If there’s one thing that the older generation keeps complaining about with this generation, it’s laziness. What’s interesting about this is that it’s not just the older generation that is bothered by how lazy people have become, we’re also affected by it.
Most of us admit having struggled with being lazy at some point in our lives. In fact, the term “how to stop being lazy”, gets typed into the Google search box around 5400 times every month. Multiply that to 12 and we have AT LEAST 64800 people from all over the world looking for ways to combat laziness in the past year.
Even though most of us genuinely want to make changes in our behavior, it’s often easier said than done. We throw around phrases like “stay focused”, “find motivation”, “stay on track”, but without action, these phrases mean nothing.
What’s worse, when left to our own devices, our laziness can easily turn into self-sabotage. When you lack the willpower to get anything done, you’re in effect, stopping yourself from reaching your full potential. To borrow a few words from the Hindu scripture Sama Veda:
To address your laziness problem, you first need to understand what’s causing you to be lazy in the first place. In this article, you’ll learn what exactly is causing you to be lazy and how you can overcome it.
5 Roots of Laziness
You feel uninspired
Inspiration can take you farther than you can imagine, especially if you’re going to use it as a springboard for creativity.
Inspiration doesn’t just fuel you with positivity, but it also helps you achieve your goals faster. If you’re inspired by the work that you do, you’ll want to do your best.
But if you feel uninspired, it’s easy to come up with a million reasons to put the work off for another day.
You feel overwhelmed
Do you constantly think about the million things you need to do that it’s started to affect your motivation? No wonder you’re having problems with how to stop being lazy.
When you feel overwhelmed, you start to convince yourself that you can’t get anything done. Not because you physically can’t, but because your brain wants you to slow down so that you can get your act together.
You feel tired
Fatigue is another reason why you might feel lazy. If you’re focused too much on work, then you don’t have much time or energy to do other things like spend time with family and friends.
You’ll probably choose to sleep on weekends because you’re too exhausted to do anything else. Fatigue doesn’t just impair your body’s normal functionalities, it also affects your cognitive processes.
You feel hurt
Whether you’re suffering from chronic depression or feeling hurt because someone betrayed you, your emotional state can contribute to your being lazy.
People who are hurting emotionally often feel like they’re stuck in a dark place, affecting not just their behavior, but also how people around them see them.
If you don’t know how to stop being lazy because something just doesn’t feel right, it’s probably best to talk with a mental healthcare professional about this matter.
You feel afraid
It’s also possible to feel lazy because you’re afraid of what’s going to happen next. For most, it’s the fear of failing, while for a few, it’s the fear of succeeding.
Laziness is an attempt to stop things from moving too fast or avoid potential conflict. If you’re always putting off things that will help you reach your goals, then you need to first work on developing your self-esteem.
Your laziness can stem from one or a combination of these roots. So, if you want to fix the problem, you need to have a step-by-step plan that will help you become more productive. Fortunately, it’s much easier than you think.
How to stop being lazy – once and for all
Step 1: Know what exactly is holding you back
Once you’ve identified what exactly is causing you to be lazy, it should be much easier for you to address the issue.
- Feeling uninspired? Find something that inspires you and try changing your routine. Enroll yourself in a weekend or music art class or take a walk at your local park in the afternoons.
- Feeling overwhelmed? Break down your tasks for the day and take it one step at a time. Get the most important tasks out of the way by prioritizing them.
- Feeling tired? Take some time out to rest. Sometimes a short nap or a good meal can make all the difference in the world.
- Feeling hurt? Accept your situation and gives yourself a chance to grieve. Whether it’s your boss, a friend, or family member who hurt you, release your pain and choose to move on.
- Feeling afraid? If you’re afraid of failing, list down all the reasons why your fears are irrational. Allow yourself to feel empowered to take down all your irrational fears.
By knowing what exactly is holding you back, you’ll be in a better place to address the issue directly. Without these hindrances, you should feel more motivated to get your work done.
Step 2: Practice kindness
I’m not talking about being kind to others here. It’s more about being kind to yourself. Think of how you talk to and about yourself.
Are you patient with your progress? Do you use encouraging words or do you often put yourself down? If you want to make big changes, you need to be your own biggest fan and cheerleader!
One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to stop negative self-talk. Negative self-talk is that inner conversation that you have yourself that limits you from reaching your full potential.
Every time you beat yourself up over things you’ve done (or in this case haven’t done), it hurts your confidence.
Whenever you find yourself criticizing your decisions or bringing yourself down, pause and try to reframe the situation so you will see yourself in a positive light.
By being kinder to yourself, you’ll develop more grit to break away from old habits.
Step 3: Be mindful
Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed by your situation, practicing mindfulness can help your mind focus on what really matters.
Having a mindfulness habit is an effective laziness cure as it makes you aware of your tendency to procrastinate or be lazy.
When you’re more mindful of your thought process and actions, you’ll feel empowered to do something about it.
Living in the moment lets you identify the excuses you give yourself whenever you need to accomplish something.
It also allows you to appreciate whatever it is that you have at that moment. This can be a powerful tool in changing your perspective towards the situation.
The easiest way to shake off laziness is to practice mindfulness is to do a body scan. By focusing on different parts of the body at a time, you’re training your mind to be more mindful of what your body is capable of doing.
Want to be more mindful in your daily life? Here are 71 tips to try!
