Before you skip over this article thinking you don’t need to overcome”laziness syndrome” let me ask you this:
What is the number one reason we don’t accomplish so many of the things that we say we want to do?
Is it lack of resources?
Is it because we’re afraid to take the leap toward whatever it is that we want?
Is it simply a lack in confidence?
Or maybe, just maybe, could it all boil down to something a lot more basic – the “laziness syndrome.”
All of these things – lack of resources, fear, and lack of confidence – play a significant roll in what we do or do not do. However, our own level of laziness is one of the biggest factors in our self-sabotaging behaviors.
This is NOT About Pointing Fingers
I didn’t write this article to make you feel bad or to shame anyone. I’m not pointing a finger and I’m not saying I’m any different than you.
So before we get started, let’s open our minds and set aside all judgments, even those of yourself. And then let’s look at what we know about lazy behaviors.
Laziness can make us feel unhappy, jealous, unhealthy, and so many other negative feelings. There are so many reasons to not be lazy yet we do it anyway.
So many people wake up (probably later than they had intended) and let life take over from there. Every one of us wants to have some level of control over how our life turns out and develops. So why do we give into laziness?
We all suffer from feelings of laziness from time-to-time. This doesn’t make us inferior to anyone else. It doesn’t make us weak. It doesn’t make us incapable of being successful or keep us from having an impact on the world or achieving our dreams.
Laziness can make our goals and dreams harder or take longer. But when we’re aware of what we’re doing, we can make informed decisions and then choose to do something different.
The most successful and happy people know how to manage their lives for productivity. And while it takes effort (the very thing we’re struggling with in the first place), you can overcome laziness.
Humans Are Lazy
Before we get started, I just want to point out that studies have been conducted to determine if humans really have what it takes to get the job done.
According to a study published by eLife, what they found was that: humans are lazy.
In this study, conducted by Lead researcher, Dr. Nobuhiro Hagura, participants were shown a cloud of dots that moved either to the right or to the left. They were asked to indicate if the dots were moving to the right or to the left by moving one of two levers.
If they thought the dots were moving to the right, they moved a lever in their right hand. If they thought the dots were moving to the left, they moved a lever in their left hand. What the volunteers did not know, however, is that one of the levers was slightly heavier and therefore harder to move than the other.
Lead researcher, Dr. Hagura, et al. found that the volunteers biased their decisions away from the direction that would require the most effort. If the right-hand lever was heavier, the volunteers decided that dots with ambiguous motion were moving to the left. Those for whom the left-hand lever was heavier felt that the same dots were moving to the right. The participants showed this bias despite failing to notice that the levers had different weights. Moreover, they continued to show the bias even when subsequently asked to simply say their answers rather than use the levers.
“Thes results indicate that the effort required to act on a decision can influence the decision itself.” — eLife Digest
Some of the participants, however, did persevere. Despite the added effort, they still provided the correct answers. They didn’t give in to taking the “path of least resistance” as it were.
How Lazy Are YOU?
Where do you think you fall on a scale of laziness? Are you in denial over where you stand or do you think you’re fairly realistic in your assessment?
When given the opportunity of doing something easy (even if it offers little to no reward), vs. something that is more difficult but with a higher reward, we will most often go with the easier option. Despite logic, our mind convinces us that it’s the better choice. Some of us can see past the easy route and will resolve to put in the effort for greater reward – hence all of the super-successful business entrepreneurs or speakers or leaders we have among us.
Just being an entrepreneur says something about where you stand when it comes to being lazy. But I guarantee you, that you that if you’re reading this right now, you don’t beat the odds 100% of the time.
I’ll be the first to admit, that I’m not 100% lazy-proof either. I have my ups and downs.
Every time my alarm goes off and I have time to go workout or go for a run, or even sometimes, just time to take a shower, the laziness syndrome kicks in and I have to fight it off. Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes hitting the snooze button just seems easier and more pleasant even though I know I’ll regret it later.
I have a feeling that you experience things like this too.
When it comes to running my business and getting things done, I can struggle there as well and that’s really why I’m sharing this with you today. There are certain things we call can do to mitigate the laziness syndrome in our lives.
Many of these ideas I’ve shared before when talking about how to stay motivated. But some of the same methods also work for getting over the laziness hump.
Here Are 11 Ways to Overcome Laziness
1. Set Your Alarm Clock
Since everyone has a different schedule, I can’t recommend one specific time to which you should set your alarm clock. Just make sure you get good quality sleep but don’t overdo it.
Too much or too little sleep can actually hinder your ability to perform and function. Have you ever noticed that when you sleep in or get extra sleep you find yourself extra tired that day? Our body needs a consistent routine because the hormones that wake us up or keep us sleeping try to anticipate our schedule and they work for us – with or without an alarm clock. If you sleep too long, your body gets confused by the mixed signals and then struggles to do the right thing when it comes time to actually be awake.
So set your alarm for the same time or really close to it, seven days a week. Make a habit of going to bed at roughly the same time every night as well.
Having a regular schedule will help prepare your mind for optimal performance throughout the day. Or body functions on routine and it tries to anticipate the energy and functionality that we need each day.
Give your body a more regular routine, starting with the alarm clock.
