87.

So, I did the logical thing.

I got off at that exit, and I drove back to the other exit to get my gas.

I saved exactly $1.20.

Now, I’m not sure exactly WHEN I woke up to the fact that my sense of economy was totally skewed at that moment. But I did. After all, as a performer, my first priority needs to be my well-being. When I drove around trying to save $1.20 for gas, I was ultimately saying three things to the Universe and to my subconscious:

  1. My indignant posturing about the price of gas is more important than my well-being.
  2. One dollar and twenty cents is more important than arriving 20-minutes earlier at my hotel room for some quiet time.
  3. My time and value as a Creative and as a performer are not worth much.

Most of us think that we’ll wait until we “arrive” before we’ll start to honor our value, set boundaries or invest in ourselves.

But, here’s the truth that very few people understand:

It’s the other way around.

You have to decide to honor your value FIRST! And you do that by honoring your time, your space, and your priorities. Most of us, however, blow off our valuable time by “majoring in minor things.” Worrying about the little itty-bitty things – like a dollar and twenty cents!

I have a word for this.

I call it Lack-tions.

Lack-tions are Actions based in Lack Mentality. They are habits designed to distract us from what’s truly important to us.

If you want to increase your success and productivity levels, start observing how much of your time gets burnt up performing Lack-tions. ESPECIALLY if you find yourself constantly complaining that you don’t have time to do the things you really want to do. After that, stop wasting time on Lack-tions!

Very soon after my Missouri trip, I started a new habit of filling my gas tank when it was half-empty. (As opposed to waiting til the low-gas light came on.) I also started playing a game of not even looking at the gas prices and simply choosing whichever gas station looked the “happiest.” (Yes, I’m serious.)

I didn’t go broke. In fact, I started to do better and make more money.

What you define as a Lack-tion will change over time. As you uplevel your life, or your self-care, or your business, you’ll have less tolerance for these habits of lack that appear out of nowhere and try to distract you with their anxieties. It can be downright fun to let go of them.

These days, I challenge myself to stop a Lack-tion even before the idea for one can occur! And I have since taken the practice a step further: I invest in myself. I invest in my growth. The return on that investment is so much higher than if I had thought only in terms of the number and how much I could save if I held on tight!

So, what happens when you ditch the well-worn practice of Lack-tions and thinking of money ONLY in terms of a number?

Well, you begin to experience TRUE wealth. That’s because you become the CREATOR, someone who defines the path of your cash. And you no longer live as a REACTOR – someone who lets cash tell you how to behave.

So, if true wealth appeals to you, start by asking yourself where you burn up energy with Lack-tions.

Then ask yourself, how can you change this behavior and start taking ACTIONS?

  • Tova

    I love that word ‘lack-tions’ too. Great article, great story about going back for cheaper gas! As a Scrabble maniac, I also noticed that CREATOR is an anagram for REACTOR. Just one small difference — the ‘C’. Hmmm, something like, all you need to make the change is to move the “see” to the front. Just sayin’.

  • Laure Cohen

    Bonjour! Love your thinking Christine:
    Honor your lack of ( lacktions) and you will create anxiety, distraction, and a mentality of scarcity
    But it’s the other way around!
    Honor your time and values and you will create wealth and abundance in your life

    Your post made me think of two things I keep reminding myself when in doubt:
    Try to see things upside down, from a different perspective
    80/20 rule. Old and used but so important to keep track of priorities.

    Seems I missed a great event the other day. Hope I can join next time.
    I’ll keep reading.

  • Ellen

    Perseverate. What a great word, and how applicable it is to me. I didn’t realize it until I saw the word in writing, in your post. Could it just be that it is a distraction from doing what I know I said I wanted to do? Or could it be yet another way for me to keep playing small? I love the idea of setting goals each day by culling from the HUGE list of goals that usually overwhelm me – what a simple way to deal with it. Thank you! As I continue to build my new Gluten Free Diva Health Coaching practice, this will come in handy. Not to mention that it will also come in handy as I handle my Music biz as well. Thank you for your wisdom and guidance Christine! I’m working with two amazing Holistic Health Coaches currently, and at some point soon, I’d love to work with you as well, as I know you have much to teach me.

