Spending most of your time on something that matters to you is highly important. Laziness has been a problem since forever, and as the number of flashy and colorful distractions grows and becomes stronger, it keeps becoming increasingly hard to find focus and sustain it.
In this blog post, we will try to explore some of the reasons why we get lazy and how we can work with it. Without further ado, let us get into it.
What is The Cause of Laziness
There are many possible reasons why a person would be staying idle instead of doing the work they have to do: fear of failure, constant comparison of self with others, low self-esteem and lack of positive recognition, even mental illness and addiction.
Sometimes laziness is a side effect of overstimulation: being overly motivated for a period and burning out. Lack of interest might be the case too, but if you looked for an article trying to figure out how to get yourself to work, odds are that you do not lack interest, so we will disregard that one for the time being.
In any case, laziness doesn’t make anyone’s life easier in the long run, and that gives us all the more reason to pursue the goal of overcoming laziness.
How to Fight Procrastination and Laziness
Let’s make one thing clear: you don’t have to be working throughout your entire day, and it is important to keep in mind that rest and laziness are two completely distinct things. You need to give yourself some time to recover after working. Aside from that, even if you catch yourself being lazy and not resting, you should never bash yourself for that. Try to bring your attention back when it drifts away, without being harsh on yourself.
So, it should make sense to conclude that the correct way to fight laziness is not fighting it at all. You need to identify it as soon as you can, acknowledge it, and then move on.
Another key thing to acknowledge is that you don’t just “do nothing” when you are procrastinating on a task. Rather, you are doing something you don’t have to do, at the expense of something you have to do.
With this in mind, a quick and temporary way to overcome procrastination is to take a period of time and do nothing, literally: no listening to music, no scrolling on social media, no texting, no calling someone. Just sit there and do nothing. You would be surprised by how much that can actually make you want to do something productive.
Keeping in mind and on paper what it is that you really want to achieve will assist you on your path towards overcoming laziness and winning back control over your time.
There are no right or wrong ways to set goals, but here’s a sequence you might want to consider if you have never set a goal for yourself. If you want to do it, you could:
- Evaluate how important the goal is to you. If you are really ready to invest your time and energy to achieve it, it’s a green light to continue
- Write down the goals
- Think about what steps you have to take to achieve the goals (recommended: create a chronologically ordered list of those steps)
- Schedule the steps (Tip: start out slow and do not get greedy for progress)
Plan Your Work and Be Organized
Suggestions relating to planning from the previous point can be adapted to planning work as well, with minor tweaks.
- Be realistic about your time
- Prioritize your tasks and tackle them from most relevant to least relevant
- Make lists
- Use calendars and planners
- Be aware of how much time you spend on everything: being in front of your desk for 8 hours doesn’t yet mean that you actually manage to spend all of it working. Our enemies in this part are mostly the distractions that we’re surrounded with and constantly facing, which are discussed in the next point.
Let’s play “guess”: how many times do you think a person checks their phone per day?
96 times, according to a global tech care company Asurion. That means that people check their phones roughly once in 10 minutes. That’s no good news.
At this age, it feels like technologies know us better than they probably should: we’re presented with “tasty” content each time. At times it may contribute positively to our entertainment, but it generally has questionable or downright negative effects on our time management and attention span.
It is generally recommended to track the time you spend doing everything you do so that you get a rough estimate of how much time you really manage to pour into work.
Another recommended step you could take is making it either hard or time-consuming to access the social media where you spend the most time: delete or hide the apps, for example.
Use a Time Management Tool
Generally, software dedicated to Time Management also includes features and tools that can be used for Task Management. There are multitudes of such services, dedicated to helping you increase your productivity.
A viable option to try out could be WebWork Time Tracker, a Time Management and Project Management software that can give you a hand at tracking your productivity and managing your time. WebWork Time Tracker comes with a wide range of features stretching from automated productivity reports and employee monitoring to invoicing and billable hours. After the free trial, it costs 2.99$, making it an affordable yet valuable and versatile investment that can be tuned to serve a range of different needs.
Know Your Strengths
Many often overlook this point when looking to find how to beat laziness. Look for patterns in your behavior, ask around, and reflect on what you have been enjoying doing even in childhood: doing so will help you find what it is really that you are good at.
It is important to know these because it can help you balance between treating yourself with tasks you manage effortlessly and tasks that require extra effort and concentration from you.
Don’t Be a Perfectionist
“The person who never fails is the person who never tries”: always strive to be better, not perfect.
A popular way to get into this mindset that has been circulating in business and self-development literature for the last few decades is utilizing the method of kaizen: constant and perpetual progress with slow, safe steps.
It may be hard to get yourself to believe that growing slowly is an efficient strategy to adopt and use throughout your life. We live in an age where we idolize successful people without ever getting to see how much time and effort it took for the person to get there. Consistent progress never attracts attention unless you demonstrate its results.
We often forget the simple truth that objectively nobody is equal to nobody: to compare yourself to someone else is to assume that you and the other person have been born at the same time with the exact same set of genes, grew up around the exact same people and went through identical life experiences. Sounds pretty absurd, doesn’t it? That’s how senseless comparisons are.
You are a case that is different from everyone else, whether you like that or not: a path that has worked for someone else isn’t necessarily going to make the cut for you, and often your success is dependent on your readiness to try different approaches, methods and tools and see which combination works for you.
If you arm yourself with the right tools, consistency and patience, you are bound to eventually get where you want to end up.
And remember: growth is not a sprint, it’s a marathon, and the marathon never ends, so sprinting is useless.
That’s about everything we wanted you to know about. Let’s recap:
- Do not treat laziness as a sin: it is only natural for your mind to drift away at times
- Learn to tell the difference between laziness and rest
- If you get lazy, take some time to do nothing consciously
- Set goals to get yourself excited a bit
- Plan your time and make distractions harder to access
- Utilize software to help you track your performance
- Allow yourself to make mistakes
- Keep moving forward
Laziness is not a problem that can be solved easily and for once. It takes time and effort, and there is no “one-size-fits-all” cure for laziness. But if it’s your performance and goals that are on the line, it is worth a shot.
Arman’s writing was first noticed and awarded in 3rd grade and he hasn’t stopped writing ever since. That technically makes him a writer of 13 years. Has a knack for learning anything as long as he deems it interesting, always looks for an excuse to pick a new profession. His list of interests includes neuroscience, financial literature, modern art, digital product development, frogs, brand theory and old cartoons.