You know you’re lazy. You know you’re unmotivated. You know you have to change. You know you HAVE TO do something, and you also WANT TO do something, but somehow you just can’t take action.
Do you feel as if there is an inner force pulling you from inside that stops you from doing what you want to and wish to do?
And maybe you call this force laziness or procrastination or demotivation. And you’re looking for when you will be able to get rid of it and be ready.
But what if I tell you that you don’t have to get rid of your laziness?
You just have to understand it.
And in this post, I share my thoughts on laziness and tips on how to stop being lazy and start taking action.
You might think you’re too lazy to do anything, and you have no motivation, and that may be true, but first, what is important is to understand what you’re being lazy towards.
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I have found that we can only be lazy about these 3 things:
- The things that we hate
- The things that we’re not interested in
- The things that we’re unclear about i.e. when we haven’t found out our ‘why’, our purpose, our mission.
Recently my friend came up and opened up to me about her struggles and how she just can’t take action.
She feels guilty.
She doesn’t want to waste her time anymore, but somehow she says she just goes on wasting her time.
She says she can’t work for the things that she knows it’s important for her.
To tell you her story, she was studying for competitive exams to get a government job. (That’s big here in India and it’s what many of us pursue after graduation in hopes of getting a ‘secure’ government job’.)
But actually, that was not what she had wanted to do.
After graduation, she wanted to go for a master’s degree in Zoology. Studying in order to get a government job just wasn’t her interest. She did it only because her father told her to do and she didn’t want to go against him.
And this way almost 7 years passed by.
She says she still doesn’t feel the zeal to study, and she feels it’s because she is too lazy and too unmotivated.
But my friend here, what she’s actually interested in is Environment and all things ecology. She’s also interested in teaching.
Her wish had always been to do a master’s, so without telling her parents, she applied for a master’s two years back in Environmental science in distance education.
She’s now in her final semester for which she has to do a dissertation, complete a number of assignments and give a Viva interview.
And for this, she did it without a hint of laziness. She got in touch with professors she didn’t know before and completed her dissertation sincerely, learning everything on her own, going for field visits to tea estates, collecting soils and everything.
She even flew to Delhi on her own (which was her first-ever flight) and managed everything just so she could give her Viva.
She was telling me she was lazy and unmotivated, had she really been so, she wouldn’t have taken the trouble of doing all of these things for what truly mattered to her.
And that’s what I want to tell you too.
You’re not inherently lazy
You might feel that you are inherently lazy, but the truth is you’re only lazy about the things you don’t like or aren’t interested in.
And if you still feel you’re lazy and unmotivated about everything, the truth is, you just haven’t found your thing.
So your task then is to find out what you’re truly interested in and what you like or might like.
Your main task here on Earth is to find out what is it that makes your heart sing and truly satisfied.
It may be teaching, it may be dancing, ice skating, writing, singing, cooking or anything.
Some find it early whereas someone of us have to dig deep into our hearts and set out on an exploration.
But it’s never too late as long as you’re alive.
But once you find it, if you show the courage to take that first step, you will be surprised by your own self.
You will be surprised to see how time passes by without you even realizing it because you’re so immersed in it and don’t want to leave without completing it.
But to give you some more tips and tools on how to stop being lazy, here is what I’ve found most helpful
How to stop being lazy
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1. Find your interest
You might feel like laziness is your nature, but no it’s not.
If it were your nature, you would be happy being lazy, you would be happy procrastinating, but you’re not.
In fact, you wouldn’t even be reading this if you were.
There’s something knocking inside your heart that wants to do something and make something out of your life.
Nobody is born lazy.
We don’t see a single child who’s lazy.
They’re always playing, moving, and doing mischief. We hardly see them yawn unless they’re sleepy or they’re bored with what they are playing.
We, adults, are just grown-up children. And as we grow up, we need to give ourselves things that we would be interested in.
Our parents might hand it over to us just as they did to us when we were kids, and society and people might give us their own set of ‘what we should be interested in’, but if that doesn’t align with what we truly want and we don’t give a thought to find out what WE are truly interested in, then our entire lives can go by feeling lazy and unmotivated.
Your task here on Earth is to find out what you’re interested in or could be interested in and then after you find it, have the courage to go after it.
Think to yourself, what are the things you love? What are the things you can attempt to do in this lifetime?
If you could start over again, what is it that you would love to try?
2. Know your why
Secondly, know your why.
Sometimes we feel lazy and are unable to take action, even after knowing that this is something important to us.
In this case, the missing piece is your why, your intentions behind why you are doing something, and why you want it in your life.
