By Anubhav Srivastava ( Register for his Workshop – Build Super Confidence For Super Success!)
How to stop being Lazy? Well Laziness isn’t always all that bad. After all if you are lazy, you can afford to be chilled out in life and be relaxed. So to that extent it’s not that horrible. But being Lazy has some major side effects, you may end up enjoying today but then you end up paying for it much more in the future!
It doesn’t matter whether you are procrastinating on exercise and compromising on health, or are too lazy to work and compromising upon your career, chronic laziness is sure to screw up your life sooner or later.
I myself have been guilty of procrastination and laziness when I was younger and from time to time I still slip up. However, there are a certain set of strategies that I now try to consistently follow that are helpful. If they worked for me, they are surely going to work for you. So let’s get started.
1) Take small steps
Stop thinking about how big the task is or how you need to do all of it. Take small steps towards your goal. Can’t exercise for an hour? Do it for ten minutes. Can’t write 10 pages for your project? Write One. Getting started is the hardest part because you are getting into motion from a state of inertia. Once you get started, picking up speed is not that hard. Of course, even after getting started if after a while you don’t feel like continuing. Stop it’s ok. Telling yourself it is ok to stop if you don’t feel like it will relax your mind and make getting started much easier.
However you will see you are much more likely to keep going on once you start, as long as you don’t take a break and stop the momentum
2) Do the most important thing first
You will see that the more you procrastinate on doing the hardest thing first, the more you will realize that even doing the other things that have some importance and will fill you with guilt/stress because your mind will keep telling you that you are ignoring the most important thing.
If you have committed yourself to something, do it the first thing in the morning. You will find that the entire day becomes much more relaxed and it is much easier to do the other things first, because by tackling the most important/hardest thing you have proven to your brain that you can push past your laziness and get things done. Read more about productivity habits by clicking the link here.
3) Read others’ success stories
No matter how passionate you are towards a goal, there are going to be days when you feel like it’s just not worth continuing. Maybe you have faced failure for too long and have a hard time staying motivated. Maybe you feel your effort is not paying off. One of the main reasons of laziness is not that you are uninterested in your work, it’s just that you have become sick of working so hard for so long and not seeing results, that the thought of continuing to work repulses you.
At this point it is extremely helpful to remind yourself that there have been thousands of others who have been in the same situation as you. Most of them never had it easy and had to endure years of struggle before they finally achieved their goal. Most of them had moments when they questioned if the struggle was worth it. Most of them had moments when they did not even want to get out of bed. Yet they shrugged off the laziness brought on because of their despair and kept pushing on over and over again until destiny too had to bow down in front of their relentless efforts.
4) Read others’ failure stories
Don’t underestimate the power of failure stories. While success stories motivate us and give us hope, failure stories give us lessons on what not to do if you want to succeed. If you look at the stories of those who failed, you will see what while some did all the right things, but failed because of things not under their control, there were far more stories of people doing the wrong things and not being serious with their work and only putting in half hearted efforts. That’s why they only got results that didn’t quite match their expectations. Read about the stories of people who lazed around or did all the destructive things today and ended up paying for it later.
It will fill you with some fear but that is ok. Fear is not always bad. Nor is negative thinking, especially if it protects you and teaches you what not to do!
5) Focus on one thing or a few things at one time. Don’t take up too many things.
Trying to do too many things at one time is a perfect recipe for mediocrity and burn out. When you try to do too many things at once, you are not able to give enough fuel to either one of them. As a result you don’t reap the exponential benefits of being the best at just one thing and end up being a jack of all trades. What is worse is when you are trying to do too many things it burns you out. The sheer effort is excruciating, as well as the lack of results because of the lack of focus can demotivate you and eventually make you lazy because you start thinking nothing’s going to work anyway.
It is thus best to focus on one thing at one time or on a maximum of two or three things. Focusing on a maximum of two or three things at one times helps you keep your focus better and conserves energy. With that conserved energy, work no longer overwhelms you and thus you will not be inclined to procrastinate as much. Furthermore, that same energy can than be used to become great at those few things so that you can actually start seeing some results and stay motivated!
