If you’re feeling a little lazy today, you’re not alone. If you feel a little lazy every day, you’re still not alone.
As humans, we’re designed to conserve energy as much as possible. We’re also hard-wired to avoid stressful situations, so laziness is an effective strategy from an evolutionary standpoint. We mostly can’t accidentally injure ourselves when we’re sitting around being lazy.
Unfortunately, as cozy as laziness is, it’s not an effective way to live. We have things to do, and being lazy creates more challenges than it solves.
Beat laziness every day with these strategies:
Get started. Getting started is the most challenging part. Do whatever it takes to get yourself to do what you need to do, even if it's only for five minutes. Set a timer for five minutes, or tell yourself you can get up and grab a cup of coffee after you've worked for a certain period of time.
Remove distractions. If checking email and social media on your phone is a distraction then turn off the notifications on your phone or put your phone in the drawer. Whatever distracts you, make a plan to remove the distraction so you can focus and not waste time.
Picture the end result. Visualize what you are trying to accomplish. How will you feel when you’re done with your work? Focus on that, rather than on how awful doing the work will be. Hold a positive attitude regarding the task.
Create habits. Habits beat laziness. Have you ever been too lazy to brush your teeth? I bet you haven't – even when you were exhausted – because it’s a habit. Build habits around the things you don’t like to do, and laziness will become irrelevant.
Set goals. Effective goals produce greater motivation. Maybe you’re not really that lazy. Perhaps you just have goals that don't inspire you. What are your goals?
Get some exercise. Exercise changes your perspective. It alters the chemistry of your body and brain, changing the way you feel. If you’re feeling stuck, exercise will help you break free. Just move your body!
Start small. Break your task into small chunks that you can handle and complete.
Writing a book is intimidating, but writing a page or two every day is manageable. Cleaning the entire house can be overwhelming, but cleaning a single room doesn’t seem so bad.
Focus on a single task. When you have a lot of things to do, it is less intimidating if you focus only on a single task. Clear your mind of everything, except that single task.
This is a great technique to achieve peace of mind, too. It’s easy to overwhelm yourself with everything you must accomplish, so handle one thing at a time.
Schedule lazy time. If you want to be lazy, be lazy. The trick is to schedule time for it. Allow yourself to be as lazy as you want – at an appropriate time. But make yourself earn the right to be lazy.
It’s not always easy to know if you’re feeling lazy, or simply procrastinating.
Fortunately, the solution is the same. When you need to get things done, use these techniques, then get started!