Are you one who is always ready to take a shortcut?
Do you sometimes struggle to get out of bed and start your day?
Has your motivation gone with the wind?
If so, you're not alone. Most people struggle with laziness from time to time, making it difficult to find the energy and desire to work on goals, begin new habits, or even just handle day-to-day tasks.
But if laziness has become your norm rather than an occasional exception, you need to take action. Laziness can lead to low self-esteem and even depression.
Says Sam Veda, “Laziness erodes a person of his enthusiasm and energy. As a result, the person loses all opportunities and finally becomes dejected and frustrated. The worst thing is that he stops believing in himself.”
The first step toward breaking out of the lazy state of mind is to acknowledge that you're stuck in it. Awareness gives you a small burst of motivation to break the laziness habit and change your behaviors. The next question is how?
If you're ready to get motivated, here's how to stop being lazy so you can re-energize your life:
Understand what lies behind the lazy.
Being lazy can often be a symptom of a mental block.
Is there something else holding you back you haven’t addressed yet? Could it be that you are just struggling to get into the right mindset?
Instead of focusing on feeling lazy, recognize what problems could be lying behind your laziness, and try to develop solutions for these instead.
Maybe you haven’t been in touch with your family much recently because you’ve got something you need to get off your chest. Maybe your inability to start a work project is because you’ve got some unresolved issues with a colleague.
Try to see beyond the laziness to a potential underlying issue. Address the mental block with a proactive solution.
Make sure that the method suits your personality – don’t become super confrontational if this is something you shy away from. Work with your nature.
Focusing on solutions is a more positive way to approach laziness or apathy.
Learn to know yourself better.
Learn more about your laziness in order to become less lazy.
Be watchful and mindful of bad habits that creep in and become permanent guests in our homes.
Like all habits, laziness can be hard to shift. Learn how to recognize your lazy mode, when it arrives, and how it makes you feel.
- Focus on a positive mantra you can hold onto when you feel old habits creeping up on you.
- Start with small changes like taking the stairs and gradually become more ambitious with your goals.
- Cultivate good habits to counteract laziness. Here is how to get good habits to stick.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. Learn how to fit rewards and treats into your routine. If you are doing well and combating your laziness – celebrate that.
Make rewards positive habits, and keep them as positive, healthy, and nutritious as you can.
Related: 42 Bad Habits That Suck Your Energy
Rewards can take many forms – sometimes all you need is a moment of gratitude and recognition.
Even putting a gold star on your calendar for every day you take action will give you a feeling of accomplishment. We all need a pat on the back every now and then.
Dump the excuses.
“I want to start a business,but I don’t know where to start.”
“I want to reconcile with my spouse, but I don’t know how she will react.”
“I want to lose weight, but the gym takes too much time.”
Some excuses are more legitimate than others, but we are all very good at putting up barriers to excuse ourselves from completing a task.
Don’t give yourself the excuse to fail – don’t allow ANY excuses. Sometimes, like with a toddler, you have to stand firm.
Be brutally honest with yourself about excuses, because excuses just add to a sense of failure and low self-esteem.
Admit it when you need some expert advice!
Tools like Evernote and Trello will help you stay organized, but they won’t manage your life for you.
Introduce new life management tools into your everyday life, and start to learn from others who have adopted the same tools.
Speak to motivational experts, get a coach, hire a personal trainer, read a book, or sign up for an online course. There is no shame in trying to break the lazy cycle with whatever tools are at your disposal.
If your laziness has spiraled out of control, and you're feeling depressed, go to your doctor and talk with a counselor who can help you treat the depression and support you as you begin taking small and manageable actions to break out of your low motivation.
Do things for yourself.
Starting a business or an exciting project are guaranteed cures for laziness. By doing new things you’ll find your mojo. The cure to laziness can often be found in action.
Surprise yourself this year. You don’t always have to move countries, cities, or change your entire life to do something different – a new journey can start at home.
Set off an online adventure from the comfort of your home. Open an online store, start a blog or learn a new language. Learn new transferable skills that will open doors, both personally and professionally.
New projects will bring you energy, motivation, and renewed purpose. They help build your confidence and can open the door to something new and special.
We all love to procrastinate, don’t we? Procrastination is a hallmark behavior for a lazy person, but it is unhealthy and will hold you back.
Begin to notice how you rely on this habit so you can cut it out and do more with your day.
Ask yourself what you've been putting off that is creating an energy drag or potentially causing you life difficulties (like procrastinating on paying the bills). Make a list of these action items, and set aside just ten minutes a day to begin working on them.
Ten minutes doesn't feel overwhelming, and it will give you the momentum to follow through on these tasks. Most of the time, just getting started is the hardest part of any action.
Do you find yourself surfing the web and procrastinating online? Use this to your advantage and focus on research or important side projects.
Find new recipes, research your mom’s Christmas presents, read up on the latest industry trends, or watch some tutorial videos. Yes, you might be task avoiding, but you at least you’re doing something useful with your time.
Better yet, use web surfing as a reward for getting things done. If time online, playing video games or watching television seem to be your procrastination outlets, use them to your benefit and dole out time on these devices as a gift for getting something productive done.
If you need a serious procrastination detox, try this 12-step program for busting procrastination.
Let go of the old.
Don’t focus on previous failures – learn how to let go.
Again, mindset is a powerful thing. Don’t tell yourself that you’re a lazy person – you may end up believing it. Don’t use history as an excuse for how things are bound to end up. Break the cycle.
Learn how to dial down the self-criticism so you can let go and forgive yourself.
If you find yourself constantly looping negative thoughts about yourself, break this bad habit with the “rubber band trick.” Put a rubber band on your wrist, and begin to pay attention to the times when you are self-critical.
When you notice these negative thoughts, getting pop the rubber band or switch it from one wrist to another. This physical action will create a break in your looping thoughts and give you the opportunity to replace these negative thoughts with positive ones.
In this moment, challenge the critical thoughts and tell yourself something positive that you know to be true about yourself. Remind yourself of recent successes or of your own inner will to be more motivated and action-oriented.
Work with others.
The motivational power of a team, even if that’s just one other person, is powerful.
Want to lose weight? Find a weight loss buddy to help keep you on track and stay motivated. The ability to motivate and support each other is rewarding and completely laziness-busting.
Get other people involved in your goals through sharing in person, on social media, or in a related online forum. Setting up this kind of public accountability will make you work harder.
See the power in lazy.
Lazy isn’t always bad. Being lazy can help you find legitimate shortcuts and fuel innovation.
Your times of laziness might be a necessary respite that fuels future creativity and positive change. We all need to step back at times, even if it feels like we're being unproductive and passive.
Don’t always focus on the negatives of a situation – see the silver lining. Recognize that you won’t be able to completely change who you are, but you can work on yourself in a supportive way. Take small, manageable action steps to create momentum and rebuild your confidence in your abilities.
You'll be amazed at how much more motivated and energized you feel, even with just a few small accomplishments under your belt.
Focus on bringing your ideas to completion and making the world a better place one small action at a time.
Patrick Foster is an ecommerce entrepreneur, coach and writer. He is currently writing at EcommerceTips.org where he shares engaging ecommerce content for entrepreneurs and business owners. You can follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.