That is why setting intentions is so important if you want to stop being lazy.
There was a time in my life when I was doing poorly in my studies.
This was in the first year of my college. There were so many things wrong with my choices at the time.
Firstly, I wasn’t interested in my subject- economics anymore. Numbers and maths just weren’t my thing.
Secondly, I wasn’t clear on my intention and thirdly, my social circle and environment were not good which was making me feel distracted, lazy and full of drama.
I decided to drop out of college. But that was my turning point.
I decided to give my best the next time I joined again and got clear on my intentions and what I wanted from life.
This time, from my heart, I realized that the first step I can take is to do well in my studies and set out my real intention that ‘I will be my best version in everything I do’.
Ever since that time, ever since I figured out my intention and my ‘why’, I started doing well in my studies.
I went from being lazy and a below-average student to being the topper of my college upon graduation and topped my master’s in University and even became a gold medalist.
Know your why and everything will fall into path.
3. Stop saying you’re lazy
We don’t know how powerful our words are. Whatever we say, we act out.
We can never do anything unless we say we can do it.
I hear this all so often from my friends, brothers and sisters- “I am too lazy, I am too unproductive, I can’t read, I can’t write, I can’t… I can’t… I can’t”
I see it in memes, in comments and in everybody’s stories.
If you want to stop being lazy, or as a matter of fact, if you want to stop anything from happening or wanting in your life, for example, if you want to stop being lazy, unmotivated, unproductive, poor, or anything, then you need to stop saying so.
Unconsciously put an end to your negative affirmations.
Stop saying you’re lazy if you want to take action.
Stop saying I will always be poor if you want to get rich.
Stop saying you can’t do something if you want to do it.
Our language and the things we speak can be our greatest hindrance or our greatest supporter.
Be conscious of it and take deliberate changes in your speech with others and yourself.
P.S. If you are ready to give a try at working on yourself and changing your life, I have recently created a Special challenge/Guide for you to Change your Life in 7 days.
I think you’ll love it if you give it a try for 7 days and see what’s possible for you.
4. Get clear on the next action step
Sometimes we’re lazy also because we’re unclear on what we really need to do and so a thing gets procrastinated for days and weeks on end, even if we know it’s our interest, know our why, and have set out our intentions.
Even after knowing all of this, we fail to take action.
We might feel we’re just being lazy, but if we dig deeper, we will always find a cause of our laziness.
And one of the big causes of being lazy is being unclear about what action step we need to take next.
This is something I learned from the book ‘Getting Things Done’
We set goals or have a big project we need to be doing, but often the steps we need to take are unclear and we get overwhelmed and keep on avoiding it.
What you must do here is break down big tasks or just any task into small tasks.
Write down and be clear on exactly what next action step you must take.
When studying for exams, I would always set out a plan in the beginning, note down my syllabus, and set out what I would study each day and in each time block.
This helped me know what exactly I needed to know and stopped me from feeling overwhelmed.
So whatever you’re being lazy toward, take some time out to list out your next action steps and schedule it in your time.
5. Set out Weekly goal
I have found weekly goals to be very helpful.
At the start of the week, I set out my weekly goals which are 4-5 goals and tasks.
I set this out in my weekly planner that I’ve printed for myself.
I assign each of the goals and tasks throughout the week in a way that I have only one-two things I need to focus on each day.
Here is my step-by-step guide on how to set weekly goals.
Also, get my free weekly planner by clicking the image down below.
I know at the moment when you’re lazy and unmotivated, you won’t even have the motivation to exercise, but I have found that exercise is one tool that can beat laziness and demotivation.
I don’t wait for motivation to exercise. Now I exercise to get motivated.
Whenever I am lacking energy, or motivation and feel lazy, it’s mostly when I haven’t exercised in some days, and so I get back to exercise.
Just wear your workout clothes and exercise for the next 10 minutes.
7. Eat that frog
You need to stop waiting for when you will feel like it or when you feel motivated enough in order to work on your goals. If you keep waiting, you will forever be waiting.
If you want to stop being lazy and start taking action the best thing is to do it first thing in the morning.
As Mark Twain says, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first”
8. Make things fun
You don’t have to do everything the hard way.
Get rid of the mindset that you only need to be working hard and struggling in order to succeed.
Have a mindset of fun and joy to be successful. Its possible
Add a bit of fun to whatever you do. Make things fun.
Ask yourself, “What if this were easy? What if I didn’t have to do it the hard way?” and make things easy for yourself and do it without struggling if you can.
Not everything has to be done in a hustling mindset.
