Everyone’s lazy to a certain extent. And sometimes, laziness is a good thing: after all, efficiency is just intelligent laziness. But that’s not the kind of laziness we’re talking about. Today, we’re focusing on the other kind of laziness, the traditional, original brand of laziness. The “sit on your ass when you know you need to work” type of laziness. How to overcome laziness of this variety is what we’ll be going over today. Scroll down to keep reading, or hit the Play button below to hear the podcast version.
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Table of Contents
How to Overcome Laziness and Start Taking Action—An 8-Step Guide
- Set goals.
- Create strong routines.
- Exercise to reduce laziness.
- Find motivated accountability partners.
- Make fewer decisions.
- Consider the consequences of laziness.
- Think about the long-term pain of not taking action.
- Just do it.
1. Set goals.
If you take a magnifying glass outside on a sunny day and start waving it around, you won’t accomplish anything. But if you take that magnifying glass and hold it still, you’ll be able to harness the sun’s rays such that you could cook an egg if you wanted to. That’s what goals can do for you… And I’m not talking about cooking your eggs.
I’m talking about how to overcome laziness and start inspiring action.
When you set a goal, you tell your mind that THIS is what your focus and energy should be dedicated to. And when you do this, your mind will fall in line and help you make it happen. It’ll be easier to take action and harder to let laziness get the best of you.
When you set a goal, you set an intention. And a well-set, powerful goal will do more to combat laziness than anything else. Why? Because goals have the power to harness your focus.
If you’re lazy in any area of your life, it’s likely because you haven’t decided in detail what you want in that area. And we can’t focus on something if we don’t know what we’re aiming for.
The solution to this is simple:
- Keep in mind that you cannot hit a target that you cannot see.
- That said, identify some compelling, exciting goals for yourself in each of the major areas of your life – physical, financial, emotional, spiritual, etc. – and write them down.
- When you have a plan of action, you’ll be less likely to procrastinate and give-in to laziness—and more likely to get going and take action.
2. Create strong routines.
Routines are one of the best ways to overcome laziness because anything you do on a daily basis eventually sets itself into stone. The funny thing is, creating routines is actually your brain’s way of being lazy. How so? Well, your brain wants to conserve energy as much as possible, and every time you THINK about doing (or not doing) something, your brain uses up a bit of energy.
And if your brain recognizes a routine, it puts it on autopilot by creating a habit…
This way, it doesn’t need to use up any extra energy and processing-power to execute. The upside to this is, that eventually, you don’t need to think about certain things you need to do because they’ve become natural and automatic. When you leverage them properly, routines can kill your laziness.
The fastest and most effective way to create routines is to do them at the same time every day. Some examples:
- Exercise at the same time every day
- Spend three hours working on your most important goals at the same time every morning
- Read for 30 minutes at the same time every day
3. Exercise to reduce laziness.
Exercise is a keystone habit – which is a habit that, once developed, will have a positive impact on every area of your life.
People who exercise don’t just look better and live longer, healthier lives…
They’re more punctual.
They have more confidence.
They’re more productive and energetic.
And yes—people who exercise are a heck of a lot less lazy than those who neglect to do so.
If you want to beat laziness, start exercising.
4. Find motivated accountability partners.
Laziness is contagious. If you surround yourself with lazy people, you’ll fall to their level.
Find someone with the willingness and capability to hold you accountable. This might be a motivated co-worker, a friend, or a family member.
Find someone who will give you that stiff kick in the ass whenever you need it—someone who won’t let you miss a day no matter what. Someone who won’t tell you “it’s okay” or “it’s “fine.” Someone who will call you out when you’re being lazy because they genuinely care and want to see you succeed.
5. Make fewer decisions.
Every decision you make has an energy consequence.
Just like your phone’s battery gets drained when you use it a lot and when you have tons of apps running in the background; your willpower gets drained when you use it a lot and have tons of unresolved decisions running in the background of your brain.
Each morning, you wake up with your willpower on full-charge… Throughout your day, every decision you make drains your willpower, which increases your chances of being lazy about your priorities for the day.
- Make fewer decisions throughout the day, and you’ll open up more space to focus your energy and willpower on what matters most. Focus on the important decisions, and let go of the inconsequential ones. You’ll have more willpower to fight laziness.
- Focus on the important decisions, and let go of the inconsequential ones. You’ll have more willpower to fight laziness.
6. Consider the consequences of laziness.
Every time you decide on laziness over action, you lose out on something amazing…
Something amazing you could’ve created.
Something amazing you could have done.
Something amazing you could have experienced.
Laziness lives in the world of “coulda.” Laziness lives in the past.
But you can beat laziness by thinking of the future—in consequences.
- What will I lose if I DON’T do this? What will I gain if I do?
- How much money will I lose if I don’t get this done? How much money will I make if I do?
- What will happen if I continue being lazy? What magnificent things can I make happen in my life if I learn how to overcome laziness?
Don’t let laziness rob you of your future.
Consider the consequences and get moving.
7. Think about the long-term pain of not taking action.
You’ve only got one life to live. And it’s your choice whether you want to live life to the maximum or lay low and live life at the minimum. It’s all up to you.
Often times, laziness is nothing but a choice. And the more times you vote for laziness, the more it becomes your default mode of living.
Here’s what I like to do when I’m feeling lazy about doing something important: I think about the consequences…
- What will be the long-term PAIN I’ll experience if I don’t do this,
- and what will be the long-term PLEASURE I’ll feel if I do?
This gets me going because it puts into perspective that the short-term pain of doing the work is NOTHING compared to the long-term regret of neglect.
8. Just do it.
You’d be surprised by how quickly laziness dissipates when you THINK LESS and DO MORE. There’s a time for thinking and there’s a time for doing. Sometimes we just need to buck-up and start doing.
You’ve already thought about it enough. Don’t think about what you need to do or what might prevent you from doing it.
It’ll just get in your way.
Just get up and get after it the moment you feel the impulse…
Ever notice how the biggest enemy of a great idea is the time it takes to execute? Each day that passes between a great idea and the action required to make it happen makes you lazier.
Strike while the iron is hot.
Start putting one foot after the other and get after it.
You’ll be amazed at how the laziness goes away when you start taking action.