2. Set Goals
If we set goals then that means we need to work toward them. Being lazy will never allow you to accomplish your goals. Take the initiative to get up in the morning and work toward your goals every day.
As a business owner, I have weekly goals that I strive for when it comes to creating content or sharing on social media or creating new courses. I strive to work on each area a certain number of times each week or for a set amount of time each week.
Even if all you have is 15 minutes a day for something, do it. That 15 minutes is still better than nothing.
3. Make a Schedule for Yourself
A schedule will keep you from sitting idle while doing nothing beneficial to your progress. Create a routine and follow it until you need to change it up. It’s all about progress and not sitting still.
Not that long ago, I shared a Daily Routine worksheet as a downloadable PDF. You can use that worksheet to create a schedule for yourself. You can access it here using the form below.
Download a FREE Daily Routine Worksheet (PDF)
Use this template to start creating the life you desire by making small changes to your routine and taking action!
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4. Find a Passion
Another way to overcome laziness is to find your passion.
Start exploring and trying new things. You might just discover something for which you’re extremely passionate. Often times we dabble in so many things but we don’t stick with something long enough to know if it’s something we can enjoy for the long run – something that brings us joy and really lights us up.
When you’re doing something you’re passionate about doing, the laziness syndrome tends to be less prominent.
Passion drives us to do better because we care about what we’re doing.
5. Get an Accountability Partner
Friends, family and even strangers are great at helping us overcome laziness. It’s hard to be lazy when someone is pushing you to accomplish what you set out to accomplish.
Find someone who is willing to push you and then don’t be offended when they point something out about your habits that might need tweaking. If we go through life blind, then we will never accomplish anything.
We all need to listen to other people and be open to constructive criticism. You never know when someone else may just have a bit of advice that you can use to get yourself to the next level or over a hill you’ve been stuck on for a while.
Having an accountability partner makes it easier to overcome laziness because someone else is counting on you to be at your best.
6. Get active
Discipline when it comes to fitness will carry over into other areas of your life. When we stick to an exercise plan a couple of things happen. Exercise increases the level of endorphins in our body which is one of the “feel good” hormones. When we feel good, we tend to be more motivated and less lazy. We also tend to be happier.
Exercise also boosts our self-confidence. When we’re confident in ourself we can achieve a lot more than when we’re feeling negative about ourself.
You may have also noticed that when you exercise you want to spend more time with others and intimate relationships improve.
Whether you feel you “need” to exercise or not, the act of being physically active is good for your body and your mind.
Overcome laziness by being physically active.
7. Don’t Be Afraid of Change
If your current routine isn’t doing it for you, then change things up a bit.
It’s okay to want to do something different from what you’re doing now. It’s normal to feel that way. If you feel the urge to change things up, do it!
“INSANITY: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein
When we do something different, we’re going to get a different result.
Get a new job, start a business, make new friends, set new goals… these are all fantastic changes you can make for bettering your life.
Change is good and a necessary part of life for most people. You can often overcome laziness just by changing things up a bit.
8. Challenge Yourself
Oftentimes laziness is a result of not challenging your mind.
When there’s little to no stimulation for your mind, and you will lack the motivation to do anything.
Challenging yourself is important. It helps us to extend ourselves so that we can step outside our comfort zone and grow. Look at challenges as a growth phase in your life.
9. Meet New People
Meeting new people is another way to break free from the laziness syndrome. The experience of meeting others can bring our thoughts into the present moment (even if only for a moment) which helps us to open up to new ideas. We also are more likely to try new activities or to be more social.
When we meet people that are driven toward similar goals it can be very motivating to be around them and to talk with them. Finding like-minded people is an excellent way to break through to the next level of whatever it is that you’re trying to accomplish.
10. Change Your Mindset
Your mind will determine how you perceive life. If you change the way you think by developing good habits, then you can get yourself out of the lazy mindset.
It’s important that you do this so that life will not pass by you. Doing something productive can change your mindset toward life and you’ll be better equipped to reverse laziness.
11. Choose to Eat Healthier Foods
The final method I have for you that will help you to overcome laziness has to do with what you put into your body. In particular, I’m talking about sugar.
Sugar is toxic to the brain and to our body. It weakens our immune system, it makes it hard for the various systems within our body to properly communicate, it dulls our senses, it creates constant food cravings, it gives you low energy, it kills your metabolism, sugar causes premature aging and bloating, decreases memory and focus…. this list goes on and on and on.
If you could make only one change in your diet, cut out sugar. Go cold-turkey on all processed sugars (and there are over 60 different names for sugar), and then go cold turkey on even the natural kinds found in fruits and colorful vegetables, dairy, everything that has sugar. Eat a lot of leafy green vegetables and lean meats for all the calcium, protein and vitamins that your body needs.
Trust me. It’s hard for the first couple of weeks, but after that, the cravings diminish and you feel so much better. Your skin will look younger and more vibrant. Food will taste better. You will feel so much more energized. You’ll be healthier and while everyone around you keeps getting colds or coughs or some other flu bug, you’ll sail through it all untouched.
Overcome Laziness Starting Today!
So there you have it – eleven methods you can use to overcome “laziness syndrome.” Pick one or two to try this next week. Or if you’re really ambitious, try them all.
Although I have a sneaky suspicion that no one will actually try every single one of them. Humans are, after all, inherently lazy.