Step 4: Ask for help
Most people think that they can overcome laziness alone. And while it may seem like a personal problem, it’s a problem that is best beaten with a little help from your friends.
No matter what’s causing you to succumb to laziness, you need people to keep you accountable.
Whether you’re feeling stuck or having a hard time finishing a project, don’t be afraid to ask people for help. You don’t have to tell everyone about your struggles.
Choose a few people who can help you take action whenever you need a boost in motivation.
Personally, this is the one step that would force me to move whenever I feel too lazy to do anything. It’s hard to be lazy when I know I have friends who are willing to help me with whatever I need to get something done.
Every time I feel like I can take it easy and laze the day away, I remember something that a good friend once said:
Now, there’s a reality check you never thought you needed.
Step 5: Create a list of goals
One of the simplest and still most effective ways to get stuff done is to create a checklist. But don’t just write a list of the things you need to do. Instead, create a list of goals that you want to achieve. According to experts, people who write down their goals have a better chance of accomplishing them.
You see, when you write things down, two things happen. First, you create a visual cue that acts as a reminder. And second, your brain encodes the information in your long-term memory.
Writing down your goals makes them more real, helping you focus on what’s important.
When it comes to setting your goals, make sure that follow these rules:
- Write down goals that are relevant to you. If your goals have little to no value to you, you won’t be motivated to achieve them.
- Be SMART. Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
- Create a step-by-step plan. To get the outcome you want, you need to have a gameplan.
Step 6: Go out and exercise
Exercise is probably the last thing on your mind when you’re trying to figure out how to beat laziness. Even though we all know about the health benefits of exercise, getting up and actually doing it still seems like a challenge.
Well, here’s a pretty good reason that will convince you to get off the couch and step on the treadmill. Exercise has been proven to put the body into an energized state that will last the whole day.
So, if you’re having a tough time shaking off the laziness in the morning, doing a quick 15-minute HIIT session can jolt your body into action.
But how do you go out and exercise when you’re feeling lazy? By making it a priority daily. Find a workout routine that you enjoy and get on a schedule.
Personally, I prefer to do my workout first thing in the morning so I don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the day.
Step 7: Set yourself up for success
Beating laziness isn’t just about changing your outlook, it also involves changing your lifestyle. You need to set yourself up for success if you’re serious about changing your behavior and your life.
Think your desk isn’t that conducive for productive work? Then, start organizing it. Or better yet, move to a co-working space or coffee shop for the day.
A recent study shows that changing your work environment, even temporarily, can improve memory retention and increase productivity.
Even something as simple as dressing up can boost your motivation. When you dress intending to succeed, you feel more confident to take on the world. And that confidence can translate to a change in behavior.
When you look good and feel good about yourself, it’s almost impossible to stay home and veg in front of the TV.
Besides, you owe it to the world to show off how good you look.
Step 8: Reward yourself
Still trying to figure out how to overcome laziness and procrastination? Then a rewards’ system could be an effective way to keep you on the right track.
Why? Because having something to look forward to makes it much easier to develop new habits. It also boosts your morale and makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something worth celebrating.
The trick to making the rewards’ system work for you is to set rewards according to the difficulty of the task. The rule of thumb is the more difficult the goal, the bigger the reward. And make sure that you don’t set rewards that will derail you from reaching your goal.
If you’re trying to break your habit of being lazy at work, for example, rewarding yourself with social media time after completing a task is probably going to be counter-intuitive.
Let’s say, you want to improve your productivity at work. Start doing focused bursts of work where for every 25 minutes of work time, you reward yourself with 5 minutes of rest time.
This way, the work will seem less intimidating and you’ll be more inclined to improve your work and thought process.
Step 9: Develop self-discipline
If rewards act as fuel, self-discipline is the road that will take you where you want to go. If you’re always making excuses for your laziness, it’s probably because you lack self-discipline. And without self-discipline, no reward will ever be enough to keep you motivated.
Self-discipline is crucial in ensuring that you make good decisions for yourself.
All our actions, or in this case, the lack of it, have consequences, we need to act based on what we think is best for our interests. You may not think your laziness is affecting you right now, but fast-forward to next year, and you’ll probably regret missing out on some opportunities that you failed to take.
The good news is, self-discipline can be developed. From understanding your weaknesses to boosting your willpower, there are plenty of ways to master self-discipline. But probably the most important is to just keep at it. As the old cliche goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Step 10: Push forward
After doing the steps above, are you still having difficulties on how to stop being lazy?
Well, that’s not a reason to give up just yet! Some days are bound to be more difficult than others so try to make the most out of it. Remind yourself of what’s really at stake as you try to find ways to snap out of your laziness spell.
Part of pushing forward is to reassess your process as you go along. If you get distracted or hit any dead-ends, make a commitment to yourself that you won’t give up easily. Maybe you just need to pause to think things through or refocus on your long-term goal.
The Japanese have an amazing technique for developing tenacity. Kaizen, which roughly translates to continuous improvement, is a practice that’s rooted in the belief that small consistent changes can result in major improvements in the long run. Since there will always be room for improvement in all aspects of your life, giving up should never be an option. Eventually, your efforts will pay off with huge returns.
No matter what is causing you to become lazy, know that there are plenty of ways to overcome it. I hope these tips inspire you to make positive changes that will ultimately lead you to the life you’ve always wanted to live. It may seem impossible to shake off the laziness right now, but it’s all just a matter of perspective