You want to stop being lazy, but don’t know how? This article will cover how to stop laziness in its tracks, so you can be productive, efficient, successful and happy.
In this article, I talk about the three different types of laziness and the two different types of motivation. Keep reading and find out which of these apply to you.
I’ll also cover the laziness checklist. This will help you find out if you really are being lazy or not. Its good to know this before applying my strategies to help you to stop being lazy.
I then cover 9 fantastic ways to stop being lazy. All of these methods are highly effective and easy to apply to your life. Keep reading and learn how to make laziness a thing of the past for you.
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The Three Types of Laziness
There are 3 different types of laziness. The first type is long-term laziness. This is procrastination on a task for weeks, months or even years. Examples include losing your job 12 months ago and doing very little to find a new job, gaining weight and doing very little about it, or being at university and doing very little studying.
With long-term laziness, the person is not thinking about the problem. It’s not stressing them out. They are ignoring it, hiding it until it becomes so bad that they have to do something about it.
The second type is short-term laziness. This is where you experience a rut. You’re normally motivated, successful, even a high-achiever, but for some reason, you have lost your drive and your motivation. You even find it hard to do the things that you are normally motivated to do.
Unlike long-term laziness, you will be much more aware of short-term laziness. You will be thinking about it a lot. Or, you could be having thoughts about wasting time and not achieving things. Perhaps, you might be mentally beating yourself up. This will lead to negative emotions such as frustration or guilt.
The third type is situational laziness. This is being highly motivated to do some things but not others. You might be very motivated to do extra work to enhance your career, but not to improve your health or fitness. This really comes down to your priorities and the importance you give to different areas of your life.
Situational laziness can also come from all-or-nothing thinking. This is thinking about how I must achieve this one thing to the exclusion of everything else.
Before you try and resolve your laziness, first work out which of the 3 types of laziness it is. Then use the following checklist to work out whether it’s really laziness or do you just need some time out.
Before looking at ways to overcome laziness, I recommend that you answer the 3 questions below. These act as a checklist and
Are you burnt out? When did you last have a holiday? If you haven’t had a few days off in the last 6 months, then perhaps you need a holiday or a few days in a different environment.
Are you tired? If you are physically tired or feeling run down, then its going to be much harder to be motivated and have the energy to do your best work. If this is the case, perhaps a rest or at least a power nap is what you really need.
Is your life out of balance? Perhaps you’re working very hard and missing out on fun and social interaction? This is something I certainly feel when I have spent a whole day on the computer at home and not interacted with anyone, except for the occasional phone calls. We all have different human needs and it’s important that we strike a balance between these different human needs.
Different Types of Motivation
Before I cover how to stop being lazy, I’ll briefly describe the two different types of motivation.
The first type is negative or away from motivation. This is being motivated by the pain of NOT doing something. It could be that your motivation to lose weight comes from not wanting to get diabetes or heart disease later in life. Or, you want to meet someone special to avoid the pain of being lonely.
Negative motivation can be very useful in giving you a kick up the backside to take action. However, one of the problems of this type of motivation is that it can wane over time. Once you start getting results, the motivation to continue reduces. This is often why people that use away from motivation to lose weight end up putting some or all of the weight back on again.
The second type is positive or towards motivation. This is thinking about the good and positive things that will happen when you achieve your goal. This is generally more sustainable in the long-term. You see results and this spurs you to keep going.
A great way to increase both negative and positive motivation is to write down a list of all the reasons for achieving this goal. The more
The 9 Ways to Stop Being Lazy
I will now cover 9 specific ways to help you to stop being lazy and take action in your life.
1. Have an accountability buddy
This always works for me! In the past, I have been accountable to many different people including personal trainers, naturopaths and music teachers. When I had a personal trainer, I made the time to exercise between sessions because I knew that the personal trainer would find out if I didn’t! Seeing a naturopath regularly kept my diet, caffeine and alcohol intake in check. At school or college, we automatically had accountability. It’s called a deadline! – Get the assignment in on time or else!
