Rather than walking down an allocated path, a lot of people will walk across the grass, until one day everyone who walks across the grass creates a new path. It takes more than one rebel to make a difference.
Although taking shortcuts in some areas of life makes sense, it’s not always a good idea. Taking shortcuts with your health for example, probably won’t end well. Some people think an employer will call them to offer them a good job, that the partner of their dreams will fall into their lap and that they’ll drop excess weight without any effort whatsoever. Rather than changing their eating habits, they buy some useless slimming drugs from a pharmacy, or worse, online. In short, they believe you can be successful without putting any work in.
The path you take will determine whether or not you will be successful but it’s going to take a lot of work. There is a reason why you often hear that hard work pays off. People say it because it’s true. Sometimes it takes blood, sweat, and tears to finally find satisfaction in life.
Laziness can trump ambition. Just think about how you feel after work when you don’t go to the gym, don’t take out the garbage, don’t do the dishes, don’t put away your laundry etc. Instead you filled out some funny quizzes online, played video games or watched several episodes of your favourite series on Netflix and tomorrow will probably be no different. How can you free yourself from the habit of being lazy?
Here are 10 changes that you can introduce into your daily routine to combat laziness:
1. Perform a task for 10 minutes.
A simple psychological trick is to set a rigid time frame for tasks. Therefore, if you plan that something will take you an hour to do, even if in the end it takes much more time than that, you will have set your mind to achieve that goal anyway. Starting is always the hardest part.
2. Leave an easy task for the morning of the next day.
The tasks that appear to be the most challenging to accomplish seem to be postponed the most often. As a result, it is harder to fall asleep and the quality of your sleep suffers because the task remains on your mind.
If you know that you have a few things to do on a given day, some of which are less complicated, leave the easiest task for the morning of the next day. This will allow you to start a new day with a simple task that will not take much time and will motivate you to move on to more difficult ones later on.
It’s also important to remember that the more tired you feel, the worse your work will be. Sleep deprivation does not equate to high quality work.
3. Start training.
If you have the opportunity, start training , it works better than coffee. By stimulating your body with exercise, you will gain a lot of energy and overcome any feelings of fatigue and drowsiness.
Studies have shown that adults who suffered from chronic fatigue felt a marked improvement in their mental and physical condition when performing even light to moderate training. There are easier exercises you can start with at home such as dancing to your favourite music in your living room, yoga for beginners using an app, or if you prefer team sports, try to find out what’s going on near you.
4. Make use of your work environment.
Recent research suggests that surrounding yourself with hard workers can motivate you to become more productive. Being in one room with people who are focused on work means that you will be less inclined to lose focus. This explains why it is better to study in a library than at home. Work is similar to studying.
However, if you are the kind of person who is easily distracted in a busy work environment, try to find a quiet space to work in instead.
5. Find a partner.
If you cannot motivate yourself to go to the gym or to a class, ask a friend to go with you or make a personal training appointment. The commitment to yourself and the other person will make you much less likely to quit. Having a friend or trainer relying on your presence to be somewhere will help to keep you going.
6. Dress up.
This tip will be especially useful for those who work remotely. While working from home, we often give in to the temptation to spend the day in front of the computer in our tracksuit or pyjamas. If you cannot find the energy to work and instead waste your time scrolling through Facebook, consider changing your outfit. This way you will enter ‘work mode’.
7. Write down the problems that you are putting off for later.
Procrastination begins when you start thinking about the difficult tasks that are waiting for you. Make a list of them instead. You may find that they are not as tough as you imagined and, thus, easier to solve.
8. Apply the two-minute rule.
If any activity takes you no more than two minutes, just do it. This can be: replying to an email, washing dirty dishes or putting dirty laundry in the washing machine. You will see how quick you can do some tasks using the two-minute rule.
9. Make a list of productive tasks.
If you have a great idea but you do not have time to do it, write it down. Whenever you are feeling lazy or too busy, pull out your list and remember the pleasure that you found in your work.
10. Go from “I have to” to “I want to”.
Every time you know you have to do something, tell yourself that you want to do it. You are more likely to do certain things when you feel like you are doing them for yourself. Work is about “I want to”, not “I have to”.
This exercise is a very effective way of making people realize that what they are doing in life is their choice, even if initially it does not make them happy. Think about how you want to spend your free time, no matter if it is a work break or a lazy evening. It’s likely that you’ll want to spend that time on something you really enjoy doing , like hiking (or anything else you like) or spending time with family and friends rather than aimlessly scrolling online.
If your free time does not make you feel happy and fulfilled, do something about it. You are in control of your own life. It is also important to spend your free time in a more conscious way, that way you will be more motivated and energised to work.
Make sure to appreciate and fully enjoy your lazy time. Is there anything you’d like to add, have we missed anything? If you’re interested in sharing your experiences with us or writing a guest post for us, send us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org!
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