7 Simple Steps to Overcoming Laziness


Photo courtesy of Matt Erasmus

There have been times in my life when I struggled to overcome what I usually refer to as “sloth-mode.” Many people struggle with this problem – especially in recent times. Virtually everything in our modern world offers increasing amounts of convenience, now allowing us to work, eat, and be entertained all within our own homes. Unfortunately, all of this convenience has led to a society that appears to be rather “lazy.”

What I’ve discovered though, is that while it may seem like laziness, there’s usually something else at play.  Laziness is just a term we’ve invented, and it covers a pretty wide range of behaviors that are, in fact, much deeper than simple laziness. Once you’ve figured out what you’re really dealing with, it’s much easier to get your motivation level up to snuff again.

Do a little self-assessment and determine which of the following best describes what may be causing your so-called “laziness.” Then take the accompanying advice to kick your butt back into gear:

  1. You’re bored. It’s extremely easy to mistake boredom for laziness. If you’re not excited about something, why bother, right? If boredom really is the issue, you’ll need to make a few changes and pursue something that interests you, if possible, or find a way to make what you are doing more interesting.
  2. You’re tired. When you’re not well-rested, the chances of you feeling inspired and motivated are extremely low. Work on getting an extra hour of sleep every night and see if your slump lifts.
  3. You’re disorganized. It’s difficult to get started on anything before you’ve got a good handle on organization. If your work area is a mess, what you may be calling laziness is probably procrastination instead. Set aside a decent chunk of time to clean and organize before you attempt anything more ambitious.
  4. You love pajamas. Sometimes, just getting dressed into a nice looking outfit will give you the kick you need. Ditch the pjs and don some attire that makes you feel attractive. Smile at yourself in the mirror, and get to work.
  5. You’re scared. If the problem is that you’re afraid to fail once you put yourself out there, remember this: “You always pass failure on your way to success.”  ~Mickey Rooney. In other words: Get out there and try anyway.
  6. You have a poor sense of time. If the hours in the day just seem to get away from you, start setting multiple alarms that alert you to begin certain tasks. For me, putting time limits on how long I work, clean, and even play, helps keep me focused and productive.
  7. You don’t know where to start. This happens to the best of us, and the best way to fix this problem is to make lists. I suggest getting a big calendar and writing a To-Do list for every day of the week. Crossing things off your list feels really good, and will give you the boost you need to keep being productive.

Believe it or not, another good practice is to allow time in your life for laziness to be ok.  Everyone needs time to decompress, and your productivity level will actually be higher if you have designated “down time” to look forward to. Make Saturdays “Pajama Day” or watch movies on Lazy Sundays. My advice is to pick only one day, so the behavior remains an exception rather than the rule.



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