Being accountable to a professional that you are paying for is the best option. When I was paying $95 a session with a personal trainer, I worked out regularly between sessions because I wanted to get my money’s worth!
If you have a friend or colleague as an accountability buddy, then you can increase your odds of success by “paying up” For example, let’s say you want to stop drinking coffee. You agree with your accountability buddy that every time you have a coffee, you will give $10 to charity (or to your buddy!). That’s going to really hurt after a while, as that’s good money that you could spend on something else. So accountability is really really important and it’s a great way to help you stay motivated and not be lazy.
2. Act before you think
Typically, we have a thought, that generates a feeling, that then generates an action or behavior. However, it works the other way around too!
You act first. This generates a feeling that then changes your thoughts. You fake it until you make it. If you’re about to do something scary like a parachute jump, bungee jump or skydive, then its far better to just do it before the fear stops you in your tracks.
When you do something that you don’t feel like doing, you will often begin to feel like doing it once you start. I’m sure this has happened to you, especially with doing exercise or completing assignments.
3. Do the task for 5 minutes
This really works for me too! You do the task that you’re feeling lazy about for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes only two things can happen.
- You keep doing it (the most likely scenario)
- You stop! If that happens, it’s probably an indication that you generally need a break, You need to take some time out.
At school, I often procrastinated on practicing the French Horn. However, once I started, I could easily play for one hour, sometimes longer. So rather than waiting until you feel like doing it, do it anyway, and the feeling will come.
4. Do half the activity
This is either spending half the normal time on an activity or putting in half the normal effort. Let’s say you normally exercise for 40 minutes. Today, you’re feeling lazy, so you do 20 minutes instead.
Or perhaps you’re working on an assignment or blog post. Instead, of doing it to your very best standard, you focus on making it average. This will make the task seem smaller in your mind. You will also have something to go on that you can improve later on. It may end up being close to your normal standard anyway, because you’ve taken the
5. Make distractions harder
Spend some time identifying the things that distract you. Perhaps its social media, email or some other kind of notifications that pop up on your screen. If so, turn them all off, so that you won’t be distracted. This might seem like common sense, but
6. Make the task easier
This is about making the task or the decision to do the task easier. If you are lazy about exercising first thing in the morning, then have your exercise clothes ready the night before. If you are procrastinating on work or business activities, then create your to-do list the day before. Then as soon as you get to work, you can start on the first task right away.
7. Change your identity around laziness
All behavior stems from your sense of identity. So instead of thinking that I’m a lazy person (which is not really true), change it
Also, watch out for how you speak about laziness to other people. Don’t say “I’m a lazy person” because your unconscious mind will pick up on it. If said regularly, it becomes a negative affirmation.
Think about laziness is something that you do sometimes, rather than part of you. Think of it as a very small part of your overall personality.
8. Set fewer goals
Is your laziness coming from feeling overwhelmed because there is too much to do and you don’t know where to start? If so, perhaps you have underestimated the time and effort required to achieve the goals that you have set yourself.
This was happening to me quite often, so each month, I set fewer goals so that I had a very good chance of achieving all of them.
By setting fewer goals and more realistic goals, you are setting yourself up for success. This increases your confidence in your ability to achieve them and this reduces any feelings of laziness.
9. Set rewards for achieving goals or tasks
The final way to stop laziness in its tracks is to set rewards for achievement. This could be a small or big reward dependent on the task. This gives you something to look forward to when you complete the task. What gets rewarded gets repeated.
We are conditioned to be rewarded for our efforts and this definitely helps you to feel more fulfilled and satisfied.
Make sure that your rewards are relative to the task. For a big task, the reward could be a night out with your partner or with friends. For a small task, it could be a little food treat or spending ten minutes blindly surfing the internet or watching videos on YouTube.
So these are my 9 great ways to help you to stop being lazy. As always, I encourage you to apply these to your life, so that laziness can become a thing of the past for you.
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