What Should We Do to Avoid Laziness?
Laziness is the reluctance or no motivation to exert effort in starting to carry out the tasks assigned. A few ways to avoid laziness include setting realistic and manageable goals, positive self-talk, breaking down tasks, and having a healthy lifestyle.
Research studies have shown that laziness negatively affects one’s performance and productivity regardless of whether it is work or school setup. Whatever task is assigned to you right now, irrespective of your age or status, knowing how to deal with your laziness is essential to help you excel in your field and succeed in your life.
If you have trouble with your daily grind, don’t worry. In this article, we will present to you the most common causes of laziness and a series of tips for overcoming laziness. Read along as we start your journey in overcoming laziness.
What are the main causes of laziness?
Different factors contribute to laziness. These factors can be physical or mental. Dr. Davin Price, a social psychologist, believes that situational factors also cause laziness.
Here are the main causes of laziness:
Fatigue refers to the feeling of constantly being weak or tired, which can be physically, mentally, or both. Although exhaustion is normal, extreme fatigue that persists despite sleeping early, regular exercise, and good nutrition is a problem. It affects your concentration, lowers your motivation, and makes it hard to carry out your everyday tasks.
It is not a condition but a symptom caused by problems in your social life or by psychological and general wellbeing issues. If you are experiencing tiredness even with enough rest, please consult your doctor.
Having low energy makes it difficult for you to perform your daily activities. It makes you feel tired and lazy to do anything. This can happen due to a poor diet, lack of sleep, and spending energy on other things.
Sluggish people are capable of doing the tasks assigned to them, but they do not want to exert effort in doing so. Instead, they focus their energy and exhaust themselves in less demanding and less tedious activities, like playing games, hanging out with parents, etc. They also tend to remain idle.
Poor lifestyle means having a poor diet, lack of or too much sleep, lack of exercise or physical activities, too much alcohol consumption, and drug addiction. All these can make you feel tired and lessen your motivation, making you feel lazy.
Lack of Motivation
Lack of motivation refers to a low level of enthusiasm and passion for doing a task. People with low motivation may have an uncaring attitude toward what they should do to finish their job, which contributes to laziness.
There are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
Intrinsic motivation refers to motivation within. It involves doing activities and tasks that are personally rewarding because of happiness and fulfillment doing it. People who do not see any value in an assigned task and classify it as useless even though they understand its importance will not be motivated to exert effort in doing the job.
On the other hand, extrinsic motivation refers to motivation from outside yourself. It is the completion of a task or exhibition of behavior to earn a reward or avoid punishment.
A research study on Don State Technical University students found that regardless of academic performance, students tend to be less motivated in doing school work when extrinsic motivation decrease. They inferred that a certain reward is needed to encourage students to engage more and perform assigned tasks.
Other reasons for lack of motivation include not believing effort will improve performance, an unsupportive environment, and physical, mental, or other personal problems that affect your motivation.
Lack of Interest
Interest is a strong motivational process that guides career and academic success. It is a psychological state of attention, affect, and effort in a particular moment and predisposes you to reengage with a topic or object over time. A study revealed that laziness is attributable to a lack of interest.
When someone lacks interest in a job, the person is unable to give it attention and may not engage or exert effort to accomplish the assigned job. The research study on students showed that, regardless of their academic performance, students refuse to do or accomplish tasks that are not mentally stimulating and interesting.
Mental Health Issues
If one is experiencing mental health problems, some signs and symptoms can be associated or attributed to laziness. The signs and symptoms include lack or too much sleep, losing interest in things you once enjoyed like reading books, low energy and motivation, and difficulty concentrating.
Often, too many tasks can cause stress because it can be overwhelming. Stress can lead to poor sleep, which in turn leads to anxiety, irritability, exhaustion, and lack of motivation.
Meanwhile, people experiencing fatigue, decreasing interest, and lack of motivation coupled with hopelessness can make them idle or unable to do assigned tasks well.
If you frequently experience these signs and symptoms and it negatively affects your work, school, or even your day-to-day life, it may not be because of laziness. Please consult your doctor immediately.
Fear is another cause of laziness that brings us a fight or flight response. When overwhelmed with fear, you tend to flee and face the tasks for another day. It also makes you feel immobilized, which results in becoming lazy in doing the job.
Here are the fears that cause laziness: responsibility and accountability, expectations, risks, and failures. Some people prefer laziness over facing their fears.
Tips and tricks to overcome laziness
While it is normal to take a break, having long breaks and achieving nothing is a problem. After you identify the cause/s of your laziness, taking action to address the cause is the next step.
Below are tips and tricks to overcome your laziness.
Tip #1: Set manageable and realistic goals
People with no goals may seem lazy, but they just have not found what they want to do. Some people know what they want, but they are not doing it probably because it is an unrealistic and overwhelming goal. So, it is crucial to set a goal and make it manageable and realistic for you to act on it.
Assess your likes, dislikes, interests, and what you want to achieve. From there, you can start setting short-term goals or long-term goals.
In setting goals, make sure that they are achievable and stimulating to avoid being overwhelmed. Having impractical goals and taking on too much may lead to burnout, which can cause exhaustion and decreased interest and motivation.
