How to Stop Being Lazy

Laziness is continually choosing to avoid tasks and effort. It’s failing to do the things you need to complete, for no good reason.

It happens to the best of us. In these busy times, taking the occasional lazy day isn’t just alright but much needed. But if you find that you’re taking lazy days more often than not, and you’re having trouble getting things done, it could be a sign that there’s something going on – and that needs to be stopped.

Here are a few tips you can follow to break your laziness cycle and be more active in life.

Realize that you’re not inherently lazy.

First things first: you’re not lazy – your behavior is.

After years of acting in a certain way, it’s common to think that “this is just the way I am.” However, nothing could be further from the truth. 

Repetitive behaviors create habits, and our habits determine the state of our lives – but they don’t define who we are.

And this behavior can always be changed.

Break your personal cycles.

You can reduce your feelings of laziness by simply breaking your habits and cycles. This is especially important if you work from home or if you’re stuck in the same office every day.

Consider working in a new environment, giving yourself different working hours, or even dressing differently. Any major change can have a positive effect on you.

Set reasonable goals.

Sometimes, people are lazy because the goals they’ve set for themselves are too intimidating. We freeze up when we’re overwhelmed by everything we have to do, and don’t do anything at all.

Setting unrealistic goals and taking on too much can lead to burnout. Avoid overloading by setting smaller, attainable goals that will get you where you want to be without overwhelming you along the way.

Check your motivation.

If you’re not motivated it is very easy to slip into what looks like laziness. To be productive we need to be motivated. If it’s hard for you to stay connected to what motivates you, make up a list that you can consult when you need an extra push. Create the highest grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.

Similarly, if you’re surrounded by lazy people who frequently complain and generally have a pessimistic outlook, it’s going to be impossible not to share the same negative feelings. Surround yourself with by peppy, optimistic, highly motivated people, and you’ll feel more motivated.

Use positive instead of negative self-talk.

Negative self-talk can derail your efforts to get things done in every aspect of your life. Telling yourself that you’re a lazy person is a form of negative self-talk. It only reinforces the idea and causes you to more easily accept inaction.

Instead, replace the negative self-talk with positive affirmations and motivational phrases. Instead of saying, “There’s no way I can get this done,” say, “I’ll give it my all to make it happen.

Avoid distractions.

We all have our favorite distractions we turn to when we’re just not feeling like doing a task — whether it’s scrolling through social media or playing with a pet.

Learn to recognize these escape routes, and do what you can to shut them down. For example, can you turn off notifications on your mobile device? Can you work in a different room than the TV? Can you temporarily disable internet access?

Find ways to make your distractions less accessible. This can mean finding a quiet place to work, like the library or an empty room, or using an app to block sites that you scroll mindlessly when you should be on task.

Reward your progress.

Getting a job done is a reward in itself, but some people are driven by external rewards. They find themselves much more motivated when there’s a reward at the end of a daunting journey.

So, the next time you find yourself feeling lazy or unmotivated in the face of a tough task, plan to give yourself a reward. Focus on what you’ll gain from getting something done, like getting closer to a promotion, or reward yourself for a job well done. 

Celebrate the end of a big project with a night out or invite friends over for drink after a day of cleaning.

Be kind to yourself.

If you want to learn how to stop being lazy, you must practice self-compassion. This means that if you make a mistake, waste some time, or can’t stop procrastinating, don’t beat yourself up. Negative self-talk will only feed the emotions that make you act lazy.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve messed up a million times in the same way – you can’t do anything about those times except learn from them and apply the lessons in this moment.

Motivational post it notes attached to a mirror

Remember, nothing changes until you do.

You can have all the foolproof tips and tricks in the world, but ultimately nothing changes until you do.

If your current work style is meeting your needs, you won’t see a reason to change. But if you’re frustrated by your lack of motivation or fear that it’s holding you back, then you need to change from within.

There’s no simple cure for being lazy. The only way to overcome it is by setting your mind to the task and getting up and completing it. Start right now to develop the self-discipline you need to reach your goals.

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