Here we are at the end of January and most likely a bit of laziness is setting in as you try to stick to your resolutions or goals. You know how it goes, we’re all excited at the stroke of New Year’s Day and we may be able to stay focused on our goals for the first 31 days of the year – but then it happens. We find ourselves getting frustrated, distracted, and yes lazy.
If you made a goal to lose weight and you started going to the gym, by now you’ve probably already noticed how the crowds have started to thin out. Or maybe you made a resolution to add prayer time to your morning routine, by now you realized you missed all of last week. Don’t be too hard on yourself, change takes time and commitment. Sometimes we just get lazy, let’s face the truth and “call a thing a thing” as my favorite spiritual teacher, Iyanla VanZant, would say.
Being lazy isn’t necessarily a negative behavior, provided it doesn’t happen on a regular basis. But being lazy too often has some huge downsides! The main one being it will block you success.
Laziness is the ultimate expression of passivity. When you let laziness become the norm, you’re not engaging with your life and you’re leaving the results to chance. So learning to move beyond the urge to be lazy is a useful skill.
Use these strategies to take back the helm and re-energize:
- Think small. The thought of taking on a big project can be overwhelming. It’s easy to trick yourself into feeling negatively about tackling the work at hand. Break big tasks into smaller bites and then keep your focus on that single task.
- Big projects are nothing more than several smaller, related tasks.
- Use a timer. The simple act of setting a timer for a specific period of time can provide the motivation and focus needed to re-energize. The use of a timer frees your mind. After all, you know when you can stop, even before you get started. A timer turns your work into a race, and races are exciting. I use a timer every day to complete the items on my schedule.
- Think long-term. Only focusing on the short-term is a common mistake. All the work comes first. The good stuff comes at the end. Look ahead and keep the long-term benefits in mind. This will motivate you to get started.
- Visualize the results you desire. Take the time to imagine yourself enthusiastically getting your work completed. We’ve all heard about the benefits of visualization, but few of us actually do it. Try it before starting a new project. Try it again when you feel laziness creeping into the picture.
- Avoid procrastinating. Procrastination is one manifestation of laziness. It’s true that getting started is the hardest part. Avoid thinking too much about the work at hand. Jump in and get started. You’ll find that continuing to work is much less challenging than getting started. Start quickly and you won’t have time to talk yourself out of it.
- Stick to a single task. Multi-tasking is distracting and overwhelming. The idea of dealing with multiple tasks is enough to trigger laziness. Stick to one task. When it’s complete, you can move on to another. It’s a much more relaxing way to get things done.
- Use self-talk to your advantage. Instead of coming up with excuses to justify being lazy, use the voice in your head to avoid laziness. It might take some time to reap the rewards, but effective self-talk and affirmations can have a positive impact Try repeating phrases like:
- I avoid laziness and get things done.
- Doing what needs to be done gets me closer to my goals.
- I can be lazy after my work is completed.
- I have control over myself. I use my time effectively.
- Get some rest. If you’re truly tired, rest might be the best medicine. Eat a healthy meal and get the rest you need. A little fresh air and some exercise might be beneficial, too. Make your physical health a priority. It’s easier to avoid laziness when you’re not exhausted.
- Consider the consequences. We often think about how much we don’t want to get busy, but we fail to consider the negative consequences of being lazy. Make a list of all the negative outcomes you’ll experience by being lazy. It might provide the motivation you need to become action oriented.
Overcoming laziness is a valuable skill. Having a plan for your day can help you avoid laziness. When your time isn’t planned, it’s much easier to waste time. Overcoming laziness becomes easier after each successful avoidance. You’ll soon discover the strategies that work for you. Avoid letting laziness derail your success and productivity.
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