Break down your goals into smaller attainable goals or tasks to get you to what you want one step at a time. This way, you will be less overwhelmed by your job.
Tip #2: Avoid negative self-talk
Negative self-talk discourages you from accomplishing tasks, even the simpler ones. Describing yourself to others as lazy is an example of negative self-talk.
Positive self-talk, on the other hand, can encourage you to persevere and cope with hardships. It also reduces the detrimental effects of anxiety and stress. You can start by saying, “I can do this. I will give my best to get this done.”
Tip #3: Create an action plan
Create a specific plan on how you can complete a task and achieve your goal. Planning can give direction, specificity, and confidence in reaching your goals easier despite obstacles along the way. Just be realistic in how much effort and time are needed and consider other factors to finish a task.
Tip #4: Maximize your strengths
Know your strengths when preparing to take on a task or goal. Research has found that focusing on strengths increases positive feelings, engagement, and overall productivity. So, maximize your strengths and use them to get things done.
Tip #5: Don’t concentrate on perfectionism
Perfectionism may be ideally nice, but focusing too much on perfectionism and unrealistic expectations can make you overly critical of yourself and may lead to anxiety and depression. A study has shown that people who expect perfection are likely to avoid dealing with stressors.
So, don’t concentrate on perfectionism. Embrace the fear of failure. Do not let it immobilize you and hinder you from accomplishing your tasks.
Every person who risks going out of their comfort zone will experience one or more failures in life. But these failures do not only bring pain and discouragement but also lessons valuable for your success.
Tip #6: Acknowledge your efforts
Acknowledging your efforts and accomplishments in every task finished can boost your confidence and motivate you to keep going. Acknowledgment also helps you keep track of how you are progressing. Pat yourself and be proud of what you have become and what you are becoming.
Tip #7: Keep yourself away from distractions
Distractions can disturb you and shift your interest from your work to other unimportant things. You can limit distractions by setting up a work area where noise and traffic are lesser, organizing your desk and to-do things, storing away phones, or making social media sites inaccessible during your work time.
Limiting distractions increases your focus and minimizes disruption to your concentration and workflow. Having a distraction-free environment can help you finish your task, which increases your productivity.
Tip #8: Make menial tasks fun
We tend to find small, boring, menial tasks as big yet burdensome. It is monotonous and tiresome to do. However, we can do these tedious tasks in a fun and enjoyable way to motivate us to get things done.
You can reward yourself after doing the tedious tasks. You can also get a partner to assist or accompany you while you finish things up. Regardless of what you do to keep things fun, just keep going because it can increase motivation and prevent boredom.
Tip #9: Enroll in a Productivity course
You can enroll in a productivity course to help you overcome laziness, and manage time and tasks, thus, increasing your productivity. Some companies offer online productivity courses for accessibility, like the Iris Reading’s Personal Productivity Course. This course will help you understand productivity, its factors, barriers, and strategies to improve personal productivity.
You can also utilize productivity apps and read books on personal productivity as supplementary for a productivity course.
Tip #10: Ask for help
If tasks get confusing and challenging, and the load is overwhelming, do not hesitate to ask for help. Asking for help and assistance is not a sign of defeat and weakness.
A study has found that people who do not seek help increase their chances of failure, work dissatisfaction, and poor performance. Meanwhile, those who ask for help increase their likelihood of success and help you get connected with people who will encourage and motivate you.
Tip #11: Have a healthy lifestyle
Having a healthy lifestyle is also one of the best ways to overcome laziness. This kind of lifestyle clears your mind to help you think, increases your energy to do more tasks, improves your wellbeing, and keeps you motivated for your daily grind.
To have a healthy lifestyle, you should…
Get a good sleep
Getting a good quality of sleep can improve your mood, reduce stress, improve cognitive skills, help you do better in work or school, and improve your overall health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least seven hours of sleep for adults aged 18 to 60 years old.
Eat nutritious food
Food is also your secret weapon in overcoming laziness and being productive. Eat high-protein foods, such as almonds, tuna, and eggs, to increase your energy and stabilize your blood sugar. This type of food will prevent you from feeling lazy and lethargic.
Avoid high-fat and sugary foods because these are slow to digest and may cause a spike in your blood sugar, which leads to the draining of your energy. Examples of food you need to steer clear from include refined carbs, alcohol, fried foods, fast food, and aliments high in sugar.
Exercise has numerous health benefits that also combat laziness. These include improving mood, cognitive function, and self-esteem.
Exercise also increases energy levels and reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. All of this prevents you from losing your motivation and experiencing fatigue.
If you are not into going to the gym for exercise, you can incorporate physical activities into your routine as an alternative. You can do Yoga, go hiking, dance to your favorite music, cycle, and more.
Taking a break from a busy schedule is essential for relaxing and recharging. However, it is a different case if you are becoming lazy by taking too many breaks and are unable to get anything done.
We have shared with you the different underlying causes of laziness and how you can overcome them. Just know that anyone can improve and excel if they are willing to acknowledge their issues and take measures for self-improvement.
If the presented tips are not enough for you, we suggest taking the Personal Productivity online course from Iris Reading. Perks include lifetime access to learning materials compatible with mobile devices, three bonus webinars, and a certificate of completion.