Beating laziness is a necessary part of getting things done. Laziness can have a variety of causes. In most cases, the task that needs to be completed isn’t enjoyable. Or you lack inspiration. Mowing the grass when it’s 90 degrees outside is a good example of both.
Dealing with laziness is an important self-management skill. Getting things done when you don’t feel like doing them is practically a superpower. You’re unstoppable.
Beat laziness and accomplish more each day:
- Take frequent, short breaks. Tell yourself that you’ll work for 25 minutes and then take a quick break. Focus with all your might for those 25 minutes, and then relax for five.
- Be tough with yourself. Getting started requires the most willpower. Once you’ve gotten started, it’s easy to keep going. Grind your way through the first few minutes and then use the momentum to your advantage.
- Stand up straight. Slouching and laziness go together. Stand up tall and straight. You’ll feel better and more motivated.
- Monitor your inner dialog. Say positive things about the task at hand. Negative talk will stall your progress.
- Stop thinking about it. When you think about doing an undesirable task, you feel uncomfortable. That’s the reason you won’t do it. So, don’t think about it. Keep your mind on something else and get started.
- Keep it short and intense. Change your physiology, and your thoughts will change, too.
- Use a timer. See how long it takes you to complete the task. Make a game out of it. Another option is to set a timer for five minutes and see if you can perform the task for those five minutes without having even one negative thought. Timers are great for increasing focus.
- Get rid of the distractions. Get away from the TV and lock your cell phone in your desk.
- Keep your mind on a single task. Ironically, when you have a lot to do, it can be hard to do anything at all. Keep your mind on one task and forget about the rest. When this task is complete, the others will still be there.
- Think about how great you’ll feel when you’re done. Thinking about how dreadful the task will be is the best way to ensure that you won’t do it anytime soon.
- Be proud of getting your tasks completed. Most of us hate performing a task, and then feel neutral about getting it done. Get excited about completing these annoying tasks. Give yourself a pat on the back when they’re completed.
- Start with something easy. When faced with several things you don’t want to do, start with the quickest and easiest. The sense of accomplishment will keep you going.
- Make a to-do list. Cross the items off as they’re completed and enjoy the progress you’re making. There’s something satisfying about marking items off a list.
- Consider the benefits of the task. Will you get to keep your job? Get a date? Have a freshly manicured lawn? Consider the benefits of the activity. Focus on these benefits and get started before your attention drifts.
- Plan a reward at the end of the day. If you get everything completed, do something enjoyable. Meet a friend for dinner or rent a movie.
Laziness is a common dilemma. It occurs when the motivation to do a task is insufficient. There are several causes for this, but the cause isn’t important. Choose a few workable strategies to get you going and put them into action. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at your results.
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