6) Find A Goal That Drives You
There is absolutely no doubt that you are going to enjoy doing something you are passionate about much more than something you don’t care about at all. Imagine that have a task that you just do not enjoy and it’s burdensome. Moreover you do not particularly care about the result either. How likely are you to be driven to perform. Not at all. Motivation works best when what you do is something you truly enjoy or it is your inner calling.
People who become peak performers are job are those mostly those who are totally in love with the work they do. There are a couple of exceptions to this and i will discuss them in the points below. But mostly being in love with what you do makes the job much easier. If you love athletics it will be much more easier for you stay physically fit because you enjoy the process. If you neither like physical activity, nor do you intensely desire a fit body, working out will be a pain, a chore. And sooner or later you will stop.
A lot of you might be wondering, “Ok so I know if I love doing something I am going to be less lazy, but what if I don’t love it and I still need to get it done? Then what?!” Well keep reading for that.
7) If you don’t enjoy the process, then crave the end result
To succeed in any endeavor in life you need to be either madly in love with the process or be madly in love with the end result. The former means you are so passionate about a field that it is thoroughly enjoyable and does not seem tedious even for a moment. The latter means, even though you may find the process excruciating, you possess such an intense desire for the end result that you are ready to sacrifice everything for it. If you love the process, great! But if you don’t, love the dream.
Let me give you an example. The great boxing Champion Muhammad Ali was once asked if he loved training and getting in the ring day in and day out. As the number one boxer in the world of his time, you would expect him to say he loved what he did and all he did was fun to him even if it was extremely hard work in the eyes of others. Instead he said completely different. He said he absolutely hated training. He hated every single minute of it. He abhorred it. But what he loved intensely was being a champion. What he loved was the respect that came from being a champion, the love and the adulation he received from people when he won. So he fought his lack of desire to train by telling himself everyday, “Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion!”
Same goal, but totally different approaches. But guess what, both work! If you love the process, great! but if you don’t don’t, love the dream! This obviously requires intense self discipline. Learn how to build self discipline here.
8) Tell others and risk getting humiliated on purpose
Telling others about your goal and thus risking ridicule/humiliation in the process is an amazingly effective way to kill laziness. But to pull it off you need to be someone who has a high self worth.
Whenever you tell someone about a goal, especially a big goal, chances are most people will laugh at you, if not at your face then behind your back. The fact is that very few people are going to believe that you can pull it off and you will probably be made fun off. Now if you are someone who has low self confidence, this is going to discourage you and you are probably going to give up even before you started. But for someone with a high confidence and self respect, listening to someone ridiculing the is only going to motivate him or her tremendously to prove the detractors wrong. While previously you would probably feel lazy and demotivated towards the goal when things got hard, that humiliation will remind you everyday to beat that laziness and push extremely hard so that the naysayers become struck with awe when they see how successful you have become!
A great example of this is visible in the story of Arnold Schwarzenegger. When he was starting out as a young skinny kid in Austria with dreams of becoming the greatest bodybuilder in the world one day and then a Hollywood megastar, he knew he needed a method that would motivate him everyday and not become lazy towards his goal. So he told it to everybody around him. Of course, everyone laughed, including his father. Seeing the smirk on people’s faces motivated Arnold to work hard everyday and prove the naysayers wrong and prove them wrong he did!
Hope you have enjoyed this article and it has given you some actionable tips on how to avoid laziness and get to work! Check out the other links mentioned in this article for even more great advice. Enter your email and subscribe below to get these updates in your inbox regularly. Good luck!
About the Author
The writer of this article, Anubhav Srivastava is an author, motivational speaker and the director of Carve Your Destiny, a first of its kind inspirational documentary featuring some of the most famous personalities from diverse fields, who teach the viewers how they too can make all of their dreams come true. The movie itself has been seen on Youtube by close to 800,000 people. Anubhav has also been featured in numerous International and India Media outlets such as BBC , The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Rediff.com, Leicester Mercury and many others.
If you have a motivation related problem you wish to solve in your personal life or in your organization, you can get in touch with Anubhav for one on one consulting or a motivational workshop at your organization. For queries please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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