“Why am I so lazy?”
If you are stuck to a couch, scrolling a phone, feeling a total lack of motivation in life, you might have considered yourself lazy.
And, since we’re living in a hustle culture, you might feel that laziness is something you need to cure. Heck, if you’re falling behind at work in school, you’re definitely feeling the crunch of laziness.
So maybe you do need to address it.
In this post, I want to talk about how to stop being lazy. But we’re not going to do it with willpower and pep talks. The secret to not being lazy is figuring out what laziness actually represents for you and making a plan to fight it!
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1. Recognize what laziness means
So if your laziness comes from health problems or lack of sleep, we’ll get to that.
But if you are feeling unmotivated to get off the couch and go to work, school, or whatever, maybe that’s a sign.
There’s a truth in that. Listen to it.
I always struggled with feeling lazy, and not really applying myself to anything. This is especially true in school, where I left everything for the last minute.
The bottom line, it just wasn’t where I was supposed to be.
Laziness, lack of motivation, often comes from psychological detachment if we are not happy with where we are or what we’re doing.
So the best way to get over laziness might be to listen to what it’s telling you, and make some changes.
Maybe you have to keep working a shitty job for a little while to pay the bills. Maybe you have to finish what you’re doing right now. But start to pay attention to the things you are not lazy about.
Lean into that.
I hated pretty much every job I ever had. Even though I was good at them.
And I loved blogging and writing articles. I would get up at 5:00 a.m. to write an article and post on social media before I went to work. That should have been a clue. I was in the wrong job.
And I got paid more because I was operating in my zone of genius.
There’s a good chance if you’re lazy you just haven’t found something that makes you come alive yet. But it doesn’t mean that you won’t.
Keep trying stuff. Keep your eyes open.
Sometimes we get lazy because of lack of sleep. If you’re exhausted, staying up late into the night, and not sleeping well, the problem might just be that you need more rest.
A few years ago, Ariana Huffington, the founder of HuffPost, went on a sleep rampage. She started hiring researchers and studying sleep. And she found that most of us don’t get enough of it.
She wrote the book, The Sleep Revolution.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, it’s hard to get motivated. Here are some hacks to get a better night’s sleep.
- Go to bed earlier
- Give yourself zero screen time before bed. Screens give off blue light which triggers serotonin and keeps us awake
- If you are determined to spend some time on screens at night, buy a pair of blue-light glasses to block some of the rays.
- Have a wind-down time every night. You could include things like a bath or reading a book.
If you’re anything like me, it’s hard to be disciplined to do this before bed.
But if you do it for a week, you’ll notice a huge difference.
3. Recognize the overwhelm
Sometimes laziness doesn’t come from a lack of motivation. Sometimes it just means you’re overwhelmed.
If you have way too much on your plate, our brain often respond with procrastination to protect us from feeling overwhelmed. Which, as you know, only makes it worse.
If you are lazy because you just have too much on, chances are you need to get better at saying no. See if you can cut four or five things out of your schedule. And watch the difference it makes.
Focus on doing less, but doing it well.
And if the overwhelming feeling is manifesting in anxiety, look for a mental health professional to help.
4. Build fitness
I spent most of my life being sort of fit, but never really working out. When I got into my 30s, and realized that the health patterns I set now are going to impact how the rest of my life goes, I started to get serious about it.
I now hit the gym 3 to 5 times a week, and I’m in better shape than I was when I was 20.
It’s easy to take fitness for granted when you’re young. But don’t.
Establish a pattern of working out, whatever it is that makes you happy. Lift weights. Play a sport. Go rock climbing. Find what your thing is.
Building more fitness will give you more energy, which will help you get over your laziness.
5. Search for something you care about
Okay, we started talked about this in point one. If you’re feeling like you’re too lazy, chances are you might just be doing things you hate. You need to create a life plan to get you to work something you are more passionate about.
This might mean finding a job that lights you up more. Our work plays a big part of our life, and if you’re not engaged at work, it can kick your ass.
Take stock of the things you love, but also, try some informational interviews with people. See if you can find a career path you’re more excited about. Or, even if you’re not going to change jobs, can you move into different responsibilities at your current one?
Do whatever it takes to make some changes towards something that actually lights you up.
6. Find accountability
The final step in the laziness equation is accountability. We can feel like we’re lazy for a whole bunch of reasons. Sometimes it’s overwhelm, sometimes it’s boredom.
But if you made the decision to change your life, how do you stick with it until you actually see some results? How do you make sure you actually apply for new jobs, or get more rest, or do whatever it is you think is worth doing?
Part of the answer to laziness is always accountability.
When we’re trying to make change in our closet, with nobody watching, it can be next to impossible. Bring somebody else into the picture, somebody who’s going to ask you what changes you’re making, and you’ll see a huge lift.
Find someone to keep you accountable. It might just be a friend. It could be a coach, say for careers or business.
Or, it might be a circle of people, like it online community or a mastermind.
Find an accountability structure that works for you.
7. Let yourself be lazy sometimes
I’ve been building a business for what seems like years. And sometimes, on Wednesday afternoons, I crash. I read, sleep, watch tv, or have a bath.
Wednesday afternoon at 2:00.
And I say to myself, It’s Wednesday. Get off your ass and go do some work!
Does that make me lazy? Well, considering a pretty much work every single day of the week, a Wednesday afternoon crash is hardly the end of the world. It’s just my body telling me to take a break.
My wife and I also started taking one day every month that we just don’t do any work. We go out for breakfast, shop, or whatever else we feel like.
Giving yourself permission to be lazy sometimes isn’t a bad thing. It’s just recognizing that you’re human, and then you don’t have to work 24/7. So give yourself a break.
Deep rest is important.
If you were wondering how to stop being lazy, I hope some of these tips helped. In short, the answer isn’t to get rid of all laziness. It’s to dig deep and figure out what the laziness represents. Are you uninspired? Tired? Overwhelmed? Bored?
Any of these things can manifest as laziness. And really, you don’t want to be lazy, otherwise you wouldn’t have read this post.
Find what makes you come alive, and give yourself a break once in a while.