Working in a high-pressure environment, it’s easy for anyone to have an occasional lazy day when they don’t feel like being productive or completing their tasks. But if you’re someone who has been having more lazy days and delaying things rather than getting them done, you need to recognize what’s making you succumb to this mood, take control, and become your old energetic self again. So here are 15 tips to get you started on the process.
1. Accept that you’re lazy
One of the first steps to stop being lazy is entailed in accepting that you’re lazy. Why? Because with this acceptance, you become aware of all the things you do instead of doing what you’re supposed to. With time, this awareness makes you alert on all the ways you keep delaying your tasks, and you start looking for ways to push yourself to just do a little more before you take your next break.
Acceptance really is the key if you want to take yourself out of an autopilot mode of delaying things till the last minute.
2. Recognize the cycle
Once you’ve accepted that you’ve become increasingly lazy, you need to recognize the pattern of what makes you lazy and what stops you from becoming more active and productive again. Once you have a better idea of this, you’ll know what you need to stop or start doing to take better control of your actions instead of surrendering to the part of you that keeps pushing you to become lazier.
3. Make manageable goals
One of the biggest reasons people become lazy is that they set too many expectations of themselves and give themselves too much work. As a result, they not only fail to accomplish these goals but also the goals they set out to accomplish initially.
Burdening yourself with tasks you can’t manage on time is one of the most demotivating aspects of doing any work that ends up making you feel lazy, even if you are trying to do your best with the time you’ve got. Therefore, it’s important to plan out your schedule according to the time you have at hand and the complexity of the work you’re about to indulge yourself in.
4. Don’t expect perfection from yourself
A big part of becoming more productive is to be realistic with everything you’ve set out to achieve. It doesn’t just involve making manageable goals, as described in the previous section but also involves being realistic when it comes to the end result of the work you’ve done. The “I’m a perfectionist, so I’d rather not do something than do a crappy job of it” argument may work in sitcoms, it doesn’t in your life, especially not when you want to become successful.
The more you chase after perfection, the more you will delay coming up with that first draft of your work as it will make you feel lazy for how complex the entire process is. While the truth is, you should be taking the ‘learning as you go’ approach to getting your job done.
As long as your work isn’t mediocre, this learning process is what will develop your skills to become perfect in the long run, but for that to happen, you need to actually start working for once.
5. Celebrate the small achievements
Everyone deserves a break, and everyone deserves to take their wins, as wins. How is this relevant to laziness? For a simple reason, when people aren’t appreciated or don’t appreciate their own work, they start feeling unmotivated, which inevitably leads to laziness for doing future work. Therefore, it’s essential to celebrate those small wins you get to reward yourself and keep yourself motivated to achieve more.
Completed a blog? Give yourself a break. Accomplished that one task that’s been hounding you for a week? Good job! All of this is vital when it comes to ensuring you go forward positively instead of becoming demotivated and lethargic.
6. Ask for help
Another main reason people start becoming lazy and delaying their work is when they face a hurdle that they can’t get out of. Surveys show that people who don’t ask for help from their coworkers are more likely to feel dissatisfied with their jobs. They’re also less favorably perceived by their coworkers.
Asking for help makes you and your coworkers get on the same page, removes misunderstandings, and increases your chances of success.
7. Avoid distractions
At times, what you perceive as laziness is just having too many distractions in your surroundings to focus on your work properly. These distractions exist either in the form of external noises or your own inability to stop scrolling down your social media apps just one more time (or as you tell yourself).
In such moments, it’s necessary to shut all these distractions out. Activate a do not disturb feature on your phone, listen to calming, productive music to drown out any external noise; basically do everything you can to have as little access to your distractions as possible.
8. Get disciplined
Self-discipline is an important skill that makes you carry on with your work when you’re not motivated enough to do so. Being self-disciplined gives you a form of determination that will push you to do your best even on the days you feel lazy because the sense of responsibility you acquire through your disciplined lifestyle makes you get things done even when you don’t want to.
9. Positive self-talk
Constantly telling yourself that you’re lazy, or that your attempts at being productive are useless, then you’ll put your own self down constantly and attack your self-esteem to become lower, further taking away your motivation to work and make yourself lazy.
It’s essential to appreciate your efforts and indulge yourself in positive rather than negative self-talk to stay motivated at doing your best in everything.
10. Reward yourself
It’s not enough to just celebrate your small achievements, as we’ve described above. Likewise, it’s also necessary to reward yourself with tiny little reinforcements to keep your spirits up while performing any task so that you don’t succumb to your internal laziness.
Give yourself a break when you get done with a task, reward yourself with your favorite chocolate bar as you sift through your next phase of research, etc. All these tiny, most basic rewards can end up lifting your mood and making you productive in ways you can only know once you try them.
11. Treat your breaks as breaks
One of the basic ways to stop being lazy is to take your breaks and treat them as breaks. You don’t need to work once you come back from an eight-hour workday, you don’t need to open up your work files on a Sunday, and you don’t need to work well into the hours of midnight when you could, instead, be sleeping.
This practice of constantly working can lead to burnout. And that burnout may be what’s making you lazy now. So even if your schedule doesn’t allow you to take leisure breaks, you’re still bound to get time off from work. It’s time you start to utilize those little breaks you get as breaks and not as another excuse to start working on tasks you haven’t been able to pay attention to.
12. Use those sparks of creativity to your advantage
Even in the midst of the worst forms of laziness, there are tiny moments where you get a spark of creativity in your head. Use it. Write it down on a note pad, and research on it to make the idea grow into a proper plan. These sparks don’t come notified, and they don’t last long, so you may as well take advantage of them and use them to get out of your lethargic routine.
13. Try to become physically active
Exercise is one of the best ways to let go of your lethargic self. Only a few minutes of exercise can make you energetic, lift your mood, and decrease your stress levels – a profound factor that makes you lazy. Going for a walk for 30 minutes, or even riding a bike around for a while might be all the exercise you need to get yourself started on this physically active path.
14. Drink water
Drinking a good amount of water during the entire day can help refresh brain function and energy levels, while also fighting laziness. So whenever you’re feeling sluggish, only a few sips of water can perk your mood up tremendously.
One important factor that might be making you lazy is an improper consumption of food. Either you’re not eating properly enough, or you’re not eating healthy enough; both these things influence your physical and psychological well-being, playing as a deciding factor on how you do in your daily tasks. Hence, it’s vital to eat properly, at the right time and that too a meal which has an ample amount of nutrition to get you started on a healthier life-style.
This is all from my side in terms of battling your inner lazy self and taking better control of your life and your actions. It’s a human response to stress to become lethargic and inactive during multiple times during a month. But it’s the constant inactivity that might end up becoming a bigger issue on the long run. So keeping a check on that behavior, and take proper measures to tackle it might help you a lot in becoming productive and satisfied with your life-style again.