How to Overcome Laziness - A Complete Step by Step Guide

January 4, 2024
how to overcome laziness

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‘You only live once’ is a quote we often hear. What does it truly mean?

Our time on Earth is limited and once wasted it will never come back. Being lazy or procrastinating is just not an option if you want to live a fulfilling life.

Believe it or not, we do have the choice to decide what kind of life we will live.

Laziness is a choice, and it puts you in the ‘what if’ zone; what if you had done something and not idled the precious time away? It is critical to know how to overcome laziness and procrastination if you want to live a fuller and more successful life.

Laziness and procrastination could destroy the future you dream for yourself. But there is still time to take charge of your life. If you are a lazy and unmotivated person, start here and now. Read on to find out how to stop being unmotivated and how to overcome laziness.

Also Read: How to Get out of Your Comfort Zone

Practical Steps to Overcome Laziness and Procrastination

Here is a guide containing 6 steps on how to overcome laziness:

Step 1: Identify the Root Cause of Laziness

Many times, you must have thought to yourself, ‘Why am I lazy all the time?’. Identifying the cause of can help you to overcome laziness.

Several physical and psychological factors contribute to laziness. If you are suffering from a physical ailment, like anemia or chronic fatigue, it becomes difficult to physically put in the effort to get your task done.

Psychologically, disinterest, overwhelming choices or poor self-confidence could make you lazy.

Let’s say you have a Physics exam tomorrow. If you are experiencing disinterest in studies or life in general or if you lack the self-confidence to put in the hard work that reassures you that you will perform well for the exam the next day, you might feel lazy while studying for the exam.

The answer to ‘what causes laziness’ is what you have to immediately identify, address and change.

Step 2: Set Goals and Priorities

Setting a goal gives you something to work towards. This is the second step in your ‘how to overcome laziness’ guidebook.

If you are juggling numerous tasks, prioritize them according to deadlines and make a checklist. With every task checked off, you get a small bout of positive reinforcement that helps you stay motivated.
Remember to keep them small and manageable. Unrealistic goals make you lazy because you think you cannot achieve them.

For example, if you have a sales target to achieve by Friday and a conference to prepare for by the weekend, set a timeline to finish one of the tasks first. After taking care of the first task, move on to the next.

Step 3: Break Tasks into Smaller Steps

The feeling of achievement is the greatest motivator. This positivity carries on to your next task. To feel this positivity, break your tasks into smaller steps.

For example, if you have a presentation to prepare, think about the topic first. Make a mind map on how to go about it. Start with your introduction slides. Move on to the topic. End with a conclusion. Organize all of these into a checklist. Keep slashing off the tasks there.

When you see more and more tasks getting completed, it will naturally motivate you to undertake the next one. This way, you do not get overwhelmed by the feeling of a big task.

Step 4: Build a Routine

To drive yourself to work, consider creating a routine. It specifies your tasks and gives direction to your work day. Following a routine etches work into your natural system, making it muscle memory. It becomes a habit.

For example, if you want to start exercising, dedicate some time to a workout for a few days. Stick to this plan. It will require all of your inner willpower, but will soon become a habit. Then exercising will be autopilot, saving your brain’s energy that goes into contemplation.

Specify one task that you would do every day, and do it at the same time. You will eventually find it difficult to not do that particular task after it becomes a habit. It takes about 66 days for an activity to become a habit, so all you have to do is STICK TO THE PLAN.

Step 5: Eliminate Distractions

One reason why you are lazy all the time is distractions. If there are things around you that you enjoy, maybe your black screen or your pet, you will be more likely to spend time on them than your tasks.
These are ‘escape routes’ for you; things that tempt you to give them attention. To focus on your work, make these distractions less accessible.

For example, if there is a show you have been meaning to watch, make sure you stay away from distractions. Change your work environment to a quiet room and use apps that lock other apps, especially social media, to help you stay away from getting distracted.

If you are distracted by younger siblings, pets or children, spend some time with them – go for a walk or play games, satisfy their attention needs and then return to focus on your work.

Step 6: Reward Yourself

Incentive drives motivation and determination. Give yourself small rewards after the completion of a task. If you have broken up your task into smaller steps, gift yourself smaller rewards.

For example, if you finished a chunk of the essay you were writing, take an extended break, or treat yourself to a snack. Maybe take a nap to refresh or allow yourself to use your mobile.

If you have achieved something big, like working hard for months to pull off a major event or deal, splurge on a product you wanted to buy or give yourself a weekend getaway. A spa session or a night out, whatever suits your preference.

