Stop being so lazy
Indolence, slothfulness, torpor... call it what you may, all of us at
one time or another give into our lazy selves, putting off for tomorrow
what can easily be done today. Giving it a fancy name, we call it
procrastinating, but the bottom line is, lots of stuff that need to be
done, donít get done, and in the process, we hold ourselves back and
cheat ourselves of the life we should be living, blaming it on
everything else but our predilection to be lazy.
it doesnít need to be that way. Here are some simple habits that could
help you stop being so lazy and get what really matters done by working
smarter, while still having room for guilt-free lazy time.
Be kind to yourself
When you feel youíve perhaps been too lazy lately itís common and
tempting to beat yourself up about it and to hope that will lead you to
start taking action.
Sometimes it does. But I have found that beating yourself up most
often just leads to feeling guiltier and like a failure. And so you feel
less motivated to get going and you procrastinate because there seems to
be little point in even trying.
Instead of getting stuck in that self-esteem sucking place, gently
nudge yourself towards the next tip in this article whenever you feel
like you want to beat yourself up.
Start with just a small step forward
The hardest thing is often to simply get started. So make that as
easy as you can to reduce the inner resistance and to actually take
action. Start with just taking a small step forward:
Go out running for only 3 minutes
Do the dishes for 5 minutes
Write on that report youíve been procrastinating on for 10 minutes
Do a small part of what matters most first thing in your day
To feel like you can enjoy your lazy/rest time fully and without
guilt itís important to actually get what truly matters in the long run
done each week.
So start your day with that. But make it easy on yourself by breaking
down that task into smaller steps and then focus on just the first one.
Get on it right away to get into an effective and focused mindset. By
doing so, you set a good tone for your day. You get that quick 5-10
minute win in first thing and youíll be a lot more motivated to keep
going on that path during the rest of your day.
Cycle fully-focused work with small breaks of rest/lazy time
To lighten up your daily work, inject small breaks between doing
short but focused burst of work. Say to yourself: Iíll do 20 minutes of
work on this task now and then I can take 5 or 10 minutes of lazy time.
By breaking down your hours like this, the work seems less daunting.
And youíll feel energetic and motivated longer and do work of better
quality if you allow yourself these pauses of rest and time to lazy
around on Facebook, with a game or with just relaxing in the grass or
with short walk in the park.
Then, after some time, you may want to work for 40 minutes before you
take a 10 minute break. But go easy on yourself at first.
Shut down the escape routes temporarily
Just sitting down at for example your computer and trying to do fully
focused work for 5 or 20 minutes may not result in any work of
importance getting done. Not if you donít remove those things that you
usually use to procrastinate.
So ask yourself: where do I usually escape to instead of doing my
Escape to Facebook or other websites on your computer, then block
that for a little while by using for example StayFocusd.
Watch TV, then pull out the cords to it. Or remove one of the cords
completely and put it at the other end of your home.
List the downsides and upsides for renewed motivation
Asking yourself better questions tend to give better answers. Two
sets of questions that you could ask yourslef with closed eyes and that
could refuel your motivation are:
How will my life look in 5 years if I just continue to stay on the
same path as now?
How will life likely become worse for me and maybe even for the
people around me?
This is not like beating yourself up but rather a sober examination
of where itís realistic that youíre heading. And it may be uncomfortable
but try to see the negative consequences as vividly as you can in your
mind to kickstart your motivation to get going for that positive change.
Then ask yourself:
How will my life look in 1 year if I get started, stick with it and
keep going with this change?
How will life improve not only for me but for the people that I love
if I stick with it?
Unclutter your life
When your lifeís too cluttered and overwhelming then you may shut
down and procrastinate by lying lazily on the couch and just watching
the TV or your smart phone.
When thatís the case then start uncluttering both your work hours and
your private time. Two questions that have helped me to do that and to
find what is most important are:
What would I work on if I only had 2 hours for work today?
If I had just 1 hour of free time today then how would I spend it?
Use these to get out of an old rut, to question your normal day a bit
and to find your top priorities.
Then see what you can eliminate, minimise or perhaps delegate the
things that are not contained in your answers.
Be OK with stumbling from time to time
The fear of failure can hold you back in a state of doing easier
things and in what you may see as being lazy. But everyone who goes for
what he/she truly wants and outside of his/her comfort zone stumbles and
fails from time to time. Thatís just a part of a life well lived. See a
setback as a learning experience and as a way to be more constructive
and kinder to yourself.
You can do that by asking yourself these two questions after youíve
What is 1 thing I can learn from this situation?
How would my best friend/parent support me and help me in this
situation? (Then talk to yourself and do things like she or he would).
Let the enthusiasm, energy and motivation of others in
Whatever you let into your mind and life will influence you. If the
people you hang out the most with are generally a bit lazy about work or
school, then itís easy to just adapt to that mood and way of thinking
and go with it.
But if you spend more time with motivated people in real life and via
books, the internet, podcasts and audio books then that will start to
influence your thinking and mood too.
So think about what you let into your mind on a daily and weekly
basis and if you want make a few changes to that.
Truly appreciate and enjoy your lazy time
Time spent on just lazying around helps can help you recharge. It
could also make you happy.
But if you do it too much then it does become less healthy. It can
frustrate you because you are not moving forward towards what you want
and it creates stress instead of relaxing you because you are not
getting whatís important done. Still, at a moderate amount spending some
time on being lazy can be truly beneficial.
And Iíve found that when you think a little about how you want to
spend your lazy time Ė no matter if itís a 10 minute break or a lazy
Sunday Ė and use that time on something you really enjoy like reading a
book you love rather than aimlessly watching TV-shows youíre just OK
with then that time does not only brings more happiness and fulfilment.
Iíve also learned that when I spend my lazy time in this more
conscious way Iím more motivated and energised to go back to work again
(The writer is a 34-year -old journalism major from Sweden, who has
dived into the topic of personal development, which has seen him
learning from him own experiments and experience and figuring out how to
build a better life. This article is one of his building a better life