How to Overcome Laziness and Conquer the Day
Despite my overwhelming desire to get the most out of every day, I often encounter the dreaded laziness that hinders my performance and productivity. Sometimes, it comes in tidal waves that deplete me of all my willpower and prevent me from doing anything useful. Other times, it comes in small bursts and steals my focus away from the task at hand. It seems almost impossible to stop once it comes into your life. However, I am here to tell you that laziness most certainly can be stopped. In fact, laziness is one of the easiest things to overcome once you know how to do it.
If laziness has been ruling your life, here are some ways that you conquer it and get the most out of your life!
1. Know the Difference Between Downtime and Laziness
While this isn't a tip for overcoming laziness, this is one of the things that we need to discuss before we go into the topic. For me, I have a tendency to confuse downtime with laziness. There will be times when I will be doing nothing and I will suddenly be overcome with feelings of stress and shame. This is a decent response if I'm being a total couch potato but these feelings also pop up when I'm taking breaks or enjoying a day off. What I've learned over time is that it is okay to relax, enjoy free time, and do absolutely nothing .
Don't get down on yourself when you are trying to take a break or relax. Breaks are absolutely necessary if we plan on being the most productive people that we can be. However, you do need to be able to differentiate downtime and laziness. If you've been working hard and you're taking time for yourself, that's downtime. If you've hardly been working and you're just sitting around, that's laziness.
Also, make sure to have days or periods dedicated to downtime. This way, you won't have to stress about whether or not you're being lazy because you already know that you are relaxing during your designated break times. You will also be better able to identify when you are being lazy.
2. Think About the Consequences of Your Actions
One of the hardest things for me to do is to get up in the morning to work out. I was doing fine for a while but then I became lazy and I eventually wasn't able to look at my workout plan without wanting to lie back down in bed. I overcame this laziness by doing one simple thing: thinking about the consequences. Now, I ask myself one question every morning once I wake up and go to work out. Would I be comfortable being naked in front of someone with the body I currently have? The answer is usually a resounding no and it gives me the fire I need to push through my workout.
While this situation may not pertain to you, there are always consequences to your actions. Think about these consequences and it will be easier to find the motivation you need to get through whatever activity you are putting off.
3. Be Present and Do It
I think that the hardest thing to do for everyone is to show up and actually do something when they are feeling too lazy. It's easy to overthink and talk yourself out of doing something before you've even started doing it. My advice for this type of behavior is just to start doing whatever it is that you need to do. I know, you may be thinking that this is a silly piece of advice but it works.
For example, there are days where I would be willing to do anything but write. I will sit at my computer, browse the internet, and think about how I really don't want to sit down and get work done. When I do this, I don't get any work done that day and I fall back into the cycle of doing nothing, feeling terrible about it, and then getting overwhelmed. Instead of engaging in that behavior, I now choose to just go through with my activities and do what needs to get done. I will sit down at my computer, open up an article, and just start typing. What happens is that I get back into the groove of working and I begin to take action rather than thinking about taking action. This leads me to get even work done, since I am already getting work done, and helps me to overcome the laziness mindset.
4. Stop Black and White Thinking in Its Tracks
One of the biggest reasons why I get nothing done is because I approach life with an "all or nothing" mindset. If I don't get everything done on my schedule in the desired order or timeframe, I will throw away my entire day and restart tomorrow. This type of thinking is very dangerous, especially if you continuously have days that don't meet your standards. Rather than doing this, do what you can. If you wake up late, you just have to readjust. If you forget to do something, you'll just have to squeeze it in later. Preventing yourself from getting things done because you had a couple of bad moments is a surefire way to get into a lazy routine where nothing gets done for days on end.
Have these tips helped you? Is there anything that I may have missed? Let me know in the comments!