While everyone might feel lazy or unmotivated from time to time, it’s important to differentiate between laziness and procrastination. While laziness is a reluctance to act or work, procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing tasks, often due to underlying psychological reasons. Get 10 tips to stop being lazy.
Recognizing which of these you are facing can help in determining the best approach to tackle them.
What Causes People to be Lazy?
When you are not doing something it doesn’t actually mean you’re a lazy person, but your behavior is. It’s not a part of who you are. Laziness could be caused by a lack of self-esteem. It’s difficult to push yourself to action when you’ve had negative self-talk and tell yourself that you’re not good enough.
There’s no point trying because you’ve got a preconceived idea of what the result will be. Or maybe the work or task doesn’t motivate you – that can be enough to make you start procrastinating.
In some cases, what might seem like laziness is actually procrastination stemming from deeper fears or anxieties. It’s important to recognize and address the root causes, whether they stem from low self-esteem, fear of failure, or other psychological barriers.
What is the Difference Between Laziness and Procrastination?
Laziness and procrastination are terms often used interchangeably, but they represent distinct behaviors and motivations. Let’s delve into the differences between the two:
Laziness: It is an unwillingness to work or use energy, regardless of the task’s importance or urgency. It’s characterized by a general apathy towards tasks and activities, a preference for idleness over action.
Procrastination: This is the act of delaying or postponing tasks that one commits to doing. A procrastinator may genuinely want to complete a task but keeps putting it off, often for no valid reason. Unlike laziness, there is an intention to act, but the action is continually postponed.
2. Root Causes:
Laziness: The root cause of laziness can be multifaceted. It might stem from a lack of motivation, a preference for leisure, or even physical reasons like fatigue or illness.
Procrastination: Procrastination often has psychological roots. It can arise from fear of failure, perfectionism, anxiety, lack of self-discipline, or decisional procrastination where one avoids making a decision. Sometimes, it’s a coping mechanism to deal with challenging emotions or tasks.
3. Awareness & Intent:
Laziness: Individuals who are lazy might not have any intent to act. They are often aware of their unwillingness to exert effort and might be content with it.
Procrastination: Procrastinators usually have the intent to act but struggle to get started or see the task through. They are often aware of this delay and might feel guilt or anxiety because of it.
8 Tips to Help You Overcome Laziness
Here are 8 tips to help you overcome laziness
1. Set goals
Set clear goals. If you want to lose weight, don’t just go out into the world decaring “I want to lose weight.” Be specific when you set goals. Say something like at 5pm every day I’m going to go to the gym and lose three pounds every week.
2. Create Strong Routines
When you create a routine, you feel like you’re more in control of your life. It’s easy to stop procrastinating and being lazy when you take away some of your daily thought processes. Even starting small and doing 5 minutes a day of a certain task is enough for it to become a regular part of your life.
3. Exercise to Reduce Laziness
Exercising boosts your energy levels. If you’re someone who frequently tells themselves they don’t have enough energy to exercise or get work done, then try exercising. You’ll quickly realize that it’s not the energy levels preventing you from doing things.
4. Don’t Expect Yourself to be Perfect
Trying and failing is better than not even trying in the first place. Sure you’re bound to make some mistakes, but perfectionism is equally if not more harmful. A lot of time laziness comes from a fear of failure. Embrace your errors and realize that everyone makes them. It’s a part of being human and not a reflection of your self-worth.
5. Use Positive Self-Talk
Are you your own worst enemy? Once we fall into the trap of negative self-talk it can be difficult to stop. Be kind to yourself. After all, you spend the most time with yourself. Positive self-talk can do wonders for your self esteem and self-worth. But it’s more complex than looking in a mirror and saying how good you are.
If you actually feel like you are struggling with procrastination then try out Today Is The Day app. It’s an app designed to help people overcome their procrastination or laziness with daily tasks based on behavioral cognitive therapy. Try out the free anti-procrastination quiz on the website and get a personalized plan to help you boost your productivity.
6. Celebrate Achievements and Progress
Once you’ve had a bit of time to set goals and start creating a routine, celebrate your progress! You’re doing the work! Successes should be noted (try writing them down in a diary) so you can look back and have some visual results of how you’ve improved.
It’s great motivation to stick to your routines and overcome laziness. Programs like TodayIsTheDay have a progress tracker that makes this step really quick and easy.
7. Make Tasks More Fun
If you’ve got a reward at the end of a task that will help your brain associate doing those sorts of tasks with a reward. Use that momentum to keep going with your work or whatever it is you’ve been struggling to start. For example you could set an alarm every 40 minutes of study, then have 5 minutes to do whatever you want.
8. Break Tasks Down into their Components
No one wants to feel the pressure of having to write a 10,000 word article. It’s daunting and likely makes you want to procrastinate on it because it feels overwhelming. If you break down the task into smaller sections (introduction, two paragraphs in the body, conclusion) it’s already more manageable. Once you start something, even for a few minutes, you’re more likely to continue with it as you’re already set up and in the headspace to get it done.
9. Remember to Rest
Get a good night’s sleep. Going about your day when you’re out of battery makes everything take longer and feel harder. Even during the day, take a break every 1.5 hours or so to reset and come back to whatever you were doing with a new mindset and more focus. You aren’t lazy for resting, before long it will start paying dividends in your energy and how well you spend your time.
10. Avoid Distractions
If you always end up talking with friends or coworkers when you’re trying to get work done then make sure you remove distractions. You could put up a sign on your desk saying that you’re snowed under and need to complete a task so you need some space. Turning off your phone or leaving it out of reach is a great idea to help you be more productive.
In your journey to become more productive and proactive, remember to discern between genuine laziness and procrastination. While they might appear similar on the surface, the underlying causes and remedies can be different. By recognizing which one you’re grappling with, you can tailor your approach and pave the way for a more productive, fulfilling life.