  • Claudia

    I notice this kind of behavior with me, too – I started my solo business twelve years ago and and really really really controlled the expenses, knowing that 80% of all new businesses have to close down within the first five years. These habits are difficult to give up, especially when you believe you yourself do everything best. Believe me, nobody can even vacuum the floor as good as I do it *gg*.

  • Suzie Cheel

    Yes Christine
    I have been there and i remember recently putting off getting petrol/gas as i didn’t have my discount voucher which would save 4 cents- the next day the price had risen by 22 cents a litre!!! that is Lact-ions
    Thanks Great article

  • Jeanette Henderson

    Great article, Christine. You are so right about Lack-tions (love your clever words.) It’s easy to fall into lack-based thinking especially when you’re first starting your business … there’s never enough money, time, help. And, it makes you hold on tighter!

    One way I’ve found to loosen up the wallet is to set aside money each year for self-growth. This might mean attending a seminar, hiring a coach, buying a product, or simply spending time with a mentor. If you’ve set aside this money (even mentally) you’ll feel like it’s already spent and the decision is made. Now all you need to do is follow through.

    I do this with exercise … I’ll put on my workout clothes after getting up in the morning. Then, I feel like the decision is made and I stop wondering… should I … or shouldn’t I work out today?

    • Christine Kane

      Thanks Jeanette! What a generous piece of advice for people! I love it!

  • Araceli

    This article rocks! Thanks so much sharing this because it was exactly what I needed to read today 🙂

  • Sherry Kayser

    I applied two times for the Vision Board book, but still have not received the email from you. I entered my daughter’s information, and she received it right away. Can you please see that I receive the email for the Vision Board? Thank you so much! – Sherry

    • Christine Kane

      Sherry – This sounds like an issue with your email server. It probably blocked my email from ever getting in at all. Can you use a different email address? (Also – check your spam folder!)

  • Julia Barnickle

    What a great article, Christine! I know exactly what you mean. I used to find myself doing similar things, when I had to watch the pennies – but it really is a false economy, because time is more precious and, as you say, so is our health. Well done for kicking the habit!!

  • Sarah Patrick

    I laughed out loud when I read your story because I do the same thing . . . perserverate on finding the ‘best deal’ when I am not including time as one of the variables in the equation (and, yes, my husband will attest that I have done this more than once about gas prices, though he has been weaning me from this frustration . . .). It reminds me of the financial advice for small business owners to ‘pay yourself first’.

    Where I find it hardest to apply, though, is on the time allocation for my avocation (horses/dressage), the part of me that existed pre-profession, pre-mom-world and adult responsibilities, that exists solely because I love it. Seems like I get stuck either doing it whole hog at the (time and financial) expense of my family and distraction from my job, or I ride so infrequently that I then start getting questioned about why I even own these horses anyway if I am not going to consistently train and use them. Any ‘balance checks’ you could recommend? I tend to feel it is a lack of discipline, but then wonder if I am just being hard on myself again, when what I really want to do is feel the gratitude and joy of being with these wonderful animals.

    Thanks, as always, for your humor and good thoughts. Your ‘No Such Thing as Girls Like That’ song was the office theme song for a Center of Excellence in Women’s Health I used to direct. Love it still!


    • Carisa Holmes

      Sarah, your post caught my eye because I am a horse person myself (though I much preferred hunting to the dressage). I will say that horse people NEED horses, and if you love being with them, find any way you can to make it happen! Your passion is what breathes joy into your life and if horses are your passion, it would be silly to remove them from your experience.

      Have you thought about teaching lessons, perhaps to underprivileged or handicapped children? I have seen this kind of work spark miracles. It could be a for-profit or non-profit venture, but either way, would help pay the board for your beloveds. What do you think?

    • Christine Kane

      Sarah – Wow! I’ve worked with someone who is in that exact profession! Who knew there were so many of you reading my blog!

      It sounds like you really need to set an intention from a deliberate decisive place. And then line up your week in advance. (If you’ve done my Uplevel Your Life Mastery Program, then use the Sunday Summit worksheet for this.) Set up your week on Sunday to open space each day to do this thing that is your priority. Make a system out of it. But set a start time and end time. And when you begin to experience the COMPLETION of getting that thing done over and over again, it becomes a habit, not a drain.

