People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals, that is, goals that do not inspire them. – Tony Robbins
“The best position to fight laziness is by sitting on the couch” – my grandpa used to joke which puzzled my young mind.
Laziness is the ANTIPODE of productivity. You know you can do it, but you JUST DON’T FEEL LIKE DOING IT. And you never will. That is why it is crucial to learning the tricks and outsmart laziness in the long run.
Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired. – Jules Renard
Overcoming Laziness: 7 Steps to Consider
1. Stop What You are Doing. Do Nothing.
And I mean it. STOP everything for a moment. Feel free to stand in the middle of the room DOING NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. No music in the background, no dancing, no reading and checking the news. No coffee drinking… No thinking, I mean it. Absolutely and UTTERLY NOTHING. Do Nothing for at least 5 minutes. Concentrate on what is going on in your mind. It is probably freaking out without knowing what to do. And then you will feel the urge to do ANYTHING because our mind is creative and it is sharpened to DO SOMETHING.
I do this exercise whenever I feel like postponing something that is pending and is quite a serious task. And it works for me perfectly.
2. Come On! It’s a 5 Minute Thing
When I don’t feel like doing the dishes (and who feels like doing the dishes anyway?), I tell myself: “C’mon girl, it’s a 5-minute thing. The more you postpone it the bigger this pile of dishes becomes. DO it now. It will ONLY take 5 MINUTES” – And 5 minutes sounds more compelling versus 1 hour. And even if it ends up taking more than 5 minutes – there’s no stopping there as I am already in the process OF DOING what I wasn’t up for initially.
Think about tasks like that that you don’t feel particularly enthusiastic about. What is it that you’ve been postponing to start? Tell yourself that it takes 5 minutes out of your 24 hours and go for it.
3. Shards of a Tall Glass
Whenever I see a project that is too big in my mind’s eyes, I tend to divide it into smaller details, smaller steps, smaller shards. This way too BIG thing doesn’t look that formidable and the more steps I separate it into the more doable the whole thing starts to look.
It is far more compelling to take over smaller projects (that are part of a bigger one) than to stand and to look over a tall BIG PROJECT without any idea where to begin.
For instance. If we have in mind to do a spring decluttering of the house, what should we do? We divide the house into smaller zones and we work on one room at a time. Once the bedroom is done, we move on to the bathroom and the kitchen and the living room. If those zones are still big and off-putting then divide them into even smaller ones. We have a big kitchen with endless drawers and pantries and not until recently I discovered a jar of pickled beetroot best before 2006. That was a good sign to start the decluttering exercise. So I started from one drawer at a time making progress every day that reinforced me to move even further.
Some goals are so big and off-putting that we seem to do anything BUT that because we simply don’t know where to start. Divide and dig in. One step at a time.
4. Say Goodbye to Unproductive Routine
When I focus on something, it usually brings some good results but I also tend to spray my concentration on time-wasting sites, news and notification updates. Have you ever gone to check something on Facebook and ended up floating there aimlessly for hours? Or any other site like that?
I had a routine in the morning. I would get up and the first thing I would do is go over the emails, news, updates and… many more things. When all my morning creative energy would run low, I would feel unhappy with myself, demotivated and bitter about the time wasted unproductively.
Solution? I tapped into awareness of what I was doing and why I was doing it. And it helped me to change the routine onto a more productive one.
5. Morning Glory
I know that for some people to wake up early in the morning seems like an unreachable goal. But rumour has it that the strongest peak of creative energy is from the morning until lunch time. That is why by increasing your day you have more time to achieve little goals and finish more little projects of yours.
6. Praise Your Victories
There is nothing sweeter than the acknowledgement of your own great work and achievements. There is no better and valuable praise than your own. Celebrate your victories and feel good about your achievements and let them reinforce more to follow in the future. You are capable of turning things around and to achieve whatever you set your mind to.
7. No Postponing for Tomorrows
Tomorrow is the busiest day of the week. And when tomorrow comes (i.e. today), guess what, you still DON’T FEEL LIKE DOING IT so yet again you postpone it until tomorrow… Tomorrow is the most aspiring day full of hopes and magical dreams. But the simple truth here is that we don’t live tomorrow, we live today. And the only thing we can be certain of is the next breath we take.
By letting go of the habit to postpone things until tomorrow, which we are more than capable to do today is one of the most promising habits of all.
Photo by Half-Blood Prince