If you aren’t a teenager, you can’t afford to be lazy. You have to get things done. I’m not talking about avoiding any relaxation time or downtime. I’m talking about a tendency to sit on your butt when you should be more productive. If this is you, and you want to get yourself in gear, follow these easy ways to stop procrastinating and overcome laziness.
“I’m not lazy. I just relax hard.” – My Teenage Son
1 – Develop Routines
The most productive and successful people in the world develop and live by success habits. Learn from them. Create habits and routines every day that will increase your productivity. Once you establish these routines, you’ll get to the point where doing them is automatic. Start with establishing a morning routine. Get up early every morning, meditate, exercise, etc. Doing these little habits will keep you productive instead of lazy.
2 – Stay Organized To Overcome Laziness
When things get cluttered, you can feel overwhelmed and frustrated. I know when this happens to me, it puts me into a slump. I just feel like I can’t catch up so why even try. Do your best to stay organized. Keep your living space and office space tidy. Doing so is a great way to overcome laziness. Get organized in your schedule as well. Get a weekly planner to keep track of your day-to-day.
3 – Keep Your To-Do List Short
I mean really short. Keep only 2 or 3 items on your must-do list. By keeping it short, you have a real chance to complete your list and this will have a major impact on your motivation. When you see your list all checked off, you will feel motivated to get more done the next day. Having long to-do lists is just a disaster waiting to happen. Chances are you won’t get it all checked off and no matter how many items you do complete, your psyche will still see failure.
4 – Schedule Relax Time to Overcome Laziness
Look at your calendar. Do you have ‘Relax’ scheduled? If not, do so. It’s important to actually put this on your calendar. We all need time to relax and unwind and do absolutely nothing. If you go spurts of go-go-go and have no relax time scheduled you’ll end up going through some serious lazy sessions. So schedule your relax time. It’s important.
5 – Take Tiny Steps
When I’m in a lazy spell and I want to snap out of it, I take baby steps. Let’s say I need to get laundry done and I’m sitting on the couch doing nothing or playing video games. I’ll decide to just get up and bring my laundry to the laundry room, then I can go back to being lazy. Then a little bit later, I’ll decide to go put my clothes in the washing machine, etc, etc. What ALWAYS happens, is that while I’m up, I’ll decide to do a few more things and before you know it, I’m actually getting some serious stuff done. “Well, I might as well organize this, or take out the trash..” Give it a try and I guarantee it will work.
6 – Limit Your Internet Time and Technology Use
Spending too much time online can cause tons of time to slip by if we are not careful. One study concluded that compulsive internet use and procrastination go hand in hand. Honestly, I do not think you need to reference a study to know that today’s technology can easily diminish our productivity. It happens to the best of us. Overcome laziness by placing rules and limitations on your technology use during the day. Start by unplugging for at least 30 minutes a day. Then move up from there.
7 – Stop Beating Yourself Up
It’s okay to be lazy sometimes. Don’t beat yourself up about it. If you find that you are procrastinating more than you would like, then take action instead of dwelling on how lazy you’ve been. Beating yourself up will cause you to lose focus on what needs to be done. Shake off your laziness, show yourself some kindness, and move on.
8 – Avoid Distraction
If you want to overcome laziness, then avoiding distraction is a must. This not only means limiting your exposure to technology which we discussed earlier, but also setting boundaries with others around you. If you know you need to get things done around the house, let your family know you need some time uninterrupted. If you are at the office, put a sign on your cubical or office door asking not to be bothered unless it’s absolutely necessary. Adjust your surroundings and other people’s access to you when you want to be productive.
9 – Create Consequences and Rewards To Overcome Laziness
To eliminate your laziness habit, implement a consequences and rewards system. If you get things done and on time, reward yourself. Plan something specific and worthwhile beforehand so you are motivated to be productive. If you do not get it done, then create a consequence for yourself. Preferably something you REALLY, REALLY do not want to do. For instance, you can write your friend a check for 100 bucks and ask him to cash it if you do not complete the task.
10 – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Do it!
Another powerful tool to overcome laziness and procrastination comes from Author and Speaker Mel Robbins. She created a book called the The 5-Second Rule that explains how to use this simple but powerful technique to really get things done. I use it myself when I want to snap myself out of a funk and produce instant willpower. Basically, you count down from 5-4-3-2-1 and then get up off your lazy butt and get it done. I know that doesn’t sound very powerful but it is! If you want to learn more about this technique, check out Mel’s book here.
We all get lazy sometimes so don’t beat yourself up. When you want to break free of procrastination, use the strategies I listed and you’ll be back to being your productive self in no time.
Which strategy do you think would work best for you? Let me know in the comments below.