      Make sense?

  • Stacy Boegem

    Christine – Totally LOVE your word, Lacktion! Right on the money, honey. My latest lacktion (oooh – wordpress just autocorrected that to lactation – good thing I caught it!) was trying to do my web redesign myself, when I clearly have no business tinkering with sophisticated coding and graphic design! I’m so excited to have my redesign in the hands of a real professional now so I can focus on my clients and creating great new content! Thanks for your consistently inspiring and totally pragmatic insights! xo

    • Christine Kane

      Congrats Stacy! I always tell my clients “Stop doing what you were born to suck at.” It’s an income builder for sure!

  • Devon Clement

    The retreat was mind-blowingly (see, I make up words too) AMAZING!!

    I love this example – my mom pointed it out to me when I first started driving! I never look at the price of gas (though I’d happily pay $1.85 now 😉 )

    • Christine Kane

      Thank you Devon! And YOU were one of the most inspiringest (yes, I will continue this trend til it gets annoying!) entrepreneurs to ever walk across that stage. So many people shared with me how you moved them to finally believe in themselves and what’s possible.

  • Nneka, Working Mystic

    Hi Christine, UYB Live! was FANTASTIC!!! I have my list of next steps and I’m launching right into them. The group of centered, passionate women and men in the group inspired and supported me as I upleveled my mindsets and skillets. Not to mention it was networking made easy.

    My biggest Lack-tion has been my DIY approach to my business. It’s one thing to bootstrap. It’s quite another to insist on doing web design when you’re an engineer. I know, who would do that? (eyes to the sky on that one 🙂

    • Roxane Lessa

      Go Nneka!!!

    • Christine Kane

      It’s all a big learning process, Nneka. YOu’re doing great! It was awesome to have you at Uplevel your Business LIVE. I’m still on a high from being in the presence of 200 amazing human beings!

  • Deb Prewitt

    Love the new word. Lactions. Perfect. I know we all do this, focus on the little things and worry about something small, while letting the big stuff get away from us. I have been struggling with this for awhile now. I am going to rethink and get rid of some of those lactions I have been using.

  • Alida Tassone

    Hi Christine,

    I absolutely loved your article and co-incidentally, I am going to write an article for my newsletter this week about time management and personal effectiveness. What I’ll do is link to your article as an extra for my readers.
    Thank you for being so brilliant!
    All the very best,
    Alida Tassone

  • Teri Beckman

    I hope you slept well last night CK! You totally rocked at the retreat the last 3 days. Big Big Thank you! I am feeling my whole being re-shaped from it. NO MORE LACTATIONS!!! I am committed to playing a bigger game. Working on it as we speak! Have my timer on and appreciating you. Just needed to take a minute to say this. With much love and appreciation!

    • Devon

      Actually Teri, as a postpartum doula and new mama guide, I highly recommend lactations 😉

      • Teri Beckman

        ha ha.. 🙂 Thanks Devon! Yes there are some good uses for lactations, but not for me, as a postmenopausal grey haired dying to stop wasting time entrepreneur!

    • Christine Kane

      Go Teri! And thanks for the kind words about Uplevel Your Business LIVE. Lord, we had a blast, didn’t we???

  • Kristina

    A really great post. A lot of people don’t understand that everything is spending something. Time, money, resources. For instance sometimes the savings in coupons aren’t worth it if you have to drive all over creation to several stores. You are losing more in time and money (in gasoline) than if you were to spend the extra cents to buy them all in one store.

    But this also applies to procrastination. For example, I’ve been putting off working on a necklace for two reasons. 1. I’m worried that the holes I made are too small in some of the beads and 2. I don’t have all the materials. But if I were to just check the holes instead of worrying about them, I could either be happy that they are big enough or figure out a new plan. Not to mention I would be farther into the project and would have less to do once I DO gather all the materials I need.

    • Christine Kane

      Very true Kristina! It’s all about creating a new definition of economy based on investment and recognizing the extreme value of your own time! Great comments!