“Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.” Jules Renard
How would you define laziness? Lack of interest to do anything? Not feeling like doing any hard work? Just being idle not moving an inch like a sculpture?
We’ve all probably felt like this at any given point in our lives, including me. We know there is something we’ve got to do but rather keep it until tomorrow. Either because it’s hard or it’s just not in our comfort zone.
As Brandon Gaille described in his post 19 Lazy Procrastination Statistics, over 20% of the population suffer from procrastination or laziness. Not only that 1 out of 5 people procrastinate so much it may be affecting their jobs or relationships.
It may not be as drastic as that but laziness definitely stops us from achieving one thing, that which we’ve most likely always wanted.
Our ambitions and aspirations or more simply, our dreams.
We might have that one goal, whether it be our dream job or a side business. Or maybe learning a new skill be it for work or anything else. We tend to blame life or our current situation for why things don’t work out. But to be honest, it’s not what’s outside that determines this. It’s only us that can control and change everything.
“Just remember, you can do anything you set your mind to, but it takes action, perseverance, and facing your fears.” Gillian Anderson
Honestly, even though our dreams are exciting or hold a lot of hope, it can be daunting definitely. It might require hours and hours of hard work or us trying new things which we’re not comfortable with. We might have to learn about a hundred new things to just even get a bit closer to it. And that’s where our laziness kicks in, kind of our body’s defense mechanism against all this pain and effort. But there are ways around this. Laziness can be overcome and our aspirations can become our new reality.
1) Break your goal into smaller tasks
The main reason why our brain defaults to being lazy is because our dream or what we want to achieve seems like a huge task (which it probably is). We get scared by looking at this giant thing, we don’t know where to start or when we would even reach it.
So instead of looking at it as this big mountain, try to break it up into many many smaller hills. If you want to lose weight, instead of focusing on your main goal, which is lose say 10 kilos, try to make a plan where you would walk a mile every day. Don’t worry about checking your weight every day and seeing how close you are to 10 kilos. Just stick to this tiny goal.
And eventually with time, you’ll reach your main goal. The benefit of breaking this down is you don’t get scared by that giant task. You only have to deal with the smaller goals, which makes it more easier for us to handle.
2) Be accountable to others
Try to have someone that’ll take you up on your goals or dreams. It can be your best friend, a family member or even your boss! (okay, scratch that last part) Someone who you know you’ll have to answer to if you put off on your dreams.
When we just answer to ourselves, we might only sometimes have the drive to follow through, but when we have someone else we’re accountable to, that just might be the additional push required to help us keep our goals on track.
There is an interesting book regarding this by Gretchen Rubin, The Four Tendencies. It explains how there are 4 different types of personalities that each of us fall into, and how we respond to internal expectations (goals we set for ourselves) and external expectations (being accountable to others) changes for every person.
3) Try to have a clearly defined reason on why you have to reach your goals and why it’s important to you
Everyone of us has a dream we want to reach, which may be our mission in life. Or we want to move up in our career (or get a better one) because we want to give a good life to our family. Or we want to improve our social skills because we want to be in a good relationship.
Our reasons will be different for each of us and we must clearly know why it’s important for us. Each day we don’t do it, we have to understand what we’re missing out on and what we gain when we do it.
In that way, our drive to fight the laze off tendency only gets stronger. And we get a clear focus in life.
Laziness can be absolutely destructive to our professional and personal lives. We might not know it, but we’re missing out on so many things that life could’ve given us if we weren’t lazy.
So never let yourself fall in that rut. Know what what you hope to reach can be yours with just a little smart and efficient planning and a healthy dose of determination and hard work.
“Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Jomy is a part-time writer and the founder of The Sum Of Life, a Personal Development website covering topics ranging from defining success, finding our life purpose, dealing with failure, developing good habits and generally making our lives happy so that we can help others around us. During his day job, he is employed as a full-time software developer. You can find him at Twitter and Facebook.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.