Rewards make you feel like there is something you will get in return for your efforts, whether it is in the short or long term.

Stop hustling from 9 to 5. Work at your Own Pace.

Strategies to Stay Motivated

In addition to the guide How to overcome laziness, here are some strategies you could adopt to stop being lazy and unmotivated in life:

Find a Support System

Support comes in many forms. Surround yourself with motivated and accountable people, whose optimism and energy are contagious.
It is also important to combat the thought that asking for help is a sign of weakness. If you are trying to overcome laziness and procrastination, find a partner who will be by your side and lend emotional support throughout the journey.

Consider talking to friends or family members who can offer you words of advice and motivation to get you kick-started.

Visualize Success

Visualizing success sounds silly when you think about it, but does its bit to keep you on your feet. It means visualizing every step of your task being completed and the final success that you will achieve. If you show your mind the consequence of not being lazy, you are luring it into performing those tasks.

For example, if you are putting off studying, visualize learning every single chapter, acing the exam and topping your class. That way you make the mind understand the success that will come from not procrastination.

Change Your Environment

As already iterated, the energy of your surroundings is contagious. It will affect your mood and also your ability to work. If you are in the company of people who are lazy and pessimistic, your attitude towards work will mirror theirs. If you are around motivated and optimistic people, it will reflect in you too.

The same goes for physical spaces. For example, if you are working from home, from your comfortable bed, you will feel lazy, unproductive and sleepy. Working in a library, or the new-and-coming work cafes can make you feel less lazy while studying or working.

Also Read: 7 Life-changing Habits to Achieve Success in Life

Practice Self-Care

If you are healthy inside, you will be healthy outside. Laziness has a lot to do with how we feel about ourselves and our lifestyle.

Make a habit of exercising every morning. It increases blood circulation and keeps you energetic. Consume more high-protein food like yogurt, because it directly translates to energy. Rest and sleep well to recover from the previous day’s work.

Try dressing up differently on days you feel less motivated because it makes you act differently.
Practicing self-care makes you feel good about yourself and helps fight lethargy.

Keep Learning and Growing

If laziness or procrastination has been ingrained in your daily routine, it will take time to change it. No miracle wand will make it happen overnight.

Sticking to a routine, taking care of yourself and making changes to your personal and professional life is difficult, but is the answer to the question how to overcome laziness. So you must constantly remind yourself that the ultimate goal is to overcome laziness and achieve success.

Throughout this journey, introspect on the changes you are making and how they are impacting your life. Make mistakes, learn from them and grow into a more mature and experienced adult.

So, How to Overcome Laziness?

Feeling lazy once in a while is justified, we’re human after all. A bad day at work, menstrual cramps, good weather or heavy food may make us lazy. This is acceptable as long as it does not affect your life. When it does, you will be left with nothing but regret at the fact that laziness robbed you of all you could do while there was time, but, you did not.

Laziness and procrastination prevent you from living life to the fullest. They are choices that you make that impact your quality of life. There could be physical causes for laziness as well, but unless you are suffering from an ailment, this is all in your mind.

To find the answer to the question how to overcome laziness, you have to mentally prepare yourself to be determined, set your goals, work towards them and reward yourself for achievements. You will feel less lazy if you visualize the fruits of your efforts, find support and change your sedentary lifestyle.

And for more career tips and useful information view our more blogs on Life Skills.

Frequently Answered Questions(FAQs)

What is the main cause of laziness?

There are three kinds of causes of laziness – 1) psychological, which stems from anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions, 2) physical, which stems from diabetes, anemia, sleep apnea and other conditions, and 3) lifestyle-related, which comes from poor diet, sleep disorders, high alcohol intake, smoking and other habits.

How long does it typically take to overcome laziness?
Overcoming laziness varies from person to person. People who identify their cause of laziness, make schedules and stick to them, develop new habits early and are likely to overcome laziness faster. People who lack willpower and give in to distractions, or are unable to diagnose a medical condition that causes laziness tend to take more time.

What are some helpful tips for developing a consistent routine?
To develop a consistent routine, you must prioritize your tasks. Structure them into your day. Set realistic goals and allot timings with flexibility. Develop a positive mindset and stick to the routine. Track your progress and make changes. Remember, consistency is key.

How can I eliminate distractions and maintain focus?
To eliminate distractions, try sitting in a quiet room or a public library where other people are also working. Turn off your gadgets and notifications. Keep distractions from out of your sight. To maintain focus, you could try meditation or breathing exercises before starting. If the quiet is a lot to take, playing study music also helps to maintain focus.

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