Monday, March 2, 2015

6 Steps for Overcoming Laziness

We all feel lazy sometimes and we all have days where we want (and perhaps need) nothing better
than to kick back and do virtually nothing that day.  This is not the 'laziness' that I am addressing in this blog though.

The laziness I'm referring to is that overwhelming feeling of inertia that prevents us from moving forward on tasks that we know are laying in wait for us, the type of laziness that keeps us glued to the couch even when thoughts of what we should be doing, could be doing and perhaps even need to be doing dance through our heads.

So when those 'lazy days' are too frequent, or they occur in the face of pressing obligations, we just might need a little help to get up and get moving.  The following tips will help you to overcome your laziness and get on with getting things done.

1.  Focus on the end result, not the process.

Seeing the desired end result feels good, while the process we need to follow to get there may not. Since our 'pain' is centered in the process, it is likely what we're looking to avoid.  Focusing on the end result therefore can give us the motivation we need to manage the process related pain better.

2.  Start Small.

Sometimes our laziness is due to a sense of overwhelm.  The project in front of us is just too big to get our heads around or the list of to-do's waiting for us is too long to believe we'll ever get through it.  It's the sheer size of the task that is daunting.  Instead of focusing on the 'whole', break your project or your tasks down into smaller steps and just do one thing.  Promise yourself you will just work for 5 minutes, or accomplish one small task. It won't feel nearly as overwhelming.  Creating a little forward movement is often all that is needed to motivate ourselves into taking another small step, and then another...

3.   Work the Cost of Laziness.

Create a list of the disadvantages of being lazy today, and putting everything off, versus the advantages of doing it Now.  Often our laziness is an avoidance behaviour; we are putting off doing something that seems undesirable.  Creating greater clarity over why being lazy right now is actually undesirable, and why taking action now is more desirable, can help you break out of your laziness rut.

4.  Rest.

Let's face it, sometimes our laziness is born out of sheer exhaustion.  If you have been burning the candle at both ends then your desire to sit back and do nothing may not only be well-deserved but may be necessary.  Get the rest you need to rejuvenate your focus and your drive.

5.  Schedule your Laziness.

You schedule your work, building to-do lists and project plans.  Maybe you need to consider building in time to just sit back and do nothing... without guilt.  Often we decide we are deserving some do-nothing time only to be racked by constant thoughts of what we 'should' and 'ought-to' be doing.  Our lazy day then doesn't serve to relax or recharge us the way it could if we entered into it knowing that it was okay to do nothing today - that it was all part of the plan.  Give yourself permission by planning for your lazy moments.  You'll be surprised by how powerfully effective this can be.

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