Once you make things fun, you are more likely to stop being lazy about it and instead become enthusiastic about doing it.
P.S here is how to make any task fun
9. Cut out distractions
We want to start taking action, stop being lazy and stop procrastinating, but something pulls us back.
It’s not your laziness pulling you back, but your own distractions.
You need to identify your distractions and allow yourself to let them go.
You have to make sacrifices in order to proceed with your goals.
Maybe it is your habit of watching too much tv, using your phone first thing in the morning, too much social media or your friends circle.
While simplifying my life and deciding to work on my intentions, I deleted social media apps that were a big sucker for my time and energy.
I don’t have those apps on my phone till now but have them on my iPad. This way I use them much less.
Whenever I want to add something from my phone, I upload it and delete it again.
I also don’t have shopping apps because I realised that when I had them I would just keep scrolling and bought clothes that I didn’t really need.
When I deleted these apps I didn’t really miss anything and didn’t even feel like I am missing anything.
So if you’re serious about getting rid of laziness, you need to keep your distractions to a minimum.
10. Don’t wait for motivation
Stop waiting for motivation and inspiration. Stop waiting for when you will feel ready.
There will never come such a time.
You take action and then motivation shows up. It’s never the other way around.
You exercise for 5 minutes and you get motivated to exercise more.
You sit down for reading every day and then you start liking reading slowly.
But you have to give yourself time and not wait for motivation to show up first.
11. Have a today list
Your today list should have only one or two things that you want to work on in the day.
This is such a simple thing, but I’ve found it makes such a difference.
Just getting clear on what you need to focus on helps you stop procrastinating and being lazy.
My weekly goals help me set today’s list.
This lets me know what one or two goals I need to work on each day of the week.
I tick it off once I get it done in the day.
While making your today’s list ask yourself, “What are the one-two things that if I get done, I will sleep feeling satisfied?”
12. Take action in the next 5 minutes
If you are feeling overwhelmed and that is making you lazy, just focus on the next 5 minutes.
When we want to take action but can’t, remember that 5 minutes is a gift.
Just opening your book in the next 5 minutes and reading will make you sit down reading for the next half hour.
Just putting on your shoes and changing your clothes in the next 5 minutes will make you step out of the house and go running.
Just setting down to note down your financial situation in the next 5 minutes will help you really set out a plan on what is to be done and make better financial decisions.
5 minutes makes more difference than we realise and if you only decide to seize the next 5 minutes, then you won’t be lazy anymore.
13. Get an accountability partner
If you have the chance and ability, you can get yourself an accountability partner.
You can invest in yourself by getting yourself a life coach, a business coach or whatever you are struggling with.
I personally have never hired a life coach but I would really love to have one.
You can also hold yourself more accountable for your goals and what you’re going to do by announcing it in public like your social media channels and showing up and sharing every day.
14. Have courage
Nothing would mean anything and none of the things can work unless you show courage.
Courage is not something big- like being a warrior, fighting an enemy or dying on a battlefield, but can be shown in our everyday little actions.
Even the smallest things require courage. Sometimes just breathing also takes a lot of courage.
Every time you feel lazy to take action, every time you feel resistance towards doing something, remember that it is an opportunity for you to build your courage muscle.
We are all courageous. We all have its seeds inside us just like we have the seeds of laziness inside us.
For now, we have only been manifesting laziness, but now it’s time to manifest courage.
The easiest way to have more courage is to have faith.
Believe you are full of courage and ask for courage, determination and strength in your prayers.
Whatever you pray for, you become it.
15. Be kind to yourself
Lastly, don’t forget to be kind to yourself.
You can never change your life and turn your life around if you are too critical of yourself.
If you keep on criticizing yourself for your weaknesses, then your strengths will never show up.
You need to be kind to yourself first and it will be your revolution.
In the end, what matters is not what you do, but who you are.
Being is more important than doing. And when you are kind to yourself, not only your being will elevate, but also your doing.
So be kind to yourself and be a parent to your own inner child.
Final thoughts on how to stop being lazy
I hope this post helped you understand laziness better.
Please stop calling yourself lazy, or anything less than who you are and want to be.
See yourself as brave, see yourself and identify your new self as a person who takes action.
Laziness is not inherently bad.
Sometimes we have to be lazy too when we’re burned out.
We need some time out for ourselves, for our self-care.
Sometimes you have to set intentional lazy days in order to stop being lazy.
But most of the time, we need to set out a plan, cut out distractions, not wait for motivation and just take action in the next 5 minutes.
I hope you found the tips helpful and liked what you read, subscribe to my weekly email newsletter.
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